Inside scoop: Primary school students have a go at being a journalist

Crestwood High student journalists

This article was contributed by Bachelor of Communication student, Hannah Gee. Photos by Anthony Gott.

Year six students from Crestwood Public School in Baulkham Hills had the opportunity to be reporters for a day, as part of a pilot schools outreach program involving Western Sydney University.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover participated in an on-camera interview with four Crestwood students at the University's Parramatta South campus, in front of an audience of classmates, parents, teachers and university academics.

Students Jean-Paul Tallai, Kerry Yang, Aayush Jain and Toby Pearson were selected as the reporters, as part of a school initiative that aims to boost academic and social confidence and increase the engagement of its male students.

The boys questioned Professor Glover on his background and childhood; whether he enjoyed going to school when he was their age; the road to becoming Vice-Chancellor; and what his work day comprises.

Acting like seasoned reporters, the students first asked permission to record the interview before taking turns to ask questions. Their classmates also engaged in the interview by taking notes, recording the interview on mobile phones, and taking selfies for social media.

Crestwood Primary student journalists 

"It's like we're celebrities!" said Jean-Paul.

"I love writing, and I write all the time. I think I definitely might become a journalist one day," said Toby.

After the event, Professor Glover said he was very proud of the boys' interviewing skills.

"I always enjoy these events, particularly when we have an opportunity to engage with young students, and show them that university is accessible to anybody," Professor Glover said.

Dean of the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Professor Peter Hutchings, said the program is part of the University's commitment to promoting engagement and further learning support for primary and secondary students in Western Sydney.

Final year Western Sydney University Journalism and Design students will provide mentoring for the year six class at Crestwood Public School, and will assist the students in producing the school magazine.

Director of Academic Programs for Design, Katrina Sandbach, and Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Dr Asha Chand, said they admired the courage of their "little heroes" to take on such a big challenge.

"The school's entrance has large pencil shaped wooden posts with words 'Safe, Respectful, Responsible, Learners'," said Dr Chand.

"The boys displayed a deeper meaning to these words in the way they conducted the interview and through the questions they asked. We salute the school for espousing the values that we regard as essential attributes in our own teaching and learning."


2 August 2017

Media Unit