A final reflection from the leaders of this project, Mariela Lopez Gibson and Cecilia Cervi:
“Designing our News Website presented new and interesting challenges. Firstly, deciding a name for the Site required that students detach themselves from the typical “SASS NEWS”. We were aware of the significance of having an original name and motto, which meant unifying objectives, ideas and understanding of our roles as reporters.
During our Editorial Sessions in IT and English lessons we discussed a variety of possibilities, finally finding inspiration in the school’s history: “Symmetry News – News with the flow”. The name became an emblem of ownership, identity and mission.
Each reporter kept a portfolio with their progress of the news, and reports were proofread and edited between peers with the Section Editor (students). Once the reports were written and edited, each student uploaded their article to the individual page in the corresponding section in the Site. The team of Section Editors was in charge of updating the design of their web pages, including heading, leading paragraph, image and link to the whole article.
The “Design Department” was led by Josefina Pinto in the creation of a Logo using PS Touch, (an image edition App for tablets which students learnt to use during IT).
The project proved to be a valuable exercise in proactivity, initiative and autonomy, reporters needed to adopt a real reporter’s frame of mind, develop an acute sense of audience, planning angles, hunting down a variety of sources that would express different views, organizing interviews, searching relevant images, etc.. Those that were fully involved were able to overcome the natural obstacles found along the way with creativity and produce original, interesting and realistic reports for a News Site all their own.
Our final assessment of the project highlights its formative value not only in English Language and ICT, but in other equally important virtues, like perseverance, autonomy and initiative. Students were required to move out of their comfort zones in many ways, organise their time, manage deadlines, interact with all levels and groups within the school community, observe, evaluate and synthesise reality to convey it to a defined audience. An improvement for next year will be to advance the deadline for the launching of the Site earlier in the year, in order to have a greater opportunity to showcase and promote it, and even find new possibilities to explore in the project, like getting interaction with the readers, news updates, promotion of school events, working with other departments and subjects. Although many interesting events at school happen towards the end of the year (and, wanting to include them in the site made us extend our deadline), we realised these events may be used as updates and latest news in the final lessons of the school year.”
This project has been an exciting, challenging closure to our students’ Middle School experience.
I invite you to check out the Year 8 news site: Symmetry News