Wholeschool Portal | Home 19 February 2018

This year, Ballymena Academy School Reporters have been investigating the role of technology in industry.  The team, comprising of eleven Year 11 pupils, attended the BBC NI 'Make it Digital' event on Thursday 26th February, where they interviewed leading figures from digital industries to find out how technology is revolutionising jobs and opening up new career opportunities. Click here to watch their report.

Having discovered that almost 20% of new companies established in NI in recent years have been digital, Academy reporters quizzed inventors and educators about the skills and qualifications they need to get one of these jobs.
 Robustly facing the camera, the team put their new found interview techniques to use and pressed industry insiders for tips on 'making it digital'!  

Here's an account of the day from Ballymena Academy School Reporter Rosanna.

On 26th February the Ballymena Academy BBC school report team took a valuable opportunity to attend the BBC NI ‘Make it Digital
event which was held at the Blackstaff studios in Belfast. The event was held to show how technology is changing traditional jobs and to showcase some of Northern Irelands latest and greatest inventions.

Our year 11 report team comprised of eleven enthusiastic journalists with a clear mission to investigate how technology is impacting the jobs we will have in the future and to discover the key skills we need to get one of those jobs.

 The morning began with a lively brainstorming session in which we finalised questions to put to leading figures in the digital industry in Northern Ireland. We also got a quick-fire lesson on interview strategies from BBC insider John McAliskey, (Assistant producer for media literacy at BBC NI) Excited and prepared with questions, we set off to begin our investigation!

 A highlight for me was getting the opportunity to interview digital artist Robin Price, the creator of a futuristic version of the classic game of Ping-Pong. His interactive table uses over 4,000 LED sensors, special effects, a music machine and multi-coloured lights created using code, to enhance a players experience. The opportunity to interview Robin was incredible and I gained some valuable experience in front of the camera at the same time.

After filming a number of interviews with budding digital artists and inventors, we headed for lunch in the BBC canteen where Donna Traynor captivated us with tales of her experiences in broadcast journalism. She gave us valuable careers advice about how to get a job in the industry and her warmth and enthusiasm was genuinely inspiring. After returning to the Blackstaff studios we participated in a ‘Raspberry Pi’ workshop. This is a computer the size of a credit card and we used coding to create a mini lights show. This was a challenging yet fun experience through which I discovered that maybe I should leave coding to the experts!

I learned a lot throughout the day and discovered how technology is revolutionising traditional industries and creating new digital jobs in the UK and beyond. I discovered just how valuable skills involving technology are and I have been inspired to pursue a creative job. To watch our report log on to www.ballymenaacademy.org.uk or www.bbc.co.uk/schoolreport  on the 19th March.

By Ballymena Academy School Reporter, Rosanna

Latest news.

This week, former pupil Danny Ross was in school to give Ballymena Academy Reporters a tech lesson using Apple software. 

'Green Screen' Technology lesson 

Danny Ross teaching 'Green Screen' tech

Editing in the Green Room

Learning interview techniques

News teams out and about

Team A

Team B

Watching their interview with Mr Kerr about the school  squirrels

Zack broadcasting

Report and photographs thanks to Miss Simpson.

Ballymena Academy’s School Report team 2014-15

Hello!  Welcome to our webpage!  This year’s Ballymena Academy School report team consists of 11 aspiring reporters.  We are a group of year 11 pupils keen to report news as and when it happens. 

Our first project this year is to create a promotional trailer for the Ballymena Academy’s School Players’ Production of West Side Story, but we will be involved in several other projects throughout the year, culminating in our very own BBC School Report.  We are very excited about this year and we hope that you will click on our webpage and see what we’ve been up to!

This year’s BA Report team: Zak, Cameron, Jordan, Katie, Claire, Thomas, Rosanna, Adam, Erin, Rachel and Matthew.

Ballymena Academy School Reporters are directed and coordinated by Miss Simpson.

Click here to see Behind the Scenes at Rehearsal

Click here to read Rosanna's and Claire's interview with Julie who plays Maria.

Click here to read Katie's interview with Ethan who plays Tony.

Click here to read Rachel's and Erin's interview with Jessica who plays Clarice.

Click here to read 
Rosanna's and Katie's interview with Bryony who plays Anita       

Erin and Rachel interviewing Jessica

Matthew and Zak filming

Rachel filming

Zak, Erin, Rachel and Matthew interviewing Ethan.

Edward and Jonathan (both Year 14) who are initially
mentoring the Year 11 Ballymena Academy School Reporters’ team this year.

BA Reporters enjoy-dounghnuts on a break-from filming!