Dawn House School Headteacher: the day Newsround visited our school

There was an excited buzz in the air as pupils arrived at school on Friday 10th February. Snow had fallen the night before and unlike most days when we have snow, pupils were not altogether happy to see it!

‘They’re travelling from Manchester and the roads might be closed’ pupils groaned whilst others shouted the groaners down confident that when the Newsround team say they’re coming to film then turn up, they will!

There was a flurry of activity – hair was smoothed, sweatshirts adjusted, board games pupils had been working on for weeks were proudly displayed across the tables in preparation for the film crew.

‘Do you think they’ll like them?’ pupils asked one another anxiously, ‘Wonder whose will be shown in close up; hope they film me playing my game.’ Interestingly, staff were a little more reluctant than pupils, nervously asking whether they needed to be included in the filming.

The small group of pupils brave enough to volunteer to be interviewed by Hayley met with me, ‘What do you think she will ask me?’ they enquired, as between us we tried to anticipate the questions they might be asked.

Sheila popped her head around my office door to inform me that the film crew had called to say they were on their way but stuck in traffic and so would be a little late.

There was a slight feeling of relief as we made our way to the dining room to sample cakes made by the catering group as an enterprise activity.

‘Yummy!’ one of the pupils was in the middle of saying, ‘What a shame they won’t be in time for a cake and hot chocolate,’ when in walked Hayley and Charlie. An enterprising year 10 pupil immediately enquired whether they would be interested in purchasing some of his fairy buns. Temptation proved too much and both enjoyed cakes and hot chocolate before getting down to the main event.

Hayley and Charlie made their way to the art room where pupils were filmed playing their games. Following this, Phoebe and Ross were then interviewed individually. Both responded confidently, describing their previous experiences before sharing their views about Dawn House School. Both looked remarkably composed during their interview, I only wish I could say the same about me! ‘Remember, when you answer my questions imagine you are speaking to a 6 year old and speak slowly.’ Hayley advised before filming for what seemed like hours. In reality it was only about ten minutes then all too soon it was time for them to pack up and go. The whirlwind visit to Dawn House School was drawing to a close.

‘We’ll e-mail you to let you know when it will be broadcast. Thanks so much, we’ve really enjoyed our visit.’ they called as they were leaving. All that remained was to set Sky plus to record the Newsround bulletins and bask in the glory of celebrity status over the half term holiday!

Thank you to the Newsround team for helping us to reach children in homes across the UK, who hopefully will have seen the bulletin and realised if they are struggling to learn and understand at school, to ask for help.

See the Newsround bulletin here