Priory Primary pupils give their perspective on local news

Three groups of year 6 pupils from Priory Primary School are telling the local news from their perspective as part of a Bedford Creative Arts project.

The 10 students have been working alongside world-renowned artists, Andy Field and Beckie Darlington, to present bulletins from news gathered in Bedford, offering a distinctive look at what’s going on right here and right now in their hometown.

The junior news gatherers have researched and filmed stories on topics including the River Great Ouse, anti-social behaviour and noise pollution.

And on Saturday 29 January, the groups will host a live news broadcast at the Place Theatre in front of the general public, friends and family.

Meeram, aged 10, and 11-year-old Semi are part of the group researching a story about the river, specifically, what’s in it.

“We spoke to two ladies who live on boats at Priory Marina,” said Semi. “They swim in the river every day and told us that they’ve seen lots of water snakes and have even found love letters in the river.”

The boys also interviewed an environment officer at Bedford Borough Council and filmed ‘vox pops’ with passers-by about the River Great Ouse. “Most people said they loved the swans,” said Meeram.

As well as reporters, other pupils are taking the roles of news anchors, floor managers and fact-checkers at the live show on Saturday 29 January.

The stage of the Place Theatre on Bradgate Road will be transformed into a television studio for a two-part performance by the children.

“The first half is ‘behind-the-scenes’ and the audience will see the new crew getting ready for the live broadcast, fact-checking the stories and doing some on-the-spot interviews,” said Andy Field.

“The second half will be the live broadcast, presented by the news anchors and featuring the video reports made by the groups of reporters. It will also be live-streamed on YouTube so anyone in the world can tune in to watch.”

Andy and Beckie have previously run the News News News project with school children in Norwich and are heading to Manchester next.

“The project came out of a festering mistrust of one another and of the media,” said Andy.

“We wanted to give children in the community the opportunity to take the lead and show how they perceive the place that they live and the community that they live in.

“It’s about creating a space for children that adults are invited into, rather than the other way around.”

It’s obvious from speaking to Semi and Meeram that they have loved taking part in the project.

“I have been talking about it with my family every minute of every day,” said Meeram, who has said his family will be coming to the performance at the Place.

“Other members of our class are very jealous,” confirmed Semi.

You can find out more about the project on the BCA website and you can book ‘pay what you can’

tickets for the live show here.

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