Wellsford students produce morning television news

Teacher Mark Lorenzen briefs cameraman Izaac Warahi as Cooper Whitaker prepares to read the news.

Wellsford School students are keeping their finger on the pulse by producing their own morning television news show.

Children who turn up early before school starts help shoot, present and edit the footage. It’s then downloaded to the school server, ready for showing via video projector in every school classroom.

The emphasis on Wellsford Television (WTV) Morning News (Nga Panni O Te Ra) is heavily on local school news and school notices, but also includes national and international news and a Wellsford weather report  

Teacher Mark Lorenzen, who started the service, says the original idea was simply to liven up the school notices.

“Most students weren’t getting notices relevant to them. I wanted to create a news programme that was current, recorded to a tight time frame and that reached out to a wider audience of students across classes,” he says.

WTV Morning News follows a set format. A student reads school news from a prepared script.

Meanwhile, another student takes footage of games and activities going on before school starts. This is further supplemented by feature stories students may have gathered during the week.  

All the material is then edited together, along with clips from other news outlets and the weather.

Inserted into the bulletin will be a question about the news of the day, intended to provoke further student learning.

Mr Lorenzen says students love volunteering to be student camera operators. They often film with iPads using a variety of camera techniques that Mr Lorenzen has taught them.

The pre-school activities footage is placed at the end of each news bulletin and Mr Lorenzen says this often proves the most popular part of the broadcast.

“The vast majority of students will do anything to get on TV,” he says.

Izaac Warahi captures footage with an iPad.

Mark Lorenzen shows Izaac and Cooper how to edit the news.

Regular news reader Cooper Whitaker, 8, says he finds it’s important to practise his script before reading it to camera. Fellow reader and cameraman Izaac Warahi, 8, agrees and adds that it’s also important to add “plenty of expression”.

Mr Lorenzen says future plans for WTV Morning News include encouraging students to take more responsibility for the entire production process.

“I am in the process of training two Year 4 students to edit the entire production videos themselves – a role these students are overwhelmingly excited about.”

Children gather to watch WTV.