The Shine School Media Awards would not be where it is today without sponsorship.

The Times Educational Supplement (TES) is an amazing sponsor of Shine. Their prize of a full day’s workshop is invaluable to the winning students.

The full day’s workshop at TES is arguably the most coveted prize of the competition and the lucky students who have won over the last five years have been unanimous in their enthusiasm and delight at the opportunity. Equally TES staff have been impressed with the standard of skills and dedication shown by the winning students. The team at TES have offered work experience to students on two occasions. This kind of cooperation is the perfect platform to help students move on successfully from secondary education into a working environment. In supporting the Shine School Media Awards in this way, TES provides students with an understanding and appreciation of the daily life of a journalist and the world of publishing. This can go a long way to support the decision process when students make their future career choices. It’s a very big thank you to TES for their continued support and hospitality.

– Annie Hotton – Shine chair


Shine School Media Awards 2016 –

Winners enjoy top prize of a full day workshop at TES offices in London.

This year the winners of Best Magazine, Best Newspaper and best Online Magazine were Headington School, Oundle School and Knight’s Templar.  Three students from each school along with their teachers attended a full day’s workshop at the offices of the Times Educational Supplement on Thursday 24th November.  It turned out to be a fantastic day with five different members of TES staff, including the Editor in Chief, giving tips and running exercises on diverse aspects of journalism, editing and running a publication.

The first exercise, led by Deputy Editor Ed Dorrell, was on profile interviews.  Each of the groups had to interview a famous person of their choice.  Roleplay was involved and the interviewees this year were Taylor Swift, Donald Trump and Jessica Ennis.  Ed carefully outlined the technique and importance of getting that all-important ‘headline making’ quote.  Trump proved fertile ground as you can imagine!

This session was followed by a workshop on news writing by Irena Barker, Deputy News Editor TES. She gave a short review of her career, outlining how boring it can be working for a tabloid (sitting outside footballers’ houses for hour upon hour) – how mercenary (all tabloids swarming into the house of a mother on benefits trying to outbid each other); and how the role of news reporting has changed over recent years with journalists having to embrace digital communication and the use of social media tools such as Twitter in creating and managing news headlines and stories.  The reverse triangle writing technique was discussed and short news reports on the shooting of Abe Lincoln were created.

After a sumptuous picnic lunch Sarah Cunnane, TES sub-editor, explained what that role involves and how important it is in any sort of publication.  The groups learned about what does and doesn’t make a good headline and edited a TES story.  Finally, Helen Amass, Assistant Features Editor TES  talked about editorial and led an exercise in setting up a new publication.  The groups were asked to create pitches for the ‘Dragons’ (otherwise known as the teachers) to judge.

In a packed but jovial and upbeat day, everyone had a great time and came away better informed on what working for a national publication might involve.  Shine are extremely grateful to TES for all their support for the Awards and for offering this super prize!




On Thursday 24 November three members of the Oundle Chronicle team spent the day with editors at the offices of the Times Educational supplement.

The work experience opportunity was one of the prizes that the Oundle Chronicle won for their Best Newspaper award at the Shine Media Awards at Stationers’ Hall in June. As one of the three major award winners, three pupils from the editorial team were invited to attend a day at the TES offices in London. Emily Wang (N), Freddie Smith (Ldr) and editor Ruby Goodall (L) joined the other award winners from Headington School and Knights Templar School.

After a welcome from the TES Editor, Ann Mroz, pupils had a full schedule, working with four different editors who took them through the basic principles of news and feature writing, copy editing, social media and content management.

During the workshops pupils practiced one-on-one profile interviews, developed the structure of a news story, copy edited an article and worked with headlines. With Twitter now such an important driver of news, time was spent working headlines into tweets that would generate traffic to online content. Finally, the pupils worked to a brief and wrote a proposal for a new magazine that they pitched to the ‘Dragons’.

The day offered an invaluable opportunity for the pupils to meet professional journalists, learn about the career path in journalism and pick up tips and advice to help develop school journalism.



Winner of the 2016 Shine School Media Awards Knights Templar School –

Teacher Ben McDermott tells us – How to create a student news website………..

Setting up a student website can bring your old school newsletter right up to date. A teacher who led a team to win a national school media competition shares his advice on how to get it right.

Coordinating a student website that produces two, three or even five pieces a week, plus pictures and design, for the entire school year sounds like the undertaking of a madman. Especially, when the writing has to be passed by senior management and reflect well on the school, while also appealing to the students. However, I can vouchsafe for my partial sanity.

Here are five steps to creating a successful student website, without losing your mind:

Lay the groundwork

If you are not organized from the start, your keenest students will soon drift off into the canteen. So, before you recruit the next Polly Toynbee or Hunter S. Thompson, make sure the website has a structure. Discuss your idea with a member of senior leadership and get their blessing. Next, establish an editing regime. I do the first edit of all pieces submitted but then hand over proofing to my fellow English teachers and office staff.

Then, find a design website. We use, but there are many free website builders available.

Establish your team

You will need writers, sub-editors, photographers and, possibly, a manager.  I approach students who I know have ambitions in writing and they help to recruit others. I have had limited success through posters and bulletins, but speaking directly to candidates results in excellent recruits. At the start of the year I invest £10 of my hard-earned cash into some cakes and pop for the first meeting, which always helps to foster team moral.

Don’t launch, just yet

Make sure you take the time to train up your cub reporters to avoid abysmal, time-wasting copy. Spend a couple of lunchtimes teaching news writing and profiles. I hand out short guides. Don’t forget to get some opinion pieces written, too. You can also do Podcasts, which can be created using editing programmes like Garageband and linked to on Find somewhere central to place the work, either on DropBox or Google Drive. You can even create short videos using Vimeo or Youtube. Ask your team about what they can do. If you see any proficiency, then promote. When the site has a cache of sparkling content, get ready to launch

Make your launch impressive

Set a date and tell everyone. Book an assembly, organise an event in a large space, advertise via Parentmail or your school’s equivalent, even ring up the local paper. Most importantly, encourage students to take ownership of particular roles – the more they do this, the more likely they will commit

Establish your routine and delegate

We meet every Monday to discuss our four pieces for the week. Use this time to agree a structure for the pieces (rewrites take far too long) and coach students through the writing process. Five minutes now will save 30 minutes later.  Delegation is the key to bringing it all together. I am lucky to have a Year 13 student who is an excellent manager, but I still train up the next generation. No one in the team is irreplaceable, not even the teacher.

Ben McDermott is coordinator for @ktsnewsknight and @ktsnewscast and an English teacher at The Knights Templar School in Hertfordshire. NewsKnight won Best Online at the 2016 Shine School Media Awards.

You can find out more about the Shine School Media Awards and how your school can enter at




The TES workshops were fascinating. It was incredibly useful to enjoy workshops led by top journalists. They were all superb: it was particularly interesting to hear from Sarah Cunnane about the world of sub-editing and for students to work on and proof read articles in progress. The Headington girls learned a lot about the role of digital and social media in modern journalism and it was great at the end of the day to work with Helen Amass on pitches for a new print and online publication. The Aqila Team from Headington were thrilled to win the Shine Award for Best Magazine and the TES workshop was a great prize from which the team learned a great deal.