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A Guideline/Template For Writing News Reports

Updated on October 16, 2015

I received an A+ for these two news articles I wrote in high school and thought I would share them with you guys to use as a guide/template.

A School Ground
A School Ground | Source

Article One: Four Day School Week

Over the past week, The Australian Education Department Of Western Australia has drafted proposed legislation which would make school weeks only 4 days a week in Western Australia.

Reportedly, the legislation will go before the Senate next term, with arguments being put forward that the change would give students more time to catch up and do homework, more personal time, and decrease their stress levels.

It is believed that Colin Barnett, the Premier of Western Australia, is the person who started the debate about whether school weeks should be 4 days or not as his son, Sam Barnett, struggled at school with the amount of homework to the ratio of time he had, meaning he had very high stress levels, causing great concern to his family with regards to his mental health.

Colin Barnett, the Premier of Western Australia believes that a 4 day school week will be the end to many problems of many schools, freeing teachers and students time up to pursue a greater work-life balance and significantly impact schools’ budgets.

“4 day school weeks will help many schools with many issues. The savings to the schools will be marvellous. Schools could save up to over $50,000 a year, just for cutting one day off of their school week. It will also benefit all of the teachers and students to have one more day off of school to do various tasks and to socialise. 4 day school weeks will be just great for everyone,” Mr Barnett stated.

Politicians who are set to appear at the Senate hearing have expressed their support, confirming that they believe this to be the right decision to make school weeks 4 days, as there are more benefits than cons, with the ratio of agreement at the debate 3 to 5.

Experts believe that this change in school time will have quiet a large impact on students here at Irene McCormack Catholic College, because it could mean lower school costs, better grades, and may clear up both teachers and students’ time to pursue personal and family activities.

Students here at Irene McCormack Catholic College reportedly all agree that the plan for 4 day school weeks should go ahead, with 100% support from the student body.

It is rumoured, however, that around 65% of teachers disagree with the proposal, causing conflict between students and teachers.

This has left our Principal, Mr Robert Marshall conflicted about whether to support the interests of students or staff on the matter of a 4 day school week, which has resulted in him announcing his decision on whether to support the proposed legislation.

“If we have a four day school week, all of our students will have significantly less opportunities to learn, develop their talents to be very successful when they finish school to be able to go onto further study for a great career, use their talents to do good for others and make our society and world a better placeto all people,” Mr Marshall believes.

English Teacher at Irene McCormack Catholic College in Butler, Miss Stylianou, claims that a 4 day school week would be great, with many benefits.

“I would LOVE to have a 4 day working week. It would allow me more time to better prepare for my classes, to have more time to write thorough feedback for my students and would also give me more time to relax and complete tasks around the house that I usually don’t have time to do due to school work. As a society, we need a better work/life balance, so the 3 day weekend would be excellent.”

However, Miss Stylianou also can see possible disadvantages, claiming that it may cause a struggle to get through all the content that needs to be covered in a typical week.

“Having less time at school would probably just lead to more homework being given to students. At the end of the day, we still need to cover everything, so there is potential for the 4 day week to just add more stress. Saying that though, I have often fantasized about having a 4 day week because I think too much of our lives generally revolve around work. It would be lovely to have more time for friends and family so that weekends are not so busy and frantic. They always go too fast,” Miss Stylianou exclaimed.

Education experts believe that with a four day school week, some teachers may experience initial challenges with the new schedule, but in the end they will ultimately be able to give higher quality instruction and create a more positive learning environment for children.

Studieshave showed that under a four-day week, teachers were absent less often and the teacher satisfaction with the shortened schedule contributed to stronger work ethic in the classroom.

The positive effect of the new schedule on teachers ultimately transfers over to children and although many critics are concerned that less class time would negatively affect children's education, studies have revealed that they were actually better behaved, more attentive and exhibited better attitudes under the new system.

Further studies demonstrated a correlation between the shortened school week and a 40 percent drop in disciplinary action and many schools also reportedly have higher test scores and grades as a result of the switch.

Even though there are many positives to a four day school week, one negative that has been identified is that the staff will be paid less as they are not working for as long and over time this loss of pay really adds up.

This has caused much conflict here at Irene McCormack Catholic College between the students, staff and the principal, Mr Robert Marshall because many staff cannot afford to be on a reduced salary, as many have mortgages and loans that will suffer as a result.

It isrumoured that many parents believe that it would be a distraction to their children's education by having a longer weekend, causing them to fall behind at school and also causing a hassle to have them home on a Friday because most parents are working at that time, which means they would have to find child care.

Marie Rideout-Andrews, a parent of a student at Irene McCormack Catholic College, believes that the 4 day week would not be the best option as there is already so much school curriculum to cover in such a short period of time during the current school week

“While I do think that a 4 day school weeks gives more flexibility to students by spending one more day at home to focus on major assignments and relax during study periods, I also think that a bad point is that the students and teachers may struggle to meeteducation requirements,” Ms Rideout - Andrews reported.

The students will be mostly the people who will reap the effects of the 4 day school week, which are mostlybenefits, but alternatively, most people say students are the ones who will need to be accommodated for the most, as they are the next generation of workers.

Nikita Estrella, a student here at Irene McCormack Catholic College believes that the idea of a 4 day school week is amazing and vocally supports the concept at College meetings.

“Having a 4 day school week would be great! It would allow us to have extra sleep, relax more and give us some extra time to study, do homework and assignments. We would get to have more of a social life and have a lot more fun.”

While Nikita, and other students, are supportive of the 4 day week, she can also see its potential shortcomings.

“Having a 4 day school week comes with some downfalls. We would have more homework to do because of missed class time and maybe even too much free time, which could cause many students to become lazy and some students many not even do homework at all. But in my personal opinion a 4 day school week would be AWESOME! We would not be as stressed and would have had time to relax sufficiently, which would make us more focused to get on with what we have to do for school,” Miss Estrella said.

A 4 day school week is scientifically proven to have positive mental effects on students, which include being less stressed, as they have more time to relax and do things at their own pace, which makes students more willing to learn and happier.

Another benefit includes the stimulation of the the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which makes students more content and gives them the ability to better analyse situations and act accordingly, which is due to more time for out of school social interaction.

Students who have a 4 day school week are in such a better state of mind and in general better, happier people, which is good for not only them but everyone around them.

Psychologist, Dr Hanna Mazarati of Curtain University states that the 4 day school week is prodigious and reaps many benefits with regards to the psychology of students and teachers.

“The plan for 4 day school weeks is tremendous. It will aid with the education and social skills of students, improve the quality of classes giving students better learning sessions as teachers will have more time to assemble lessons and indeed in general everybody will benefit intellectually and mentally,” Dr Mazarati explained.

Here at Irene McCormack Catholic College we believe that the 4 day school week is very manageable and we can accommodate for everyone and make this change benefit us now and in the future.

Year 8 Locker Area At Irene McCormack Catholic College
Year 8 Locker Area At Irene McCormack Catholic College | Source

Article Two: IMCC Litter Crisis

The litter crisis at Irene McCormack Catholic College has reached boiling point, after rubbish has accumulated in the Year 8 locker area over the last term, which is being attributed to the laziness of the students.

Unfortunately, the whole of Irene McCormack Catholic College is disgusted with the amount of litter in the Year 8 locker area, especially the teachers as they have to deal with most of it when out on duty.

It is believed that the boys started this litter problem by chucking rubbish, such as fruit, cheese and empty packets from the balcony above the Year 8 locker area, causing many to continue these actions.

The thought of a dirty, litter filled school has given Irene McCormack Catholic College, which is a fine educational institute, a bad impression to a multitude of pupil’s parents and many other outsiders.

Mr Robert Marshall the principal of our school, Irene McCormack Catholic College, believes that we can all do our part to help solve the issue regarding the school’s litter.

Mr Marshall believes that the litter crisis in the Year 8 are is definitely “not perfect, and could unquestionably improve. We should always strive and work together to be proud of having an excellently presented school, that includes making the only place for litter the bin,” Mr Marshall stated.

“It is also important to remember that nobody is perfect, so when we see litter lying around, we should give service to the school and quietly pick it up and put it in the bin. If we all lived by this there would be no litter issue. We should be very appreciative towards the efforts of all of our great staff and particularly our grounds and maintenance staff for trying to keeping our school looking great,” Mr Marshall conveyed.

Many teachers are outraged with this behaviour and have attempted many times to solve this problem, but students have not helped as willingly as the teachers would have liked, leaving the litter problem still unsolved and teachers still left disgusted and frustrated.

Head of Year 8 at Irene McCormack Catholic College, Mrs Sandra Finn, believes that the litter situation in the Year 8 locker area is unacceptable, implying that tougher measures will be taken in future to eradicate the mess.

“The Year 8 Locker Bay is an area of particular concern regarding litter. I cannot understand how the students cannot accept responsibility for keeping their own area clean and tidy. Is this how they treat their own back yards?,” Mrs Finn said.

Mrs Finn also explains that there should be no excuse for litter as there are “lots of bins around the school and teachers on duty strive to ensure each area is kept clean and litter free by constantly reminding that they must put their litter in the bins. Any student caught dropping litter is given a consequence,” Mrs Finn explained.

Irene McCormack Catholic College authorities firmly believe that it is up to the Year 8 students to sort out their mess, claiming that if they choose not to do that, it is their own problem and is their own choice to live that way.

It is rumoured that the school groundskeepers have reported to the school that the Year 8 locker area is the most foul, horrid section of the school and if it continues to be like this, they might not even go near that area, as it is so disgusting.

Many students and workers at Irene McCormack Catholic College have noticed a spike in insects around the Year 8 locker area due to the increased amount of litter, such as cockroaches, silverfish, moths, flies, caterpillars and various other bugs.

Mr Michael Newton, a Music teacher at Irene McCormack Catholic College, who is very often on duty in the Year 8 locker area shared his disgust about what he sees too often when supervising students.

“I really hope this doesn’t get completely out of hand because when there are rats living in the Year 8 locker area, which may happen if it’s not kept clean, it will be a complete catastrophe. People who are too lazy to walk two metres to the bin have a total disrespect for themselves, their environment, and their community. It shows what kind of people litterers are,” Mr Newton said.

Mr Newton states that there is nothing good to come from this “but then on the other hand, if a family of rats take up residence in the students’ lockers they might learn to put their filth in the bin, which would be a good thing as it would teach them a valuable lesson. It’s disappointing how people are too lazy to walk to the bin and put their rubbish in it. It’s not like they’re a long way away.” Mr Newton believes.

Mr Newton says that Teachers tell the students to pick up rubbish a lot of the time, “But really it’s not up to us. It’s up to the Year 8 students to do something about their filth. Obviously not many people like living in filth, so people dropping their rubbish on the ground makes the area a less pleasant place to be in. We have nice grounds and a nice school. We should be looking after it. This litter crisis gives the school a poor image.” Mr Newton stated.

Many believe that the only way to get the rubbish load down to a minimum is to use strong verbal force and set up some sort of system of punishment that will enforce the school rules.

According to sanitation experts, even though it may not seem like it, students can learn many valuable lessons and skills from this rubbish crisis once it is over, such as proper cleanliness and organisation skills, decision making skills and environmental awareness, which of all can aid them in later in life.

Many parents, students and other school authorities have suggested many reward methods that would encourage students to help clean up, but none of them have been followed up as they did not receive enough support, which has led to many doubts about whether this problem can be solved at all.

Some of these methods have included awarding Christian Service hours, multiple house points, reward charts and the best one of all, the respect of your peers and teachers, which would all aim to solve the crisis in the most positive way possible.

It is reported that parents of students at Irene McCormack Catholic College are worried about their children's health, well-being and hygiene standards, demanding that the school does something to ‘clean up their children’s acts’.

A concerned parent of a student at Irene McCormack Catholic College, Marie Rideout – Andrews, believes that the litter crisis in the year 8 locker area can bring students closer together, even though it is disgusting.

Marie personally thinks that “this situation is disgusting. But in the end this could be a year 8 team building project of keeping the area clean that can help teach respect and build stronger relationships between students,” Ms Rideout - Andrews said.

Ms Rideout - Andrews also believes “in saying that, it is very unhygienic, shows disrespect and promotes more rubbish. It advertises the school image in a bad way to outsiders and could be a health risk to the people in the area,” Ms Rideout - Andrews stated.

She also believes that it reflects badly on the students because “it shows that students don’t care about their school community. It also makes the school look like it is uncared for and it reflects that all students are messy when in reality not all of them are,” Ms Rideout - Andrews explained.

The year 8 students at Irene McCormack Catholic College reportedly have no effort and are lazy when it comes to picking up rubbish and keeping their area clean and it is rumoured that many students have even said no to cleaning up rubbish when asked by a teacher, which has allowed the waste in the year 8 locker area to build up to the point that it is at.

The area being as messy as it is has set a bad name for the year 8 students, which has led to many worried pupils’, as is not a deserved title to the people who do their part in putting their and other peoples’ rubbish in the bin.

The Year 8 students at Irene McCormack Catholic College reportedly have no effort and are lazy when it comes to picking up rubbish and keeping their area clean and it is rumoured that many students have even said ‘no’ to cleaning up rubbish when asked by a teacher, which has allowed the waste in the Year 8 locker area to build up to the point that it is at.

The area being as messy as it is has set a bad name for the Year 8 students, which has led to many worried pupils, as is not a deserved title to the people who do their part in putting their and other people’s rubbish in the bin.

Sian Hodgins, a student here at Irene McCormack Catholic College, believes that the whole litter problem in the Year 8 locker area should be solved, and soon.

“I think that the Year 8 litter crisis is hitting its peak, because the Head of Year, Mrs Finn, is always coming down and telling all of us, the students, to pick up the rubbish in the Year 8 area. Nothing good can come from this litter crisis. Other teachers come and see how “filthy” the year 8 locker area is, and think poorly of us. It really affects us, but no one can be bothered to do anything about it. I think for good referrals, students should be able to offer their help and volunteer to do a lunchtime clean up. But I believe not many students would do this, as they cannot be bothered. To be perfectly honest, most students don’t really care,” Miss Hodgins exclaimed.

Environmentalists have warned that litter has serve consequences on the environment around us and is not a good habit for students to be picking up at this age, as it could lead to further littering habits harming even more of the environment inside and outside of school.

Littering can also effect the health of those around it as it can cause colds, skin irritations from bugs and germs on the rubbish, stomach pains from enterobacteriacea, a bacteria found in waste and many other related illnesses.

Environmentalist, Miss Sarah Lee of UWA, states that the current state of litter at IMCC in the Year 8 locker area is very harmful and will cause many complications if it is not treated.

“Littering has many harmful effects. It can attract pests and vermin, causing a variety of issues. It also causes our environment to look unclean and unhealthy. Even though IMCC is not too close to the ocean, some of this litter can still travel and blow into seas and rivers causing possible death to aquatic life and affect the surrounding water quality. Litter is a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause many health problems, depending on the type of germ. In my belief, something definitely needs to be done here at IMCC,” Miss Lee explained.

After much support from staff, students, professionals and many others, Irene McCormack Catholic College is beginning to look cleaner and is becoming a more sanitary place.

Here at Irene McCormack Catholic College, we still have hope that in the future we can come to a solution to solve the litter problem and have it return again to the clean, welcoming environment it once was.

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