ENTERPRISING young journalists at a Darlington school have released the first edition of their school newspaper.

Students at Hummersknott Academy spent the last few months putting together the first issue of The Hummersknott Academical, a newspaper written by students, for students.

Working closely with Peter Barron, former editor of The Northern Echo, the students learned how to find stories, interview sources, and write interesting and factual articles.

Stories included reports on the school’s sporting and academic successes, interviews with senior teachers, a balanced consideration of the value of online homework, and even, in the best newspaper tradition, a three-panel cartoon strip.

The experience culminated with the team taking part in a press day chaired by The Academical’s editor, Jessica Fairley, giving them the experience of working in a busy newsroom.

Jessica said: “We really enjoyed putting the paper together, and we all learned a lot. We can’t wait to do the next edition!”

Deputy editor, Eleanor Westlake, even sold advertising space throughout the publication to local businesses, successfully negotiating a deal with Darlington Building Society for a page one banner advert.

School principal, James Keating, said: “It’s clear just how much effort the press team have put into every page of the Hummersknott Academical – it not only looks fantastic, but it’s interesting, informative, and entertaining.

“Jessica has done an excellent job as editor, and she has really got the best out of her team. I’m very proud of all the students, who have put a lot of their own time into this project, and I look forward to reading the next edition.”

The press team comprised: Jessica Fairley, Eleanor Westlake, Freya Wlson, Sam Rhodes-Dawber, Olivia Welland, Meadow Scane, Francesca Mais, Libby Aitken, Ellie Grieves, Jessica Morgan, and William Gowling. Guest contributors were Sara De Silva, Niamh Bage, Kira Conlon, Ben Clarke, and Aimee Caton.

Copies of The Hummersknott Academical are available from Hummersknott Academy for a suggested donation of 50 pence per copy. All money raised from sales and advertising will be donated to the school’s chosen charity, Darlington Mind.