By Jill Dando News
Pupils have bombarded a headteacher with applications to become Jill Dando good news reporters.
Brilliant children at Ashcombe Primary School In Weston-super-Mare, Somerset are queuing up to become reporters of good news in the Jill Dando News Centre.
Two years ago before lockdown, they became one of the latest schools to plant Jill Dando apple trees in memory of the BBC Journalist.
They later got a visit from Jill’s brother Nigel Dando and then a visit from pupils from an established Jill Dando News Centre at Castle Batch Primary School Academy.
Now post lockdown, Ashcombe are setting up their Jill Dando New Centre – and have been inundated with applications from pupils.
Headteacher John Clark said: “The response we’ve had to our request for applications for places on our news team is tremendous. The children are so excited!”
In Jill Dando news, pupils in primary schools are trained by students from Jill’s former school, Worle Community School Academy (WCSA), part of The Priory Learning Trust.
Just before lockdown, dozens of apple trees were planted at schools across Weston-super-Mare and Somerset in memory of the positive, kind and humble journalist.
Children and adults are encouraged to think of Jill Dando and to be kind to others every time they see a tree.
TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh was involved in the initial discussions about what trees to plant, and Sanders Garden Centre generously offered to provide 50 to schools.
At the time, Mr Clark added said: “With all the bad news going on, the Jill Dando apple trees are a symbol that there is so much more good news out there. Our schools are full of stories of kindness and hope.”
Jill was murdered in 1999 but in 2017 WCSA set up a Jill Dando News Centre which has expanded to eight schools with scores of student reporters all finding and writing good news.
Ashcombe has been rolling out a programme of bringing learning to life by helping the homeless and by making rounded children ready to take on the world.
Ashcombe was one of the schools listed in the Real Schools Guide 2020 of the best schools around.
It follows from the previous year when they were in the top 5% bracket for combined reading, writing and maths results, compared with similar schools nationally.
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