Somerset school unveils new Jill Dando centre
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 December 2018
The King Alfred School – An Academy (TKASA) has opened a news centre in tribute to the former Mercury journalist and BBC presenter Jill Dando.
The Jill Dando News Centre (JDNC) at the academy, in Highbridge, is set to give its students the tools they need to become talented journalists.
They will report on children studying there, inspirational people and events with the aim of broadcasting their stories to the wider community.
The news centre was set up in memory of Jill Dando, who was murdered in 1999, and is now the third news centre of its kind to open in the region.
Jill’s brother, Nigel Dando, headed a lecture at the academy and offered its students tips about the world of journalism and encouraged them to seek out good news stories.
The talk will now become an annual event at the academy in Highbridge.
Two other centres have opened at both Worle and Priory’s Community Schools within the past year and a half – and have recently become academies under The Priory Learning Trust (TPLT).
TKASA’s English teacher, Ali Wray, said: “This is such an amazing venture and I am looking forward to all of our future events.
“The students were incredible and this will be an event they will remember forever.”
The centre has been themed around ‘good news worldwide’ and will promote positivity, literacy and wellbeing.
To enforce the message of worldwide news, a JDNC was set up in Malawi in South East Africa earlier this year by the Priory Community School’s teacher Sarah O’Gorman.
TKASA became part of the TPLT in early October and introduced a new school uniform and curriculum changes since principle Nathan Jenkins succeeded Denise Hurr in September.
TKASA’s year 10 student, Izzy Simmons, said: “As part of this assembly of talented people I feel privileged to be part of it, and I look forward to the future of the Jill Dando news team.”
Principal of TPLT, Nathan Jenkins, said: “It has been a wonderful year for TKASA and this is a tremendous way to end it.
“The students are so excited to find all the good news stories out of their school.”