Tapping into the buzz at Bethany

The following article by Jessica Cortis was first published in The Daily Telegraph.

Jamie Wilkinson and writers Riya Chauhan, Amber Horne, Courtney Hamilton and Alicia Penny read the latest issue of the Bethany Buzz.

AN exciting buzz circulated the community at Bethany Catholic Primary School in Glenmore Park when their student-run newsletter was launched earlier this year.

Student Jamie Wilkinson, 11, approached her principal about starting up a kid’s newsletter.

“There was already a parents newsletter so why not a children’s one too?,” she said, and so the idea of the ‘Bethany Buzz’ bulletin was conceived.

‘Bethany Buzz’ is distributed with the parents’ newsletter each fortnight, giving the stage three cohort of 180 students access to its fascinating content.

“Quite a deal of work goes into the production thanks to Jamie,” school principal Ted Langford said.

Jamie tries to keep the newsletter fresh and interesting by incorporating a teacher’s profile, a jokes column, birthday section and a ‘Ted’s Talk’ from the school principal.

“It’s been challenging and exciting all at the same time,” Jamie said.

She said ‘Bethany Buzz’ has encouraged other students to write and get involved as well.

“Everyone started coming to me with their ideas. I get a lot of contributions and feedback from my peers,” she said.

The student-run newsletter has been positively received in the Bethany community as staff and parents believe “it gives students a voice about issues’’. “They look forward to receiving the ‘Buzz’ every fortnight.” Mr Langford said.

Jamie Wilkinson shows her popular newsletter, Bethany Buzz. Picture: Jessica Cortis

The principal and executive staff at Bethany hope to sustain the newsletter into the future and build upon its success.

“It’s an important part of our school’s efforts to encourage initiative, leadership and independence for our senior students,” he said. “While we are very proud of what Jamie has started up, we hope that this is only the beginning, that the Buzz continues even after she leaves school and hands it over to the next stage three cohort.”

The student editor said she hopes to pursue her dream job as a leading journalist.

“It would be really cool to make a career of informing people about what’s going on,” she said.

Jamie’s proud mum Maria Wilkinson said she hopes her younger daughter would also get involved in the news letter when she reaches stage 3.

“Starting the ‘Buzz’ has been very rewarding for Jamie and other students,” she said.

Jamie Wilkinson with Principal Ted Langford.

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