It has been a very important academic year for Selkirk High School’s PR and Press Committee. At the beginning of S6 when I took on the duty of being chairperson of the press committee our one and only task was to write up the school newsletter. However, under the wing of our deputy head teach Mr Clark we broadened the press committee’s horizons and took the committee into the twenty-first century with our new blog.

During the rein of this year’s committee we have achieved more than we could ever have asked for. We have posted seventy five articles onto this blog – this one being our seventy fifth. Our articles have been read by people in more than fifty different countries. We have accumulated around eighteen thousand views and five thousand unique visitors.

When we embarked on our journey, we had no idea what to post, how to keep an audience, what the true potential of this committee was. It is safe to say we still don’t know any of these things but we do have a better idea as to what the answers may be. To keep an audience, as we have learnt the hard way, you must post regularly. This was by far the hardest task I faced as chair of the committee. Getting articles in on time or simply in was a constant struggle but we managed and seventy five posts later, we are still going.  As for what to post, we still have no idea. A mixture of emotionally hard hitting and school related articles really seemed to do it for us but future committees with new writers and new ideas may find something else works better. Finally, we really learnt that this committee has huge potential. With such a large audience at our fingertips we really have the potential to get messages across, to show the world what Selkirk High School is doing and share our learning. This is not simply an electronic version of the school newsletter. It is a student lead platform for anything the committee wishes it to be and I hope that future committees will be able to build upon the foundations we have placed this year and expand the influence of the blog and the high school in general.

If I could redo anything from my year in charge of this committee, it would be to encourage the rest of the school to get involved to a greater degree. We had book recommendations from Mrs McKeown and a seriously hard-hitting account of the Holocaust Education Trust’s trip to Auschwitz by Rose Macaulay – one of the most viewed articles ever posted on the blog –  but we really lacked any real input from the rest of the school. I encourage future committees to engage with the rest of the school and with other committees in order to bring about more diverse content and a better window for people to see what is happening in Selkirk High School.

Before I finish up my little nostalgic and retrospective look back at my time as a member of the press committee here are just a few quick numbers to convey how much our hard work has paid off this year. This year we have gained 31 followers. We have posted 75 articles in 11 different categories and used 246 different tags. Our most viewed post that was not a joke was Lessons from Auschwitz by Rose, followed in close second by Sarah Robertson – From Selkirk to Stardom by Joseph. Slightly embarrassing that the entire committee was outdone by Rose even after a years worth of articles but Joseph definitely made a valiant effort to catch up to it. On the other hand, Jack and I have both broken the record set by Lessons from Auschwitz, however, both articles were jokes and one was so controversial it doesn’t exist any more. From controversy to sorrow, we have covered almost every emotion possible this year on the student blog while covering as vast a range of topics as physically possible, from sports to gender equality.

It’s now time to pass the baton on to Joseph and Catherine, the only two remaining committee members. Although, I am sure neither will let me leave properly until my role has been filled.