Our 2012 activity is starting to heat up now, and here you can read about Music Nation, a whole weekend of music activities, as well as our attempt to run the world's biggest ever school assembly! We've just published the latest CR Update too, which is where you can find out more about our Beyond the Broadcast work.

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Group of young students waving at camera.

Assembling around the world

BBC World Class is working with the BBC World Service’s global conversation programme World Have Your Say to organise the World's Biggest School Assembly on 8 May.

More than one billion children attend school around the world and they’re all invited to join in.

We’re asking students to debate and discuss what really matters to them and headlines will be published on the World’s Biggest School Assembly website.

Schools will be posting highlights from their discussion online and inviting other schools to comment. BBC World Service will also be live in schools all over the world with special news bulletins on air throughout the day.

With pupils in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and the Americas expected to take part, this is a unique opportunity for students to share their views on a global platform.

Find out more here.

Coming up...

The BBC will be celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a star-studded concert, set against the spectacular backdrop of Buckingham Palace. Broadcast live on BBC One and Radio 2, the concert will also be open to ticket-holding members of the public.

BBC Asian Network will showcase the cream of Asian stand-up talent with Meera Syal's Asian Comedy Night. The unique, one-off event will celebrate British Asian comedy talent and the critical contribution it has made to the British cultural landscape. Recording in front of a studio audience, the show will be broadcast in the summer.

BBC Radio 1 will kick start its biggest summer of events with a massive party at Paignton in Torbay, Devon. The amazing line up will feature some of the greatest dance DJs in the business along with our very own Radio 1 Talent.

More forthcoming events

Aerial shor of large orchestra with Radio 3 logo at side.

Music for the nation

The BBC Orchestras and Singers were at the heart of Music Nation, a weekend of live events devised and led by the BBC in countdown to the London 2012 Festival

20,000 people watched performances at 21 locations across the UK including the Imperial War Museum in Salford, St David’s Hall in Cardiff and London’s Roundhouse.

Over 5000 participants took part in various activities such as BBC Family Orchestras which allow children and adults to play alongside professional musicians.

We commissioned and premiered 16 new works across a wide range of musical genres, working with diverse artists including folk singer Seth Lakeman, grime artist Ms Dynamite and composer Orlando Gough.

Read more about the weekend here.


Young boy dressed up with arms in the air, with cameras fiming him.

In the secret garden

Children from four Salford primary schools became film-makers when they were invited to make short films with the BBC.

The films were inspired by The Secret Garden, which was written by Frances Hodgson Burnett who spent part of her childhood living in Salford.

The children were given half a day to storyboard their ideas and a further day to rehearse and shoot. They learned to operate cameras and sound equipment, as well as looking after props, costumes and make up.

The films were screened at a local school in March and they’ll be shown again at the Secret Garden Festival in June.

Learn more about BBC North here.



Go On Uk Founder logo.

Going online

The BBC recently helped to launch Go On UK, a new organisation that aims to make the UK become the world's most digital-literate country.

It is estimated that around 8 million people in the UK have never been online, with a high proportion of them considered to be among the most socially excluded.

Our work will aim to boost confidence and skills after research found some people worry about inadvertently revealing personal details online or damaging the computer by pressing the wrong button.

As part of our public purpose to help UK residents 'get the best out of emerging media technologies', we'll also encourage people to help a non-user get online this summer in a follow-up to our previous First Click and Give an Hour campaigns.

Visit Go On UK here .


Front cover of latest CR Update publication.

Why we do outreach

We've just published the third in our series of Corporate Responsibility Updates as a supplement to this newsletter. The updates are one of the ways we keep our audience informed about the work we do.

This publication takes a closer look at our Beyond the Broadcast projects and some of the reasons why they're so important. We explain how we use outreach to help us meet our six Public Purposes.

One particular highlight is BBC News School Report, the project encouraging secondary school ages students to develop journalism skills.

If you've ever wanted to know about our face-to-face activity and what it achieves, look no further.

Read the supplement here.


A large number of people in the formation of a cross.

Passion for Preston

The streets of Preston were alive last month with a contemporary retelling of the last hours of the life of Jesus. The Preston Passion combined live performance, music and pre-recorded drama, broadcast live from the city centre.

Fern Britton hosted the event and introduced three short pre-recorded dramas, which were recorded around the North West and shown simultaneously on BBC One and a big screen in Preston.

The three documentaries were inspired by the real lives of Preston residents and culminated in a live extravaganza featuring thousands of residents.

In addition to local choirs singing traditional Easter music, large-scale choreographed crowd movements across the city created "human crosses". There were also contemporary dance pieces and traditional local brass band music.

Find out more here .

BBC Big Screen displaying an image of the queen.

Facing up to Britain

BBC Big Screens have come together to screen a majestic mosaic of HM The Queen, made up of more than 230,000 children's self-portraits. The Face Britain images were collected together by The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts.

The project, which celebrates the nation's children in the lead-up to the Diamond Jubilee, is hoping to achieve a Guinness World Record for the most participants involved in the same art installation, displayed for over 24 hours.

As well as being shared with Big Screen audiences across the UK, the artwork was beamed onto Buckingham Palace – creating interest all over the world.

The entire collection will be stored for the nation by The British Library, as part of The Queen' s Diamond
Jubilee Collection.

Visit the BBC Big Screens website here.



Reggie Yates on stage with BBC Performing Arts Fund logo in background.

Celebrating talent

Last month Caroline Thomson, the BBC’s Chief Operating Officer, hosted an event to celebrate the work of the BBC Performing Arts Fund.

Radio 1 star Reggie Yates invited a number of previous fund recipients to the stage to demonstrate what the funds have enabled the performers achieve.

The event was also a good excuse to announce that the Fund will be supported by BBC One programme The Voice through phone voting and that 2012 is the Fund’s year of music.

The charity will launch its Community Music scheme in May and grants will be awarded across the UK for projects helping grassroots music groups offer training, attract new audiences and encourage new members.

Find out more here.


Large group of students celebrating and smiling at camera.

Tees Transporter

BBC Tees and BBC Outreach recently celebrated the centenary of Middlesbrough's Transporter Bridge with Bringing the Bridge to Life, a film created by students at Teesside University.

Eighty undergraduates worked on the project, which formed a substantial part of their second-year course-work. The film was premiered at a special event near the Transporter Bridge.

Children from six local primary schools also attended workshops and created their own animations about the bridge.

BBC Tees gave on-air coverage throughout the project and the winning film was featured on BBC Look North.

Visit the BBC Outreach website here.


oung girl reading into a microphone from a script.

What a drama

Secondary school students from the Olympic Boroughs worked with the BBC at east London's Rich Mix for Drama in the Mix.

Working in partnership with Rich Mix, Half Moon, and Roundhouse Radio, BBC London worked with the students to help them create and perform their own Olympic themed radio plays.

After writing the scripts in school, the students worked in small groups to develop their acting skills. They learned the tricks of the trade for performing on the radio and how to create sound effects.

The ten plays were recorded in front of a live audience and a judging panel before being broadcast on Roundhouse Radio.

Hear the radio plays here.

Two young people with a camera and sound recording equipment.

Community reporters

Budding journalists from across the North West of England will be celebrating the end of an eight week training scheme on 10th May. They'll be joined by friends, family and BBC staff to watch 2012 themed news bulletins created as during the scheme.

The Community Reporters were trained in all aspects of journalism before pitching programme ideas to the editors of BBC Radio Manchester, North West Tonight and 5Live.

We have high hopes for the TV and radio programmes, which will be created during the last week of the scheme. Themes will include multiculturalism and Olympic support, austerity at the London 2012 Olympic Games and a profile study of a local businessman.

Find out more about the scheme here.


And finally...

Albert, the carbon calculator created by the BBC, has been shortlisted for the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards in the Collaboration category . Now establishing itself as the TV industry's carbon calculator for productions, Albert is hosted on the BAFTA website and is supported by the biggest broadcasters and production houses in the UK.

Visit the Albert site.

BBC Outreach is delighted to welcome into its ranks the BBC Outreach Volunteering team (previously known as Connect & Create).

The team works with a fixed list of national charity partners to offer volunteering opportunities for BBC staff across the country, which help our staff to develop their skills while helping the charity.

Visit the BBC Outreach website.

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That's all for now. You can find lots more on our website.

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