MARLBOROUGH’S St John’s online paper has been named the country's best for secondary schools.

It won the accolade from children's newspaper First News.

A group of Year 10 students, guided by teachers Iain Kemp and Sarah Singleton, worked together during the Covid-19 lockdown to develop it.

The Granham Gazette is written for St John’s pupils and is only available to read by anyone with a school login.

The first issue had a strong focus on the effects that the Covid-19 lockdown has had on St John’s students, but covered other current issues including the Black Lives Matter movement.

Covid-related articles included coverage of Year 10 and 12 students’ return to school in June after lockdown, interviews with Year 11 and13 students about the cancellation of their exams.

It featured reports on remote learning, including a piece from one student who had a more extreme lockdown experience while his mother was shielding.

The Gazette was rounded off with TV reviews, and a poetry choice, Caged Bird by Maya Angelou.

Now pupils are working on the second issue due for publication at the end of the summer term.

St John’s principal Ian Tucker has written to the students in the editorial team saying: “I want to thank you for all your hard work on the first and subsequent editions of the incredible new school newspaper. I'm really very proud and extremely grateful to you all.

“I do hope you can maintain the standards you have set yourself!”

The competition was aimed at seven-to-14-year-olds aiming to get young people talking about the news in an easy to understand and non-threatening way.

Gazette & Herald editor Pete Gavan said the school team had done themselves proud.

“I can see the editorial team have taken great care in the stories they have chosen to do and written.

“It is great to see young people taking an interest in local news and I look forward to seeing the next edition.”

The winning schools in the School Newspaper of the Year Awards were announced by First News on July 10 and the editorial team say they are thrilled to have won the category with their first issue.

The Granham Gazette editorial team consists of Year 10 students Jude Anderson, Joseph Bunyon, Maggie Butler, Beatrice Craven, Henry Christie-Grey, Georgina Donovan, Frankie Sadler, Annabel Tindall and Solal Vergara.