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Launch of C2K NewsDesk inspires pupils to 'Get reading, Get Writing and Get Reporting'

Launch of C2K NewsDesk inspires pupils to 'Get reading, Get Writing and Get Reporting'

C2k NewsDesk
(l-r) Capita Operations Director NI David Richmond, WELB Chief Executive Barry Mulholland, John O'Dowd, Minister for Education, Principal of St Dallon's PS, Warrenpoint Una Farrell, WELB SEO and Director of C2k Paddy Mackey, C2k Integration and Development Mgr Tim Matchett, and pupils from St Dallan's PS

Minister for Education John O’Dowd visited St Dallan’s School, Warrenpoint and Bunscoil an Iúir, Newry, today to take part in the double-site launch of a new 24/7 C2k/Capita NewsDesk service which will inspire pupils to ‘Get reading, Get writing and Get reporting.’

The new site, developed by C2k and Capita, provides a dedicated educational service which aims to offer pupils and teachers an innovative and interactive platform to develop language and literacy skills in fun and meaningful ways. The new Irish Medium version, 'Seomra Nuachta C2k’ will enable user-friendly opportunities to enhance skills, learning and teaching in both English and Irish language.

Minister for Education John O’Dowd, said: “The C2k NewsDesk will provide many enjoyable opportunities for pupils to express their views and develop their interest in reading and writing articles about subjects across the curriculum.  The NewsDesk will also provide teachers with an innovative focus for engaging pupils in literacy based tasks.   Who knows this may be the beginning of a career in journalism for some pupils.”

Pupils in all 1100 schools in Northern Ireland will have access to this new service from Thursday 22nd January.  

Speaking at the launch, NewsDesk editor, David Huntley, said: “The current Newsdesk has built up a loyal daily readership in Northern Ireland schools. Today we introduced six NewsDesk Crew characters – Erin the Editor, Ryan the Researcher, Phillip the Photographer, Janek the Journalist, Paula the Presenter and Rachel the Reporter who will provide age-appropriate daily news articles and activities for use by Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pupils in class and at home through the MY-SCHOOL portal.”

Paddy Mackey, Western Education and Library Board (WELB) Senior Education Officer and Acting Director of C2k, said: “Over the past decade the NewsDesk has proved to be a very popular resource for schools to engage young people in local, national and international topical issues.. The new C2k NewsDesk builds on this success while introducing a more child friendly interface. I encourage schools to use the NewsDesk and ‘get reading, get writing and get reporting!’” 

NewsDesk features include a Newsbank where pupils can read and comment on articles via a popular daily Vote section. Content includes News in Pictures; curriculum study Fact Files; and a new Puzzle and Competition page. It also includes News in Video where the latest NewsDesk and neelb.tv programmes can be viewed. 

The School Reporter feature allows pupils to write their own press releases on curriculum, current affairs or news topics and submit to the site editor for upload onto the site. Each article has a podcast recording, enabling pupils to listen as well as read, before undertaking the research, writing and discussion activities which accompany news stories.

Ed Brown, Managing Director of Capita Managed IT Solutions, said: “The new version of the software will help to drive better understanding of current affairs and help to increase literacy standards across Northern Ireland.”

He added: “Provided as part of the Education Network Northern Ireland ICT Cloud Services Contract between Capita and C2k, all students will now have 24/7 access to important news stories, videos and podcasts. The new Irish language service will mean we can reach more pupils than ever before in Irish medium schools.”

Guests at both launches enjoyed a promotional video created by neelb.tv (the North Eastern Education and Library Board’s educational television service) which highlighted the benefits of the new service.


The Southern Education and Library Board (the ‘Board’) was established as part of Local Government reorganisation in 1973 and is the largest of the five area Boards. The Board's principle functions are the provision of education and youth services to the District Council areas of Armagh, Banbridge, Cookstown, Craigavon, Dungannon & South Tyrone and Newry & Mourne. It spans 1,450 square miles with a total population of approximately 390,300 including 75,767 pupils.


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