Belfast Telegraph

Little Reporters Competition: Christ the King Primary School, Drumaness         

The P6-7 composite class at Christ the King Primary, harnessed their skills in front of, and behind the camera to bring the benefits of Translink to life, with a TV report and expertly researched articles.

Using their persuasive writing skills helped the 23 pupils in the class with their written submissions, showcasing the many benefits of using public transport across the generations.

Bursting with statistics and facts about Translink, teacher Veronica Woods said the class worked hard on producing the entries for the competition, which couldn't have come at a better time.

"In P7 at this time of year, we're always looking for ideas to stimulate the pupils, and when this came up they couldn't wait to get started.

"We wanted to show the importance of Translink to communities like ours, using their persuasive writing and other techniques.

"I left it very much up to them as they're a very independent group, and gave it as a homework exercise, letting them research it and then we talked about how they wanted to record their findings.

"We have a few girls in the class who enjoy making movies on the iPad, and that's where one of the ideas for a TV report came from.

"They were so excited to be Little Reporters, and some of our students could give the UTV presenters a run for their money!

"Getting the video down to two minutes was a challenge, but we all worked together to get the entries ready. They took it on their own shoulders and organized it themselves in terms of who was doing what.

"They got so much out of it, and there was lots of giggling and laughing as they tried to film it and put it all together within the time frame. It was a lot of fun, and very intense."

Sample from Katie Kearney's report:

"Good evening, this is Suzie Summers at UTV LIVE at 6pm."

"Tonight we are reporting on the growing importance of public transport in Northern Ireland and how people are all getting 'on board' using Translink buses and trains. First we will hear from Katie Kearney reporting from Christ the King Primary School, Drumaness. Over to you Katie."

"Good evening Suzie. I am here to find out how important it is for everyone here to make use of public transport provided by Translink."

"First some background information on Translink."

"Translink was created in 1996 and it is used more today than it was back then. Did you know Northern Ireland Railways and Metro services are also part of Translink?"

"Translink's Park and Ride scheme operates all over Northern Ireland. You can drive to a convenient location, park your car and take the bus to the city. It not only provides transport in Northern Ireland but all over Ireland."

"Today I am here to speak to a few people about their experiences with Translink."

By Katie Kearney

Christ the King Primary School

Sample from Steven Woods's report:

Translink is the name given to a company that provides public transport in Northern Ireland. It was created in 1996 and is used by an estimated 418,000 people every day, 18,000,000 every year.

It is a bus and train service in Northern Ireland. Ulsterbus, NI Railways and Metro buses are all part of Translink.

Translink's buses helps education, by bringing children to and from school. Lots of children travelling in the same direction can all travel together. It also saves time, so you don't have to walk, you just get on, pay and you get where you needed to be. You learn how much money is needed to get a bus ticket. You also learn where the bus starts and finishes. Some families only have one car and one or more parent works and need the cars to commute to work. The school bus service provides a safe way to get the kids to school. If your school is a certain distance away from your house you get issued with a free bus pass and don't have to pay. Translink also bring pupils on school trips.

Translink helps the environment by driving up to 50 people in a bus instead of one or two in a car. Imagine you were in a traffic jam, now do you think it would be better to be in a car or in a bus? Buses can also use bus lanes and this also reduces the time spent in traffic jams at busy times. The fumes coming from 20-30 cars is more than 1-2 buses would be when travelling.

I would recommend that everyone uses public transport. It is definitely the way to travel so why not 'Get on board!'

By Steven Woods

Christ the King Primary School

What the judges said:

This was a great effort by the class and we particularly enjoyed Katie Kearney's entry, which was imaginative, showing lots of different perspectives and she embraced the broadcast reporter approach.

Translink is calling on everyone in Northern Ireland to

#GetOnBoard public transport during Bus + Train Week, June 5 - 11. Visit www.translink.co.uk/busandtrainweek/ for details

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