PC Journalism is an extra-curricular club that meets weekly to create journalism for a variety of media.  The Club exists to create opportunities for you as students to enter the world of Journalism.

Support is offered to those students who choose to engage in some investigative journalism, writing features and filming news packages where they independently carry out research and conduct interviews.

Every year, we sign up to participate in BBC School Report, which enables Yr11 and 12 aspiring broadcast and print journalists get to produce their own news stories for which they investigate, take photos and carry out interviews.

PC Journalism meets on Mondays at breaktime in Room 5 and is organised by Mrs Murphy.

In the Spotlight for PC’s Broadcasters and Politicians

Five students were invited to join the audience for BBC Spotlight on 24th October.

Matthew Wilson enjoyed his role as a panellist at the top table for the warm up with Mandy McCauley, articulating the politician’s viewpoint with vigour.  Nye Crozier put a question to the DUP’s Edwin Poots, while Penny McCullough was chosen to present her question on abortion to the panel.

Kathryn Reilly and Rachel Turner also enjoyed the audience experience as well as the anticipation following the submission of questions in the Green Room.

Meeting host Noel Thompson at the end and actually sitting with him at the top table was the highlight of the evening for students and teachers alike.


GCSE Journalists report for BBC School Report 2017

This year, the Year 11 GCSE Journalism class created their own BBC New School Report, completing the research, scripting, filming, interviewing and editing independently of any BBC support staff.  This was a major achievement.

Following the shake up of the American election and the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of USA, the Year 11 journalists decided to discuss the impact of Trump on us here in Portadown, given that Portadown is home to global industries that operate in the US such as Almac and Ulster Carpet Mills.

You can watch their report here.

BBC School Report

BBC School Report 2017

PC Journalism Club students became working journalists for the day on 1st March when they produced and recorded a radio package for BBC School Report on board the BBC Bus about supporting the well-being of young people in Portadown College.

Portadown College recently brought local mentoring charity Reach on board to support students in their everyday lives.  Reach is an organisation that exists to mentor and help young people to unleash their potential, currently partnering with 17 schools in the Craigavon area.

Matthew Walsh interviewed Reach volunteer Johnny Hampton finding out a little bit about Reach:  their origins, purpose and programme.

With Johnny was Zoe Davison who was in one of the first classes to work with the Reach team in Lurgan.  Hollie Teggart interviewed Zoe about how Reach helped her to cope with the struggles she had as a young person.

Adam Hewitt, Kiara Stothers and  Kirsty Buller were hands on throughout the day recording vox pops for the package, while Amy Cosgrove, Hannah Ashley and  Gemma Davies became professionals in the Voice Over department.

Listen to the radio package here.

Upon completion of the project, the BBC staff assisted our on-site Year 11 cameraman Phillip Shirley and Journalists as the PC Journalists recorded an additional audio visual news package relating to the consequences of listening to music through headphones.




Portadown College Journalism 2016 School Report

Congratulations to the Year 11 Journalism class who took part in BBC School Report.

The project began in earnest when the BBC visited the school on 23rd February, bringing a team of journalists and technical experts who helped students to produce, film and take part in their class production of a documentary about the place of religion in school.

On 3rd March, Year 11 students Nye Crozier and Rosie Johnson with the help of a BBC cameraman recorded an interview with Ireland Rugby Captain and PC former student Rory Best for BBC School Report.  This interview featured on both the BBC Sport homepage and BBC NI homepage.

Following a screen testing and interview techniques workshop with the BBC on 28th January, Year 11 Journalism students Nathan Capper and Dale Mulligan were selected to take part in NI BBC School Report live broadcast on Live News Day 10th March.  Nathan took on the role of continuity presenter, presenting news updates throughout the programme, while Dale presented the sports news which included our own news package about Rory Best, filmed at Portadown College.

The BBC has awarded them certificates to mark their achievement in producing relevant and informative news items for BBC School Report.

Click here to see the Live News Programme


Recent articles by Journalism students

Two Year 11 students reviewed and provided photos for this year’s College School Play

Portadown College Play 2016

Portadown College Dramatic Society presents…

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

 All my pupils are the crème de la crème.

 This year’s school play at the College was Jay Presson Allen’s dramatization of the novel by Muriel Spark which was made famous in 1969 when Maggie Smith won an Oscar for her portrayal of the title role.

When a maverick schoolmistress in a conservative school in Edinburgh in the 1930s is in her prime, the classroom can take on a new identity and no one can predict what will happen.  Jean Brodie tries to cultivate the interests of her ‘gels’ with exposure to opera and art but also introduces them to what she perceives to be the advantages of Fascism.

Miss Brodie’s prime and fall was vividly portrayed by Evie Symington in Year14 who dominated the stage and created spectacle with her wide array of colourful dresses.  Her ‘Elite Pupils’ whom she favoured with privileges were superbly cast, from Katherine Whitten as the brooding Sandy to Holly Keery as the rather unfortunate Mary McGregor.

With the amazing and talented cast starring Evie Symington as Miss Jean Brodie and other main performers including Katherine Whitten, Kay Douglas, Matthew Walsh, Tim Neill, Thomas Frampton, Kerry Black, Juliette Roberts, Helen Kane, Holly Keery and Alex Maxwell  this was a must see for all college students and parents.  There certainly was something for everyone:  a love triangle pitting Thomas Frampton as art teacher Teddy Lloyd against novice music teacher Gordon Lowther played by Tim Neill; comedy moments often provided by the titular character; engaging journalism as American journalist played by Matthew Walsh sought to get to the heart of Sister Helena’s (played by Kay Douglas) story.  I’m glad I didn’t miss it!

By Hollie Teggart Year 11





Photos by Philip Shirley, Year 11

Why my family couldn’t do a digital detox.

Let me make one thing absolutely clear: I could not make it through a week long digital detox. Hats off to the students at Tarporley High School, but I just could not do it.

Take right now for an example. 18:58 on a Sunday evening. I’m updating Tumblr from my laptop as I write, I’m pumping music from Spotify through my earphones, and I’m waiting for my favourite vlogger to go live on YouNow on my phone. It’s pretty easy to see that I depend heavily on my technology to get me through the day.

The pupils at Tarporley are completely abandoning social media and online gaming of all kinds. That’s where my issue lies.

Social media is the outlet through which I can connect with the world. It’s where I get most of my news, where I chat with friends worldwide, and get a good few laughs now and then too. I’d feel extremely out of the loop without that access.

I can already hear the cries of “but it’s a small problem, back in my day we had none of this stuff! If I could do without it, so can you!” from my parents and their acquaintances. While that may be correct, it is no longer 1975, and in today’s diverse and vibrant society, we take our smartphones and internet connection for granted. They may not really understand what I’m doing when I spend hours at a time browsing social media, but I am almost certain my parents, with their two-generations-behind mobiles and poor understanding of how to connect to the internet, would suffer during a Tarporley-style digital detox.

Take my dad, for example. He passes plenty of time playing whatever game Facebook is obsessed with that particular week. He uses YouTube on a regular basis to play his favourite piano covers on our TV. He checks Facebook at regular intervals during the day, liking posts on a range of issues; from current affairs to nature photography.

My mother, although limited in her abilities to download apps, loves to watch Netflix shows in the kitchen while she prepares our evening meals. Her favourite website by far is Pinterest, where she could easily spend hours at a time browsing boards on anything from embroidery to baking and anything inbetween.

My family, as a unit, would find it well near impossible to completely ignore our technology for even a day. Even the TV – the thing we all take for granted and everyone seems to forget – would be out of bounds. No family movie nights to pass the time!

So the next time your parents belittle you for your reliance on technology, remind them of all the little pastimes and hobbies they enjoy that depend on access to the internet. Although they may find your predicament petty, they enjoy the use of their own technology too.

Tarporley High School, I salute you. You have gone where I would never dare to go – the empty, boring void of life without the occasional twitter notification.

Emily Monroe

Kick off at Portadown College

Portadown College’s footballing fortunes have in the past few years taken a turn for the better with former Portadown College student Luke McCullough playing his own minor part in Northern Ireland’s recent qualifications for this summer’s European Championships.

Luke, who plays his club football for Doncaster Rovers featured in a victory over Greece at Windsor Park that helped Northern Ireland to the top of qualification group F; the first time Northern Ireland has qualified for the championships.

Far from the only star to have emerged from such beginnings Portadown College currently features under 18’s international Nathaniel Ferris. Sixth former Ferris recently hit a hattrick in a friendly against Jersey and is currently representing his country in the Centenary Shield.

Speaking about the College’s recent football success PC’s under 16 captain Jackson Holmes said, “If they [Portadown College] have produced Luke as a full international and have Nathaniel in the youth ranks they are doing something right. Portadown College would usually have players from big mid Ulster teams who have good experience, which helps.”

Clearly Portadown College’s football future is a bright one. Exactly how successful they can be remains to be seen.

Zivanna and Luke



Reporting for BBC News School Report, February 2016

The Year 11 Journalism class took part in creating their first BBC School Report on Tuesday when a team of journalists and technical experts came to the College.

Having researched the impact of the recent report relating to the place of religion in our education system, and the content of Religious Studies in our schools, students were directed to script their own news package, complete with original interviews.  Students then recorded interviews, vox pops and pieces to camera, in the end producing their own mini documentary which can be viewed below.

photo 2 2016 photo 1 2016

For Safer Internet Day, Year 11 Journalists produced news and feature articles to raise awareness in school of staying safe online.  See attachments.

Safer Internet Day
9 February 2016
Portadown College


so•cial net•work•ing


1. the use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people with similar interests to one’s own.

Then why is social networking so dangerous?

I run an Instagram account dedicated to my favourite YouTube power couple. It’s a fan account, and I post photos relevant to the people whom the account is about, as well as sharing small, personal day-to-day things. It’s not huge, but over the space of 2 years and a few months, I’ve amassed just over three thousand followers.

That’s no mean feat, but it’s certainly not brilliant by any measure. Other people run pages dedicated to the same people with hundreds of thousands of followers. I’m relatively small.

No matter how seemingly unimportant I may be in this massive online community, I’ve noticed that everyone I’ve interacted with during my time on the popular app have been unbelievably kind. People like my photos, give me advice, and generate discussion. I can openly talk with admins of similar pages and I’ve made some great friends through the service that live on the other side of the planet. We can share ideas and help each other learn. An online friend, born and raised in Germany, speaks three languages fluently and recently shared that talking to me online has greatly improved his English. Other friends have helped me improve my conversational skills, and now I finally feel comfortable talking in a group.

Overall, using the app and connecting with others from a multitudes of cultures and continents has given me immense enjoyment, and I feel like an active, valued part of the community I love so much.

So if I’ve had such positive experiences, surely everyone else has?

Unfortunately not.

One 12 year old girl from Colorado shared her experiences with the popular social networking app:

“I posted a picture of myself on Instagram and people started commenting these awful things like “Eww ur so ugly,” “Why don’t you go kill urself everyone would be happier that way…” And I KNOW these people…they go to my school. I cried for a good 2 hours. But this wasn’t the first time this has happened; on all my pictures at least 3 people say something like that. I’m never going on Instagram again. I wish I could disappear so I don’t have to go to school.”

Certain features of Instagram allow users to tag other people in photos, mention them in comments and share photos and hurtful messages through the app’s direct messaging feature without the victim’s knowledge. Degrading images and rumours are easily spread and can go viral overnight, allowing thousands, if not millions, to see such messages. In instances such as the young Coloradan above, bullying occurs, which unless reported can be blown out of proportion to the point where victims no longer want to go to school, for fear of contact with bullies and humiliation.

However bad these situations may seem, the fault does not lie with the app itself. The fault is not that of social media as a whole. It lies with the people behind the hurtful comments, and they can be stopped.

There are multiple ways to report and prevent a range of issues to help keep Instagram a safe, friendly place. Images can be reported and removed under the community guidelines, and accounts responsible for bullying and harassment can be reported and dealt with by the Instagram team.

If you find yourself being bullied on Instagram or any social networking platform, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Tumblr, please tell someone you trust. Parents, teachers and friends want to help you, and the appropriate steps can be taken to protect you from further harm. You are not alone.

So now it’s back to Instagram and my wonderful, supportive community for me. And if you find yourself on the site, please take the steps necessary to keep it a safe, fun place for everyone.


· Turn your account on private in your settings. This means you are in total control of who follows you.

· Never share your full name. All your personal details, including your current location, are now only a Google search away.

· Be careful with the information and photos you share. Anyone could be viewing your account.

· If you feel unsafe, tell someone you trust.

Portadown BBC News School Report 2016