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Critical Literacy



Donna Hazzard (Principal Lecturer at St Mary’s), Bronagh McCaughan (Students’ Union President)


Donna Hazzard (Principal Lecturer at St Mary’s), Bronagh McCaughan (Students’ Union President)

and Finbar Burns (BEd3 Celtic student) pictured with local school children.


The Irish News Young Readers Project, now in its third year, enables school pupils and students to develop a range of thinking skills and learning behaviours through critical reading and understanding of selected articles in the newspaper.

The project contributes to the general educational process of facilitating and encouraging independent thinkers and learners in schools who have the necessary attitudes and dispositions to be successful.

A teacher’s resource booklet contains a set of innovative learning resources to support teachers and learners with the project. It was produced by Donna Hazzard, Principal Lecturer at St Mary’s University College Belfast, who received the TEAN Commendation in Effective Practise in Higher Education Award (UK) 2018 for her work. This year The Irish News has significantly enhanced the project by printing a school edition of the newspaper.

There is a great diversity of news stories in The Irish News, and, in that regard, the pedagogic skill of the teacher is to select those most appropriate for a particular class or group of learners. The Young Readers Project is therefore a dynamic learning partnership with the teacher at its head.






NI Chamber of Commerce - Young news readers grabbing headlines

News Media UK - The Irish News Launches Media Literacy Programme

BITC - Young News Readers Grabbing the Headlines