Radio. Smithton Primary School students are making waves on the airwaves with the launch of a new project.
Under the guidance of youth worker Dudley Billing, a group of upper primary students have launched an in-house radio station.
Yet to be named, students will put their best ideas forward for a naming competition.
Mr Billing says the concept evolved over time: “The Tonic podcast we did with the high school last year was a really popular format.
“We found it also has some great literacy outcomes and [by] making the radio show in-house we have a lot more scope around inclusion of all students and what music we can play.”
In charge of preparation and production, students hear their work over the school announcement system fortnightly during the Friday lunch break.
Among those producing the station are Phil Enslow, Piper Greene, Tayah Ollington and Kelsie Smith.
The process of preparing a segment is entirely student directed, from research to recording.
“We use a small portable recorder to take interviews around the school and use the Seven Up community studio for group sessions,” says Tayah.
While all students have the opportunity to take part in the program, involvement is based on reward for a good day’s study.
“We learn to take clean audio, run smooth interviews and write good questions,” says Kelsie. “We discuss what worked and improve as we go.”
Pre-recording interviews allows both the host and the interviewee to feel comfortable in front of the microphone, a skill students are becoming accustomed to.
“Having the courage to ask questions clearly is the most challenging part,” says Phil.
“Operating the electronics is the funnest part.”
Featuring amusing anecdotes and groovy tunes, students and staff alike are revelling in the ever-entertaining programs.
“We have a segment called Student Spotlight, a catch up with our principal called Captain’s Log, A Laugh with Staff – where a staff member tells us a joke – song requests and plenty more,” Piper says.
The station, which went live late last term, has so far received plenty of feedback: “Everyone really looks forward to hearing themselves,” says Mr Billing, adding that students have gained confidence in reading aloud and are seeing improved literacy.