The following is a copy of a BLOG post by Simon Pile - Assistant Headteacher
Simon's Orginal BLOG post
A few years ago I stood in the playground with 400 children and we jumped up and down for one minute. We were jumping in unison with thousands of other children around the UK to see if we could register on the Richter Scale. With hindsight this is a pretty crazy thing to do. What if it had worked? What if there had been a significant land movement as a result of us jumping? Think of all those other things that were jumping at the same time. Kangaroos, children on space hoppers, beans, anyone in a gym and a few people watching Whoopi Goldbery in Jumping Jack Flash! Anything could have happened.
On the Internet ideas can go viral so quickly. Take Dumb Ways to Die, an ad campaign for staying safe around trains, which has had over 59 million hits so far. Imagine if ‘Jump Day’ had gone viral! The idea of almost 60 million people suddenly deciding to jump…
There are over 7 billion people of the planet. It makes me wonder; what does it take to get 7 billion people involved in the same activity at the same time? What would happen if they all jumped at the same time? And how do you reach them to tell them?
In school, I constantly tell the children that their work isn’t just for them and their teacher, it’s for a potential audience of 7 billion. Dream big, right? So, we publish children’s work online, in books, we makes videos and we have a radio station running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Last week I received an email from Georgia, US. The email was from the Principal of Elm Street Elementary School and she had been compelled to get in touch with me about Anson Radio. She is one of the 7 billion. She is also living 4224 miles away and in a completely different time zone! Yet we connected.
The Principal told me how inspired she had been by the work of the school generally in our use of technology but particularly how she had enjoyed listening to the children on Anson Radio. She is our biggest fan! Our children were blown away that someone that far away was listening to them, that their ideas were being heard, that all I’d told them about the 7 billion listeners could come true! Many people have asked us why a primary school wanted a radio station and I think the answer is simple. We don’t want one. We need one.
Using School Radio we are able to give the children a voice and a purpose to their work. For a school with high numbers of children who speak English as a second language (80-90%), radio broadcasting and podcasting are crucial to improve speaking and listening skills. We see children coming in to the radio station who find it hard to communicate in class, but they come alive when they step in to the room. In time this translates back to their class work, not just in their speaking skills, but also in their desire to produce writing of quality to record on the radio.
Since the introduction of the radio station we have seen motivation, engagement and quality increase in the vast array of work being recorded on the station. We have sections on story, poetry and science. We have history, facts and songs. Children recorded their instructions, play their musical instruments and broadcast live to the dining room and playground at lunchtime. In addition we strip sound from class assemblies, school YouTube videos and performances to give children their voice.
School Radio is powerful. School radio gives the youngest children a reason to write, a place to speak and a way to share their work with 7 billion.
Just imagine the idea of connecting with 7 billion people, sharing your work, making them laugh or cry or shout or scream or making the want to jump up and down! Imagine the consequences!
The Earl Mortimer College & Sixth Form Centre is a thriving and dynamic Specialist Sports College placing the education of its students, in all aspects, at the heart of its drive for excellence. The College was awarded the prestigious kite-mark of Good by Her Majesty’s Inspection Team, Ofsted, recently. For more details visit: earlmortimer.org.uk
In early 2010 the new £22 million Earl Mortimer College and Sixth Form Centre in Herefordshire was built and as part of their specifications for their drive for excellence, the College wanted a creative media platform that would enable parents and families to celebrate and share the success of their students. The idea of a School Radio soon became the most effective way to help to achieve this. “We believe that working closely in partnership with parents will bring out the best in our students. We value all individuals and we practise equality of opportunity. We value learning and we think learning is exciting.”
The College required a fixed traditional School Radio studio which would allow a group of students at one time to broadcast together working as a team. The School Radio team provided the perfect solution for the EMC College Radio, a Classic 4 School Radio studio.
Included in their specification and needs:
To date the students have broadcast personality interviews from MPs to Paralympian Athletes, a series of programs and special promotions. They have even hooked up with a live broadcast at their local BBC station last year describing their experiences as “Enormous fun, always something new going on, and a real focus for the community.” The students also had something to shout about when they were rated as ‘Good’ in the OFSTED Inspection, which was celebrated by producing a special promotion for EMC Radio.
EMC Radio has gone from strength to strength over the last five years and is producing quality educational broadcasts. One of the many valuable programmes broadcast was a special series of mini-programmes to help make the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 smoother than ever before. Students from Year 8 and Year 11 were able to share their memories, providing first hand tips and advice in a non-confrontational atmosphere which School Radio provides.
The staff and students noted the following benefits:
Please refer to the link on earlmortimer.org.uk to hear LIVE what the students are getting up to. EMC Radio uses the automated playout system to stream programmes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, featuring repeats of programmes each evening and throughout the weekend. Teams of presenters from Year 7 up to Year 13 broadcast daily, featuring a mix of interviews, magazine programmes and great music.
Stranton Primary School is a 350 place primary school in the heart of Hartlepool town centre. Rated as 'outstanding' in its most recent OFSTED Inspection, Stranton is a recognised National Support School and is a Sponsoring Academy within the Stranton Academy Trust. For more details, visit: www.strantonschool.co.uk
Stranton Primary School decided to take an innovative, creative approach to introducing a School Radio studio to their school, parents, families and the community by creating an online 24 hour a day Community Radio Station. Stranton F.M. is run by the children at Stranton Primary School and the families from The Stranton Centre, with an online audio streaming service and mobile phone app for listening on the move. Their approach was to be a promotional drive to celebrate their School’s achievements and news and communicate topical issues within the school and the community. Their aim was “To be the radio station that connects the curriculum of Stranton Primary School and deliver it to the outside world.” The team at School Radio provided the School Radio system they needed to launch a successful F.M Community and School Radio station that launched this year.
Included in their specification and needs:
Stranton F.M. went LIVE in December this year with a fantastic broadcast reach, knowing they had the full support of the Team at School Radio. Stranton F.M was able to engage the local Community, families and parents, Commercial Radio Stations and press/media with a special celebrity launch.
To view Stranton Primary's own S.P.T.V videos produced by the children on the day of the launch and how they have used School Radio so far to make great radio broadcasts visit Stranton F.M news page.
Staff and pupils at the School noted the following benefits:
Educational Links in their programming included:
Stranton F.M. also had weather, promotions, community news and programmes from their non-English speaking communities.
Please refer to www.strantonschool.co.uk for the link to Stranton F.M. to hear LIVE what the children are getting up to. To view videos please refer to Stranton F.M news page. Information provided by Stuart White, Outreach Manager, Stranton Primary School, Hartlepool.
Word Of The Day - CJ Thomas
Headteacher Talks About The Benefits Of School Radio
60 Second Science
News In From The Launch Show