Darlaston students hit the big time when they were given the chance to prepare and record their own radio broadcast in a two-hour workshop with a Free Radio presenter.
Free Radio Academy, in partnership with Aspire Recruitment, regularly visits schools, colleges and universities to run workshops that help young people to explore the media industry.
Paul Hurst, Project Coordinator and Lead Tutor from Bauer Media, showed the young presenters from Grace Academy Darlaston how to be chatty, full of beans, and bounce off each other during broadcasting. Paul explained:
“Projects like this provide a safe environment for young people to explore their creative skills, experience what it is really like in radio, TV, and film, and find a platform where they have a voice. It’s very important in a society where, quite often, young people feel disenfranchised, that we give them an opportunity to have their voice heard.
“Grace Academy students were fantastic. In most of our workshops the students start off very quiet and then, in the end, we can’t get them to leave the classroom. These students have been a pleasure to be with today.”
Year 9 student Tobias Bains, who got the chance to present on the show, said it had changed his view of the media and added: “There are a greater range of things you can do in the media than I was expecting, and I was surprised that it is something you can feel comfortable doing. It’s something I’d choose in my GCSEs and for a job in the media in the future. I’d like to have my own radio station.”
Student Ellie Hagan, Year 8, said:
“We got to use our own unique ideas and were not just told what to do. I actually would do it as a job in the future. If you enjoy something it is worth doing it as a job.”
Tony Winsper from Aspire Recruitment said it was great to get young people involved in something a bit different and to see what happens behind the scenes on a radio station, adding: “Some young people may go on to work in the media and to be presenters or producers. It’s a great first-hand experience for them and hopefully it will inspire one or two to take this up as a future career.”
Phil Miles, Assistant Principal for Ethos and Student Life, said:
“This has been an amazing opportunity for students to prepare a broadcast together, learning so many skills, especially teamwork as they listened to each other and discussed what should be included. The presenter was incredibly engaging and professional and made it an excellent experience for our students.”