Paul Allen, head of KS2 at English Martyrs Catholic Primary School recently added a radio production suite which has engaged students, improved speaking and listening, and even bagged them a recent Sony Radio award. Head of KS2 Paul Allen told us why he chose the Apple Mac, iPad and GarageBand setup, and how the training from our Apple Professional Development expert Paul Ford helped get staff up to speed.
What were your main goals for the radio lessons?
“The radio was to promote oracy skills. We noticed that as a school we were having more children arrive not able to speak properly, and it was just there to help us promote standard English. We thought that was a creative way of doing it, so that they actually had an end product at the end of the process.”
What setup are you using?
“The first time that we [recorded a radio show], it was all based on the Mac and a lot of children sitting round a microphone, but following Paul’s training we were a bit more clued up and able to go and use GarageBand on the iPad devices, and the pupils went out and recorded the show themselves and then brought it back [to edit with our help].”
How have pupils found using the setup?
“The radio has impacted on children’s speaking and listening, it’s impacted on their writing, it’s also impacted on social skills and confidence as well, because some of the children we targeted the project at were the children who were wary of speaking in front of others, and it’s interesting to see how they’ve developed in confidence.”
Have staff found it easy to pick up?
“Paul ran a session for all the staff, he showed us how to do simple podcasts, he then showed us how to make music as well. Because all staff now have a bit more confidence in using [the Mac and iPad devices] themselves, the children are better, so we feel we’re able to roll them out across the whole school.”
You recently won a Sony Radio award for a piece the school submitted too…?
“They said it was a very entertaining piece, and that’s why we won […] There were lots of stories and different things from across the school. In about May time about three members of staff actually got invited to the actual Sony Radio Awards ceremony in London, and the group of children who produced that particular show, are going for a day at BBC Radio in London to see how it all works.”
How was working with Jigsaw24 and Paul?
“Paul was really friendly, the staff have enjoyed working with him. He’s obviously really passionate about it, and believes that iPad can be used to promote teaching and learning. Whenever he’s come, he’s always worked with a small group of children and he’s showed them how to do something, so we’ve almost got some experts among the children who can then share it with the other children as well, so that approach has worked really well for us.”
– You can find out more about Apple’s GarageBand in our review here. If you like the sound of radio production using iPad, check out our article on iPad music-making, How to start an iPad band: Leamore Primary School.
Want to know more about our radio production and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.