Primary school podcast provides student voice

(L-R) Piara Voices podcast team Delilah Rodriguez, Hamish Watson, Samantha Mazorodze, Evie Stanley, Mehela Ram with deputy principal Sian Bakewell.
(L-R) Piara Voices podcast team Delilah Rodriguez, Hamish Watson, Samantha Mazorodze, Evie Stanley, Mehela Ram with deputy principal Sian Bakewell.

PIARA Waters Primary School has given its students a voice in the form of a collaborative podcast.

The Piara Voices podcast, which is available on Spotify, is produced, presented and recorded by students from years 1-5 who have near-total control over the content.

Students write scripts, decide topics, organise music, conduct interviews and host and record the shows themselves, with teachers’ involvement limited to supervision and editing.

Deputy principal Sian Bakewell said the idea came off the back of an innovation project designed to increase the student voice.

“We surveyed our students and asked them what they were interested in, what they wanted to learn about and how they wanted to share their ideas,” she said.

“The main thing that came across was they wanted to talk to people about their ideas.”

Students spent two lunch breaks a week putting the podcast together, producing episodes of between 15-20 minutes that explored topics such as animals, cultures and health.

The podcast team hard at work. Photo: Ben Smith.

Producer Evie Stanley said they had all gained new skills from working on the project and although it was hard work, it had been a fruitful experience.

“I’m most enjoying just the fun of being with the other hosts and producers and just being able to learn new things with devices and having a lot of opportunities,” she said.

“The producers will discuss for about an hour and we do three records for each podcast script and then we sit and listen to them for about 10-20 minutes.”

Her sentiments were echoed by her fellow producer Mehela Ram, who said the teamwork and time management skills they had learnt were invaluable.

“One thing I’ve learnt is about how you can work collaboratively to have a good end product,” she said.

“It takes about 90 minutes for the script, 90 minutes for the recording, and then we’ll have to spend a couple of days also researching before the script writing about the content.”

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