We asked the student controller of our school radio station to write this month’s blog and here it is:
At Dixons Kings Academy, we have our own student-run radio station, DKSR Kings Beats. While the job may seem quite simple to those on the outside—how hard can it be for a bunch of kids to choose songs and play them off a computer?—in reality, it takes a lot of diligence from all those involved.
What We Do
The most noticeable thing we do is our daily morning show (aptly called ‘The Breakfast Show’), which is broadcast live to all the staff and students from 7:10am. It features a wide selection of music, hand-picked by the staff and students of the school, amongst various other segments such as ‘Cheer-Up Tunes’, in which a staff member details the songs that make their day that little bit brighter. This show is the current main focus of the radio station.
As we move into the future, we want to start creating podcasts, whether they be subject-specific or just for fun for DJs who may not have enough confidence to present live yet. For instance, the Spanish department do a ‘Radio Internacional’ podcast, in which students write and record their own shows in Spanish, covering different aspects of Spanish culture, life, music etc. This would present opportunities for subject teachers to push students’ understanding of a subject and allow students to do wider reading around their best subjects, which can only be beneficial for their futures, both in exams and life in general.
A radio station needs a variety of people in order to thrive and achieve its potential. We’ve narrowed it down to four categories: talent, technicians, marketing, and news.
Each job needs a different type of person: for example, our technicians need to be able—or willing to learn—to use different pieces of specialised software and equipment, while DJs can get away with not knowing the difference between an Ethernet port and a USB port. Students who like to have a little nosy into school news and enjoy a bit of English would be perfectly at home in the news team. Creative students can help take photos, make posters, or even manage the radio’s social media account.
There’s a job for virtually any student interested in joining the radio station team—all we ask for in return is enthusiasm and commitment to the job.
Apart from the skills specific roles hone in on, being involved in a group project like this develops some general skills that are useful for anyone, in or out of school. Teamwork is key, along with time-management, organisation and communication; we can’t have a DJ sat behind a microphone at 7:10am without a technician there to get the broadcasting happen, neither can we have a DJ scouring their mind for a song thirty seconds before we go live, nor an awkwardly quiet Twitter feed. All of its aspects link in together, and I think members of the radio station can take a lot away from observing and understanding how each branch of the radio station relates to one another.
Being the radio station controller has opened up a myriad of opportunities for me: speaking in front of my peers in assemblies, writing letters to be distributed to students, chasing down members of staff for quick meetings… While a lot of these tasks may sound trivial to most people in the world of work, to me—a student who has not yet been subjected to the throes of the adult world—these develop crucial skills that will undoubtedly creep into my life at some point or another, and so it would be best to get accustomed to them sooner rather than later.
Overall, I believe opportunities like these are greatly beneficial for helping students to reach and showcase their potential, as well as diversifying a student’s set of skills. Projects like a school radio station can open these opportunities to students and increase their understanding of the jobs available to them after school.