School Radio

Developing a school radio station

They say ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and now I really feel the impact of those words. Developing Dwight Radio has been a long and rewarding journey; many hours were sacrificed but so many inspiring moments were gained. Seeing the enthusiasm and delight of the students as they walk into the radio booth never grows old.

I’ll never forget the moment when a child with very little English decided to follow his classmates up to the radio booth, just to see what all the fuss was about. He had no initial intentions of speaking but as the session progressed, we slowly encouraged him to join in. First he put on headphones to hear the others speak. Then we showed him how to control the mic faders. Before we knew it, he was recording himself on the radio! With pride and certainty, he introduced himself and his friends. I’m trying not to sound corny but it really was one of those moments that melted your heart.


Our school radio journey started over 12 months ago when we purchased radio equipment from School Radio. This company provides ongoing support which has been wonderful for those moments when I have forgotten how to customise a certain feature or simply when I needed advice. Available on their website are teaching resources which focus on using the radio to support the curriculum. This was a big selling point for us as we wanted a radio station to showcase learning.

Once our radio booth was set up, it came time to play. After receiving training, many hours were spent familiarising myself with the features and planning how to organise radio content. Thankfully before purchasing the equipment, my Headteacher and I had visited Anson Primary School who have a well established and successful school radio station. They had given us advice on how to organise and develop a system of recording and curating radio content. With that advice in mind, I took time to plan this before training the masses.

To allow the most efficient use of the radio station, I began by training our Learning Support Assistants (LSAs). Their role is to support students which gives them a bit more flexibility when it comes to leaving the classroom. Whilst the teacher works with most of the class, LSAs are able to take small groups of children out to the radio booth.

My student Digital Leaders also became important ambassadors for promoting the radio. They quickly picked up the skills to use the radio independently and planned ways that we could encourage others to join in the fun.  They have recorded promotional videos for assemblies, created online safety messages and recorded stories for younger students.

After enough people were using the radio, we began creating termly radio shows. These shows included content from Kindergarten to Year 6 and showcased a range of creativity and learning. Check out our Dwight Radio page for our Autumn radio show.

We are now about to embark on weekly radio shows to further promote the radio. With the support of the Lower School ICT Committee we have planned ways to encourage involvement across the school with regular segments assigned to different areas and other exciting initiatives. Stay tuned to read more about our Dwight Radio updates.

Continuing Professional Development

Appointment Slots with Google Calendar

This has become an invaluable part of my weekly coaching routine. Setting up appointment slots at the beginning of each week has allowed me to reach out to more staff members and become more accessible for coaching.

Within Google Calendar there is a specific function called Appointment Slots. It allows you to set up availabilities on your personal calendar that people can reserve to meet with you. Appointment slots are quite simple to use once you get into the habit and have proven to be very useful in my role.

To learn more about how to set up Appointment slots please click here.


Once people choose a time slot on your calendar you are notified by email and are given the opportunity to accept or decline the meeting invitation. As a part of my appointment booking instructions, I ask staff to nominate where they would like to meet. I find this opens the door to colleagues being willing to share; often people are more comfortable in their own working space. It also gives me opportunities to see what is happening in different classrooms.

Now that I have been using appointment slots regularly, I have begun to include other events on my personal calendar such as school trips on which I will attend. This helps staff to understand how I use my non appointment slot days and shows my accountability for non teaching time.

Overall the use of appointment slots has greatly improved my Digital Coaching process. The amount of staff initiated contact has significantly increased with more and more staff members approaching me, willing to discuss their IT goals and ideas.


Continuing Professional Development

Introducing the Demo Slam!

Demo Slam10 (2)Ever had a “got to share this awesome tool” moment? Well a DEMO SLAM is the perfect place to do so. It’s a relaxed and fun way of sharing IT ideas with colleagues.

Recently in the Lower School we had our first ever Demo Slam between staff. It was action packed with audience volunteers and laughs from the crowd. We had four wonderful staff members who delivered an engaging and useful Demo Slam to staff. It was great to see the audience being so supporting of our four risk taking presenters.

In each Demo Slam we have volunteers called, Demo Slammers, who have submitted their IT tip to the Digital Literacy Coach before the staff meeting. During the DEMO SLAM, there are a few simple rules:

  • Each Demo Slammer will have 3 minutes to present their handy IT tip in an engaging way.
  • If tech fails or the trick doesn’t work, it’s all good, just laugh it off and we can try again another time. As a staff we support each other, even when things don’t work.
  • At the end of the demos, the audience will vote for their favourite one. The winner gains the crown of Demo Slam King or Queen!

Inspired by Google Demo Slams

Continuing Professional Development

Becoming a Digital Literacy Coach

Transition from ICT Coordinator to Digital Literacy Coach.

In September 2015 I was lucky enough to begin a new role at my PYP school in London. The school was looking to move forward with the use of ICT and wanted to invest more time into Continual Professional Development in this area.

So a Digi Coach I became! I spent the summer looking into relevant research and reading up on coaching techniques. I was conscious that a coaching role should be approached differently to my previous curriculum coordinator role.

A resource that particularly stood out was a multi touch book called Coaching for Digital Literacy (available for free on iTunes). This book is a collaboration of International School Educators and provides practical suggestions and case studies to help equip Digital Literacy Coaches with valuable skills to support others. One point that resonated with me was that wherever possible the focus of coaching should be on student learning, not on teacher expertise.


Once September rolled around, it was time to start coaching. I will admit that it took a little while for the ball to get rolling but once teachers realised that I was there to offer support, the pace started to pick up. Teachers began to approach me with new ideas and were gradually willing to share skills with others.

We are still very new into our Digital Coaching journey but the future is bright! Stayed tuned for more updates!