News | Rhys Williams | Published: 10:11, Thursday June 25th, 2020.
Last updated: 08:12, Wednesday July 1st, 2020
Pupils and staff at St Martin’s Comprehensive School in Caerphilly have been busy recording and producing podcasts during the coronavirus lockdown.
The podcasts, which range from around 20 minutes to an hour long, cover a range of topics such as exercise, politics and history, as well as book readings.
Around 20 pupils from all year groups have been involved in the project, which started at the beginning of lockdown.
Spanish teacher Francisco López, who has been the driving force behind the podcasts, said he had wanted to get the school’s radio station up and running for a while and saw lockdown as the perfect opportunity to get started.
The podcasts are recorded from home, with pupils, staff and guests using online app Google Meet to interact.
Mr López said: “I’ve always been a great fan of radio. It’s a tool that can apply to any subject.
“It takes a lot of courage for pupils to do, knowing that 200 people will be listening. It shows a lot of maturity.”
“The new curriculum is about bringing learning to life. The podcasts give pupils ownership of what they do.
“I’m very pleased with it so far. I couldn’t be happier.”
It is hoped the podcasts will continue after the pandemic, with pupils learning how to record and produce their own podcasts.
Some pupils have even started creating their own individual podcasts, covering topics such as comic books and school news.
Caerphilly’s Senedd Member Hefin David and Welsh education secretary Kirsty Williams have appeared as guests on the podcast.
Dr David, who was interviewed by year seven pupils Saskia Leaves, Victoria Malecka and Madison Jones, said it was “a pleasure to take part in the radio show”.
He added: “Victoria was interested to know what the role of a member of the Senedd was all about and what laws can be made. We discussed the recent ban on wild animals, which all pupils agreed was a positive change.
“We discussed the decision to introduce lockdown measures, which of course is an example of how members of the Senedd sometimes have to take decisions that will be difficult, but necessary to preserve public health.”
Madison said: “I came away from the meeting feeling very positive because Dr David took my concerns seriously about the lack of cycle paths in and around Caerphilly. I was very pleased to participate in the radio show.”
Education minister Ms Williams said she was delighted to be interviewed by pupils.
She said: “It was great to have some questions from some very well informed young people. I wish them all the best with the continuation of their podcast.”
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