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Highland pupils Sounding Out new skills in learning

Issued: 16 Jun 2010

Pupils in three Highland schools are learning new skills while producing and broadcasting radio programmes. The Curriculum for Excellence project which connects the expressive arts with technologies is aimed at S1 - S3 pupils. The project is being delivered by The Highland Council's Education Culture and Sport Service with Highland-based digital media and communications company, Thinking in Stereo. Pupils at Golspie and Gairloch High Schools and Kilchuimen Academy are producing radio programmes that will explore a theme chosen by the school and pupils using interviews, archive material, and sound recording from the pupil's environment. The programmes will be broadcast to parents and other pupils, and made available on each school website to a wider audience. The initiative involves pupils from the three schools working with professionals from Thinking in Stereo over a six week period. During this period, pupils learn a variety of radio production skills in relation to roles within a professional production team such as: music and sound effects producers, programme producers, presenters, researchers, sound recordists and editors. Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Service said: "Digital media is increasingly finding its way into the classroom as a creative means of learning. This initiative offers cross curricular learning for pupils as it links the outcomes and experiences of the expressive arts and technologies which are part of the Curriculum for Excellence." Lynn Johnson, Highland Council's Arts Links Officer added: "The process of researching, constructing and producing a radio documentary is one that is effective in nurturing the four capacities underpinning Curriculum for Excellence. Researching a topic for radio encourages pupils to develop an understanding of their subject so they become successful learners. Distilling debating points for discussion and actively participating in recorded debates improves confidence, communication and nurtures responsible citizenship. Cutting a radio documentary also involves selecting relevant materials, thus improving analytical skills as well as encouraging pupils to listen and form their own opinions. "The project also offers opportunities for the school to work with experts in the field of new media, through Thinking in Stereo, and further develop links with the wider community; using archive material form local museums; and visits to schools by members of the community to give interviews." The initiative will also offer a teachers' pack to all Highland teachers to support the use of digital audio, creatively in the classroom, with ideas on how to adapt the media to their subject area, and examples of how pupils went about producing their own documentaries. The production process is being documented and clips from the pupil's work will be used to produce a package for teachers to carry out similar projects in other schools. This teacher's pack will be made available for download on Scotland's national education intranet GLOW. The initiative has been made possible through generous funding from the Scottish Arts Council.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme