April 28, 2023

Lionheart schools spread the word through podcasts

Three secondary schools within Leicestershire’s Lionheart Educational Trust are now releasing regular podcasts – with content from students and/or teachers. The Castle Rock School, Judgemeadow Community College and The Cedars Academy have all seen the benefit in this form of media communication allowing them to not only share information and opinions on relatable and topical subjects in an innovative way, but also enabling students to learn and improve media literacy skills.  

Something of a modern phenomenon, podcasts are digital audio files that individuals can download and listen to on computers or smartphones.  In recent years, podcast consumption has rapidly increased, with users utilising it as an import source of news and information. In fact, Statista predict that, by 2026, more than 28 million in the UK will be listening to podcasts. 

Therefore, it is no surprise to see that Trust schools have spotted this trend and are utilising podcasts to augment communications to key stakeholders. 

In the Meadows – Judgemeadow Community College 

Judgemeadow Community College, an 11-16 secondary school in Evington, started releasing their podcast – ‘In the Meadows’ – in May 2022, spurred on after featuring on Ramadan FM radio. Overseen by Mr Chowdhury, and led by a collection of students, they aim to upload at least one or two episodes a month onto YouTube.  

They cover a range of issues and conduct various interviews; for example, last term, for International Women’s Day, they spoke to Fatimah Bobra, the first Hijabi finalist in the Miss Teen GB beauty pageant.  

You can listen to In the Meadows here: https://www.youtube.com/@JudgemeadowCommunityCollege/videos 

Branching Out – The Cedars Academy 

‘Branching Out,’ produced by The Cedars Academy in Birstall, began in January of this year. It is published on the school website and is led by Associate Principal, Mr Rolfe, who was keen to improve parent/carer communication.  

“I wanted to deliver some key messages to parents/carers in the same way we do to pupils,” he said, “I think you get more of the personality across than you do with a letter.” 

Similar to Judgemeadow’s podcast, ‘Branching Out’ focuses on important school information, positive achievements and interviews; for example, before Easter, the podcast featured interviews with two members of the school’s end of term production, Shrek The Musical. 

The feedback so far has been very positive and listener figures have peaked at 400+. 

You can listen to Branching Out here: https://www.thecedarsacademy.org.uk/current-parents/communication/branching-out-the-cedars-podcast/ 

PDC Podcast – The Castle Rock School 

The Castle Rock School have become the latest school to release a podcast  - new for April 2023 - which is shared via their social media channels. Entitled ‘The PDC Podcast,’ it aims to further enhance their Personal Development Curriculum (PDC). The PDC seeks to provide students with a range key skills and attributes, helping them to tackle challenges they encounter both inside and outside of school and better understand the world in which they live.  

Once a week, the team of student ‘podcasters’ from across all year groups will discuss important topics they have learned about in PD lessons and related issues they wish to share with the wider community.  

You can listen to PDC Podcast here: https://www.castlerock.org.uk/current-students/extra-curricular/castle-rock-podcast/ 

We’ve no doubt that the trend will catch on and we’ll see many more Lionheart schools launching their very own podcasts in the near future. Watch this space!