A Cape Town school is using its online school radio to keep children entertained and give them something to do during the lockdown period.

The digital online Cannons Creek Radio was launched in March 2019 with most broadcast material being pre-recorded.

The independent school in Pinelands is one of the first in South Africa to embrace online radio for school.

Digital online radio keeps children entertained during lockdown:

Station manager, Wendy Joubert, says the whole idea is to take what they do in the classroom and look at it from a different perspective.

Their programmes include interviews with children on different subjects and to encourage them to engage on various topics.

“We have run interviews with children that have been involved in the industrial revolution for the radio station. We have slots like This day in History. Everyday, children doing history and those who think it’s not exiting, can engage, looking at how can we prepare children for the 21 century. Key skills that we need are creativity, and be able to communicate better.”

She says they also manage to keep the entire school community in touch during lockdown.

“As a staff, we need a little bit more emergency training on how to manage online schooling. We need to use the radio station, because the radio can transcend the separation that we feel at the moment and the school has many communities. The radio station is maintaining that sense of community even though we are so separate at the moment.”

Joubert’s two children Tanaka and Ben are among a group of 10 presenters at the school radio.

Tanaka speaks about what she likes most about their radio and she is also aware why the country is on lockdown.

“It’s where I connect with my friends, because I can give shoutouts to my friends and I can teach other people. We don’t want each other to get sick. It’s not good for us to spread gems, so that’s why we can’t see each other now. I like reading my stories from a book I took out from the library.”

Her brother, Ben, also enjoys speaking on radio to keep in touch with friends.

“I enjoy because I think it’s a fun way to connect with people and having fun, doing it so that we don’t feel lonely.”

Presenters have been trained to produce, present and to manage the studio and the school radio has listeners around the world.