Cranbrook students go on air to discuss health issues

PUBLISHED: 07:06 31 March 2017 | UPDATED: 07:14 31 March 2017

Stephen Farmer, head of secondary at Cranbrook Education Campus, being interviewed by a campus student about energy drinks during the live broadcast. Picture: Paul Strange.

Stephen Farmer, head of secondary at Cranbrook Education Campus, being interviewed by a campus student about energy drinks during the live broadcast. Picture: Paul Strange.


Six students from Cranbrook Education Campus went live on the digital airwaves last week.

Presenting ‘Cranbrook On Air’, the Year 7 and 8 students discussed three key health topics affecting young people – anxiety, digital overload, and risks from energy drinks.

Delivering an engaging mix of live and pre-recorded interviews, comment, music and jingles, the students produced a fascinating programme, enjoyed by online listeners from communities and local schools.

In a workshop run by Sound Communities CIC, the students gained radio production skills and experience of online broadcast technology, interviewing their peers, families, parents, teachers and even the Cranbrook Herald reporter.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) helped facilitate the scheme by introducing Sound Communities CIC and the school. The workshops were provided through Cranbrook’s Healthy Town scheme, funded by NHS England’s Healthy New Town programme.

“The Campus is really pleased to collaborate with Sound Communities and EDDC,” said Stephen Farmer, head of secondary at the campus.

“Our students gained new skills and were excited to experience what it is like to interview people and create a digital broadcast. In addition, they helped others explore ways to address issues like anxiety and health risks from energy drinks.

“This means that students and their families start to talk about their health and mental wellbeing, sharing ideas on how to help shape their community for the future.”

Mr Farmer was impressed with his students, and hoped there would be more broadcasts.

“The students were absolutely great,” he said. “They’ve been such fantastic representatives of the campus. It would be terrific if we could have a Cranbrook On Air radio station, and look at monthly broadcasts, where we tackle a different topic, all to do with healthy lifestyles with a particular focus.”

Kate Rudman, a co-director from Sound Communities CIC, said: “There was a high level of interest during the broadcast from communities and local schools, with at least 35 people listening in. The results of online polls conducted during the broadcast on Facebook showed more than 100 votes and the show has had more than 140 plays in 24 hours – a number which will rise substantially no doubt over the coming days.

“The students rose to the challenge and they pushed themselves, which was great. They didn’t just do what was expected and they seemed to genuinely enjoy it.

“We find working with students in this way is a valuable learning experience for the students themselves and the community they interact with. All the students said they were excited to take part and can’t wait to do it again! It is so important to not just give young people a voice, but make sure that they are heard.”

“The broadcast was excellent,” said Mike Cook, a co-director of Sound Communities CIC. “The students were fantastic, the adrenalin started running, they really performed and really enjoyed the opportunity. They worked well as a team, they knew each other’s strengths and were very creative.”

To hear the broadcast, visit:

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