Our work with pupils at the Folkestone Academy
Award winning Academy FM Folkestone is one of a handful of UK radio stations that put young people on live FM radio and we almost certainly do it more frequently than any other station. We are based inside Folkestone Academy which allows us to work closely with their pupils and staff.
We are grateful to the Folkestone Academy for an annual grant towards the running of Academy FM, and the radio station has a close working relationship with the school. One example of this is our current work with pupils in Years 7-11. We train and mentor them very closely, and our work builds their self-confidence and communication skills, and is a great way to develop teamworking. Our training methods are simple, structured, and don't put pressure on the young person.
Young people thrive in our environment, whatever their background, academic ability or social skills.
You can hear Academy pupils on at various slots throughout the week - on any given week there are at least 20 on air presenting live or pre-recorded shows.
Our training is simple and methodical, and at least one member of Academy FM staff is always present. They work in groups and start by simply introducing songs, and this leads to training in how to write weather and travel bulletins, and how to present 'What's On' information. They also learn how to deliver conversational 'links'. We're very careful that they don't say things to embarrass themselves - our first priority is to educate and protect our young volunteers.
Since 2011, we've worked with hundreds of young people, mostly pupils at the Folkestone Academy. Some of them are booked into regular sessions at lunchtimes..... some come to us after school.....and some do radio shows as part of their extra-curricular program in the afternoons. Some of our young presenters knocked on the radio station door and asked what we did here, and they ended up learning to be radio presenters!
We have celebrated success with Folkestone Academy pupils presenters over the past 2 years winning Gold at the Young Arias Awards in 2019 and 2020.