Pioneer School for the Visually Impaired officially opens Radio Academy
24 March 2023
Pioneer School for the Visually Impaired in Worcester officially opened their radio academy at the end of February 2023.
The Quinten Pendle Radio Academy was established on 9 September 2021 and after a few set-backs since they started broadcasting, the academy is fully fledged.
Quinten Pendle, an alumnus of the Pioneer School, started teaching at his alma mater in 2021. He said as a freelance broadcaster, he was aware of the important role that radio and other media play in the lives of people. “I wanted to contribute towards empowering the children, especially because I have first-hand knowledge of how challenging it can be for a blind person to find a job once they complete their school career. I imagined that this could be an extra field in which I could try and stimulate interest. If a learner gained enough experience as a radio presenter, even on the small level we do it here at school, that could be something extra worth adding onto a CV, and, who knows, that could maybe lead to this person being able to find a job in the broadcasting industry, thus providing for them.”
Pioneer school currently broadcast every Wednesday evening from 19:00-20:00 (load shedding permitting), on the internet at http://s2.stationplaylist.com:7124/listen.mp3.
Pendle said they received a gracious donation from Dankie Lottoland in 2022 with which they were able to buy a 4-channel mixer, a 4-channel headphone amplifier, 3 good quality studio microphones and microphone stands, 4 sets of studio headphones, and a dedicated computer with broadcasting software.
The school prepared a dedicated room in their music building by painting the walls, putting burglar proofing in front of the windows, and making the room soundproof by lining it out with a classy, thick mat, as well as with dense curtains.
Seven learners between Grades 9 and 12 are currently enrolled in the Radio Academy. One of the learners is deaf and blind. Pendle said from next year they will expand their intake by allowing learners from Grades 7 and up to be trained as presenters.
“This whole venture is a learning curve, as I am unaware of other schools where this has been done before, left alone at an institution for learners with visual and other impairments.”
Learners are being trained in aspects such as microphone technique, radio etiquette, compiling and presenting of reports and short news bulletins, conducting interviews, basic sound editing, compiling and presentation of specialized radio content, continuity presenting, studio management, and much more.