Broadcasting the best of high school

How do high schools share with the broader community the incredible array of programs they run for their students?

Irrawang High School located in Port Stephens has more than 70 co-curricular programs running for almost 850 students. To reach as many people as possible, the school approached its local radio station to see if it would broadcast its talents to listeners.

Radio 2HD Newcastle came back with an even better proposal - to broadcast live its prime-time breakfast show from the school premises.

The 6am to 9am program, set up in the school's parent interview room, featured interviews with principal Col Elliott, art teacher David Atkinson, agriculture assistant Peter Slade, the chaplain Mat Fox and Kristi Devetak from the Raymond Terrace Return to School Centre.

Broadcaster Richard King also spoke with the school's champion sailor student Lachlan White and Australian Irish Dancing Championships performer Stephanie Baker. Students Liam Thomas on guitar, vocalist Sophie Hunter and the school Drum Corps provided live entertainment.

The school's community engagement officer Lue Fagan said high schools could appear like a "closed book" to people if they didn't know someone attending.

"We wanted to open it up and let everyone know what we're doing. When listeners heard about the facilities and the programs they thought it was fantastic," Ms Fagan said.

Mr Elliott said the program allowed him to reflect on the changes the school had undergone since he became principal in 1995 and to highlight the best.


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