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What is School Podcast?

School podcast is a new safe web facility which allows children to plan, research and create podcasts on any aspect of the curriculum, including for example, science ,history, geography , sport and the arts , and edit, and upload these podcasts to the school page within This school podcast programme is provided by the NI based educational social enterprise, Tonnta which is the trading arm of the charity Sólás. The charity Sólás focuses on providing support to schools to address areas of need and in particular those additional needs of children who are struggling with learning. According to the School Census data for 2007/ 2008 , almost 1 in 5 pupils were classified as having a Special Education Need, 4% have been officially statemented, leaving 14% without statutory support. Sólás aims to work with schools to support these children. We are currently recruiting retired professionals to provide one-on-one support in literacy and numeracy to two pilot primary schools in south Belfast. On completion of the pilot, we hope to roll this programme out to a wider base.

Each participating school will be set up with a mini website and a set of 8 to 10 channels, one channel for each year (P1 through to P7) as well as additional channels such as the after schools club and the pre-school. We provide each participating school with three days training on audacity (sound editing software) as well as Photostory (a video creation and editing tool) plus the podcasting equipment needed to make audio and video podcasts.

We provide training to staff or a complement of staff and children depending on the needs of the school. Each child will be allocated a user name and password which will allow them to upload podcasts on completion. These podcasts will then be validated and reviewed by the class teacher before they can go live on the school podcast site. has an integral teachers forum, which allows teachers to communicate with other schools on any area of the curriculum or indeed to set up collaborative projects between schools.

Advantages of SchoolPodcast ?

  • Full access to the portal for teachers and pupils
  • Dedicated school homepage and website on Schoolpodcast
  • Pupils can easily upload their ICT project work including audio podcast, digital images from class assignments as well as video podcasts
  • Podcasts can be easily shared with other Schoolpodcast licensees from different schools which improves peer-to-peer learning and interaction
  • Teachers can create and contribute to discussion forums
  • Simply to find categorisation of podcast content under curriculum headings such as Music, Environmental, History, Geographic, Storytelling, Business studies
  • Opportunity for teachers to demonstrate how they meet Council for Curriculum Examinations & Assessment (CCEA) & National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NCCA)curriculum objectives and ICT accreditation objectives.
  • Provides a safe learning environment for pupils to engage with social media
  • Pupils can share with their parents their projects and progress within school
  • Schoolpodcast provides a fun learning environment and complimentary teaching approach to traditional methods
  • Pupils that find it difficult to engage with traditional teaching styles may respond better to the learning environment offered by Schoolpodcast
  • Ethnic minority pupils can use Schoolpodcast to improve their understanding and use of the English language
  • Schoolpodcast is not confined to one region, county or country and can provide a platform for cross-border collaboration between schools in NI and ROI
  • Schools can use Schoolpodcast as the platform to coordinate projects and partnerships for example Young Enterprise within schools
  • By participating in Schoolpodcast schools demonstrate a commitment to best practice in learning through ICT and increase opportunity to receive recognition by increasing chances to win educational digital awards

Why Podcasts?

Anecdotal evidence to date has shown that children who have had an opportunity to use the educational podcasting facilities offered by Tonnta are highly engaged in learning. Through active learning and hands on experience of making podcasts on subjects such as gardening, maths, history, sports, the environment, language and music, children become an integral part of the learning process. Rather than being passive recipients of knowledge, they can actively participate in creating a podcast that tackles specific aspects of the enriched curriculum.

  • Tech-based learning brings more focus from students and podcasting has "unlimited potential" in terms of enhancing creativity and learning power.
  • Podcasts allow students to take ownership of their learning. Children using podcasting technology develop enhanced research abilities and are better prepared for the next stage of their education


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