New West Ferris Secondary School Podcast Amplifies Student Voices; First Episode Shares First Experiences

To celebrate the launch of The Trojan Voice podcast, West Ferris students attended a launch party in the school’s media arts classroom.

The West Ferris Trojans have entered the podcast game. The first episode of The Trojan Voice was launched on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube last week and featured students telling stories about first experiences.

The Trojan Podcast club is the brainchild of teacher candidate b Wrauley who has a background as a former CBC radio producer and host.

“I have always wanted to start a podcast with students. During my fall placement I approached West Ferris media arts teacher Robin Bartlett, and she was totally on board and we’ve been having weekly meetings since,” Wrauley said.

Wrauley says the podcast tells the stories that are important to the students of West Ferris. Every episode will have a theme and students will present different audio pieces on that theme.

“The major focus of the club is increasing and amplifying student voices. The nice thing about that is that any teacher could listen to the podcast and draw a variety of links to the curriculum,” Wrauley said. “For example, our first episode is focused on the theme of “firsts”. So, we have a few students discussing their first friendships, first loves, first time playing a sport. In those stories there are a variety of links teachers could draw to their specific teachables.”

The first episode, appropriately titled Firsts features 17 student voices and producers. There are a total of eight stories including, First Love, First Snowfall, First Football Practice and First Rehearsal.

“Any student can pitch a story. We want the podcast to offer a variety of voices and styles, to be representative of the student population and a place where students’ voices can be heard,” Wrauley said.

Once a theme for an episode is decided on students share related stories. Then, along with Wrauley and Bartlett, the club works out the structure of the episode, deciding if it will be a group discussion or first-person narrative, and how sound effects could be employed.

Students then record their pieces in the West Ferris media arts room studio and do their own rough edit. Wrauley then takes over and, using their professional experience, cleans up the sound, trims the length of the piece and completes the final edit.  

The club worked hard promoting the podcast leading up the launch, including enlisting the rest the school to vote on the name through an Instagram poll.

The day before the first episode went live a launch party was hosted in the media arts room which included food, lights, music, stickers, and buttons with the name of the podcast and different art created by Bartlett and various students.

The Trojan Voice isn’t so much a “club” as it is a community. We want the listeners to be involved, and we hope that any student in the school feels welcome to come and share their stories,” Bartlett said. Our meetings are meant to feel inclusive and so we invite students to get involved in all aspects, developing themes, recording, editing, artwork, music, and promotion.

Wrauley said the podcast is already off to a fantastic start with hundreds of listens and more than 100 subscribers.

The next episode of the The Trojan Voice will be all about second chances, and can be found on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.


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