Shotover Soundz

Tune in to 88FM on your trip between Cromwell and Queenstown any given Friday afternoon and you may be lucky enough to catch some of the country’s youngest broadcasters in action.

Bordering the Shotover and Kawarau rivers and nestled below the picturesque mountains of Queenstown, Shotover Primary School is a school with a difference. Not only are they one of the country’s newest schools, they are also one of the only primary schools with their own radio station.

Broadcasting on 88FM on Fridays from 2:00pm, Shotover Soundz is integrated into the schools’ curriculum, helping students learn valuable skills – from literacy to public speaking to interview techniques.

OneMusic caught up with the station’s program leader and teacher Claire Marshall to find out more about this innovative approach to learning.


How did the station come into being, and how long has it been in operation?

Shotover Soundz is still very much in its early stages of development. The equipment and aerial were installed in 2017 and the amazing teacher in charge of music at the time created four shows with some students which went down very well!

Shotover Soundz 2018 has taken on a new, more active role within the school life. With the support of our producer Stefan (one of the Year 7 students) we have recruited a slick, highly focused group of students whose goal is to produce weekly programmes by Term 3. We are really excited and are looking forward to involving content from as many habitats (our learning spaces) as possible!


What is your role with the station?

I took on this leadership role because I have a Film, TV and broadcasting background. My first degree was Film and Television at Glasgow University so I have lots of experience to share with the Radio Crew throughout the production stages.

Most importantly though, I have a passion for broadcasting and believe it can give learning in schools a purpose and voice. I facilitate and organise the experiences so that the students are free to be creative and produce a high-quality output.


How is the station incorporated into the curriculum?

While we are still at the beginning of our journey, the station is slowly being incorporated into the curriculum. My literacy group have been producing visual stories where they create a picture with words to be broadcast next term. The Radio Crew have been developing opportunities for Student Voice by asking other students to share their opinions about learning in the habitats. We have also been working on techniques for Public Speaking and interview styles.

We hope to celebrate learning across the whole school by Term 3 with each habitat having their own roving microphone which can gather content to be edited by the Radio Crew. The radio station will become a celebration of what is going on in our school while creating opportunities for new learning.

Does the station include a mix of interviews and music?

Yes! We have different interview styles depending on the item. Our news team collected some more informal parent interviews from our recent “Whanau Fire Up” which was a barbeque for mentors, students and parents. It was a fabulous evening where everyone got to know each other in an informal setting. We broadcast an amazing interview with one of our mentors, Emily Forne. We have more formal interviews with the Principal, mentors and local legends planned for the future. We also have music playing to break up items and to suit segments of the show.


Do the students get to select the music played?

One of the roles in our Radio Crew is Music Master. Isabella is our music selector and she has the job of gathering opinions from students and selecting the tracks to be played on the show. She also has the job of checking that all tracks have appropriate content for our primary school listeners.


Do you have any stories to share about the station – famous people interviewed, students coming out of their shell, or perhaps outsmarting the teachers with their use of technology?

Stefan, Shotover Soundz producer has an excellent knowledge of the technology and a very engaging “Radio Voice”. We decided to make him the producer as we wanted to give him a new challenge while sharing his well-developed style and techniques. 

We are also extremely fortunate to have an NZ legend on our staff team, Miss Emily Forne. As I mentioned before we interviewed her in the first broadcast of 2018. She was interviewed for a very special reason because she won the Godzone with her team this year. Our news reporter, Keira did a fantastic and very professional job of asking emotive and interesting questions.


What hours does the station run between?

At the moment we run every second Friday from 2pm on 88.0FM! We hope to increase this to a weekly slot and potentially a twice weekly slot for other programmes by Term 3.


What kind of music does the station play?

We are a very eclectic school so our playlists reflect this. We like to have a mix of rock, pop, chart and older tracks.


What are the future plans for the station?

We would like Shotover Soundz to become a fully functioning Radio Station which shares Student Voice, celebrates achievements and begins to gather a good number of listeners! We believe authenticity is the key to success and we can’t wait to create a genuinely good Radio Station which is at the core of learning in our school.

For more information about Shotover Soundz or Shotover Primary visit



Shotover Primary holds a OneMusic Schools Licence, which grants them the legal permission they need to use music – from playing music at school open days and fundraisers, through to operating a low power radio station.

A OneMusic licence gives schools peace of mind that they are on the right side of the law, while ensuring that music creators are fairly compensated for the use of their music. OneMusic represent the non-profit music rights organisations APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ, which means that after administration costs, all licence fees collected are paid to music creators as royalties.

For more information regarding using music in your school click here.