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Upminster primary school becomes first in Havering to launch its own radio station

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:12 14 January 2020

Time FM's Mark Dover with children on launching the radio. Picture: Joseph Fielder.

Time FM's Mark Dover with children on launching the radio. Picture: Joseph Fielder.

Joseph Fielder

Branfil Primary School has launched a fully-functioning radio station from the school meeting room.

The new school newspaper, the Branfil Termly. Picture: Joseph FielderThe new school newspaper, the Branfil Termly. Picture: Joseph Fielder

The school in Upminster started the project as part of their application for the Artsmark, a government scheme that gives recognition to schools that excel in the arts.

"We were thinking of more creative ways to involve art in the curriculum and give more opportunities for the kids," said deputy headmaster, Joseph Fielder.

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The little studio is complete with microphones, computers, mixers and the latest software for editing and the children have been learning to write scripts for broadcast. The equipment was funded by Friends of Branfil, the parents association for the school which raised money through bazaars and discos.

At the moment, only the oldest children - those in Year 6 - have been trialling the equipment and the radio has only been broadcast internally.

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The staff, none of which have any media experience, are also learning a great deal alongside the children.

Mr Fielder said: "All the kids want to have a go and we're hoping everyone will have a chance over the course of the year to make some content."

They hope to get the radio streaming from their school website in a couple of weeks' time.

After a few trial runs before Christmas, the radio went live last Friday, January 10, broadcasting from an infrequently used meeting room.

Mark Dover from Havering's Time FM attended the opening to show everyone the ropes and to celebrate the feat with the staff and students.

As part of the school's arts and media campaign, the school has also launched a school newspaper, the Branfil Termly, which as the name suggests is being published each term.

"It's a great way for the kids to express their thoughts on school life in a more formal way and give them a good insight into journalism," said Mr Fielder.

He hopes it will improve on and replace the newsletter and get all the children involved in achieving their Artsmark, which the school is hoping to receive platinum for their efforts next year.

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