Radio stars of primary age are blasting out school news in weekly top slots with a Sheffield radio station.
Switched-on pupils at Catcliffe Primary School join BBC Radio Sheffield’s Toby Foster on Friday mornings with their weekly ‘top five’ news items.
The honour follows a tour of the Sheffield studios last November by youngsters involved with the Catcliffe School radio. They were able to look around the premises and learn exactly how the studio functions.
Later, when Radio Sheffield staff visited the school to see the set-up there, pupil T-Jay told how he wanted to be the next Toby Foster. The team were so impressed with all the youngsters’ work that they offered them a slot on Toby’s show, which was accepted with enthusiasm.
This week, Breakfast Show presenter Toby was at Catcliffe to share in the school radio experience on site and see the pupils sourcing and preparing their material.
He said: “The kids from Catcliffe Primary School first came to see us before Christmas and they were really interested to see what we did at the station. We showed them around and had a great day with them. Then they told us about their radio station. So we came down here to the school.
“It’s an amazing set-up. We listened to what they produced and were blown away by it. So much so that we decided we wanted it on our station. So this is them taking over BBC Radio Sheffield and we’re getting together each week to find out what the top stories are at their school. We’re all really excited about it.”
Jessica Singh, headteacher at Catcliffe Primary School said that the school radio station ‘Catcliffe FM’ is run ‘by the students for the students’.
She added: “Children access the radio station independently during playtimes and lunchtime and create shows, which are broadcast throughout the school and out on to the schoolyard. It is also used as a resource to support learning across the curriculum.
“There are many benefits to running a School Radio including inclusion, building confidence, developing speaking and listening skills and empowering children. Radio is all about communication and running a radio show takes commitment and teamwork in order for it to be a success.”
She continued: “Working alongside Toby and the BBC Team is a very exciting opportunity for the school.
“It enables children to develop their skills, understand how a large radio station operates and reach a wider audience.
“The children will be reporting on events and learning that takes place in school or within classrooms such as visitors, trips, or project based learning. They interview teachers and children about the events and create a ‘Catcliffe Top Five’.”
Pupil T-Jay said: “It’s a good experience for people our age, I want to be a radio presenter so it’s good to help me get a job.”
Gianna added: “It was awesome to meet the man behind the voice, I never thought you could do something like that at school, it’s exciting your voice gets to be on the radio!” (Photos: Dean Atkins)