Westwood Radio visits BBC Wiltshire

bbc wiltshire

What a day for our young Westwood Radio broadcasters and for all of us at Westwood with Iford School! We had been invited by the head of station sound to join him in the studio to record some very special voice overs for the festive period that is almost upon us. i can’t say too much at this time but will let you know more as soon as I am able! As you can see, we were all SO excited about visiting a real radio station that broadcasts to 80,000 people a day!

On arrival we were straight into one of the actual radio studios used by the presenters and immediately behind the microphones for everyone to have a go at recording some lines that Nj, the sound engineer, had prepared for us. Without any nerves and with complete professionalism, the children were an immense credit to our school, spending well over an hour recording voice overs for BBC Wiltshire and all with complete and perfect radio etiquette.

With a quick bit of lunch it was then on to a tour of the station and what a wonderful surprise we had. Graham Seaman was live on air with his lunchtime show and invited us to join him live in the studio for a chat. Yes, live to 80,000 people! As I knew and expected, the children conducted themselves as brilliantly and confidently as they do in our studio at school and were so at ease behind the microphone I was immensely proud of all of them. Talia even got to cue up the next song after our interview before we said our huge thanks and goodbyes to Graham and continued with the tour. You can listen again to our radio apperarance at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05l5g56 from 29:01.

With so many excellent questions from the children and a wealth of knowledge shared by Nj, the time raced by and before we knew it, we were back on the bus and listening to the remainder of Graham’s show on our way home.

This was one of those once in a lifetime opportunities for us all and is such a positive reminder of the doors that  education radio broadcasting can open to our children. this was certainly yet another day to be proud of everyone and I thank them for the most wonderful day. I hope you remember it for many years to come.

Here are some photos of our day.

We also recorded a very special podcast of our experience too!

Children in Need Fun

Today was a first for Westwood Radio as we broadcast our live weekly show in our pyjamas! Raising money for the wonderful cause that is Children in Need, everyone took part in the spirit of the day and it brought some wonderful light hearted banter and good humour to the studio, with our broadcasters all showing tremendous confidence and professionalism behind the microphone once again.

This term we have adopted a hosted approach to our broadcasts and Dan and Dougie, who led our show today for the first time, did an outstanding job. You may have noticed that we also have some new jingles, sounders and sweepers as we develop our radio station even further and enjoy our broadcasting week on week.

With prompts around the studio for even more variety in our intros and outros and the ability to keep our songs into our podcasts for downloadable enjoyment, our radio station continues to go from strength to strength. Here’s a sneak peek inside our studio prior to today’s show and you can listen or download it from the player below:

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Quality Education Broadcasting

We always look forward to Fridays as it is our opportunity to broadcast live to the community and the world once again. During the week our children are constantly refining their scripts and skills in preparation to present the best show possible and this week they excelled themselves once again.

After our inspirational and informative training day with Russell last week, we changed the format of our show slightly to incorporate two central hosts who took control of the tech and guided the show beautifully.  This will be a role that we rotate throughout the year and it proved to be incredibly successful. Our children were so confident and everyone in the studio was very relaxed, resulting in lovely discussion and cross-desk exchanges between our presenters.

As always, there was the usual mix of top quality school and community news along with a fabulous interview with Jules Howard, top zoologist and BBC presenter who joined us on Wednesday to give us an incredible day’s learning about fossils. With some excellent song choices from the children and audience participation through email and text, it made for a fantastic show which almost topped 30 minutes, even after editing and song removal. Well done everyone, it was a pleasure to be in the studio watching.

We even had a retweet from Richard Allinson, famous Magic FM radio DJ on Twitter last night!
Screenshot 2017-09-30 at 10.50.44

Here is the show in full for you to listen again:

Training day with Russell Prue

What a wonderful day we have all had today. We were delighted and thrilled to be joined by the inspirational Russell Prue who, almost a year ago, installed our radio station and set us on this incredible and skill building journey.

With our new group of committed and enthusiastic broadcasters now established for the year, Russell spent the day working with them all, honing their skills and developing their professional broadcasting technique. All of our children came prepared with a script, which enabled us to maximise the time we had with Russell to progress our skills, confidence and resilience even further. I was so proud of the children as they listened so wonderfully well and were all so keen to learn as much as possible and I do feel that every single member of our broadcasting team thoroughly enjoyed themselves and has really progressed through what they have learnt today.

From a personal point of view, it is always good to continue one’s own learning journey and I feel energised this evening, having gained even more knowledge about the wonderful world of education radio, the strategies with which to approach it successfully and, most importantly, the benefits it has for our children.

Having spent some considerable and productive time shaping the show, we were then all ready to go live once again in our usual slot of 2.30pm. Our listeners have been growing week on week and today was no exception with almost 40 listeners tuning in live. With the delight of having Russell join us in the studio for the entire show, we were treated to a broadcasting masterclass as he took over the weekend weather for us, engaging both listeners and presenters with his humour and wit.

Our huge thanks to Russell for his hard work, enthusiasm and skill in delivering a first class training day and for his wonderful contribution to our show. Here are some photos of our day and also a recording of today’s show, in case you weren’t able to tune in.

We’re Back!

Not only are we back into the routine of school and great learning, but this week sees the return of our fabulous radio station, Westwood Radio.

With two new broadcasting teams, including some familiar faces and lots of experienced professionals, we are straight back into our live broadcasting THIS WEEK with a show on Friday 8th September at 2.30pm.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with our station, the shows are planned, scripted and presented entirely by our children, ranging in age from Year 3 to Year 6. They work together seamlessly to produce high quality education radio that has seen a growing number of listeners over the past year, now topping nearly 1000 listeners a month to our online station and an average of 30-50 listeners to our live shows each week.

We also record all of our shows and upload them to our website, radio.westwoodwithiford.org where you can also listen to our station 24 hours a day!

With high quality content, local, community and world news as well as top features and regular interviews, our children are leading the way in their broadcasting reaching audiences from around the globe.

For now, let me introduce our broadcasting team for 2017-18 and I hope you will be able to join us for a show soon:

broadcasters 2017-18 blog

The Impact of Radio

Having enjoyed working with some amazing children (and adults!) this year on our radio station, it was a real joy to listen to some of them talking about how it has been a highlight of their year to sit behind the microphone and to learn new skills.

As a community project this has been an enormous success so far, with a diverse range of people joining us in the studio to share their experiences and backgrounds. For the children this has been a wonderful chance to connect with their community, developing excellent questioning and interviewing skills, whilst at the same time spreading the message of what the local community can offer in a weekly live broadcast that now reaches 800 listeners a month through our online station.

In the 9 months that our station has been live it has also been incredible to see the impact that using radio in education has had on our children’s literacy, oracy, confidence and resilience. With our Hub Plus Station from Anderton Tiger, built and installed by Russell Prue, we have been able to utilise this incredibly easy to use, child friendly equipment to support so many areas of the curriculum throughout the year. It is the children who have run each show, working the microphones, choosing the jingles, timing them to perfection and planning and scripting every show.  The ownership they have of their radio station is unparalleled and we are working with children from Year 1 to Year 6, all of who have the skills and expertise to step behind a microphone and to give a professional delivery every time.

From radio plays to poetry, creative writing and even through topic work, our school has benefitted so positively from having our radio station and our community involvement has been far richer as a result. But don’t take my word for it, here are William and Oscar to tell you what they have enjoyed this year and what the impact of working with radio has done for them:

Westwood Radio in print!

After the success of our collaboration with the fantastic Russell Prue of Anderton Tiger Radio at the West of England ICT Conference, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write an article about our day for Hey magazine!

Radio has played such a big part in developing the confidence and literacy of so many of our children this year, do please visit https://soundcloud.com/westwoodradio to listen to our children’s live broadcast recordings and see how they have progressed in under a year!

WEICT17 Hey magazine

This week’s show

After the HUGE success of our outdoor broadcast at the West of England ICT Conference a couple of weeks ago, our young broadcasters have continued to go from strength to strength.

Incredibly we have only four weeks left of broadcasting for this academic year, but rest assured that we will be packing in as much live education radio as possible, with four Friday shows and three Monday breakfast shows to end the year in style!

With that in mind, here is the show order for this Friday’s show. As you can see it is packed full of content once again and our team have all been busy writing their own original scripts ready to go mic live at 1.30pm on Friday.  After his stellar Glastonbury performance, the team had to include an Ed Sheeran song in the show, so tune in on Friday via the player on radio.westwoodwithiford.org to have your say and get involved with the show. Text us on 07600 17404 or email radio@westwoodwithiford.org.

show order 30.6.17

West of England ICT Conference 2017

What a day we had today with our first outside broadcast live from the West of England ICT Conference in Bristol! Our talented young broadcasters had all been invited  by the conference organisers to collaborate with Russell Prue, of Anderton Tiger Radio for a joint radio show focusing on online safety.  This was to provide a seminar for conference delegates to attend and see how radio can be used as a broadcasting medium and how confidently our children are at hosting and running their own radio show packed with quality content and important online safety messages.

The children were also lucky to be the first broadcasters to ever use Russell’s brand new product, the HUB Reporter, a portable and incredibly powerful radio station in a box! With time during the morning to hone their skills and get used to working the faders, fine tuning their handovers and time checks, by 1.30 everyone was more than ready to open the mic and go live.

As always, the children had scripted their own material and hosted superbly for a full 70 minute show which included a live interview  with one of the delegates and was packed with content, all raising awareness of the importance of online safety.

We are all incredibly proud of our entire team for their brilliance behind the microphone and for fielding questions from the delegates so politely and eloquently. Our thanks to Russell for giving the children a wonderful opportunity to broaden their experiences and grow even further in confidence. It was certainly a day for us all to remember and if you missed it live, you can listen again here and see how much we all enjoyed ourselves from the photos on the day!

The Radio Effect

This week, as always, I was in the very privileged position of being able to stand quietly in the corner of our radio studio with just a pair of headphones on and listen as our talented broadcasters presented a full 40 minute show completely on their own. What has really struck me recently has been the level of confidence, professionalism and ability that all of our broadcasters are showing, particularly when the microphone opens and they are live to the world.

This has been echoed by a professional in his field this week, as Ben Prater from BBC Wiltshire, who you will know joined us last week, was interviewed about his visit to us and features in a wonderful Wiltshire Times article about our radio station, stating “To be honest, they seemed less nervous than I am when I open the microphone every morning on BBC Wiltshire”

Praise indeed from a fantastic broadcaster and testament to the children’s hard work that they put in each and every week to making each show unique and entertaining.

You can read the full article online here: http://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/inyourtown/bradfordnews/15294935.Going_live__Westwood_primary_rules_the_airwaves/

Here also is our very latest broadcast from yesterday, which is just brilliant.