Listen: Primary school radio station launches in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 16:38 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:38 31 January 2020
Pupils at four schools in Ipswich can now take to the airwaves after launching a new radio station.
The radio club at Beeches Community Primary School, in the Whitton area of Ipswich, formed a year ago with 12 pupils attending weekly meetings with radio co-ordinators Vanessa Lawrence and John Richards from the school.
Now they have finally put their plans into action and launched Whitton Radio from a newly-built booth full of mixing desks and microphones.
"We have had a big year, with the children planning out their shows and all of us learning how to use the equipment," said Mr Richards.
"We've also made the journey down to Felixstowe just before Christmas to see a community radio station there and the children have learned how everything works for their live shows."
Rohit, in Year 5, added: "It's a bit like being on camera because you can get really shy.
"But I like it because we get to say what is important."
Year 5 student Damian said: "It's good if you want to get into the radio and go somewhere like the BBC as well."
The school will share the radio station with pupils aged between eight and 13 from three other schools.
The grand opening, held on Friday, was attended by Beeches headteacher Stephen Capper, Castle Hill Junior School headteacher Gemma Andrews and Ormiston Endeavour Academy principal Jamie Daniels. Students at Dale Hall Community Primary will also be using the studio.
A special guest on the day was Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter - who was given a grilling on air by the children.
"It's fantastic to be here for the radio club. It's not just providing these young people with an experience, it's providing them with life skills," said Dr Poulter.
The school now has a soundproof booth in the highest point in the school - complete with an 'on air' light above their door to remind classes nearby to keep quiet.
"All of the children that applied to the club had to do an interview and say why they wanted to join, said Mr Capper.
"They've all come so far in a year. Some of them started quite quiet but now they love getting involved, it's incredible the difference something like this can make."
At the moment the school will just broadcast online, but Mr Capper has hopes of live broadcasts for special events locally.
"We can apply for a temporary license to broadcast for 48 hours, so we have aspirations of a weekend live on air in the future," he added.