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William Ford Radio

William Ford pupils experience life on the airwaves.

The start of the new school year is always an exciting time at William Ford C. of E. Junior school in Dagenham, but this year was extra special as pupils returned to hear their brand-new school radio station broadcasting across the site.

Already, pupils are working with school radio expert, Russell Prue from Anderton Tiger Radio, to speak confidently, interview effectively and to operate the controls in order that they can broadcast across the school, especially at the start of the school day and during breaks and lunchtimes. 

Figure 1 School radio expert Russell Prue introduces the new equipment to the pupils

Headteacher, David Huntingford, shared he had been keen for an exciting opportunity such as this since observing the impact this had made at another school.

“Are all our pupils confident at speaking in such a public forum and used to interviewing? Absolutely not,” shared Huntingford, “That is why we have embarked on such a project.  Already we are seeing pupils grow in confidence and improving their spoken communication skills as they become more familiar with the equipment and with how to speak to each other in a studio setting.”

William Ford’s pupils broadcasted their first live session on their first day back at school, just in time for the parents to arrive and hear.  In the future, the schools plans to broadcast across the Internet so parents and the local community can enjoy the pupils’ interviews, song choices news bulletins and weather forecasts.   

“It has been so much fun learning how to work a radio station and broadcast to our friends and parents,” said Jayden Williams, 10. “Already this experience has made me more confident when speaking to others.”

“It is very exciting that we can do so many great things at William Ford.  When I am older, I would like to be a DJ on a radio station,” said Shalom Ekhosu, 8, “I really enjoy selecting the music for the school to enjoy and then lining it up and introducing it.”

Figure 2 Within hours, pupils: Dhruv, Maddie, Michael and Chase are broadcasting across the school

Mr. Huntingford shared that the whole design of the school curriculum is for pupils to experience a range of careers through their learning, with children often being in role as experts to deliver a project, be it developing parachutes for the SAS, curating their own museum, designing gardens or running a travel agency.  The aim of this approach is to raise pupil aspirations for the future.

“Not only does our school radio station provide another potential career avenue for the future, it also provides excellent opportunities for all pupils, especially those who need to develop their speech and language skills to work alongside those who are more confident in a purposeful environment.  We are also looking forward to weaving radio skills throughout our curriculum, from history and science to music and literacy.”

Russell Prue, Anderton Tiger Radio, said, “I am thrilled to have been asked to provide one of my school radio stations to William Ford.  Live radio and podcasting are enjoying a worldwide surge in popularity with podcasts available on just about every topic.  Learning to produce shows involves writing, research and confidence: skills that are easily transferred to other areas of the curriculum.  William Ford is my 384th customer and I wish them well in their broadcasting endeavours.”

William Ford radio is currently broadcasting weekdays across the school site and the school are looking forward to extending this across the local area along with providing local businesses the opportunity to advertise the products and services.    

For song requests, news and interview ideas and shoutouts, please email: