Tollgate Community Junior School’s busy radio station, Tollgate FM, is going to be ten years old in March.
It has come a long way from the early days when a handful of pupils would prepare and record programmes on a hand-held recorder, aiming to issue one a month, on CDs. Today the station operates with a team of over 50 pupils, releases programmes through its own website and produces in the region of 150 programmes a year.
The station has a dedicated, purpose-built studio with a preparation room adjoining.
Pupils from Years 5 and 6 research and write scripts, covering a wide range of subjects; they engage in studio discussion and interview guests from the world of entertainment, Paralympic sports, children’s literature, local business and industry.
Chris Neighbour, from the station, said: “We also invite children to write stories especially for us and to share their reading discoveries. During their first year with us the pupils are trained to operate the studio equipment, from recording to editing, enabling them to produce a programme from their first idea through to the finished programme.
“To mark the anniversary and to say thank you to the people who have supported the children over the years, we are arranging an Open Afternoon on Monday March 12 at 2pm.
“There will be time to talk with present-day team members, view the exhibition, hear programmes from our opening year and from our recent output, and to visit the studio.
“At 2.45pm our ambassadors will propose a vote of thanks and we will cut our birthday cake. Later in the afternoon, former pupils who have worked with Tollgate FM are being invited to return and talk with current ambassadors and share their memories.”
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