John Baron on Quilters FM

Article by Guy Bell: Five-hundred listeners have so far tuned into the first ever show broadcast on Quilters FM.

The station launched at Quilters Junior School in Billericay on Friday, welcoming MP John Baron as the first guest to undergo a gruelling interview from youngsters.

It has been set up and made possible thanks to Phoenix FM, Brentwood and Billericay's Community Radio station.

Mr Baron was grilled by four of the school's future stars of the airwaves and says he enjoyed his guest appearance on QFM.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by John Baron"]The kids were fantastic. I can honestly say we have some budding Jeremy Paxmans and John Humphrys. I hope that the national media stations listen in to this crop of new talent.[/qupte]

Mr Baron is a regular visitor to the school in Laindon Road and says he is impressed with the work of head teacher Michael Wade and his staff.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by John Baron"]I have been here before on a number of occasions and their last project which was on British values. We need to do that more generally across schools and Michael Wade and his team are doing a great job.[/quote]

Shows are recorded as a podcast and then uploaded to the Phoenix FM website, where they can be streamed online.

Mr Wade hopes to use the radio station as a way of celebrating the skills of the children at the school.

"Different talents"

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Wade"]There are lots of children here who have different talents. With academic progress it is important to run a bright and balanced curriculum and there is an opportunity for every child to shine. The radio creates opportunity for children who are good at acting and talented musicians.[/quote]

Mr Wade is adamant the best way of learning is through having fun.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Wade"]It is important to achieve high academic results but the more you enjoy it the better you learn. The radio creates an opportunity for speaking skills and it is like a modern-day school display. With the radio we can celebrate a child's achievements so it is quite exciting for the children to share skills in a modern sense.[/quote]

Looking forward, Mr Wade hopes to have a wide variety of shows and presenters on air.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Wade"]We are looking to set up game shows and one child wants to do five-minute funnies. They will tell jokes and read them on the radio. The radio is a way of celebrating talent.[/quote]

Without the help of Phoenix FM and presenter Joe Box, the school station would not exist and Mr Wade says he is grateful for everything the young DJ has done.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mr Wade"]Joe has been invaluable. He has come in as a volunteer and without him there is no radio show.[/quote]

Paul Golder, founder of Phoenix FM, says he gave advice on what equipment to buy and helped to set the station up.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Paul Golder"]I was approached by Michael Wade at the Billericay Fun Walk and he came up and started talking about radio in general. He said he was interested in setting something up for the children. It is a creative outlet and it fits in with teaching children of that age. It is just a nice little thing to have. It has been a lot of fun setting it up and the kids are enjoying it. After just 48 hours, 500 people had listened to Friday's show already.[/quote]

Read original article by Guy Bell, Brentwood Gazette

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