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On the air at Walmley Park

Russell Prue has been one of the leading lights in educational technology. Some years ago he started to look at what radio broadcasting could offer to pupils. He quickly realised that it could help to develop oracy and speaking and listening skills.

Most radio technology is cumbersome and not especially intuitive so he devised The Anderton Tiger Desktop which has been described as the cheapest digital school radio station on the market. It worked well for Warmley Park, a 2 – 19 school for pupils with severe learning difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The school places special emphasis on communication and interaction.

In September 2011 they had an Anderton Tiger Desktop School Radio Digital Broadcasting System installed They worked on various projects: podcasting, creating jingles with GarageBand and radio interviews and reports. During the same period they were working alongside Myrtle Theatre company to promote speaking and listening through drama and decided to combine drama work with radio technology. So naturally they decided to make their very own radio play in similar vein to The Archers. This captured students’ imagination, and at the same time pushed them to make good use of descriptive language as they had to make their listeners 'see' the scenes unfold.

Advantages
• Improves speaking and listening skills
• Pupils work creatively in teams
• They discuss and solve problems
• They are using literacy and numeracy in a practical context
• Pupils connect with a wider community across the world

russell

You could:

• Have a different focus for different days so
one day is for current affairs, one is a music
day, one could focus on local people
• Research and broadcast children's ideas
about their favourite TV programmes
• Make a broadcast around a school trip
• Link up with schools in other parts of the
world

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