Oriel Messengers FM at Oriel High School

A group of students for whom English is an Additional Language (EAL) developed a wide range of broadcasting skills through the creation of youth focused radio features.  Oriel FM’s live radio day, run by the students, provided opportunities for them to connect with the wider community, developing their confidence and communication skills.

Who was involved

  • EAL students from years 7, 8 and 9 at Oriel High School, West Sussex, with Robert Marr (Assistant Head) and Sharon Reed (EAL Co-ordinator)
  • Creative practitioner: Karen O’Brien (Radio broadcaster)


How can creative use of Radio develop literacy skills and raise the engagement of EAL students?


  • To find alternative ways to engage EAL students across the whole school curriculum
  • To use the radio station facilities and expertise in radio broadcasting to enhance literacy and communication skills
  • To provide opportunities for this cohort of students to develop their own voice within the school community
  • To develop the lead teacher’s confidence in using the radio station
  • To create opportunities for peer learning
  • To provide opportunities to develop the school’s commitment to Community Cohesion and support their Media Arts College Status


Students gained confidence and improved their communication skills through researching, producing and broadcasting their own radio features.

Students were at the heart of the radio day; this received 1,700 online hits, provided opportunities to connect with other students, broadcast to the wider community and enabled the school to connect with local primary schools.  Students are now developing a lunchtime radio club and the assistant head intends to develop a local initiative with the Borough Council Arts Service.

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First I felt I couldn’t talk properly in front of people and now I feel I can talk, I promise to keep doing it.


The radio day made a very positive impact and the young people really enjoyed it. They were surprised that they could do it, although nervous about broadcasting live they kept going and all took part.

EAL Co-ordinator

I’ve been clapped in class; it made me feel happy.  I feel proud to have been part of this project.


This project has demonstrated excellence and inclusivity and celebration of diversity within school and in Crawley.