Newington primary ‘reporters’ grill MP Craig Mackinlay

Craig Mackinlay with Newington reporters Ruby and Macey

Young reporters from AAA Radio station at Newington Community Primary School have been on a special assignment.

Ruby and Macey, both aged nine, grabbed the chance to interview South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay when he visited the school.

The girls, who are in Year 5, are members of the online radio news team and they prepared questions to ask the MP in a recorded chat that will be broadcast via the school website and social media platform during the next few weeks.

They said: “We rehearsed our questions and were a bit nervous at the thought of interviewing an MP. But once everything was underway it was great and we had a chat with him.

“He answered all our questions well and we learnt quite a lot about Mr Mackinlay as a person through our interview.”

The MP was asked about how school has changed since he was a pupil, what it is like being an MP, how important democracy is for young people to understand, who he would love to meet from the past and chat with, and what his favourite type of music is.

The interesting answers will be revealed when the pupils have edited and produced the audio for broadcast as part of the regular AAA Radio news magazine programmes.

Mr Mackinlay was impressed with the radio set up. He said: “This is a fantastic radio suite – I have never seen anything like it in the schools I have visited.

“I believe music and media are areas that must be explored and taught in our schools. This radio station is a great educational learning tool as part of developing literacy and communication skills.

“I was impressed with the way Macey and Ruby conducted the interview and the questions that they asked me. It was quite a tough interview with good questions and I enjoyed it.”

The MP added that he will “certainly listen out for the interview with interest” once it is streamed on AAA Radio for pupils, staff, families and the community.

Head Teacher Cliff Stokes said: “It is terrific for children as young as nine to get the chance to interview an MP about his life. We thank Craig for making the time during his busy schedule.

“The radio project is great for encouraging teamwork, self-confidence, communication and literacy skills. It is listened to in school and via our website, and it is also a great link to our world at Newington for families and friends.”

The name AAA Radio encompasses the Newington ethos of Ambition, Achievement, and Aspiration. It has already won praise from pupils, families, staff and governors. It also features contributions from staff.