Culford School

Welcome to On the Air

Where listeners are invited to go beyond the classroom and discover the Culford community from a pupil perspective.


S3, E4: Saluting Our Sisters

In this episode of On the Air, we're spotlighting the incredible strength, resilience, and inspiration black women have contributed to our world. Join our podcast committee as we celebrate and salute some remarkable individuals who have left an indelible mark on history and continue to shape our present. Throughout the episode, the team discusses Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Harriet Tubman, Alek Wek, Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey, Michaela DePrince and Serena Williams.

While Black History Month is a time to spotlight these phenomenal women, we emphasise the importance of celebrating and recognising their contributions throughout the entire year. Their stories, struggles, and triumphs serve as a reminder that the narratives of black women should be celebrated consistently. 

Trigger Warning: This podcast episode contains discussions about sensitive and distressing topics, including slavery, abuse, and racism. The content may be emotionally challenging and could potentially evoke strong reactions. If you feel that these discussions may be triggering for you, it's okay to skip this episode or engage with it when you feel prepared to do so.

S3, E3: World Mental Health Day 2023

''If I can help just one person with their mental health that's enough for me.''

Join us for this special #WorldMentalHealthDay episode with Senior School pupils Annabelle and Harriet.

In this episode our hosts chat with Ms Radlett, our Whole School Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead, to delve into her new role at Culford and discover the exciting initiatives she's implementing to foster positive mental health within our school community.

You'll also hear from our Wellbeing and Charities Prefects, Leah and Grace, who shed light on their roles and discuss how they plan to make a positive difference. This year's theme, "Mental Health is a Human Right," underscores the importance of the discussions we're having today.

S3, E2: Prep School's Dynamic Classroom Development

''Everyone is extremely excited, the impact is going to be incredible.''

In this episode, new hosts, Olivia and Holly, engage in a conversation with Interim Head, Mrs Bentley, and Foundation Director, Mrs Salisbury, as they delve into the development of the Prep School Science Classroom.

Together, they uncover the project's timeline, explore its connection to the Culford Foundation and Old Culfordians, and explore the anticipated effects of these changes on both the staff and pupils.

S3, E1: Innovating Minds in Prep and Senior Science

''Our goal is to ignite passion in young people.''

We are back for Season 3! In this episode, Evie, Ellena and Elizabeth explore how our Prep and Senior School science departments are shaping future innovators through unique teaching approaches, programmes and initiatives.

Join us for insightful interviews with Mr Venables, Miss Townsend, Mr Rees and Dr Robinson, as they share their teaching strategies and the importance of fostering a supportive learning environment. 

S2, E6: Honouring Lesbian Voices in Pride Month

''Our glorious diversity – our diversities of faiths and colours and creeds – that is not a threat to who we are, it makes us who we are.'' - Michelle Obama

On the Air is back with a fantastic new episode in celebration of Pride Month! Senior School pupils Evie, Ellena, Lola, and Elizabeth had an enlightening conversation with two remarkable guests, Zaynab and Siobhan.

Zaynab recently penned a thought-provoking article titled "Lesbian is not a dirty word: How learning about our history filled me with pride." Her powerful story highlights the transformative power of education in embracing and celebrating one's identity.

Siobhan also courageously shared her personal journey in a poignant article called "Life in Felixstowe as a lesbian with immigrant parents." Her story focuses on her teenage years, navigating life after moving from London to Suffolk. Her experiences shed light on the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in different communities. 

Join us as we delve into these incredible stories, celebrating the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community. 

S2, E5: Music in Film with Ben Parry

''Music connects us all in a multitude of ways.''

Join Senior School pupils Evie, Ellena and Elizabeth as they welcome a new podcast member, Lola, to the show. Our four hosts connect with composer, conductor, arranger, singer and producer Ben Parry over zoom to discover more about his career and the music and film industries. 

Within the episode, Ben discusses his role within the highly talented London Voices Choir, university life at Cambridge and working alongside celebrities. Our hosts delve into the importance of music in film and how to navigate a competitive field.

If you would like to find out more about Ben, you can visit his website here:

S2, E4: Christmas Special

''My goal for 2023 is to enjoy every opportunity that comes my way.''

This Christmas Eve, join our podcast hosts for a festive Christmas special episode. The On the Air team play Christmas trivia, discuss their favourite Christmas traditions and share their goals for 2023.  

Thank you for listening to our Christmas special. We greatly appreciate your support - please share this episode on your social media platforms.

S2, E3: Healthy Relationships, Domestic Abuse and Positive Change with Paula DeVaux

''Young people give me hope for the future.''

Join Senior School pupils Evie, Ellena and Elizabeth as they welcome Paula DeVaux to the studio, an experienced and passionate facilitator of change in the field of Domestic Abuse.

Within the episode, our hosts interview Paula on whether enough is being done in society to tackle domestic abuse, why victims struggle to speak out, and why perpetrators commit abuse in the first place.

In an enlightening conversation, Paula shares the factors that define healthy and unhealthy relationships and how to support others needing help. She delves into the importance of educating young people as they are the future and have the power to facilitate progress.

If you would like to find out more about the services Paula offers, you can visit her website at

Thank you for listening to Episode 3 of Season 2. We hope this conversation inspired you as much as our hosts were. We greatly appreciate your support - please share this episode on your social media platforms.

S2, E2: Innovation, Art and Design

''Innovation over invention.''

In S2 E2, hosts Ellena, Elizabeth and Evie delve into the topics of Innovation, Art and Design. In a jam-packed episode, they welcome three guests to the studio and special guest Dr Dan Patterson OC (1981-1991) over Zoom from his home in Texas.

First up in the studio are Culford's Head of Art, Mrs Richardson, and new Head of Design and Technology, Mr Macmillan. They discuss what art and design mean to them, teaching at Culford, creative inspirations and how the industry continues to change.

In the show's second half, Samantha Salisbury, Director of Foundation, shares the importance of keeping alumni connected as hosts welcome Donor and Old Culfordian Dr Dan Patterson on Zoom. Dan is recognised as a global thought leader and visionary within the project management industry. He worked with a team of people at Culford to develop the new Patterson Centre for Creative Technology, providing most of its funding. Through his support, the School has been able to re-engineer and transform the building into a flagship for innovation, technology and creativity.

Samantha and Dan share the story of how Dan revisited Culford, and the concept of the Patterson Centre began. Dan shares his thoughts on innovation over invention, Culford's impact on his life and advice on the challenges of being an entrepreneur.

S2, E1: Legally Blonde The Musical

''Legally Blonde is pink, fun and full of laughter.''

In this Season 2 pilot episode, hosts Ellena, Elizabeth and Evie interview staff and pupils on the upcoming annual musical, Legally Blonde. 

Legally Blonde is the first musical we've hosted since 2019 due to the pandemic, and it promises to be PINK, fast and uplifting. First up in the studio is our new Head of Drama Miss Lacey, and cast members Lucy, Phoebe and Oli.  They discuss learning lines, rehearsals and how they relate to their characters (or not so much). 

Closing the show, we hear from Dance Teacher Miss Dodman, who has been heavily involved in choreographing the musical.  In case you miss it in the episode, you can watch the musical from Wednesday 23rd November - Friday 25th November. Keep an eye on our socials for ticket information coming soon.

We greatly appreciate your continued support - please don't hesitate to share this episode on your social media platforms.

S1, E8: Back to School

''We embrace people for who they are. We celebrate diversity and people wanting to stand up and be who they want to be.''

As the summer holidays draw to a close, the time has arrived to get your bags packed for the new academic year as you return 'back to school'. In this final episode of On the Air Season 1, new podcasters Evie and Imogen discuss returning to school and everything that comes with it. Whether you are a new or current pupil in the Senior School, this episode will answer all of your questions about the new academic year.

Kicking off the episode, Head of Fourth Form, Mrs Shoesmith, discusses the first day of Senior School, making new connections and finding your feet in a new environment. Later, our hosts welcome Head of Sixth Form, Mr Rackowe and the 22/23 Head Girl and Head Boy, Edlyn and Henry, to the studio. Mr Rackowe talks about the significant differences between Culford's Senior School and Sixth Form and shines a light on the exciting social calendar that begins next term. Edlyn and Henry discuss their big plans for positively influencing the Culford community, focusing predominantly on pupil mental health.

Closing the show, we hear from Deputy Head (Pastoral), Mr Reynolds, on celebrating 50 years of co-education and the introduction of progressive changes in everyday school life. 

We want to thank you for listening to Season 1 of Culford's first-ever podcast, and we cannot wait to share our upcoming Season 2 episodes with you. We hope you have enjoyed listening to this season as much as we did making it. We greatly appreciate your support - please share this episode on your social media platforms.

S1, E7: Writing, Growth and Heritage with Alex Wheatle MBE

''The prison experience for me was a reawakening of what I could contribute to society.''

Join Senior School pupils Nabila and Maryam as they welcome award-winning novelist Alex Wheatle MBE to the studio. 

Within the episode, our hosts interview Alex on his experiences of finding a love for literature in prison, the importance of black representation within his writing and the inspiration behind his characters.

In an enlightening and impactful conversation, Alex shares a personal insight into his life's challenges and successes. He offers advice for young aspiring authors and closes the show with some details of his exclusive upcoming biography.

Thank you for listening to our penultimate Season 1 episode. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did making it. We greatly appreciate your support - please share this episode on your social media platforms.

S1, E6: Pride at Culford

"Pride is a celebration of people coming together in love and friendship."

Join Senior School pupils Arabella and Elizabeth as they discuss topics focused on the LGBTQ+ community in support of Pride Month.

Within the episode, our hosts talk to the Head of English & Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, Ms Radlett, about what it means to be an ally, how the English curriculum at Culford supports diversity and which LGBTQ+ literature resources are available to young adults.

The episode features a zoom interview with trans woman and LGBTQ+ rights activist Petra Wenham. She is the first trans woman to feature on the cover of the WI magazine after transitioning, aged 68. In an insightful conversation, pupils discuss her groundbreaking WI feature, the influence of the internet and her experience transitioning as an older person.

Closing the show, hosts are joined by Leo, one of Culford's Upper Sixth pupils who established Culford's LGBTQ+ pupil support group. He shares his own experiences of transitioning, defines a handful of LGBTQ+ terminologies and discusses his next steps in life after Culford.

Thank you for listening to our special Pride episode; we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did making it.

S1, E5: An Evening of Jazz

"Music is the key to happiness."

In this mini-episode, Ellena, Phoebe and Elizabeth report live from Culford's first-ever Evening of Jazz event, which took place on  Friday 29th April. The show-stopping event highlighted the exciting development of Jazz over the last few years at Culford.

Our hosts welcome Jazz Specialist George Phillips and the Senior Jazz Band to the studio while Elizabeth is on-location in Centenary Hall for the live performance.

Thank you for listening to our Evening of Jazz podcast episode. Don't forget to share your thoughts across our social media, which can be found at the bottom of this page.

S1, E4: CCF

"It's more than just an activity, it's a whole community."

Join Senior School pupils Harriet and Elizabeth as they delve into Culford's Combined Cadet Force programme, more commonly known as the CCF.

Within the episode, our hosts talk to key staff members Colour Sergeant Roach and Captain Schofield, who tell us about their roles within the CCF and the exciting experiences of adventure training. Later in the show, pupil cadets Holly and Guy discuss the benefits of joining the CCF in Fourth Form and the values it has instilled in them, preparing them for life after Culford.

Thank you for listening to our fourth podcast episode, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we have making it. We greatly appreciate all of the support we receive, so please spread the word to friends and family about On the Air through social media.

S1, E3: Academy Sports

"Sport brings a melting pot of culture to this school."

In our third episode of On the Air, Kayode and Alicia delve into Culford's renowned Sports Academy Programmes: Golf, Tennis, Swimming and Football.

With a staggering eight guests, this episode features a variety of key staff members and pupils associated with each Academy Programme. Our coaches share their experiences of the sport before Culford life, including some of their biggest struggles and their sporting highlights. Sports pupils tell us how their involvement in Culford's Academy Programmes is helping to shape their future careers as athletes. 

Thank you for listening to our Academy Sport podcast episode, we hope you enjoyed the jam-packed show. Don't forget to share your thoughts on this week's show across our social media.

S1, E2: Boarding Life

"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members."

In this week's episode, Nabila and Phoebe talk to fellow pupils and Heads of Boarding Houses, Rosie and Josh.  Rosie tells us about her experiences as a part-time boarder, while Josh offers advice for new boarders dealing with homesickness.

Later in the show, our hosts are joined by House Matron, Eve Ladell. Eve describes the differences between working in girls' and boys' boarding houses, her past life as a DJ for Calvin Harris and the challenges overcome by the boarding community at Culford School.

Thank you for listening to our Boarding Life podcast episode. Don't forget to share your thoughts across our social media, which can be found at the bottom of this page.

Thank You For Listening!


We greatly appreciate all of the support we receive, so please share your thoughts on our podcast across our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


For any podcast enquiries, please email Social Media & Content Officer, Charlotte Bradbury.