Oracy Champions: Enhance Students Oracy Skills

Published: June 18, 2024

Oracy Education Speaking and Listening Skills

Oracy is an essential skill that empowers students to express themselves clearly, engage in meaningful dialogue, and build strong relationships. It involves a combination of speaking, listening, and comprehension skills, which are crucial for effective communication in both personal and professional settings.

What Is Oracy?

Oracy plays a significant role in academic success. Research shows that students with strong oracy skills perform better academically. Effective communication helps in understanding and articulating complex concepts, leading to better educational outcomes. Employers highly value communication skills, making oracy essential for employability. Being able to articulate ideas clearly and engage in constructive dialogue is critical in most careers. Moreover, enhancing oracy skills can bridge the gap between socio-economic groups, providing all students with equal opportunities to succeed.

In classrooms that prioritise oracy, there are higher levels of student participation and engagement. Students who can express their ideas and opinions are more likely to take an active role in their learning. Additionally, good communication skills are linked to better mental health. They help reduce frustration, build better relationships, and contribute to overall wellbeing.

Oracy Champions

Oracy Champions is a comprehensive tool designed to enhance students’ oracy skills through interactive activities and real-time feedback. It allows teachers to monitor and assess students’ progress in various oracy skills, engage students with activities that improve their phonics, listening, and debating abilities, and create podcasts showcasing students’ achievements at the end of each term.

The platform is accessible via web browsers and mobile apps, making it easy for students, teachers, and parents to engage with the program anytime, anywhere. Additionally, Oracy Champions offers support through experienced educators who can provide training and facilitate workshops to maximise the benefits of the platform.

Oracy education is not just about improving speech; it’s about preparing students for life, giving them the tools they need to succeed in various aspects of their personal and professional lives. For more information, you can visit Oracy Champions.

Ready for the New Era of School-Parent Engagement?

Published: December 26, 2022

school mobile apps

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the way schools and other educational institutions are managed has been transformed significantly. 

Schools are nowadays deploying personalised mobile apps to facilitate superior communication between parents and teachers. And this is only one of the benefits of deploying a school app.

How can parents be more involved in school life?

When it comes to traditional norms, parents generally attend their child’s school physically to maintain track of the student’s progress. However, in this era, such a practice has become unnecessary. Most parents are busy these days and it can be difficult for them to visit their children’s schools often.

Thanks to the availability of school apps, parents may still stay in touch with their kids’ schools, and that too, in real-time. 

Since school apps are meant for mobile phones, parents can stay in touch even on the go. All they need is a mobile device and a reliable internet connection. As you can understand, school apps have significantly transformed how parents communicate with teachers and school admins.

Parents can also read school letters, key calendar events, as well as submit their child’s absence forms online through these custom apps, saving school administrators’ time and making things easier for parents.

Focus on your school to home communications

Mobile-based school apps can be used to provide convenience and link individuals to the information they need in their daily lives. 

Students and parents can receive the most up-to-date information on school events and extracurricular activities via apps, which can also serve as a quick reference point for communication of the following:

  • School news
  • Letters home
  • Emergency notices
  • Calendar events
  • Important Links
  • View photos and galleries of school life
  • Submit forms, such as for child absences

It is a given that school apps can facilitate real-time updates and communication, keeping parents in the loop, with push notifications so that parents are alerted of new content and updates from the school.

Utilise multiple communication channels for positive engagement

Communication can be facilitated in a variety of ways, ranging from email to social media. However, each channel has a maximum capacity for the type of communication it can handle. Email, for example, is best for sending academic resources, social media is best for community discussions,  and mobile apps are best for pushing content to parents.


As we speak, the pandemic has almost vanished from most parts of the world. As life returns to normal, children have started returning to their schools and parents are working overtime to ensure that their children have a successful academic year. As it stands, parents are becoming busier than ever.

At the same time, the right extent of communication between parents and teachers is of utmost importance as far as the students’ overall development is concerned. This is where a school app comes into action.

We believe this blog will help you make the right decision, as far as deploying a school app is concerned. It is time to take your teacher-student-parent communication to the next level.

Making Remote Learning Content Accessible For Students With Disabilities

Published: December 12, 2022

school websites for learning- Making Remote Learning Content Accessible For Students With Disabilities

The pandemic may be on the decline but it has truly transformed the way we operate in every facet of our lives. Education and learning face an especially uphill battle. 7 million students in special education are currently affected by the pandemic.

The newer remote-heavy approach has, however, opened doors for new opportunities as well. The digital revolution gives us both the tech and the infrastructure to help disabled learners get equal learning opportunities in the comfort of their homes. 

The challenge remains in using technological advancement in including students with disabilities in the remote learning landscape. The goal is to help them learn efficiently and progress in every way possible.

5 steps to make remote learning accessible 

Students with disabilities usually have complex communication needs. They are not able to talk freely, which is why their teachers have to rely on visual indicators to provide them alternative choices to respond. This becomes difficult to replicate in online classes. 

Below are some ways to make remote learning accessible to learners with special needs. 

1. Utilise creativity and flexibility 

You can begin by grouping students that need special attention. Provide them with a user interface that is designed to accommodate their needs. Talk to them and ask what would make learning easier for them. 

Moreover, you can provide instruction modules, elaborate study material, and resources. The idea is to be creative and treat every student based on their needs. 

2. Support the students’ families for their success 

Educational institutions should ideally keep the parents of students in the loop at all times. It becomes even more important with special students.

Educating them about dealing with learning challenges goes a long way in making sure the learner receives an ideal learning environment at home. 

Train them to use the platform the learner is going to use. Let them know about the assignments to be handed out in advance. 

3. Focus on the key learning outcomes

Discuss with the administrators what learning outcomes are the most pivotal to the learning curve of a student. Focus on them and drop what is not needed. 

Do this on a student-to-student basis instead of the whole group together. Understand that not all students are learning at the same pace and some might need more time to grasp the same concepts. 

4. Ensure the content is accessible 

A crucial element of online learning is to ensure that students can access the information the way it is meant to. Students must be well equipped to make use of the content provided to them. 

See if they can log in to the class successfully, know how to use the keyboard correctly, can zoom in on the pictures and PDFs, and use closed captioning on videos when required. 

If the learners are unable to perform these tasks, take time aside to teach them these basics in a simplified manner. 

5. Conduct an audit of your website 

Conduct a thorough audit of your website to make sure it is accessible to all learners. It can be something as simple as the font size that may make it difficult for a user to use it with ease. 

Check that your website offers smooth navigation and clear access to PDFs and videos. Make note of what needs amends to improve on them. You may even ask learners themselves for feedback. 


The technological advancement in the wake of the pandemic has provided us with opportunities to revamp our educational infrastructure in more ways than one. We can especially help learners with disabilities by making learning more accessible to them than it ever was.

A little bit of planning and a proactive approach by teachers can help learners with special needs access and enjoy education opportunities akin to their peers. Train them and their parents to use platforms correctly and access learning materials. 

Keep them in the loop to relay necessary information and receive feedback. Act immediately in case they need assistance. Lastly, and most importantly, keep encouraging them to keep learning.

School Jotter 3 Presentation

Category: eLearning

Published: July 11, 2022

Arthur Howie a solution architect at Webanywhere talks about the launch of School Jotter 3 and the history behind School Jotter’s development. School Jotter 3 is our 3rd generation platform for school communication and community management. You can manage your website and mobile apps with School Jotter 3. We have focused for a number of years on re-writing School Jotter from the ground up. Listening to our customers we have enhanced the user experience to make School Jotter faster and easier to use. School Jotter 3 has adopted some of the latest web technologies to ensure you are ahead of the curve.

5 pre-planning must for your school website

Published: June 9, 2022

Efficient website planning is the key to having a successful school website in today’s internet-savvy environment.

Whether you are launching a brand new website or revamping your existing one, a little bit of planning goes a long way in ensuring stellar results.

You can plan better, organise your efforts better, test drive user experience, and simply be confident in the final product that you put in front of the world.

Let us explore the 5 most important pre-planning musts you must adhere to when planning your school website.

Consequences and opportunities 

Planning your website in advance helps you recognize the consequences and opportunities that come with running a website. You can test out various elements of user experience as 88% of users are not likely to come back to a website if they have a bad experience with it.

Similarly, with over 55% of website views coming from mobile, it is important to create a design and structure that flows on all sorts of devices. Most importantly, you want to create a website that can be easily navigated by parents and students alike. 

By identifying the consequences and opportunities, you can work toward avoiding the consequences and capitalising on the opportunities.

Pre-planning musts 

There are many elements to focus on when it comes to website pre-planning. You may look at historical data, conduct surveys of the end-users, or consult with your team to get ideas rolling. 

We have come up with the 5 most pre-planning musts to include in your school website checklist.

1. Launch date 

The first order of business is to set a realistic launch date for your website. Make sure it isn’t too early or too late, but rather gives you sufficient time to prepare and test run the website to derive desired results.

Setting a launch date gives a purpose to the project. Everyone involved knows the deadline they are up against and they start working accordingly. 

2. Stakeholder buy-in

Stakeholder buy-in refers to getting all the relevant people involved in a process. For your school website, that would mean both your internal team and people from your executive team. Everyone coming together will bring crucial viewpoints to help create a dynamic website. 

Stakeholder buy-in can have a huge impact on getting the project up and running. As was the case with the University of Auckland when it set out to revamp its digital presence in 2016.

3. Deadlines 

Upon dividing tasks among different teams, you should also set deadlines to ensure that the project stays on schedule. The deadlines should be actionable, meaning they should cover the time the tasks would realistically take to complete along with some buffer time for contingencies.

4. Communication

Another important aspect of school website pre-planning is to establish communication channels between various teams. It is important to keep every team in the know-how about what the other teams are doing. 

Sometimes, tasks are shared between teams as well. For example, the content team cannot start working on the content structure unless they have the design layout from the design team.

5. Focused

As you create your school website, remember that the most important aspect to always keep in mind is to stay focused. It’s easy to stray toad including fancier elements into the design, but it is far more important to focus on the functionality of the website.

As a rule of thumb, keep things simple and realistic. Only add something if you think it will add real value to the website. If it doesn’t, steer clear from including it.


School websites are often the first point of interaction between many schools and their potential students or parents. It’s important to have a functioning and attractive school website in today’s day and age.

A little bit of planning before you get started on the project goes a long way in creating a website that serves every faction of your end-users. Be realistic and stay focused to create a stellar website for your school. 

Best School Website Designs of 2021

Published: February 14, 2022

School websites have transitioned from being luxury to a necessity. Today all schools need a good, functional website to reach out to more students and parents. At School Jotter, we continue helping schools with amazing website designs among other things.

Today we have collated some of the best school websites, as rated by our team members. We hope the list will help other schools with website ideas and inspirations. Without wasting more time, let’s see which schools have made it to the list.

Copley Junior School

Copley Junior School

Copley Junior School’s website uses a simple yet vibrant design that brings out the essence the school wants to convey. The text and images chosen are bright and bold, which highlights the playful nature of the school. Using the school google across the page is a fresh move that brings out the beauty of the web design.

However, it is important to note that Copley Junior School does not try to pull something daring with its website. It is a simple and functional website that gets the job done. The home screen has links to all resources that parents and students can need.

According to our Delivery Team Leader Charlotte, this is our best school website design of 2021. 

Christ Church C of E Primary School

Christ Church C of E Primary School

Christ Church C of E Primary School has done a great job with their school website with the use of bright and bold colours. It is more of a minimalistic website with few images and more text. However, the text is big and bold which makes the webpage look vibrant. 

The events section is very legible and understandable, making it one of the best sections of the webpage. It is a clean and simple school website that gets the job done.

Sam, our Education Manager, thinks that this is our best school website design in 2021. 

Holy Trinity Primary School

Holy Trinity Primary School

The school website of Holy Trinity Primary School is one of the cleanest and most legible school websites we have seen in 2021. The most notable component of the website design is colour coordination. The pictures complement the background and foreground colours very well. It has a clean and organised menu that answers all possible queries parents and students can have. The events and news sections on the main page make the website even better.

Our Delivery Support Technician Liam M feels that this is our best school website design of 2021. 

Bishop’s Waltham Junior School

Bishop’s Waltham Junior School

If you want to see a great example of a neat and tidy school website, check out the  Bishop’s Waltham Junior School’s website. It does not go crazy with colours or designs and keeps things nice and neat. 

A notable feature of this website is the use of interactive YouTube links. By bringing these small factors into their websites, schools create a much better experience for visitors who want to know more about the school. On top of that, the bulletin space enhances the appearance of the entire main page.

Liam J, our Account Manager, nominates this website as our best school website in 2021. 

Cullingworth Village Primary School

Cullingworth Village Primary School

Using the Lynx theme has been a gamechanger for the school website of Cullingworth Village Primary School. The website uses a red colour scheme which looks very attractive. Apart from that, the choice of fonts makes it ideal for kids and their parents. There are a bunch of photos of kids which add to the charm of the website.

Our Head of Service Delivery and Support Arthur also has his kids’ pictures on the school website. He feels that this is our best school website he has seen in 2021. 

Upper Batley High School

Upper Batley High School

If anything defines a modern and sleek website, Upper Batley High School’s website does. It uses a neat colour scheme focusing on blue and white. While the design is minimalist, it does not leave out any important information. The menu is easy to use, and there are many pictures that highlight what life in the school is like. All accomplishments of the school are visible neatly at the bottom of the main page. It is undoubtedly one of the most attractive school websites of 2021.

Our Account Manager Lawrence feels that this is our best school website in 2021.


School websites are very important for any educational institution that wants to be more accessible to parents and students. However, some school websites fail to live up to mark. Either they clutter it with too much information or miss out on crucial resources.

From an educational perspective, school websites have a distinct purpose. All the schools we mentioned tick the boxes that our experts look for.

Improving The Channels Of Communication With Parents

Published: January 24, 2022

The pandemic has disrupted everything in day-to-day life, schooling is no exception. With having to deal with so much at the moment when it comes to matters in and outside school, maintaining communication with parents can potentially take a backseat.

Effective communication with parents is especially important during these uncertain times and should not be neglected. It helps keep parents in the loop and their anxieties at bay. It lets them know the school cares just as much about their child’s well-being. 

Most importantly, when parents are well-informed of the happenings of the school, they can rest assured that the school is well-equipped to help the students adapt to the new post-pandemic lifestyle. In fact, they would be willing to contribute to it as well.

What are the options of communication channels? 

Thanks to the boom in technological resources, especially after the pandemic, there are several communication channels available. You have texts, emails, letters, and circulars for formal communication. The school website acts as a notice board of sorts as well. 

Then there’s the informal method of group chat and phone calls for urgent messages. Lastly, there are software and apps that act as an exclusive internal system solely focussed on information sharing.

Pick a few, not all

You can pick whichever option you like but don’t pick all. It’s simply a waste of your energy and redundant for the parent. They may even miss an important message or two thinking they are repeated messages if they keep receiving the same message on every channel. 

The ideal way to go about this would be to pick two or three channels at most. If the parent misses the message on one channel, they will receive it on the other. Make sure they are not similar channels as that would diminish the effectiveness.

Say, if they miss the message on the app, there is a chance they may also miss it on text as both are mostly viewed on mobile phones. Thus, the second channel of communication should be something like email or letters. Letters are received personally, and emails can be viewed on desktops and tablets as well.

Make sure the message is received 

Effective communication is a two-way street. You should strive to be available for the parents at all times. They should be able to reach out to you, clear any doubts they may have, and ask questions. This can be tricky given everyone’s busy schedules, but it is essential to make sure they are on the same page as you. 

Make sure they have understood a message, not just received it. Perhaps they can respond with something like ‘understood’ upon receiving any update. It automatically opens up the way for them to ask questions if they have any. 

Additionally, opt for shorter messages delivered more frequently instead of longer occasional ones. It’s easier to pay attention and respond to shorter messages and frequent communication creates a better sense of being in the loop.

Encourage input from parents

46% of parents say that they wish to support their child’s education better. They truly are interested in being active partners in their children’s education should they get the proper ways to do so.

To make them feel invited, begin by personalising your messages to them. Establish a positive and inviting tone with your messages. Invite their input but don’t force them into it.

Ask them about their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Ask them what kind of a support system they think their child needs, and how you can provide it to the child. 

Final words

Schools have come a long way in improving communication with parents, aided well by technological advancements. The next challenge lies in involving parents as equal partners in their children’s education. 

Providing effective communication to the parents makes them feel like a part of a team with educators. Parents are willing to do their part. The focus should be on building relationships between educators and parents and personalising the communication. 

Could your secondary school benefit from a mobile app?

Published: January 13, 2022

We all know that smartphones have taken over our lives, but did you know that 87% of the UK population used a smartphone in 2020 and the smartphone to population penetration was 72%? 

With those numbers, it can only make sense for your school to take advantage of this to help increase parental engagement. But how exactly can this be done?

A mobile app for your secondary school could be the perfect solution, getting key messages out to parents, whilst also helping your school to run more efficiently and reduce costs. 

How do school apps enhance communication for secondary schools? 

With a school mobile app, you can significantly improve the quality of communication between your school and parents or guardians. If you do not have a robust communication strategy in place, chances are you will not be able to deliver superior-quality communication. 

Here are a few ways in which you can work on your communication process with a school app:

  • Simplify the onboarding process

     — For an app to be successful, you need to make sure as many parents and guardians as possible use it. With our school app, you can onboard parents easily. We offer full training to your staff so they can confidently help parents to get the most out of it.
  • Reduce admin time

    — Using a digital solution to communicate with parents and guardians means there is a huge drop in additional costs from traditional communication methods, like printed newsletters and updates. It also saves a lot of time for your staff.
  • Provide access to an integrated booking form for events and open days

    — you can save a huge amount of admin time alone with integrative bookings. Allow teachers to set their availability for parents evenings and open days, and parents can book a lot direct. 
  • Offer better targeted communication

    — You can send messages to those parents who have not responded to earlier messages, and thereby ramp up the engagement levels. Being able to know which parents have received or read your messages, further enables you to understand how active or engaged they are on the app. Accordingly, you can contact them when they come to the school to pick up their children or set an appointment. 

Let’s consider the next question. 

How does a school app help you save costs? 

Here is a quick look at some of the cost-saving benefits that are offered by a school app: 

  • Saves on printing costs

    — There is a lot of paper used in the UK schools on a daily basis. Having a school communication app can boost your green credentials and make your journey towards a paperless future easier than ever. 
  • Saves administration efforts

    — Relying on students to pass on paper notes to their parents and then have the parents communicate with the school authorities can be a really cumbersome process. With a school app, there will not be any wasted communication with the parents. 

If you too are considering a mobile application for your school, try School Jotter. Here are a few features offered by the app that are worth considering:

  • Editable app

    — Schools can personalise their dashboard, adding and removing links relevant to the time of year
  • Custom design

    — It pushes the school’s brand and ethos, no boring template look
  • Syncs with website

    — It seamlessly integrates with the school website and helps to prevent any duplication of work and reduces workload

That brings us to our next question. 

Why should you consider the School Jotter app?

Check out some of the key benefits here:

  • Mobile centre enables you to contact and be contacted by individuals or groups of parents at no cost
  • Get access to the latest news, updates, and information delivered to your mobile at no extra cost
  • Add links to school policies and other important information.
  • Save money with push notifications over a text service that needs to be topped up
  • Syncs with website to prevent any duplication of work and reduces workload

Now if that has convinced you enough, contact our friendly professionals today at School Jotter and enable the parents and students to make the most from their School Jotter mobile school app.  

What makes a great Multi-Academy Trust Website

Published: November 29, 2021

Multi-academy trust (MAT) websites play an integral role in establishing the online presence of the schools they are associated with. The website provides crucial information regarding the trust and the new schools that can join the Trust. 

One of the major benefits of a new school joining a Trust is that they get to be a part of a beautiful website that reflects their critical part in making the Trust successful. 

Before we gain further understanding into what makes a great MAT website, let’s understand some of the benefits it can bring to a MAT:

  • They guide the public perception of the MAT and their schools as authoritative and authentic sources
  • They identify each school as a member
  • They act as a source of information for the visitors from a trusted referral link
  • They help to maintain consistency in design across multiple schools
  • They are able to complete the design and development of the subsequent websites quite easily
  • They prove to be cost-effective for MATs that would like to have a group of sites for their different schools

With an increasing number of Trusts willing to expand their services and make people aware of the advantages and benefits they have to offer, it becomes all the more important to make your Trust stand out from others. There are several ways to achieve this goal, but the best way would be to start with your Trust website.

Here are a few factors you may want to consider before revisiting your Trust’s website design: 

1. Offer an amazing visual experience 

People find it easier to connect with sites that help them navigate the site easily and access information, which is otherwise difficult to find.

There are plenty of styles that would suit the objective that your Trust wants to establish in the market, from professional photography to animated illustrations and video backgrounds. These all can be featured cohesively on your website to convey the brand and vision of your Trust. 

2. Deliver an outstanding user experience 

User experience plays an integral role in a MAT website. People will always remember experiences that saved them valuable time and access information without any hassle. 

Some of the user experience elements can look really trivial but you will be greatly surprised at how these are often ignored in the design stage. Also, it can be really frustrating for a user to navigate endlessly through the website to find one piece of useful information.

3. Represent the brand of your Trust on the web

Your personal brand has a great impact on every aspect of your organization. It dictates how the vision, personality, and values of the trust are communicated to its stakeholders. 

In fact, people will remember your Trust for a long time if the website is able to reflect the values and beliefs of your trust rather than just simple information.

To ensure you’re fully representing your brand, there are key pieces of information you should always have on your Trust website, including

  • CEO and Leaderships team bios
  • Information on member schools, including links to case studies and websites
  • Your Trust USPs, values and ethos
  • Latest news – what’s happening at your Trust right now?
  • Recruitment information for both new schools and staff – with all of the great design work you’ve done and the way you’ve represented your brand, who wouldn’t want to join your Trust?

4. Adopt good social media practices 

Search engines are not the only way through which people will be able to find your website. In order to gain maximum exposure for your Trust, you should also have a prominent social media presence. And for that, you need to create a robust social media content strategy for people to find you on the web. 

5. Gain positive ranking through SEO

You can have the most beautiful website and the simplest of navigation, but it will be of no use if people are not able to find your Trust’s website. And Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will increase the possibility of your website appearing in the search results. 



As mentioned earlier, there could be a thousand ways to make a great MAT website, but the most successful will be the one that is able to tell a unique story and make a great first impression. 

Remember that great design is not just about incorporating pretty on-screen elements, rather it is about making sure your design is accessible and offers a great user experience. This will also help in a better understanding of your MAT brand. 

The team at School Jotter has worked with dozens of MATs to create a range of great website experiences. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more.