Abercerdin Primary School’s new website is both professional and eye catching. Using the key colours from their school uniform and emblem, their website cleverly encompasses the school’s branding.
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Getting more visitors to your website: how do you do it? With so many websites competing for people’s time and attention these days, there’s one way your School Jotter website can reach more people quicker: SEO.
What’s SEO? It’s Search Engine Optimisation, the art of getting your website as high as possible in search results on sites like Google. All is revealed in our new, free white paper, Increase Your Schools Rankings In Google, which you can find by clicking here.
In this white paper, we discuss the ways to increase your website’s rankings in Google. This will help to increase your school’s awareness within the local area, and get you in front of more existing and potential parents and pupils. Follow the guide, and soon your website will become a buzzing community of web visitors!
If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to improve your school website’s search rankings, let us know below.
One the best features of Much Wenlock Primary School’s website is their Mail on Monday section. The downloadable PDF newsletter has an update of activities that have happened within the school, useful diary dates and after-school club information.
Many schools update their website regularly with news – but with Much Wenlock, parents know the website will get updated the same day every week. Brilliant for parent/school engagement!
The Shropshire school have really put a lot of effort into its clubs – and this is reflected through their website. The Club Sites section includes details of every club that pupils can get involved with (13 – quite a large number for a primary school!) Each one has its own page, with the days and times you can attend, and the kind of activities that take place.
The Kids’ Zone, too, includes plenty of content for children, from links to fun websites to help with spelling (using our Spellanywhere program) and a log-in section for Student Jotter (our pupil e-portfolio platform).
Much Wenlock Primary School’s website also has an attractive, welcoming design – and ticks all the boxes for keeping parents involved with their children, and pupils engaged with learning!
You can view Much Wenlock Primary School’s website here.
Dunsville Primary School near Doncaster chose a bright, colourful theme for their School Jotter website. It means visitors have a fun and engaging introduction to the school. In fact, the School Jotter website is so appealing, other schools often reference it when their own School Jotter websites are being designed!
The colours and the design of the Dunsville website echoes the content of the website: basically, it’s all about the children. From the uploaded photographs of pupils’ efforts in the Children’s Work section, to a downloadable copy of their child protection proceedures, it’s clear that Dunsville has the pupils’ interests and development at heart. The Ofsted report from 2010, that can be found in the About Us section, sums this up perfectly: “The manner in which it cares for its pupils is exemplary.” The Pupil Premium section even goes one step further – and shows how much money per pupil the school receives per year.
Dunsville Primary School’s School Jotter website depicts a completely transparent, learner-focused establishment. Great when attracting new pupils!
You can view their website here.
Redlands Primary & Nursery School love their website. You can tell by the amount of quality content they regularly upload, and from the level of detail they provide for parents in each of the School jotter-based site’s many sections.
Redlands have found School Jotter easy to use and great for keeping their web visitors up-to-date. In their case study (which you can read here), Website Administrator Patricia White talks about how they use the website to communicate with parents. You can see from sections like the General Information page that Redlands really know their target audience and how they need to be interacting with them: it’s packed with everything you’d need to know, from a list of the school’s facilities, to incentives for 100% attendance records.
The Curriculum section, too, includes downloadable PDFs documents detailing the subjects the school covers, why they cover it and the aims of each subject with regards a child’s development – giving parents a great insight into daily lessons.
Redlands have made great use of the virtual tour, one of School Jotter’s features, to show the school off inside and out. There’s dozens of images of the children’s work in the Gallery section, too. And in the Parents section, they even invite visitors to make suggestions for improvements to the site. We think it’s a lovely to touch on a website that’s all about being open and honest with the parent – and shows how keen the school is to have the best School Jotter website possible.
You can view the Redlands Primary & Nursery School website here.
Your school website is the perfect opportunity to create multimedia activities for children – and Hawes Side Academy’s website, www.hawes-side.org.uk, is a great example of this.
The Blackpool academy’s School Jotter website has everything you’d expect – there’s a calendar of term dates and events, uniform details, all the most recent newsletters uploaded – but Hawes Side have taken it one step further. The Uniform page, for example, has a video hosted by pupils, explaining why they should wear uniform and how it should look.
The School Blog page, too – where teachers have uploaded videos of school activities – is a great example of using the School Jotter template to its full potential. And the Parents And Carers’ blog (within the Parents section) is filled with videos, showing how parents can really get involved with the activities at their child’s school.
But our favourite section of the Hawes Side Academy website has to be the virtual tour, where you can not only tour each area of the school with a multi-view camera – but get a full commentary and guide by the children, too!
Take a look at Hawes Side Academy’s School Jotter website here.
When School Jotter 2 was launched a few months ago, it brought with it a host of new features. For the school website visitor, it also brought with it improved designs – as you can see on this week’s Website Of The Week, Silver Springs Primary Academy, Cheshire.
Silver Springs’ website is a great example of why so many schools are upgrading to School Jotter 2. A bold colour theme brings the school to life the instant you access their website – and School Jotter 2 means it’s optimised for tablet and mobile phone viewing, so people can enjoy Silver Springs on the move, too!
This is possibly one of the easiest school websites we’ve seen to navigate around. Simple menus mean you can find what you need quickly and easily. There’s plenty of content that has been pulled through from the school’s old website too, so you can look back through the archive at photographs and school performance data.
There’s a huge amount of information for parents: including accounts of what the children have been up to by each of the teachers, staff information and advice on healthy eating. And if anyone needs to find Silver Springs, the Contact page includes location information pulled through from Google Maps. Handy!
There are so many other benefits to moving to School Jotter 2, including app bolt-ons and ‘live’ page editing; Silver Springs Primary Academy’s’ website is, to the casual viewer, just the tip of the Jotter 2 iceberg. Take a look at it yourself by clicking here.
Great school websites are the ones that really know what their audience wants. In the case of Burlington Infants School, Bridlington, there are curriculum details and newsletters for parents, links to fun websites for children, and Burlington Infants’ history for those interested in the school.
What we also like about Burlington Infants School’s website is the thought that’s gone into every section: so you have the ‘Our School’ section, which includes their mission statement, the history and comments from parents – a fantastic way to promote themselves. There’s the gallery, which is broken down into albums, like the Autumn 2012 collection of images with a link to the term’s planning too (what the children were learning during the term and events during the term).
But best of all there’s the archive: you can go back and look what’s happened at Burlington Infants School over the last couple of years. Of course, the longer the school has their School Jotter website, the more extensive this section will become!
What’s most apparent about the website though, is that it looks like it has become such an integral part of school life for them. With the colourful design, it makes for an exciting introduction to a friendly school. No pictures of Bridlington seafront though – which we were very disappointed about!
You can view the Burlington Infants School website here.
Ben Rhydding Primary School’s website has been a favourite of ours for some time – so it’s great to return to it this week and see it’s still being regularly and lovingly updated.
The design of the website strikes you first: a beautifully-created header that sums up the school perfectly, with rolling hills, the mountains familiar to locals (the school being based in up in the hills of the West Yorkshire Pennines), and bright, bold colours.
Going deeper into the website, it’s a trove of information about the school; there’s plenty of information here that parents will love – but also lots for new visitors to digest and be impressed with, if they’re considering the school for their child. There’s even information about the local area in the ‘Our Community’ section – mentioning the ‘cow and calf rocks’ which also feature in the colourful website header design.
Other information that’s great for new visitors looking for a school is the ‘Pupils’ section, with information about ‘Lunchtime Buddies’ (children who help out the lunchtime supervisors), school clubs information (Ben Rhydding boasts everything from a Girls’ Football Club to a Disco Dancing Club – we’d love to be a member of that one!) and class curriculum details.
When parents want to know the hard facts about how the school performs, they’re all there too – and under the ‘About Us’ section we’re pleased to note Ben Rhydding received a glowing report from Ofsted. We hope Ofsted loved the website too, as much as we do.
You can take a look at the Ben Rhydding Primary School website yourself, by clicking here.
When your pupils’ parents visit your school website this month, it won’t just be to see their children in the Nativity play. It won’t just be to find out when the last day of term is.
There’s a whole host of ways your school website can attract more visitors, and stay engaged with parents this winter. It’ll make using your website a more enjoyable experience.
There was a time when parents and children alike would have an ear glued to the radio whenever it snowed, just in case their school announced it’d be closed for the day. Still, you’d always find there were the odd few parents who didn’t get the message – making a wasted journey through the snow and ice to drop off their children.
These days, parents can stay informed of snow days by merely visiting your website, when you can keep them updated not just on whether you’re closing or not, but whether you think you may be closed for longer. School Jotter 2 allows you to update your school website wherever you are, even if you only have a tablet to hand – with easy editing capabilities. School Jotter 2 also offers an update app option, which allows parents to stay informed via a free app they can download. It’ll update them instantly as soon as you add news content to your website.
Christmas time could be a perfect excuse for a non-uniform day. Charging pupils, say, 50p to come to school in non-uniform is an opportunity to raise money for the school, and it helps them relax a little in the run-up to Christmas. You can inform parents of the special day via the website – and keep them up to date with how much you’ve raised. Building excitement around the day and your aim to collect enough money to, say, buy a tablet for the school may even inspire some parents to give more than just 50p!
End Of Term Awards
It’s the end of the year and the end of term – a great opportunity to award pupils for the hard work they’ve put in since September. Announce the awards via the website and every parent will be proud of their child – meaning greater engagement between parent, pupil and school, and a greater incentive to hit the ground running in 2013.
Pictures of the awards being handed out, with smiling pupils and the work they’ve been awarded for, would make great website content and plenty of festive ‘feelgood factor.’
Your website is the perfect tool for sending out a Christmas message to parents – both from the school and from the children. If your pupils are making and sending Christmas cards to each other this month, the school website is where you can showcase them. If you have a learning platform and a student e-portfolio system, encouraging children to send each other e-cards via the messaging system will improve student interaction and build relationships between them.
International Christmas Celebrations
Your website is great for showing the work done within school. So a task for pupils like demonstrating how different countries around the world celebrate Christmas – and pictures of their work posted on your website – shows the world how forward-thinking and all-encompassing your school is. It makes great content away from the typical Christmas activities – and may introduce your school to a much wider audience!
And Not Forgetting…
Decorations! Your school website is your shop window to the world – to parents and potential new pupils alike. So decorate especially for the season – with fun, colourful images, some season’s greetings – maybe even a colour scheme change for the month!