Over the past 12 months, our schools have amazed us with the innovative ways they have executed online solutions to in-person events. We have had the pleasure of taking part in virtual open evenings, sending our photographers to record transition videos and helping build campus tours to show new students around. There is still a question mark over what events will be able to take place this year. As the end of the academic year approaches, it is likely that your school leavers programme will be different this year. Here are some school website features to help you with your school leavers programme.
Create a class of 2021 page
We would suggest allocating your school leavers their own dedicated page on your school website. A place for students, parents, extended family and family friends to go to reflect on the journey that the Class of 2021 have been on throughout their education at your school. Rather than scatter little bits of content throughout class pages and news articles, it would be great to bring all of this content together to create a content-rich page or group of pages. This page can form the foundation of your online school leavers programme.
What content can you use to celebrate your school leavers on your website?
Link historic highlights using tags
Take a look through your old news articles and blog posts and tag them to the bottom of the Class of 2021 page. Perhaps look for a special trip or guest that will be memorable to the children of that year group. Schudio clients can also enable comments on their blog posts. Consider enabling the comments section on some blog posts. Encourage students and parents to share their memories to enhance your school leavers programme. This is great for parental engagement.
If the thought of opening up blog comments concerns you at all, then why not check out this previous blog post where we take a look in more detail.
School Leavers Video
Over the past 12 months, it is likely that your school has embraced video. Whether it was tutorial videos for home learning or school transitions videos - it is part of life now. And it should be part of your online school leavers programme. Creating a Class of 2021 video serves multiple purposes. It is a lovely memory for your school community to keep and enjoy. It also shows prospective parents that you are current in your communication methods. Schools that use video as a communication tool will be seen to be capable and innovative by their audience.
You could collect clips of students sharing their favourite memories of their time at school, creating a virtual leavers book. This will reduce books and personal items being brought to school as you would typically expect at the end of the year. Alternatively, you could create a video with clips from teachers wishing the Class of 2021 well in the future. A video "letter" from the school to the students.
Student Leaver Profiles
Another idea that will help create your "virtual leavers book" is to use a feature such as people groups to create profiles for your school leavers. You could ask students the same three questions and publish their responses online so everyone can view them.
You could draw on your school website ethos and values to inspire the questions. Or allow the children to pose with props in the photos. Be creative and really reflect the attitudes and values that your students have upheld throughout their time at your school.
As with most of our suggestions, it is easier to execute these ideas if your existing school website strategy is geared around painting a picture of life in school. Your website is the window into life in school. So by being in the habit of regularly updating your website with what's going on, it gives you the option to pull this historic content together for different purposes in future. You can tell an amazing story with minimal amounts of work.