15 Great Ideas for School Website News Posts
This popular post was updated in May 2023.
Your school website serves two main groups of people – prospective parents and current parents. They are not the only visitors to your website, of course, but they are likely to be the two biggest groups. Prospective parents and current parents may behave differently on your website – looking for different pages, policies, and information. However, one area which both sets of people tend to look at are your news items. They give a good window into a school and how it functions, as well as all of the opportunities available to the children of your visitors. Or the children themselves, particularly in the case of FE settings.
News items are a great way to keep your website fresh, as they are set up on our CMS to be as simple as possible to add to regularly. Which keeps parents coming back for another look often. In this blog we will cover 15 ideas for keeping your news items interesting, relevant, and engaging. All of these screenshots show the shortened news item/headings but these would click through to more information or external links as required.
1. Celebrate achievements
Using your news items to celebrate the achievements of your pupils, or the school as a whole, shows that students have the chance to shine in whichever subjects they love the most – and perhaps show off a specialism of your school which could interest prospective students. These are always engaging for current parents who might be able to spot their own children, and they love to send the links to family who may live further away.
2. Upcoming events
One thing current parents often need is a reminder of key dates which you can do through an events/diary dates section or by adding these to your news items. Prospective parents also like to see the way in which you engage parents and keep them informed of what is going on.
3. External options and support
As well as links to school events and opportunities, it is great to point towards external links and events locally, as well as local clubs for all the children in the area. Prospective parents will find these as useful as current parents and they support all families in your community – which is always a good thing!
Upcoming competitions, or the results of previous competitions are a great hook to parental engagement and encourage parents to work alongside school towards your targets and aims – from reading to extracurricular activities.
As well as adding short pieces to your news items, you may wish to move your newsletters to a digital version. If you are currently printing newsletters to send out each week then this is a very cost effective alternative that could save you a lot of money very quickly. Some schools print some newsletters still, to start with, and make them available from the school office or entrance lobby, while they transition to going fully paperless with their news. A very sustainable alternative.
6. Exam and careers prep
For students with upcoming exams – especially those who will then move on from the school – you may wish to add news about revision support, exam timetables, and also careers advice or guidance around other possible next steps.
7. Seasonal events and fundraising
Seasonal events and activities, plus any fundraising opportunities, are always worth highlighting as parents often need reminders. And your incoming cohorts like to know about the kind of things they will be involved in if they come to your school. Parents often like to feel they can get involved, too, so sharing updates from parent groups who work with the school can really help to set the scene and ensure your new students come along with very eager parents too!
8. Links with outside agencies
Links to local community funding or outside support in the local community is another great way to frame how the school works with external agencies as well as your own children and parents. This can also show parents where there is help available to them either individually or via the school. This can put many minds at ease as they think about the costs of school uniforms and dinners, etc.
Alongside general updates and news, your feed is a great place to add vacancies. You probably already add these to a vacancies area or jobs board within your website, but adding them to the news items also ensures your school community sees them. This is often especially relevant for support staff vacancies, but many of your parents may also be teachers elsewhere and you never know when your jobs might grab their attention!
10. Opportunities and special visits
Highlighting visits from authors, celebrities, sports people and other schools and colleges is a great way to show how you are broadening the minds and experiences of the young people in your care. And also a great way to remind parents about the opportunities available at your school.
11. School excursions
Linking to information for school trips and excursions is a great way to avoid lots of phone calls to the office or messages flooding into the Whatsapp groups! Parents often want reassurance on what to pack, where to pick up and at what time, and whether their child needs a packed lunch or spending money. Your news items and diary links are a great way to link to equipment lists, packing tips and more!
12. Sports and outdoor activities
Sporting achievements are often a highlight of school news items. And other outdoor activities also help to promote activity and good well being among students and their families. Be sure to regularly share information, even when there is nothing massively ‘newsworthy.’ Parents so often appreciate being kept in the loop and knowing what the school are doing.
13. Links to blogs
As well as shorter news items, you may wish to link to longer blogs with information about what children have been doing in class and also information which is really useful to parents. The examples here are brilliant as they are giving parents a lot of support through their blogs and especially helping to calm the nerves ready for the first day of school for many children and their parents.
14. Photo galleries
You could add multiple images to your news too by adding a photo gallery. These are especially great for reporting back on school trips and residentials. Parents love to go back to previous galleries too by scrolling back in the news items.
15. News on homepage
As well as linking to your news items via the menu tabs or quick links, you could have the most recent news items as a section of your website homepage. This ensures that every visitor to your site gets to see the wonderful mix of activities and opportunities available at your school. You can also mix in some curriculum items alongside the discos and competitions, adding useful links for parents to use to support learning at home.
Is your school website news section difficult to use? Click here to book a demo, so you can see just how easy the Greenhouse CMS is to operate.
Want support on using your news items feed to ensure you are getting the most out of it? Get in touch as our team is ready and eager to help!