Creative Transition for Pupils in 2020/21
This is no ordinary summer term. With schools being closed to most students since March, and only starting to open up further now, we are not talking about the usual SATs (not sure we miss those too much…) or the end of year productions and sports days (we are missing those!) What is becoming clear this summer, however, is the extent to which schools are adapting to create new ways to reach students who are at home.
School websites are being transformed into home learning portals, and transition work is moving online too. In this blog post we want to look at some good examples to give you all some extra inspiration.
Home Learning/Remote Learning
Whatever you choose to call it – home learning/remote learning or any other variation, what we are seeing is that where schools are adding menu tabs and pages specifically for adding learning resources for parents and students, they are seeing up to 10x the engagement in the website of schools who are not.
Your school may be adding resources to the website home page but you may find that having a specialist area for this on your website helps parents to find and navigate new resources each week. Earls Colne Primary School have set up a whole tab with multiple pages for each year group plus extras such as quizzes and art challenges.
We are sure this is keeping parents engaged and it has not cost them extra money or training by signing up to learning platforms and the like.
Transition has become a very hot topic this year. Always a sensitive time for pupils and parents alike, the current pandemic is making this even more trying.
There are ways to use your school website, however, to ease the transition as much as possible, whether you are supporting your pupils who will be joining new schools in September, or helping the students you are looking forward to welcoming in September. And likely you will be doing both! Here are our top tips and some examples of schools who are already working on their brilliant transition pages.
A document autolist means you can upload a whole folder of documents and our CMS will add them to a page for you without you needing to create an individual link for every single document. This means you can easily add to your website all of the resources you have available for transition: uniform lists, equipment requirements, school rules, FAQs, school day information, and so on.
You can embed videos directly into your school website pages. Perfect for welcome messages such as this one from Bradley Stoke Community College’s Headteacher. You can also have a look at their transition area in full here and see how easy it is to navigate. Full of information such as staff details and a list of “Things I wish I’d Known” from their current Year 7 students. Lots of great ideas which will really help in the absence of face-to-face tours and interviews.
We can still create virtual tours for your school website even now, so get in touch if you want to give parents and students the feeling that they are having a good nosey around your building and grounds! A great example is found on the Beaconsfield Primary School website.
It may be hard to get across your teacher personality via a website instead of in person. But it is possible, as you can see with this welcome from Mr Burton, Head of Year at Blessed William Howard Catholic High School. They have also included lots of really useful information and a real sense of the school via their transition area of the website for prospective Year 7s.
“Hot Spot” Maps
Blessed William Howard School has also added a school map which we are sure will really help with orientation. As well as maps like this one we can also add “hot spot” maps of the school grounds from an aerial photo. These really help to allay fears of pupils coming to Year 7 particularly as secondary schools can seem far too big to navigate at first look!
We hope these examples have given you some ideas for your own school website. For more information or support on how you can add any of the elements in this post, or to discuss your own creative ideas, get in touch and our team will be more than happy to help.