Top Tips for a School Virtual Open Day
With schools still unable to have a traditional type of open day for prospective parents, we know the schools we work with have been getting very creative welcoming parents. We have also been helping with a few different ideas such as interactive campus maps and welcome videos. You can read more about our virtual open days on our website.
Looking from a parent perspective, what kind of information will we be looking for on your school website to replicate the feel we would have received from a school visit?
Rather a simple one in many ways, as many of your key documents will already be on your school website no doubt. Parents do like to be able to pick up a prospectus or some leaflets or sheets of information on an Open Day. We can help you create a prospectus for printing to send to parents, or we can create a professional page turning e-prospectus which you add to your website and send links to prospective parents by email. We even have 6 ready made prospectus templates providing a low-cost option to get started.
Past the glossy prospectus parents also often use an open day to find out about school policies, uniforms, and even school lunch information. Creating an area of your website for prospective parents can help them to find all of this information in one place rather than having to navigate the whole website. A homepage pop-up window can also make this really easy to find. It’s a good, eye catching function to add during this time of year when many parents will want to find out more about where their child is going in September.
Meet the Headteacher
Parents do love to meet the headteacher of the school their child is due to attend. That personal friendly message from a smiling and welcoming face can really set their minds at ease. Many schools are choosing to have virtual open days at live times online so that parents can “meet” the headteacher virtually on a video call. If you want to supplement that with a video which is available at any time, for working parents who may miss the calls, it can really give parents a good first impression.
We can help you to make a professional welcome video, or you can simply record your own and embed it on a page on your website via a few different ways – get in touch to find out about the options.
A tour of the school
This is the trickiest one to replicate in many ways, as you cannot give the same atmosphere online as you can in the excited and purposeful buzz of your school building. However, many schools like to use our interactive campus maps or virtual tours so that parents and pupils due to come to the school can take their own tour. This gives them freedom to “wander” around your school buildings at their leisure, all from the comfort of their homes.
If you are not able to set up the virtual tour with us, you could ask pupils to make a video walking around the school and add that to your website. This gives a personal touch to the tour as if they were being shown around in person.
One of the key elements of visiting the school is the chance to ask questions. If you do have video call sessions with parents it is a great opportunity for them to ask those questions on the call or via the chat service. However, it is also a great addition if you gather those questions and answers to create an FAQ page in the open day section of your school website. This means that parents can revisit questions and also makes them accessible for any parents who were not able to attend the live calls. You will probably know the questions that come up every year!
Hearing from current students
A video and photos of the current students can help give prospective parents and students a sense of school life past the purely academic. Open Days are usually a great chance for parents and children to chat to current students. Having some good photography and video footage makes a huge difference to your school website as parents can really get a sense of what you value at your school. They also get a sense of the smaller, but important, details such as uniform and sports kit expectations when they see other students on camera.