Website’s ‘video background’ showcases little village school with BIG aspirations
Cheriton Primary School is located in the picturesque village of Cheriton in Hampshire, and caters for boys and girls aged 4 – 11 years. A small primary school, it currently has approximately 100 pupils enrolled, with five teachers, five learning support assistants and two office managers.
Andrew Goldsworthy took up the post of headteacher at the school last year, and it wasn’t long before his attention was drawn to the school’s website. As a PrimarySite design it worked well, but Andrew felt it needed a fresh new look and feel to compete with the independent schools in the area. Having been incredibly impressed with PrimarySite in the past, he decided to contact them about a redesign. Here he talks us through the process…
Striking the right balance
Visitors to Cheriton Primary School would probably describe it as a ‘really pretty, small village school’. And they wouldn’t be wrong. The village itself is beautiful, as is the environment surrounding the school (complete with running stream and footbridge). We have fewer than 100 pupils and are very family-orientated; parents bring their children to us for these very reasons. I suppose you could say they’re our USPs.
However, I didn’t want our charming exterior to overshadow the fact that we are a very forward-thinking and driven school. We needed our website to strike the perfect balance.
The website required some simple updates too: it needed to be more clear and crisp, and also mobile and tablet compatible, for example, to ensure busy parents could access it as and when needed on the go.
We had a really positive, two-way conversation with PrimarySite. I described what it was we were after, and they came to us with great ideas. When they suggested the idea of a video background for the website it was a ‘eureka’ moment; I knew it was exactly what I’d been looking for. The price they quoted me was also the most competitive I had received for the redesign, so it was a no-brainer!
Benefits of new site
The video background really captures the charm of the school; you can see children watching the fishes swim and feeding ducks from the footbridge.
It’s already a huge hit with our students and parents alike. All the footage is taken from around our school and all the children in it are our actual pupils. They love seeing themselves in the video, and there’s even a little jealousy from those who didn’t make it into the video this time around. I keep telling them that we can change the video, and if they can come up with ideas for future scenarios, they could feature in the next one – it’s a little incentive for them!
As well as this, all the images and content are clean, fresh and professional looking, which really gets across the ‘forward-thinking’ element that we wanted the website to convey.
Learning Support Areas for parents
I anticipate that the Kids’ Zone area of the site will be really popular with pupils over the next few months – the site is still relatively new, so they’re still exploring it. I am also considering the idea of having a ‘Learning Support Area’ for parents included on the site, so they can see for example, how division is being taught to Year 3 pupils, and support their children using these techniques.
I’ve linked through a couple of Youtube videos I’ve found explaining how to help them with certain maths topics they may be studying, but ultimately what I’d like to have is videos of our own pupils working on specific activities that can be accessed through the site and used as a homework aid, or a ‘cheat sheet’ for parents for supporting their children’s learning.
For parents, the old site was very much just somewhere they went to check diary dates! I’m extremely confident that our new site will promote greater parental engagement. For example, I don’t want to produce a prospectus anymore - I want the website to be the one-stop-shop for all school information! So they’ll know they can get everything from uniform guidance, term dates, or forms that need to be filled in directly from the website.
We’re extremely happy with the look and feel of our new website and I couldn’t recommend PrimarySite more; when it came to what we were looking for, they ‘just got it’! I know they offer a texting service through their websites now which I think will be of real benefit to larger schools. Maybe they’ll even look into including parents’ evening booking functionality through their sites, which I’d personally find really, really useful!’
Visit the Cheriton Primary School website.