School website design is one of my specialities.
As a parent of four school-age children I know what I expect and would like from a school website in addition to the statutory requirements OFSTED insists upon.
My school websites are bright, colourful, full of content and most importantly easy to navigate. That last part is vital when schools want to encourage parents to consult the school website for details of term dates, inset days, reading lists, uniform requirements and more rather than immediately ring the office.
I believe that school websites should not just be for parents…
…and my sites include homework help for children – see this page on Overchurch Juniors’ website for an example.
All the sites are designed around the school’s colours, incorporate the school logo, and can of course be built on the same URL (for example www.newbrightonprimary.co.uk) as the current site, ensuring parents who have stored the school site in their favourites do not need to do so again. It also means that any letterheads or other literature featuring the URL are not rendered obsolete overnight!
I also continue to work with schools when the website is up and running, adding events, pages, photo galleries, newsletters and more on a day-to-day basis, ensuring the sites remain a regular port of call for parents and pupils alike.
As a journalist, I can also write news stories based around specific events at school. For example, Overchurch Juniors invited parents of Year Five pupils into school last term and I spent time chatting with mums, dads and grandparents before writing a piece about it for the website including photographs from the event.
Those pages can be organised however the school chooses – whether within a news menu, on separate pages dedicated to specific school years or both – and can, of course, be easily shared with parents and the wider public via Facebook and Twitter.
My sites can also incorporate downloadable PDFs but if parents want to read the school’s policies, their content is displayed right there on the page and if they wish to download it as a PDF or a Word document they can do that also. See this page from New Brighton Primary School’s website as an example.
I also ensure that the school site has links to other essential sites such as My Maths and Parent Pay and that those links are present and correct every time they are mentioned on the site to make life easier for parents.
The school calendar can also be incorporated into the school site, enabling parents to add events to their own electronic calendars or subscribe to the whole calendar.
School website portfolio
Overchurch Junior School, Upton, Wirral
New Brighton Primary School, New Brighton, Wirral
Black Horse Hill Junior School, West Kirby, Wirral