Bickley Park School

Bespoke, Wordpress

Totally individual educational website with bespoke customisation

Bickley Park School is a private preparatory school for boys in Kent. Their governing body approached us as, they wanted to veer away from a templated educational looking website, which might look off-the-shelf, and engage an agency to design a unique and totally different looking site for their school.

They had recently engaged a marketing company, which produced beautiful purple branding with a recurring ‘bee’ logo, which they wanted reflected in their online digital presence too. This was accompanied by some terrific professional photography, which our designer made full use of.

Challenge

As this was a major site overhaul we had a site visit down to the school in Kent and after walking around the grounds we started the design by creating a graphic ‘School Map’ to properly visual the outdoor and indoor spaces, which had a swimming pool, theatre, sports hall, music area and outdoor learning facilities (see below). This was a major USP for the school and needed to be represented strongly.

The home page design has a 2-tiered menu layout with the academic, arts, community and sports quadrants the primary navigation, as the school felt these were the most important messages to promote to the parent. Fly-outs on the left open up the ‘Enquiry Form’ and latest ‘News’ easily.

The tiled blocks in the lower half of the home page changed a few times during the build of the site as the school began to really qualify what they really wanted to promote (blog, gallery, open days, nursery etc.) to parents. The final 9 tiled blocks they settled on reflect an openness and transparency of communication about what the school ethos and everyday life at the school is really like.

The page information, images, gallery, news and blog can all be maintained easily by the school administration team, without the need to come back to us. That way the content can be updated quickly and confidentially.

Bespoke Development

The school was ambitious for their plans in having a website that matched the needs of their staff and parents. We therefore coded a bespoke ‘Fixtures’ area for their sports matches that matched their requirements exactly. It shows the upcoming sports fixtures for football and rugby and displays all the details before the match that a parent will need – location, time, kit required, additional notes etc. There is also a ‘team roster’ for each fixture, but in order to keep this information private for child protection, the parents have to sign into it to see who is playing. They can then go back in after the match and see the results and comments from the coach. As the site is completely mobile responsive parents can look up the fixture info on-the-go on their mobile phones quickly and easily.

We also coded a bespoke ‘Pupil Portal’, which is password protected, and which only parents can log into. Once logged in they then click on the school year that their child is in and see all the course material, reading lists, overview, timetable and subject specific worksheets they need. This portal also lists the school clubs for that term and music lessons. It is a great source of information and fully immersive for the parent, so they feel involved with the school curriculum and activities.

Reducing Admin Time

There are lots of Event calendars that you can plugin into WordPress and it is part of our skill to choose the right solution for our clients. We choose a monthly view events calendar for Bickley that links into their existing Google Events calendar that their admin team use. That way they don’t have to retype info and it has an automatic feed into the main school calendar. This reduces admin time for the staff. The Enquiry and Application Forms on the site are also completed by the parent online, and when they hit submit, it is then emailed directed to the school administrator. School admin time has also been reduced now that the school dinner menu is online, where before it was emailed out as a PDF, which parents then had to download to read.

Solution

A truly beautiful looking educational website that stands alone amongst its competitors and thoroughly reflects the modern, mindful and open ethos of the school itself. The school have been great at embracing the new digital way to present and share information with their parents and keep the site up-to-date and relevant for each new term.