Newsletters are a popular way for schools to communicate with parents. During our recent survey, parents identified digital school newsletters as one of their preferred ways to hear from their children’s school.
However, today it’s also important that you produce content that appeals to the local community outside of your school. A great way to do this is to share good news stories through your school social media and website. For some inspiration about the good news stories you should start sharing about your school, check out our blog here: Engaging your local community: 5 Great Examples of School Good News Stories
When communicating with your existing school community, newsletters are still a great channel of communication that your school should be taking advantage of. In this blog, we have compiled five great examples of newsletters and the positive features that define them.
Focus on Your School’s Unique Qualities
A good school newsletter should reflect and promote the distinct personality of your school. While it might seem strange to think of your school as having a brand and personality, in order to produce communications with a consistent message and tone, it is important to consider what your school’s core values and aims are.
Forest & Sandridge in Melksham has positioned itself as the Church of England primary school of choice in their local area. To emphasise the Christian values the school focuses on, their monthly newsletter features a recurring section dedicated to their pupils’ demonstration of those values.
“The children across the school have continued to show our school values with enthusiasm and commitment. Our values trees have a growing number of flowers as the children demonstrate our values in all aspects of school life. Well done to all those children that have shown their teacher they are flourishing in our values.”
Relating the school newsletter to the school’s unique qualities and values adds character and personality to the school’s newsletter. Maintaining a consistent message shows that your values mean something and helps increase parental engagement with, and the reach of, your newsletters.
Eduprise helps schools throughout the country write content that reflects their unique personality. If you would like to discuss how to give your school’s communications character, contact us today.
Utilising an Appealing Design
Appealing design is an often overlooked factor in school newsletters, with many schools settling for a basic letterhead signed by the principal. This lengthy end of term newsletter created by staff at Prendergast School in Lewisham is an impressive example of how formatting, structure, and the use of photos and images can have a powerful impact.
While your school might not have the resources to put together such a lengthy newsletter, even the most modest of notices can be brought to life by an attractive design. A newsletter that is visually appealing is far more likely to be read than a daunting text-based alternative.
The team at Eduprise specialises not just in the written content of our communications, but also how they are presented. If you’d like to know more about our design expertise, get in touch now.
Keep It Focused
What is the purpose of your communication? What outcomes are you looking to achieve? In order to grab the attention of your readers and hold their interest, your newsletter must have a purpose and include something newsworthy. In other words, it must communicate something beyond the standard goings-on of your school.
It can be tempting to simply list all the different initiatives going on at the school, but a better approach is to focus the body of the text around a specific, particularly notable theme or event. In this newsletter from Walker Riverside Academy in Newcastle upon Tyne, the school leads with exciting news about the soccer programme they’ve just launched, making for an exciting and engaging newsletter.
Make It Readable
Facing a newsletter filled with solid text, many of us will think one thing: it’s going to be a hard read. In almost any communication, you should aim to avoid making reading the text seem like a chore. Parents are busy people, and when reading your newsletter seems like a task, they’ll put it to one side, and your messages will go unread.
Good visual design is one way to attract your audience. Another useful technique is making sure the text is broken up into bite-size chunks. This both reduces the cognitive effort required to make sense of the text and also helps clarify its structure.
Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh does a great job of breaking this long and dry text into digestible pieces. While the newsletter could have a more appealing design, the clear division of sections and the use of headings make this otherwise lengthy newsletter easy to read.
Putting It All Together
A well-put-together newsletter can be a great asset for your school. As an already popular channel of school communication among parents and carers, the newsletter offers your school a great way to maintain positive attitudes toward your school.
A great newsletter, as demonstrated by Bicester’s Southwold Primary School, makes use of a combination of the features listed in this blog. Appealing visuals, digestible text, strong theming, and plenty of personality come together to make this newsletter a positive and effective part of Southwold Primary’s communications as a whole.
Beyond The School Newsletter
As these examples show, a school newsletter can do more than just pass on calendar dates and school policy.
However, if you really want your communications to have a big impact on your reputation, admission numbers, and recruitment, you shouldn’t just be relying on the newsletter to share what’s going on in your school.
If you’re not sure what we mean and are looking for some examples of how your school can start sharing good news stories, take a look at this blog, Engaging your local community: 5 Great Examples of School Good News Stories now.
At Eduprise, we have many years’ experience of writing communications for schools that engage their audience and help develop important relationships. If you think we can help you get the most out of your school’s communications, get in touch with the team today.