Starting at a school is a colossal milestone in every child’s life. Choosing the right school is a decision for both the child and parents to take their time with and feel confident once arriving at a conclusion. If you have been tasked with designing a school prospectus, look no further, as we have some helpful tips for you.
First Impressions – School Prospectus
A prospectus is often what gives the first impression of your school. It provides an idea as to what the learning environment looks and feels like.
School staff will hand these out at places such as open days or school fairs. Having a prospectus to take away is a fantastic reference point, and creates an opportunity to digest the information once they are home.
Each competitor school is likely to have a prospectus, and collectively they will all be sat side-by-side in the potential student’s home. For this reason, as a starting point, you need to make sure that your prospectus is durable as it is likely to be read through more than once.
We advise you to do the following:
- Choose paper size, while considering your number of pages – Most prospectuses are A4 Portrait, but you could stand out from the crowd with a square (210mmx210mm) or A5 (smaller = easier to carry around!).
- Select a heavy paper thickness – Ideally at least 250gsm for the cover, and 150gsm for the inside pages.
- Use a suitable lamination to beat potential wear and tear – Whether it’s matte, gloss or soft-touch which best suits your style of a prospectus, this will help keep the pages looking fresher for longer. Remember both adults and children will be looking through it.
- Look at binding options – Dependant on how many pages you have in your school prospectus, you could choose a simple saddle stitch (for fewer pages), or perfect bound (for more pages). Alternatively, you could step away from the norm by choosing ring/wiro-binding, or even turn it into a hardback book.
- Extra tip: Keep in mind how your students are all unique. For your school Prospectus consider if you might need a folder to slip the prospectus into. Having a folder adds an opportunity to have separate printed sheets of information specific to individual groups. You could also insert a business card with relevant contact details.
Content – School Prospectus
Liaise with the faculty to discuss what is the most appropriate tone-of-voice for your school. Are you friendly and fun? Or are you more serious and driven?
A school now needs to list specific information on their website, to keep in line with Ofsted regulations. Please see here.
By having the “small-print” all available online, it means you can free up space in your prospectus to help potential students and their guardians learn about your school in a more visually impactful way.
Here’s a quick rundown of essential info you should have in your prospectus:
- The name of your school
- What type of school it is (Highlighting any special academic focuses)
- Term dates and admissions
- The name of the Headteacher alongside their statement – Make it personable by having a profile photo if you can.
- Quotes from students, parents and the teaching faculty
- Overview of teaching methods and what helps your school educate pupils better than the competitor schools. Perhaps you have additional facilities that aren’t commonly found in other schools.
- All relevant contact details, including address/map.
What will be necessary for both parent and child to see is how existing students interact with the learning facilities. With your photos, think about the following for your school prospectus:
- Start preparing by making a photography brief. Your brief will list locations, activities, props/people required and so on.
- Do you have a variety of photos? Try not to use the same classroom or the same students over and over. Make sure you cover the beauty of the grounds, plus the full range of facilities.
- Is the workspace safe, clean and tidy? While this may be an everyday environment for you, parents will be looking vigorously at if their child will be safe left in your hands.
- Do you have the right amount of lighting? Make use of natural light by situating the shot near windows or outside.
- Do your students look like they are learning? It’s much easier to take a good photo when it is not staged. When children are learning, their interest and enthusiasm will become apparent on their face. It’s relatively easy to tell when a photo isn’t natural, and this will make potential students and their guardians doubt your credibility. This will make a big impact on your School Prospects.
Note: Make sure that you have the parents consent to use a picture of their child in the school prospectus.
For extra guidance, have a look at some templates here.
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