Past Newsletters

Issue 669 - 21-aug-2016

Do you past students have a story to tell?

Finding and sharing human interest stories from past generations of students can connect emotionally with your current and prospective families. Pymble Ladies’ College captured the memories and thoughts of three generations as part of their centenary celebrations. These are not celebrities. They are relatable and simply sharing some of their experiences of school life and how the school is part of their own family folklore. They speak of education but especially friendships.

Watch the 2:18 minute video at > Three Generations 

Issue 669 - 21-aug-2016

Why school archives are important

Why was your school started? What was the vision? Who was involved? Who has had a significant impact along the way? The story of your school is the shared experiences of your community – past and current. These stories are shared beyond your school and form a significant part of the word-of-mouth about your school. These stories will be both good and bad. 

Cranbrook School employ a professional archivist. Below is an extract from their website. Importantly they identify that the archives are “used to support and enhance current decision-making.” Schools can drift. School marketers who understand the history can find a wealth of stories to share.

“Established in 1974 and staffed by a professional Archivist since 1987, the mission of the Cranbrook School Archives is to ensure the preservation in perpetuity of those official and unofficial records and artefacts appraised to be of permanent value and significance to the continuing history, heritage and management of Cranbrook School. The Archives acts as the corporate memory of Cranbrook School and is an integral part of the School fabric.

These records and artefacts are made available for use on behalf of past, present and future generations and are used to support and enhance current decision-making. The School is committed to making accessible its history, heritage and culture to members of the School community and public. Enquiries regarding access to the Archives should be made to the Archivist.

The Archives includes the in-house records of the School of permanent value and the Heritage Collection of movable objects of cultural heritage significance to the School. Photographs, items of uniform, school registers, the school magazine, other school publications, prize lists, architectural plans and oral history recordings are examples.”

Source: > Cranbrook Archives 

Issue 669 - 21-Aug-2016

Graduation tunnel helps connect students

Deidré Proxenos, Marketing Manager from Dainfern College shared their idea for celebrating graduation.

“We have started a tunnel of ALL our learners throughout the school. On the last day of Grade 12 when we have our Valedictory service. They line up on both sides of a pathway and the matrics make their way through them - shaking hands, giving hugs, doing high fives - it is a huge highlight in our calendar. It is a very emotional time and wonderful way to send them off campus and on their way to their futures.”

Issue 668 - 7-aug-2016

How does your school celebrate graduation?

In Australia we are heading into the final weeks of schooling for Year 12. Last year staff at Abbotsford Christian School did a parody version of the song “Let them go”. It’s a fun, little bit silly but memorable way of involving a large number of staff in the graduation. How does your school celebrate? I would love to share other ideas in the newsletter.

Issue 667 - 17-jul-2016

100th school anniversary celebrated with opening of facilities

How do schools celebrate significant milestones in their history? Pymble Ladies’ College opened a magnificent new sport facility ncluding an Olympic sized swimming pool. This video captures some of the reactions from staff, students and parents. 

The school has a number of other events throughout the year and created a beautiful website to help share stories of their history > Centenary 

Issue 667 - 17-jul-2016

Interactive technology brings school prospectus to life

KIS International School in Bangkok recently launched a new school brochure. What makes this brochure different is the interactive technology for those who want to discover more. The 35 page printed prospectus provides an elaborate overview of the school. This will satisfy many prospective parents. However if you download the Layar app and scan the printed pages, the prospectus comes to life. Hidden on the interactive pages are hours of videos, photo galleries and infographics.

> Download the prospectus here or > here and the app and explore. Well done to the KIS team.

Issue 666 - 26-jun-2016

Educators + GoPro: What Does Love Look Like?

What happens when you put GoPro cameras into the hands of teachers? You get a peek into just how fun, hectic, and wonderful an educator's day can be! Follow these teachers through their day and feel the love. 

Issue 666 - 26-jun-2016

How much flexibility does your school offer families?

Eastern Christian School in New Jersey promote two unusual policies to attract more students and cater for families.

Interested parents who feel they may not be able to afford the school fees can apply, via third-party agency, for Variable Tuition. Based on their financial situation they may be offered a reduction in the normal school fees.  The video below explains the concept.

The second policy is allowing parents to “Create your own Preschool Schedule” The idea is in response to families with small children having a wide variety of scheduling needs. As long as families register for the minimum number of days each week, they can mix and match their schedules to meet their family’s needs. A Jr. K. student with a minimum of 5 half days, could stay for up to 5 full days or 5 half days with 2 of them extended into full days.

Logistically and financially both policies seems difficult to manage and budget for. However promoting such flexibility may at least start conversations with families who would otherwise not even consider your school.

See > Variable Tuition 

Issue 665 - 19-jun-2016

Video series to promote Catholic Education

With a national election campaign currently running in Australia the National Catholic Education Commission commissioned five short videos promoting all 1,713 Catholic schools. With 91,000 staff the combined schools are a very significant employer in Australia.

“The first video is on Catholic schools generally while the remaining four have a specific theme – parents, teachers, Catholic values and funding. These videos have been made to be shared by Catholic schools, parents, students and staff through their social networks, so that we can spread the message about Catholic schools to as wide an audience as possible.”

While most of our marketing efforts are used to distinguish the unique aspects of our individual school it is sometimes important to see, and celebrate, what we share with others. Educating, or re-educating our own parent community is part of our role. Funding of non-government schools is naturally an election issue.

How much of these video scripts could be applied to your school? 





Issue 665 - 19-jun-2016

University strategy to combat the issue of graffiti on campus

Last weekend I painted my first graffiti. Since a trip to Melbourne, where graffiti art is popular and celebrated, my daughters have been keen to try it. We bought some spray cans and headed to Sydney University. There under buildings is a walkway with a sign at each end “Graffiti Tunnel”. With thousands of students the University has chosen to allocate a particular place where graffiti is allowed – with clearly posted rules at the entrance on content and painting times. From what I could see it seems to be working with little graffiti elsewhere on campus. Have any schools attempted this idea?


PS: We were not very good at graffiti so I don’t think we will be regulars!

Issue 664 - 12-jun-2016

Private school creates new school in partnership with Aboriginal community

On the Central Coast north of Sydney live 12,000 members of the Darkinjung indigenous community. This week the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) journalist John Stewart presented a story about a new school in the community. 

 “Some private schools take Indigenous kids in as boarders, but Barker College has instead opened a school at Wyong, on the New South Wales Central Coast, for local Aboriginal students. The Darkinjung Barker School is set in bushland and has just 25 students and four teachers”

Barker College Principal Phillip Heath says “Keep it small, keep it local, keep it focused on its purpose and its purpose is cultural identity and academic achievement. And those two things when they walk together can produce astonishing results… Reconciliation doesn't belong to government. You know, it doesn't belong to a grand speech or even a rally or an event. It has to be in our own hearts as a nation.”

You can watch the video of the 8 minute TV segment by clicking the links below. Learn more at:
> Barker College sets up bush school in bid to close the gap for Aboriginal children
> Lateline visits a new school model for Indigenous students on the NSW Central Coast

Issue 664 - 12-jun-2016

Video opens the window into your school

Michelle Gillon of Cordwalles Preparatory School shared how their Marketing department “love to read what’s going on at other schools.” 

“We have just completed our new school video and we would love to share it with you. We absolutely love it and it really shows a normal but exciting and busy day at Cordwalles. All the scenes of the video are shot on our school grounds including our stunning Environmental Classroom and stream.”

I feel this video lets the activities, and the boys enjoyment of them, speak for themselves. For me the success of a school promotional piece like this is that it opens the window of a school and enables people to look in and see a clear picture of reality. It doesn’t feel like you are being ‘sold’ to. If it connects with the parents and students emotionally they will then take the next step towards enrolment.

Issue 663 - 5-jun-2016

The downside of separating students into A, B and C classes

What do you say when parents ask about how your school streams students? Often we assume parents see streaming students by their abilities as a positive thing. As school marketers this can be a dangerous assumption. The Age Journalist Henrietta Cook wrote about a literature review published in the Australian Journal of Education that said streaming "does not improve academic outcomes for most students".

“Research has found that streaming can benefit high ability students – who are often from higher socio-economic backgrounds – by extending them and allowing them to work with like-minded peers. But this can be at the expense of students in lower streams, who are often from low socio-economic backgrounds. These students have fewer opportunities to interact with high-achieving role models. The reason streaming is happening is because teachers like it," 

“His former school divided years 8, 9 and 10 classes into accelerated, high achiever, medium achiever, low achiever and foundation streams. When they were labelled the D class, the students looked at me in the eye and said 'why do you want to teach the dumby class?" Mr Doulis said. "They were given a label for failure." He said streaming was a marketing tool used by schools to boost their ATARs by attracting high-achieving students.

So, next time a parent asks about your school’s streaming policy it may help to understand their view of it before launching into your standard spiel.

Read more > The downside of separating students into A, B and C classes  

Issue 663 - 5-jun-2016

Monthly video news from school Principal

The weekly or fortnightly school newsletter is still an expected part of communication for most schools. Alternative ways of engaging with parents are important to consider. What worked for parents five, ten or twenty years ago may no longer be effective.

Last year Toorak College added a monthly video news as a way to interact with their community. The video is a way to showcase and share what is coming up at the College, introduce staff, congratulate students and recap recent events. Being monthly the three to four minute videos are not too long to watch as a window into the life of the school.

Issue 663 - 5-jun-2016

Mother’s and Father’s Day celebrations important for schools

Karin Dunsford, Director of Development of the 165 year old St Andrew’s School Walkerville  in South Australia wanted to share two successful events with the network.

The Parents’ Association run a stall for the children to come and choose a gift for their mother for Mother’s Day.  Karin described it as “almost more than a stall as it is a magnificent display of gifts that children relate to and mothers appreciate and all at the right price.  The children are very careful with their choices and then the gifts are specially wrapped and placed into a carry bag.  The children then make their own cards in their classrooms.”  

“The pleasure that this brings to our Mothers and carers is enormous and it is wonderful to see how proud the children are that they did this all by themselves! Each year the Parents’ Association also prepare a huge Father’s Day breakfast, serving up to 400 meals for the Dads and their children.  Again this is a special opportunity for children to sit with their dads over breakfast and also to meet others parents in the community. Both events are quite simple but the parents love these occasions and it is an expression of our value of family time.”

Well done Karin and team. Valuing families and helping them celebrate is what parents will talk about with friends. 

Issue 662 - 29-may-2016

Next intake of students for Diploma in School Marketing

The six month distance education Diploma in School Marketing has been a great benefit to many school marketers around the world. It’s practical, school focused and the final assignment is a School Marketing Plan for your school.

If you are interested in expanding your school marketing skills here are some past articles from the newsletter.

> Rave Review of the Diploma in School Marketing

> Why I Didn’t Enrol in the Diploma in School Marketing

> School expands based on Market Research for School Marketing Diploma

> Comments from a Diploma in School Marketing Graduate

To learn more about the course go to > Diploma in School Marketing 

Issue 662 - 29-may-2016

Why do teachers leave teaching?

When writing for the Guardian in April 2016 Author Emma Kell had received 1,419 responses to her survey 'Surviving and Thriving in Teaching'. One of the interesting factors she found was that only five percent of participants agreed, or strongly agreed, with the statement “teaching is positively portrayed in the media”. 

This means that 95% don’t see the media portraying their role positively.  School marketers often supply articles and press releases to the media about student achievements. Are we part of the problem and the reason teachers see so little in the media about their role? "When the positives of their (teaching) profession are outweighed by the negatives it is understandable that teachers can lack the motivation, or the physical capacity to continue teaching."

Have you had articles published in local media which celebrate your teachers rather than your students? I would love to share them with the network.

Sources: > Overworked, bullied and lack of respect: Key reasons teachers quit and: > Workload is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to low morale in teaching 

Issue 662 - 29-may-2016

How do we encourage our school teachers?

As school marketers we need to be reminded that websites, advertisements, signage, events, and activities which can take up much of our time and energy are not the core of what  school is about.

I believe these videos by the ‘A Day Made Better’ teacher awards are a good reminder that the relationships between teachers and students and families is what people will remember.

What does you and your school do to recognise, encourage and thank your teachers – both big and small?

A Day Made Better 2014: Shannon May

A Day Made Better 2016

A Day Made Better 2015: Matt Barber

Issue 661 - 22-may-2016

Using humour to promote correct school uniform

Most schools in Australia have compulsory uniforms. There are a variety of ways schools can encourage, or enforce, the wearing of school uniforms. Some schools have more success than others in having students following the rules.

Toorak College in Victoria have tried a new strategy. By incorporating the basic premise of the popular TV show The Batchelor they have created a six minute video to show girls that uniform is really not that hard. 

Issue 661 - 22-may-2016

Video helps correct ideas about school’s Maytime Fair

Xavier College have been running a Maytime Fair for 65 years. Jessica Brinsdon shared how the fair raises money for the Jesuit Mission who do work in developing countries particularly in education. 

“This year we teamed up with Weekly Review (a free premium lifestyle magazine) to produce a very short 30 second promotional video on it to explain where the money goes.  Most of the public think it is an event that we keep the money from but 100% of the funds raised goes to charity.  We also worked out that since the year 2000, the College has raised 2.3 million dollars through the Maytime Fair.  The video gained a lot of traction reaching over 28,000 people collectively between our page and the official weekly review page.  127 people shared it to their own pages and 441 combined likes.   This was a fantastic way for us to share the real meaning behind the event to the broader community.”

Well done Jessica and team. How has your school shared its good news stories with a wider audience?