Past Newsletters

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?

Issue 660 - 15-may-2016

What is Hope? Video and share your students thoughts

What do your students think? What do they believe? As part of their Celebration and Awards Night Thomas Hassall Anglican College recorded an 80 second video “Hope is.”  It provides a short but effective window into the life and culture of the school students.

Issue 660 - 15-may-2016

Spreading Mother’s Day school celebrations over several days

Sandy Johnson of Glasshouse Christian College emailed about how they celebrated Mother’s Day over three days. On Tuesday night at the Prep Mum’s Night the mums do class activities with their students, make a crown, have their photo taken on a 'throne' and enjoy a supper at the end of the night. The photos are then uploaded to the school website. On Wednesday Prep to Year 2 mums had a Mother’s Day chapel service. “Mums were greeted by student leaders with a flower and hand-made card and then treated to a concert and Bible message. They also watched a short video (made by one of the chappies) and learned what their children really thought they did all day! Then on Thursday the P and F held their annual Mother’s Day stall with lots of lovely handmade craft items, "I'm a proud GCC parent" coffee mugs and, of course, lots of chocolates and soaps.”

Creating events to build community is well worthwhile for schools though as Sandy said “I was wiped out!” Well done Sandy and team and thanks for sharing with the network.

Issue 660 - 15-may-2016

Mother’s Day High Tea brings guests to school

Jodie Preiss of Alphington Grammar School in Melbourne shared how they celebrate Mother’s Day. Their annual Mother’s Day High Tea is held on Saturday. 

“With just on 200 guests, it was a fabulous day. This event is now in its 4th year, and just keeps getting better and better. We specifically do this event on a Saturday as it not only brings our own mother’s to the school, but they also bring guests – this year around 35% of our guests were not current families at the school. The event is run completely by staff and parents of the school, and is a huge event to organise. However the impact it makes always makes it worthwhile.” 

The event is also a fundraiser and this year they expect to raise around $3000 to support The Butterfly Foundation. Well done Jodie and team. You can see photos of this beautiful event at > Alphington Grammar School Facebook page  

Issue 659 - 8-may-2016

The sound of laughter is louder than the school bell

Anne Frost from Chelsea Preparatory School in Durban North shared their video which is now displayed on their website. The video highlights something most schools don’t mention – laughter.

Issue 659 - 8-may-2016

Ingredients for a Mother’s Day Breakfast at school

Today is Mother’s Day in Australia. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums and grandmothers in the School Marketing Network. This week I helped organise a Mother’s Day Breakfast at school. All bookings were done online with over 200 attending. This year’s breakfast followed a fairly relaxed program including:

  • A flower presented by a member of the student council
  • A free professional quality family photo
  • An 8 page colouring in booklet created by one of our parents
  • One song by our Secondary School Musical Ensemble
  • A three minute thank you and encouragement of mums and a prayer by the Principal
  • Tables were decorated with flowers and rose petals and each had a tin of colouring in pencils and textas with several sheets of puzzles and colouring in. 
  • A covered basketball court beside the hall included a pile of giant lego pieces, two mini roller coasters, giant chess, connect four and snakes and ladders. 
For $10, or $7 for a child, breakfast was BBQ bacon, eggs, sausages, frittata, cereals, toasts, bircher muesli with choice of a juice, hot chocolate, tea or good coffee. 

The breakfast is an excuse for families to gather, a place for kids to play and a chance for parents to talk with others. Some former students even attend. Dads are welcome. 

An optional short tour of some new classrooms was offered at the end. A Mother’s Day Market Stall, designed for children and adults to find a present for their mothers, adds even more activity to the morning. 

How did your school celebrate? What ideas have you found work in building a sense of community?

Issue 658 - 1-may-2016

Technology has taken over: teacher

How do you promote technology in your school? For several years merely mentioning your school had interactive whiteboards and iPads was considered an extremely positive development in education. Now people are raising more questions about their role. Simply mentioning the use of technology can attract or repel some parents. Telling stories of the educational outcomes from the considered use of technology can connect with both groups of parents.

Liz Beament, a pre-primary teacher at Karrinyup Primary School, has noticed there's been quite a decline in some of the skills that children used to come in with from home.

"One of them is their fine motor control, so the small muscles in their fingers that help for example hold a pen, hold a paint brush, do craft and help cutting. We feel that the parents aren't doing as much of that at home as they used to do. IT has taken over now ... swiping a screen is never going to give your child strength in their fingers and fine motors."

How is your school telling stories about the role of technology in education?

Source: WA education minister says parents must do more to help kids 

Issue 658 - 1-may-2016

What makes a girl courageous, determined, creative or inventive?

The Maynard School in Devon United Kingdom combined video, cinema, print, outdoor and social media in a combined campaign using the tagline “The Maynard School is #MadeForGirls.” Enjoy this video and then take a look at a case study of some of the results of the campaign.

The Maynard School Case Study - #MadeForGirls from AB Motion on Vimeo.

This is the text which accompanies the video: 
“The Maynard School understands that girls learn differently – that they need different types of support and encouragement. That’s why Maynard girls are happy, secure and successful, why they score so highly in the league tables and why 100% got into their first choice of university last year.”

Issue 657 - 3-apr-2015

Bright Future Ahead Campaign for Thomas Hassall Anglican College

Jo Hutchens Director of Marketing & Community Relations at Thomas Hassall Anglican College shared how she was “very excited about advertising our College in a way that I don’t really think has been done before and that is working!”

“This year’s Open Day campaign was “Mummies come to school” and featured a cartoon Egyptian mummy – this will be one of the ‘taster’ lessons students will do as part of their transition to Senior School.  Current Year 6 and incoming Year 7 students are invited to participate.  They will also have a hospitality lesson make rice paper roll Egyptian mummies and a make Perspex key ring in TAS to take home to their mummy!”

Their five week “Bright Futures Ahead” campaign included letter box drop, shopping centre signage, campus banners, web banner, direct mail to prospective parents, real estate agents, property developers, child care cares plus a Ribbon Wrap and DPS quarter page strip in the local newspaper – all for less than $10,000.

Jo even had actual road signs made for the day to reinforce the "Bright Futures Ahead" imagery. 

Issue 657 - 3-apr-2016

Open Day cinema promotion for St Columba College

St Columba College, located in the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide, is the first joint venture Anglican and Catholic, coeducational school in Australia. To promote their Open Day in 2015 they created a 30 second Cinema advertisement.