This year onward, choosing a school is suddenly all about the virtual tour. Whether your school has already done this or if you’re planning on doing it soon, here are a few pointers to help you do your school virtual open day really well.
The basics – answer the parents questions during the school virtual open day
There are many questions that will be common to all parents, such as:
- how does the school deal with bullying?
- Who will be the single point of contact for my child?
- What access will my child have to extra-curricular activities?
- How will the teachers bring out and include the shy or quite children?
We may be visiting the school virtually but we’re still humans who respond to people and faces. Have the key people talking to the camera and answering the main concerns of the parents. Show them the people and the personalities of the people who will be looking after their children
Children will feel much better too if they can see the people who will be looking after them aren’t scary monsters!
Lesson 1 – use video of key people talking where you can
Understand things from the children’s point of view
Children have a very different set of questions they need answering – the thought of starting a new school is often an incredibly anxious and daunting time for them. The questions they’ll have will be more along the lines of:
- What will my classroom look like?
- Where will I have lunch?
- What does the playground look like?
Providing a good quality virtual tour is not just to support an enhanced transition of children with learning difficulties, it will also help all children and parents understand:
- the layout of the school
- visit the classrooms they’ll be in
- see outdoors play areas, and communal areas
- explore the school
This virtual tour of Buxton Junior School is immersive and allows you to explore at your own speed. You can also view the outdoors areas and even view the school from above as if it was a doll’s house (no walls or ceilings) which is better than any map for helping people orientate themselves
Lesson 2 – include a virtual tour
Show people what it’s like to already be at the school
You can’t beat a personal recommendation! Seeing children who are already at the school who are confident & happy can often Often what clinches things for parents.
let your current students tell the story. What do they like about the school? What was starting like for them? How ar the dinners? What are their favourite subjects? Which teachers do they like and why?
Get this on camera and include it!
lesson 3 – include testimonials from current students
let people meet the head teacher… virtually at least!
Understanding how a school works is often best seen from how the head runs the school. Parents want to see who is in charge and how they approach the challenges faced by every school. Seeing this written down is not the best way – let parents hear it from the ‘horse’s mouth’
Lesson 4 – the head teacher and how they run the school is very important
It’s not just about the grades!
Making sure their children get a good academic education is of course important to all parents, however, team sports and physical education is also very important for most parents. if your school is able to provide this for the children, don’t just tell parents about it, show them. This also goes for all the extra-curricular activities that children are able to get involved in along with breakfast and after-school childcare
Lesson 5 – show more than just academic learning
Make your school virtual open day a really interactive experience
Parents & children want more than just text and video – they want to interact. They may not be able to attend your school open day in person as they once did but there are still ways to make it interactive.
Zoom or Teams chats are a good way of meeting parents and allowing them ask questions.
A virtual tour also allows people to have a look around your school when it’s convenient for them. This example from West London College provides a good combination or text, interactivity (virtual tour and maps) and useful information (bus routes, courses, etc.):
Lesson 6 – make your school open day as interactive as possible
Add more photos, videos and a virtual tour to your school virtual open day
Whatever happens, you can’t beat photos, videos and a virtual tour for really showing what your school is like. A school virtual open day is all about showing people what becoming a student or student parent is going to be like so don’t scrimp on the photos, videos or virtual tour!
Lesson 7 – don’t underestimate the importance of photos, film, and a virtual tour for your school
Get a virtual tour, film and photography for your school
For more information on getting photogrpahy, a virtual tour, and film prodiced for your school open day, call us on 0114 383 0711 or visit our contact page: