What's a decent school blog page look like

I am often asked this question when primary schools start blogging. Essentially, the question stems from a fear of the unknown but experience has shown that teachers make excellent bloggers and there is a good reason for this. Teachers know what is happening in their classrooms, better than anyone else.

If only we were to sit down with a teacher and ask them to describe what's been happening in their class today, this week, this term, we all know that they could fill a book with the marvellous activities and experiences that the children have engaged with. This book would be complemented by a scattering of photographs, and if we're lucky, some video as well.

So if you were able to capture the essence of that conversation in text, then that's what the blog would be. It would be a story; it would articulate some of the fabulous, funny and entertaining ways that the children have absorbed the curriculum over the past few days or weeks. Evidence of this would be provided by one or two photographs or maybe a gallery of images. When you look at it this way, it's relatively easy.

The fear of the unknown however puts teachers at a disadvantage. Many times I have seen blog entries by school teachers which are nothing more than a single sentence with a load of pictures. When asked why they do it this way, the chief answer has been that a picture tells 1000 words.

I ask the next question, "So, if we have 10 pictures, it means we're telling 10,000 words and that would would fill many sides of A4 paper... I know you don't have time for that amount of writing, so why not highlight the key aspects which the photos in the gallery show by writing a handful of really effective paragraphs to support the images. Its not that hard!

So, if you'd like to see an example of what a good blog looks like, pop to this site to see how a single image (or maybe one or two), accompanied by wonderfully descriptive text can reaaly make a difference to your blog!

Our Blog...

We blog from time to time when there is something worth blogging about! We look at how schools change how they use their websites and how we can respond to those changes and when we have something really interesting to say, we will! Thanks for reading!

Latest News

November 10, 2021

Statutory Information for Academies & Trusts

Like for mainstream schools, the Government have published a set of information which has to be provided in order that Academies and Trusts (and Free Schools) be compliant with government legislation. This legislation was published in June 2016 and evolves as regulatory demands change.  Note that if your school or college is one of the following types, you need to check your funding agreement to find out exactly what information you must publish on your website; academies, including free schools, studio schools and university technical colleges, sixth-form colleges, general further education (FE) colleges. 

There are also publishing requirements set out within the Equality Act 2010 and Children and Families Act 2014, with which you must comply.

This guidance gives an overview of those requirements and the further information that the Department for Education (DfE) recommends that you publish on your website if you are one of these schools or colleges. Many academy trusts are under a duty to publish much of this further information, due to clauses in their funding agreements.

October 20, 2021

Slideshows from PowerPoint

An area that so many schools like to have easy control over - rather than having to rely on their web provider to manage - is creating and changing the slides used on their webpages. These slides sometimes have to be 'specially' created and edited using applications like Photoshop to support the best way to shape and size these images for use. Photoshop needs a level of skill (let alone cost) that schools like to avoid and so we have looked at other, more accessible ways to give administrators the ability to create and modify slideshows.

All schools that we encounter use PowerPoint and most have very capable staff who can be very creative in the development of PowerPoint slides and this is an ideal way to give schools the power to devise their own web slideshows that we can support as web based slideshows.

So, if you have a super set of slides from an event that you want to display on your webpage, it is now entirely possible and we have created a help video guide to show the steps involved, from exporting your slides and importing them into your website, and setting up animation and navigation as well as adding the resulting web slideset into pages for parents to view.

 

CLICK TO VIEW THE HELP VIDEO

 

July 01, 2021

Centralised File Management for MATs

One problem that Multi Academy Trust environments have is 'how can we be confident that our academy schools are all displaying the most recent and correct policy documents?' In fact, this question has many threads to it, the most relevant being that the methods that many MATs use to keep schools updated rely on quite rudimentary but sadly flaw-ridden processes; emailing updated files to the school administration or head is one way for the school to miss the email or they see it but action it much later than the MAT head office would like. That, or the MAT administrator has to login to each remote school console and make the changes themselves. Its all a real pain.

May 05, 2021

Online Training Course Successes!

In January 2021, Tapiochre undertook the delivery of online training courses for their school customers. The impact of coronavirus was continuing to  impact the ability to visit schools to provide face-to-face coaching and despite best efforts it was simply impossible to attend in person as we normally do. One of the keys of implementing a successful remote coaching service is to ensure that not only is it properly marketed but it also has to be easy for attendees to book onto chosen sessions and to  benefit from timely and appropriate communication about the event.

August 21, 2020

Ditch paper-based newsletters? Surely not?

Since the emergence of wordprocessing and desktop publishing, schools have sent out newsletters in Microsoft Word or Publisher to parents in hardcopy or electronically. And the timing of those newsletters differs from weekly to once per term, so we often get quite a varied response when we ask how these schools deal with the newsletter problem.

August 29, 2018

Social Networks - thoughts for Schools

If I had a pound for every head teacher who said they were worried about using the leading social media platforms "Twitter" and "Facebook" I think I would have £45.00, or perhaps more. The main fears are that, let's call them, 'certain users' will take advantage of the ability to publically post comments as a way to complain or, even worse, be abusive or threatening toward the school or its staff. From experience, such behaviour is rare but when it does happen the implications for the school can be significant, calling up all manner of policies like complaints, greivances, acceptable use,  safeguarding and more.

August 21, 2020

What's a decent school blog page look like?

I am often asked this question when primary schools start blogging. Essentially, the question stems from a fear of the unknown but experience has shown that teachers make excellent bloggers and there is a good reason for this. Teachers know what is happening in their classrooms, better than anyone else.

September 16, 2020

Statutory Information for school websites

Schools often ask us if there is a prescribed set of information which has to be provided in order to be compliant with government legislation. This legislation was published in September 2014 and continues to evolve as regulatory demands change. Occasionally, local authorities will make recommendations for additional content to be shown on your school website. This is further compounded by the demands of schools within a diocesan or Trust setting. Please refer to your local setting for this guidance.

August 25, 2019

The beauty of Open Source

We like to 'bang on' about Open Source (OS). The very nature of OS software (or hardware) creates significant benefits for us and for our customers because it reduces 'time to market' for our websites and also drives cost out of the business model. Why make things from scratch if OS offers low cost but highly functional software as a way to build websites and online applications.

August 24, 2019

Do we 'do' WordPress?

Well, there’s a good question!

As most of our websites need the levels of massive flexibility for the positioning of blocks of information on different pages and in different locations on that page, we have generally used the Joomla content management system (CMS). The fact that we often need to add a chunk of information in any position we wish on any page that we desire is so well handled by Joomla’s modular framework that it is the logical decision to use it instead of WordPress. That doesn't mean to say that WordPress is not a valid option for some blogging and medium-sized websites. In fact, we have seen some fairly significant scale corporate websites running WordPress!