Earlier this year, I was working at a school in the lovely town of Bradford on Avon. The canalside location reminded me of the time we passed through the town by boat on our way to the picturesque city of Bath. I discussed with the Head of Computing how her newly trained digital leaders could share their wonderful material with parents. A similar conversation came about when I was working with the ICT lead at a school in Bromsgrove, updating their Online Safety Polices. She needed to get her class pages published, but their website just wasn’t making life easy. It was simply too difficult to publish content and even uploading a photo of class work took ages. Surely there must be a simpler and easier way that doesn’t cost the earth? There is, it’s called WordPress and I would strongly recommend you take a look at it. It gives you the flexibility to do things that you cannot do on your main school website, though you can still link to and from it. It should come as no surprise that our own sites are built on WordPress, as indeed is that of the Worcester-Birmingham and Droitwich Canals Society for which we volunteer. Small world!
Some ideas for your school WordPress site
- For class teacher and pupils to have their own class pages and blogs and to use these to celebrate their work.
- To create a dedicated online safety site for your parents and community.
- A vehicle for your digital leaders to publish and promote their work to others.
- For teachers to roll out special projects and generate an audience such as a specialist subject area or project like a school trip.
- To create a dedicated sub-site of your main school page such as the nursery, library, forest school, governors site or SEND.
- To create a dedicated fund raising site.
- For a professional educator or professional learning blog.
- A place for digital e-portfolios for pupils.
- WordPress is very easy to use but at the same time it is a powerful online publishing tool.
- WordPress sites are easy to update. If you can create a Word document, you can publish a new article to your WordPress website.
- Once it is set up, you can update it anytime you want, and that is important for engagement with your visitors and for the search engines.
- It provides 1000’s of customisable designs or themes.
- WordPress sites work great in tablets or smart phones.
- Plugins allow you to extend the functionality of your WordPress site that help you add all kinds of functionality to your sites, like social media sharing, SEO, photo slideshows and more.
- Your site can be edited and updated by multiple users including (if required) staff, governors and pupils.
- It is a lot cheaper and easier to use than a VLE!
- You can connect it to your Social Media feed such as Twitter.
Publish.School gives you your own WordPress site for a special inclusive rate of just £50 per year. This rate includes your own fully customisable WordPress site with its own name.publish.school subdomain. If required, additional support and design services are available on a pro rata basis.