A school blog is a great opportunity for your community to discover what life is like at your school in a more informal and personalised manner via your school website. Blogs can be written by the headteacher, head boy and girl, class teachers or even from the perspective of the school pet!
Read on to discover why having a blog on your school website can help engage your community, increase your online traffic and provide a unique perspective on life within your school.
What’s the difference between a school news area and a school blog?
A news area usually features articles which will inform or instruct the community about an upcoming event or explain about something that has occurred within the school.
Typical news article topics could be about a recent Ofsted inspection, uniform update or information about an upcoming school vaccination schedule. You could also find details of an upcoming assembly, results from a recent sports day or reminders about school policies.
In contrast, a blog post is more about entertaining or describing an event for an audience – giving them more in-depth information about a situation – for example an analysis of a recent show, or a diary of a residential school trip. They are usually more informal and colloquial in tone.
Some blogs may have the same author (for example the headteacher), but it's also good to have a variety of authors with different views and perspectives. It's an opportunity for multiple individuals to get involved and share their stories. Blogs are usually read for fun, or to learn something, as opposed to news stories which are read for information or necessity.
Why should my school consider having a blog?
A good blog will encourage your audience to keep returning to see if you have updated your content or added new posts for them to read.
Sharing links on social media can also encourage people to visit your school website to read your post and increase your audience size – allowing you to reach people (and parents) you may not have connected with previously.
What makes a blog interesting to read?
Interesting blog posts are those which capture the reader’s attention and encourage them to keep reading. A good blog post could run into 3 or 4 minutes in reading length, so the content needs to be engaging and purposeful to allow a reader to stay with it for the full length of the piece.
Think about the audience – are you appealing to parents, the community or students? You can then pitch the content at an appropriate level – a blog from the headteacher to parents may reference recent cultural or topical events, whereas a blog aimed at primary school children will potentially be more playful and light-hearted.
Also, think about the author – who is writing the post? Blogs should be genuine and authentic, so don’t be afraid to let the personality of the individual who is writing shine through. For example, if you’re an English teacher with a love of pastoral literature, then let that show in your blog– if you’re passionate about your subject matter, the reader will see that, and appreciate it.
What types of blogs have schools written in the past?
The opportunities are endless and, just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done by you! If you have an idea for a blog which you think will be popular with your school website audience, then go for it!
Some popular school blog categories we’ve seen in recent years are:
A blog from the headteacher is always a popular idea and can usually benefit both the reader and the writer. For the headteacher, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the previous week or month, sharing anecdotes, ideas and experiences from the top.
For parents, it’s a chance to ‘connect’ with the headteacher and to view them as a more three-dimensional figure. It can help reassure them they’ve chosen the right school for their child and adds a more personal touch to the parent experience.
Some great examples of headteacher blogs can be seen on:
Teaching, Learning & Curriculum
Another popular option for schools is to have a set of blogs for classes, teaching areas or knowledge bases. These blogs tend to have a very specific focus (a year group or subject) and a specific audience (parents of those students) but are great for sharing information on a regular basis.
Especially when it comes to class blogs, teachers can highlight positive events from the classroom, share work or behaviour that they are proud of from the previous week (anonymised to initials or first names for GDPR purposes) as well as give updates on what topics are being worked on. Parents can see what their child has been up to and it can also give prospective parents a first-hand flavour of the school.
Examples of some teaching and learning blogs can be seen on:
Students, Alumni and Careers
As well as blogs written by departments or individual teaching staff, you could also choose to share posts written by students that are either still at your school or who have left. Student blogs can be great for sharing the pupil perspective, as well as providing a creative outlet for writing and storytelling. You could ask your students to write about participating in a show, keep a diary of a school trip or get them to share updates on being part of a club.
Alternatively, you may wish for former students to share their experiences after leaving school, whether that’s how they found joining secondary school, university or starting careers. Alumni(ae) blogs can provide inspiration to current students as well as offer insights on the different pathways that can be taken in the future. A few examples of alumni and student led blogs can be seen on:
A few examples of alumni and student led blogs can be seen on:
The world is your oyster...
There are many options available for schools and trusts when it comes to creating a blog – all you need is a sprinkle of enthusiasm, a keyboard and a few good stories!
Once you’ve got in the flow, it’s important to keep your blog frequently updated – even if it’s once a week or once a month, as readers will start to enjoy and follow your blog and, if you don’t post for a while, readership will drop off. You can signpost users to your blog area through school newsletters, emails, your social media accounts and even via a feed on your school website homepage.
For more inspiration, check out these brilliant school blogs:
And finally, these school dog blogs (we told you they were a thing!):
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