Past Newsletters

Issue 705 - 10-dec-2017

Dresses and skirts banned for Kindergarten to encourage play

School uniforms are often a contentious issue. Changing them is also. Sandy Nelson, Director of Admissions and Marketing at Lowtherhall Anglican Grammar School shared the launch of new uniforms, the philosophy behind the changes and some of the process. A committee of dedicated students, Old Grammarians, staff and parents has worked for 24 months to develop the new wardrobe. The uniform will be phased in from the beginning of 2018 and to 2020. 

Girls will now have a choice of a skirt, dress, pants or shorts. Students in Kindergarten to Year 1 will not be allowed to wear a dress or skirt at all. This is to encourage active play. The wardrobe was designed by well-known RM Williams designer Mr Jonathan Ward. Sandy says “We also wanted to “stand out” from the other schools in our area (who all have navy blazers and until now we did too!). Jonathan reintroduced a blue that was prominent in our school dresses back in the 1940s.”

The launch video covers topics of why do we wear a uniform, the changing role of women and the activities they partake in.  Importantly it also includes student reactions to the uniform and the options it introduces. Items of current uniform that are no longer required are able to be donated to schools in Tanzania.

You may also like to explore the Advocacy Group > Girls Uniform Agenda 

Issue 705 - 10-dec-2017

Cybersafety videos promote ‘Make a choice you won’t regret’ message

The marketing team at Diocese of Townsville Catholic Education created a series of videos with students from their schools.  Christina Pery, Communications and Special Projects Manager, says they have received a great reception on social media. “We are extending the campaign by filming similar videos in our regional schools to promote these important messages. We found that using local students of various ages, and then launching the #makeachoiceyouwontregret campaign in each school with the students from the video has been a very successful way to get these important messages across.” 

Watch the four videos at:

Issue 705 - 10-dec-2017

Record your school history while you can

Last week I helped interview some of the founders of Covenant Christian School in Sydney in preparation for their 40th birthday celebrations. There were several purposes:
1. Creating a series of short videos to show in the lead up to and during the celebrations.
2. Recording the school history while these people are still alive.
3. Creating additional content which may help future archivists planning the 50th or 100th celebrations.
4. To say thank you to them and give them an opportunity to reconnect, explore the school and hear what is now happening.

Some of those involved with the school’s starting have already passed away. While we had anticipated doing more couple and individual interviews of their memories, the most interesting session was when we had five cameras recording a group discussion with 12 people. Their triggering of each other’s memories and different perspectives on the same memories.

Strathalbyn Christian College Geraldton are grateful they interviewed, as part of the school’s 35th anniversary, Mr George Edland who had the original vision for their College.  Sadly, George passed away in 2016. I encourage you to record your school’s history, and ongoing story, as it is these stories which can help create traditions and also ensure your community understands why your school exists. 

Watch the video at

Issue 704 - 3-dec-2017

What do your school signs reveal about you to the public?

While walking in Christchurch New Zealand I took these photos of a school’s signage. The first celebrates the achievement of students in debating, drama and mountain biking. The students are photographed and named and I imagine the sign is changed during the year. It reveals something of the diversity of opportunities offered to students at the College.

The second sign is a bold declaration that “Let it be known to all who enter here that Jesus Christ is the reason for this College.” It is a clear indicator of the College’s beliefs and understanding of why it exists. 

Do you have examples of other school signs which boldly declare why they exist or offer an insight into the school community?

Issue 704 - 3-dec-2017

Finish an event with a whole school drone video

The Arts Festival at Rehoboth Christian College is an annual week-long event to showcase music, drama, arts and crafts, foods, and other student activities. This year for the final festival event all 400 students, from the Kenwick Campus, created the school’s motto "Soli Deo Gloria" on the oval. 

Drones may have made this type of video more common yet this one switches between ground and aerial shots to give some more variety. The beauty of these videos is they include so many people and are easy to share on social media.

Issue 704 - 3-dec-2017

Questions to ask your Year 12 graduates

For the last day at school Christina Pery, Communications and Special Projects Manager for the Diocese of Townsville Catholic Education helped create a video asking students;

  1. What are you doing next year?
  2. What did your school mean to you?" 
They interviewed students from each of the schools in the Diocese to combine in a joint promotional video.

A third question "What is your advice for new students coming to the school?" will be edited into a further video and released the week before the beginning of the 2018 school year. Christina explained that the video was very successful in promoting the variety of career paths for students, and received plenty of likes and shares from the school communities.

Issue 703 - 5-nov-2017

Engaging your whole school community to form your school logo

Ravenswood School for Girls gathered their 1200 students, Kindergarten to Year 12, plus 200 staff together on the school oval to form the shape of the school crest and flame, in celebration of the spirit of Ravenswood. This is a delightful way to create a popular video likely to be watched and shared widely by the school community. 

To create the logo outline they enlisted the help of a customisable GPS guided line marking service usually used for ovals. Watch the video and then enjoy the Behind the Scenes


Issue 703 - 5-nov-2017

Educating your parents about how to read and respond to school reports

At school report time an Australian school included a link to an external video to help prepare their  parent community. The four minute video is by Michael Grose who runs parenting courses. The publicly available video is a simple tool for schools which may be appreciated by your parents.

> Watch this before looking at your child’s report 

Have any schools made their own videos on this topic for their school community?

Issue 703 - 5-nov-2017

Can families translate your school newsletter?

As many schools and communities become more multi-cultural the challenge of effectively communicating with our diverse families increases. While many school newsletters are not read by those who can, it is much harder for those families for whom English is a second language. Services like iNewsletter now have an automatic translation feature (using Google translate) that allows readers to translate the newsletter into their preferred language.

Take a look at McKinnon Secondary College's newsletter at and scroll down to the bottom and try out the feature.

How does your school communicate across languages?

Issue 702 - 15-oct-2017

Helping students address significant social issues

Six Year 9 students from Kirrawee High School helped create a video on domestic violence. Titled ‘Beneath the Skin,’ the video was shared on NSW Department of Education’s Facebook page and generated over 250,000 views. I feel the most challenging part of the video is when students realise how close to home the topic actually is.


The video also generated positive media attention: Schools domestic violence film hits 250000 views 

Issue 702 - 15-oct-2017

The variety of our School Marketing roles

As school marketers we often wear many hats. Depending on the size and budget of the school our roles can be varied. I considered this during the recent school holidays as I spent a day cleaning and preparing large toys for the visitors to a children’s concert we were hosting. The purchase of these large toys several years ago has helped us create a great excuse for people to linger, to chat, to play and connect. 

While we all may like to be able to delegate certain tasks it is a choice to embrace the variety with a smile and help make your school a more inviting and special place for the community.

Thank you for what you do – seen and unseen.

Issue 702 - 15-oct-2017

How to introduce a new school Principal

Changing a Principal can be very significant for schools. Parents, staff and students will have many questions. When Wycliffe Christian School introduced their new Principal David Johnston they chose to create a video. This allows the Principal to be heard and seen. Rather than have him talking to camera he interacts with students of a variety of ages and answers their questions. They also explore the school facilities which acts as a promotion of the school.

As a Christian school they emphasise this aspect of the Principal's faith. Overall, I thought it was a very good production to reassure their current community, set expectations, not be overly formal, answer common questions and showcase the school. 
Do you have examples from your school of introducing a new Principal, or thanking one as they depart.

Issue 701 - 17-sep-2017

Two school videos – big budget and no budget

The Marketing Department at St Anne’s Diocesan College  in Hilton, KZN, South Africa created a short video of its 140th Birthday Celebrations to share the festivities of Foundation Day. The goal was to create community amongst the St Anne’s girls, staff, parents and alumnae.

Jenna McKenzie, Marketing & PR shared that “in the same week that the professional video was filmed, the St Anne’s girls, under the banner ‘Ladies in Blue’, were also hard at work, filming and editing their own ‘home-grown’ video to celebrate Women’s Day. With no budget, the girls themselves produced a video that captures the essence of what it is to be a St Anne’s girl, tackling issues that women face on a daily basis.”

Jenna says “both videos have been widely shared on social media and have allowed viewers a rare glimpse into the life of the girls in our College.”

Issue 701 - 17-sep-2017

Start your school term with a smile

At the beginning of every term Deidré Proxenos, Marketing Manager at Dainfern College in Johannesburg South Africa decorate their main entrance and two reception areas with balloons. Deidré says “It is a welcome back to all our staff, parents and students. We have had the most amazing feedback about it and it just lifts the spirits of everyone - after a long holiday, having to come back to school.”

This is a simple, colourful and low cost way to create a better atmosphere for your school community.

Issue 700 - 3-sep-2017

End of School Year Thanksgiving Service

At the end of the year does your school look back and say thank you? Often we can always be looking forward that we forget to stop, remember and show gratitude.

At St Philip's Christian College’s end of year Thanksgiving Service they showed a 10 minute “Our Principal's Report.” This is a wonderful way of remembering what happened and helping other students, parents and staff look forward to the coming year together. It takes work and forward thinking to record this type of video footage throughout the year. It will also create a wonderful long term record of student activities for the school’s archives.

Could this be a project you start now for the end of year?

Issue 700 - 3-sep-2017

How does your school cater for the visually impaired?

The home page of Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation allows you to:

  • Increase the font size
  • Change the colour of text 
  • Change the background colour

This helps visually impaired visitors engage with, read and navigate the site. It is a simple yet tangible demonstration of their inclusive education. Their promotional video also includes a student using sign language.


Issue 700 - 3-sep-2017

Celebrate the passion of your enthusiastic teachers

Most of us will have memories of a few teachers who stood out for their skill, passion, enthusiasm or advice. Having a diversity of teachers means students have a variety of role models. Mariah Calman is an art teacher at Ambarvale High School  near Campbelltown Sydney. Her unconventional teaching methods of including rap gained attention of artists, local and national media.

One of her students said "I've got to say one of the best classes I've ever had is an art class. Some days even if I don't have art it's why I come to school." Mariah Calman says "The rap was created as a way for students to retain in-depth concepts for deconstructing artworks. I think they see how devoted I am to my subject and enthusiasm is contagious."

I encourage you to read the articles and watch the ABC story
> Macarthur Advertiser - Creative teacher finds new fans
> ABC - Is this 'fearless' rapper the best art teacher on the planet?

Issue 699 - 27-aug-2017

Video helps promote district of schools

This bulletin has an international audience and it is always fascinating to me how different school communities tell their story. Maria Bond, Director of Community Relations at Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation enjoys reading the newsletter, and shared their recent welcome video. Located in Fortville, Indiana the video promotes their five schools of approximately 4,000 students. It includes a mix of interviews of students and narration while showcasing their facilities and learning opportunities.

Issue 699 - 27-aug-2017

Unusual ways to raise funds - tape your Principal to the wall

Schools raising money for charities is often reported in local media. Yet many of these articles can sound very familiar. How do you increase participation and be more likely to generate media interest? Why not offer to tape the Principal to a wall if they pass a fundraising target? That is what Covenant Christian School in West Lincoln Canada did. Principal Joyce Koornneef set a target of $9,000 and the school raised over $12,000. As promised she allowed students to tape her to a wall and let her dangle mid air.

See: Covenant Christian School students tape principal to the wall 

Issue 699 - 27-aug-2017

Does the homepage of your school website grab a visitor’s attention?

The first thing I noticed about St Andrew’s School website was an upside down student’s face. It is unexpected so engaging. 

The homepage features 20 students of different ages, interests, ethnicity and uniforms. Each high key photo on a white background includes an aspect of the student’s personality such as problem solver, diplomat, dreamer, whiz kids and smart cookies. A small cartoon and quote adds to the message. I believe the variety of students and their interests is a celebration of diversity and hopefully one where a prospective parent feels their own unique child will be accepted and encouraged.

Take a look at: