essentials2By now, we hope that you've had the opportunity to surf the new site and take in all of the 'newness'! So, besides the new look, what else is going on? Let's take a look:

Menu Options

A lot of thought went into the navigation of the site to reduce the number of clicks needed for users to get to the information they want and need. We've achieved this in several ways:

2013-11-04 09.06.19 pm~Icons: the top icons of H-N-E and B-F-C are quick links to some of the most commonly navigated sections of the site. Hover over them to see what they stand for.

The 'E' here requires special mention. This is quite simply our 'Essentials' section - a feature derived from parental feedback on the previous website. The Essentials sets out to deliver the essence of what we're about in one thrifty, semi-digestible gulp. This was perhaps an ambitious move since schools are like onions: you peel back one layer to reveal several others (and sooner or later the experience will make your eyes water, right?) Nonetheless, we've listened and have tried to create a section where prospective parents, curious existing parents, interested visitors and keen inspectors can pore over the essence of our school without having to navigate the other 1500+(!) pages of our school website.

2013-11-04 09.06.34 pm~The 'Left Menu': if you're not into icons then you have some of the main staples laid out for you vertically. Notable mention this time goes to the 'Pre-school' section, which, importantly, also embodies the after-school care service of Busy Bees. As previously, these sections are updated and maintained by the Pre-school.

~The 'Top Menu': The principal rationale for moving to a new site is to reflect the school's new vision. The top menu, as well as the blobby characters (the 'BLOTS' i.e. Blue (Coat) L.O.T.S) on the front page animation and scattered throughout, reflect the 4 pillars of our vision. Each menu item highlights some of the key areas where we're striving to meet our vision. More specifically, the 'Showcase' within each menu gives an update on what we've done most recently to move that bit closer to it. These pages will change with some regularity so please ensure you revisit the showcases to keep your finger on the pulse.

The Discussion Forum

The Pupil Discussion Forum was trialled in private at the end of the last academic year - you can read these threads now since we've opened access to all users. The forum will be a key feedback tool this year as we engage our children more and more in improving our school by getting their ideas and say as to what is working and what's not.

The governors promptly recognised the benefit of this format of communication, particularly for sharing information with other governors following their visits to school. They then had to have one. As the subject matter will often be of a sensitive matter then this forum will remain private to the public and will be for governors' eyes only.

The Video Vault

2013-11-04 09.07.09 pmThose of you familiar with the Class Blogs will be aware that some teachers and pupils have been experimenting with flipped classroom. This is a form of teaching where video tutorials are initially provided online for independent home learning and then followed up later in class by the teacher with a series of consolidation and application activities. 

As we engage more with this proven method of teaching then we will archive more of our flipped classroom attempts in the vault for the benefit of pupils, parents and our teachers.

So, there's plenty of new content for you to read through and absorb, not to mention a flurry of imminent class blog activity approaching at pace round the corner. We hope that you enjoy the site and wewelcome your feedback, positive or constructive... that would mean clicking the 'C' icon in the corner then! Enjoy.