Every community has a mixture of businesses and organisations that connect locals to each other to deliver the products and services that we all need to enjoy happy and healthy lives.
As a father, husband, musician and enthusiastic member of the Waiheke local community, it’s great to be able to contribute positively to our local businesses, groups and organisations. I particularly enjoy observing how businesses and organisations blossom – transforming and growing over time to become ever-more useful – to the people and customers they serve.
There are of course “essential organisations” within our communities that provide unique services to locals – for example education facilities and schools.
Te Huruhi school is one such example within the local Waiheke Island community. Ever since my children started at the Waiheke Island primary school, I’ve marvelled at the ability of the principal, teachers and other staff to continuously nurture, protect, encourage and inspire our children – pedagogy is a challenging field – but technology should be able to assist!
Communication Is Key
One thing teachers and school administrators love is to communicate with parents – and as a parent, I think that’s wonderful – because I want to keep up-to-date with what’s happening with my children and with their school, the teachers, forthcoming events and all the general news.
The school admin team – as it turns out – had often wished for new methods and systems to help improve communications and enhance their abilities. This is often the case with staff in many organisations who are “on the ground” working with various restrictions. Whilst this was absolutely and definitely a job for technology, the existing systems were challenging to use efficiently and effectively.
It was clear that Te Huruhi school needed a new website and modern method to easily communicate to parents and caregivers without flooding inboxes every day. Thankfully, I had already been in touch with the Principal to discuss how I might assist. As we all know, schools have limited budgets at the best of times, so I was happy to provide a solution proposal that would achieve the following;
- Modernise the school communications platform;
- Enhance the school’s brand and public image by tweaking their logo and identity;
- Provide an effective space for school news updates, reports and event notifications;
- Create an attractive functional website and “shop window” for the school;
- Simplify the way teachers, administrators, the principal and parents could engage;
- Facilitate intelligent connection between different platforms and ensure essential apps are integrated successfully;
- Deliver the project at a charitable rate, while also donating considerable time to the project as a way to “give back”.
Fortunately, the school board of trustees and the principal all agreed that this was the right path and so we set about creating the new website, with new colours, modified logos, tweaked branding – and of course, fresh new design, layout and navigation.
It also meant the school were able to “sculpt and tweak” the website content, images and the newly designed website pages to ensure it was relevant, up to date and useful.
An important part of any new website design, is to enable parents and caregivers to quickly find the information they need – so we collaboratively worked with the school to ensure the navigational structure was clear, concise and effective.
Finally, we completed the integration to the School App and also to a newsletter mailing system that would send a digest of all news articles to subscribers on a weekly basis.
The school is now able to use their new website to easily publish articles which automatically get sent to subscribers!
You can visit the website here: https://tehuruhi.school.nz
A satisfying project – but also great to see the new site getting used so well – enabling the school and the community to grow which is of course very apt given the school’s tag line:
Ahakoa he iti he mapihi pounamu / From little things, big things grow
Thanks for all of your hard work on the website. It is looking really good. We are coming to grips with uploading content and articles.