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How to unite your school community with your website

Olivia Malaure, Marketing Manager at Finalsite UK, discusses Harrow School's new website

Posted by Julian Owen | November 23, 2017 | Technology

Originally, Harrow School was just one room – the Fourth Form Room. Four classes went on in the four corners of the room simultaneously. Today, the school spans 300 acres, comprising 12 boarding houses, accommodation for all teaching staff, six conservation areas, a golf course, farm, observatory and registered park, alongside all the usual teaching and learning facilities. The responsibility of building a website for one of Britain’s most prestigious schools was not something our team at Finalsite UK took lightly, and the Harrow School website has become an outstanding example of a large-scale project proudly delivered on time, on brand and with an exceptional user journey.

As a marketing tool, the Harrow School website serves to highlight the tremendous tradition and growth that a Harrow education provides, as well as creating an essential communication channel for the 700 people who work at Harrow, 150 of whom are teachers. 

This was an important balance to achieve because one of the core aims of the project was to engage and unite Harrow’s community through its website, whilst always being mindful that it had to be intuitive and welcoming for new visitors. 

Here is a quick tour of the website:

- The website’s clean, modern styling is another fundamental part of its character. The refined graphic details and elegant white space helps convey the premium quality of the school and strengthen the impact of the vibrant photography. 

- As a selective school, the FAQ page has been really helpful for visitors keen to understand Harrow’s positioning before diving in. 

- For those looking for a more immersive experience, the choice of web page content reflects a balance between academic rigour, extra-curricular opportunity and pastoral care that Harrow has to offer. The content writers at Harrow have adopted an eloquent and simple writing style that appeals to their domestic and international audiences. 

- On the homepage, a rotating header lets visitors explore Harrow’s most important news. The volume and diversity of activities taking place at Harrow makes the school really unique among its competitors, making this the perfect starting point to convey. Site visitors can seamlessly scroll down the home page to meet the sophisticated photo collage that accompanies a panel titled, ‘What would you like to do?’ This section includes a link to the Old Speech Room Gallery. The Old Speech Room was built around 1820 as a space where boys could learn the art of public speaking. In 1976, it was converted into a gallery for the school’s distinguished collection of antiquities and fine art. The page is used to promote the gallery to the public and to PhD and MA students who frequently apply to study the collections.

- A very distinctive alumni page promotes some of Harrow’s famous former pupils, taking the emotional engagement to a new level by showcasing biographical profiles that reveal a photo of each child during their school days on hover. An interactive map reveals the impressive grounds of the school, and features each of the boarding houses along with a short introduction of the housemasters. 

- One of the most exciting features of the site is ‘Explore Harrow’, an online gallery page which showcases news, music, video and photo galleries and reinforces the breadth of talent across multiple subject areas of the school. Its aim is to trigger an emotional response in the site visitor who can imagine their son walking in the footsteps of a Harrow schoolboy.

To find out more about how Finalsite can help you build your school’s online presence and to receive a free website audit, visit our website

 

 

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