St Andrew’s School for Girls at the cutting edge of communication

| September 5, 2017 | 0 Comments

BY DANIELLA ROSSOUW

Effective communication is fundamental to success in many aspects of life, including the running of organisations, companies and schools, and interpersonal relationships with friends and family.

Constantly learning how we can improve our communication has many benefits, and for this reason, St Andrew’s School for Girls in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, strives to improve communication processes between the various stakeholders at the school. Previously, girls in the senior school would need to refer to the “Today Board” to read any relevant notices pertaining to them. Junior school girls would paste photocopied letters into their homework books for their parents’ attention. Girls in all three sectors of the school would take home printed newsletters, notices and reply slips. Sporting fixtures were posted on the sports boards for parents and girls to check. It was often time-consuming and inconvenient for parents and girls, and there was unnecessary paper wastage.

Putting everyone on the same page The school therefore identified the need for a one-stop, efficient and mobile communication platform. Since our parents and students form part of this digital age, where everything is at our fingertips, St Andrew’s partnered with http://www.myappzone.co.za/1 and developed a customised mobile app.

It is designed to be user-friendly, branded in the St Andrew’s sky-blue colour, and it is the one platform on which everything a parent or student needs to know is posted. The app has been hugely successful across all three sectors (the preschool, junior school and senior school). All staff and parents have access to the app and have the option to create their own profiles, personalising their needs and notifications, and students in the senior school are granted access for their own use, too.

Other community members of the school – such as au pairs, grandparents, coaches, etc. – are also granted access to our app on application. An access code and short registration upon app download ensures security and privacy of information. The app can be downloaded to a number of different devices, and each user can select which notifications they would like to receive. As a diamond-status Eco-School,2 St Andrew’s aims to reduce paper usage and limits printed letters that go home. The mobile app facilitates this and assists in reducing the number of e-mails that are sent to our parents.

Sport-specific mobile app extends success

After the success of the school app, we decided to move our annual Netball Festival programme to a sport-specific mobile app. All participants, coaches and supporters were given details to download the app, where they could access the latest results, fixtures, team lists and more. The festival app eliminated the need to print programmes and allowed individuals to “follow” specific schools and get results at their fingertips. St Andrew’s is proud to be at the forefront in the social media arena, keeping up with fast-paced technological developments. The app is an effective tool of communication to reach members of our community in the most non-intrusive way possible, and gives our online followers access to information pertaining to their specific needs at their immediate disposal. It is yet another way our school strives for success in communication, and for skilling our girls, as well as our families, for life.

Daniella Rossouw is head of marketing and public relations at St Andrew’s School for Girls.

References:
1. See: http://www.myappzone.co.za/
2. See: https://www.ieducation.co.za/st-andrews-eco-school-for-girls-our-road-todiamond- status/

Category: Spring 2017

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