How do we attract more teachers to the profession? And to our school?
This week I had a fascinating day at school, largely by working from behind the scenes …
The reason for writing this blog, is to share the highlight of the entire process which was using drones to capture the school from the air. In itself, the entire filming job has been a logistical operation to have students, staff and props all in the right place at the right time. I am no film director, but what I do know from friends who work in the media, is that there is a lots of waiting around waiting for the right moment to film. The pressure increases when you wait for a split-second to get the exact camera shot that you need. I am not saying that this was critical to the success of the day, but there was much footage to capture to be able to edit the content into three bite-sized videos. The equipment needed was amazing!
Arriving at 6:00am, I got out of my car to find to pre-planned visitors, already filming our school building and site using a drone camera. They were in high-visibility jackets, so were not difficult to notice and as I stepped out of the car, a distant ‘buzz’ loomed above my head.
In the video below, you will see my first impression of the drone at sunrise.
We all aware that there is a recruitment crisis sweeping the UK.
As a school, we are working hard to address this ourselves, and although our school is in the centre of London, which has its perks of course, there are also many disadvantages. Number one, most teachers cannot afford to live near the school. The property prices are astronomical in Westminster Council. Without going into full details about various (already known) recruitment issues across the country, I just want to share what we have been doing to raise the profile of school in terms of a ‘marketing strategy’ to help attract more teachers to come and work with us.
Over the past 12 months, our school has been in the national media for various reasons. Despite this, we have continued regardless to keep our students at the centre of all we do. We have worked tirelessly behind-the-scenes to re-brand and overhaul much historical information about the school. For example, the official name of the school, first-choices and sixth-form applications.
At the start of the day, we ventured out to the school roof. (click to expand photos)
6.30AM: standing on the roof of Quintin Kynaston, London.
Our site-team were already on the roof at 7:00AM already fixing a gas fault; emails were sent out to all staff with impending break and lunch chaos with students ‘up-in-arms’ about lack of hot food!We often do not appreciate the services required to keep a large school cool or heated, working fuel, pipes and buttons to ensure gas for the ovens to feed children and staff their lunch. Thankfully, the team fixed the system and the students didn’t even notice.
Click to expand.
Promoting the School:
We have been working on a series of videos: professional development; recruitment; and an overview of the whole school, over the past two to three months, with the past two to three weeks filming on-site. We have had several meetings and discussions about storyboards to capture what we would like to showcase about our school. We know all schools offer the same as anyone else, so we have approached the marketing campaign from a ‘what’s different about [QK] our school?’ perspective.
After several roof shots, we moved back to the ground floor to capture various images around the site.
Click to expand.
From the various images that you can see, you will gather an impression of the various pieces of work that we have been doing. Note, I can only share certain images on my blog (without students).
I hope to be able to share our ‘recruitment’ video within the next two or three weeks and hopefully in the summer, will be out to showcase our whole school video which will give you an insight into what we are trying to achieve with our students.
This work has been a fascinating process – and with the current crisis in recruitment and retention – all schools need to take their recruitment strategy seriously if we are able to attract the best teachers for all of our students.
I would like to thank Panda Media for being so proactive and creative in their approach with our staff.
Throughout the process, they have helped us consider a script; organise ‘flight-clearance’ with Heathrow Airport authorities to be able to fly the drone; organise mail-shots to local residents; help edit the audio footage – before seeing any of the visual footage – so that we could concentrate on content before visuals; the list goes on.
I can’t wait to see and share the three films …