St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School is taking a different online approach to its traditional open day this year, in light of the ongoing global pandemic.
As changing COVID-19 restrictions continue to cause uncertainty, the St Helens school has taken an innovative online approach to welcoming prospective students and their parents into its community, creating a microsite offering various levels of access to the school building, its staff and students.
Parents and children will be able to access the school at any time by taking a virtual tour of the school, while also being able to watch online interviews with teachers, course leaders and its headteacher, Catherine Twist, as they answer some of the most popular questions from families considering the school.
For those seeking a more personal experience, there will also be opportunities to participate in a Q&A session led by St Cuthbert’s senior team – 10 student-appointed Year 11s who liaise with other student year heads and represent the voice of the school’s young people.
There will also be a series of live ‘Meet the Teacher’ Q&A sessions with the headteacher, heads of year and specific course leaders and video calls with individual teachers will be offered for parents who have specific questions about the school and curriculum.
The school has already tested the digital approach with its new Year 7 intake by creating a dedicated ‘transition’ area on its website that features introductions from current Year 7 students, form tutors and headteacher.
As the work was undertaken during lockdown, audio recorded by each teacher has been accompanied by animations of the teachers, students and the school itself.
Catherine Twist, headteacher at St Cuthbert’s High School, said: “In a year where there has been so much uncertainty and disruption for young people in our community, we wanted to ensure that we remained open for all prospective students and their parents.
“We have always taken an innovative approach to education and community engagement, but this year we have really pushed the boundaries to ensure that people can access us at any time, from wherever they are and whatever their circumstances.
“We want to provide reassurance that whatever happens St Cuthbert’s, its students and staff team are always here at the heart of our local community.”
Senior team member, Jessica Morris, added: “Being appointed to the senior team during the COVID-19 outbreak has been a strange but exciting experience. The best thing about being a student at St Cuthbert’s is that we pull together and we always find ways to stay connected and keep on learning. I can’t wait to welcome our virtual visitors during open week.”
St Cuthbert’s open week takes place from Monday 21 to Friday 25 September and information about how to book appointments and join tours can be found on the school website.
Physical visits to the school are permitted, but booking will be required, spaces are limited and not all teachers will be available at all times.