Oasis Academy Warndon is an inclusive academy for children aged between 2 and 11 located on the periphery of Worcester City. As a school, they are committed to two things: delivering first-class education for all of their students, and playing an active role in the local community of Warndon and the surrounding area.
It is this ethos of aspiring to provide a truly holistic education and to build an interconnected community that led the school to adopt an innovative approach to parental communications: a customised school app.
Shortly before the Christmas holiday period, Emily Hobson, the Principal, became aware of just how much an app could do for a school like theirs. The fact that so many parents now have smartphones, and have them on their person more often than not, was a huge draw to switching to a tech solution.
It also gave them the perfect opportunity to make gains in their environmental goals; prior to the app, they had been sending out hundreds of leaflets and letters every week. Now, they are on track to be totally paperless by Easter!
The benefits of this app are completely evident – the platform allows you to see how many parents have registered their devices. You can see that parents are picking up messages a lot quicker than before, when staff were calling and leaving voice messages. As Amey, head of media at Warndon Academy, says: “Now, if they don’t get the message one way, they can see it on the app as well.” This change has saved Amey an unfathomable amount of time in printing leaflets and calling to chase up parents.
Although they still use a number of channels to ensure communications get through, including social media and their website, the app gives them the unique capability of sending secure direct messages to individual parents at the push of a button. This secure feature is one of many that Piota Apps is able to provide to schools.
About their experience with Piota Apps, Amey said: “Overall the app has worked really well. Any problems that we’ve had, we’ve contacted Claire (our designated contact), she’s fab. She’s been in regular contact with me to tell me of any changes and I’ve done the same letting them know about any problems and they’ve been resolved really quickly.”