Pocklington School is a public day and boarding co-ed school in
the East Riding of Yorkshire. We've worked with the School since 2008 to help
them address the challenges faced by many public schools - maintaining
pupil numbers despite rising costs, pressures on family budgets and
improving standards in the state sector.
Our first job was to re-discover the School's DNA: those underlying qualities that
are often taken for granted, but nonetheless make a school so special.
We spoke to current pupils, boarders, staff, parents, alumni and Governors
to establish exactly what made Pocklington what it is, and particularly what makes it
different to other schools both locally and across the country.
The insights we uncovered helped us establish and - working alongside the
Senior Management Team - implement four key strategic initiatives.
We helped the school appear to be more joined up, making it clear that it offered
education for pupils aged 4 through to 18. This involved major changes
to the structure of the school, including changing the name of Lyndhurst School
to Pocklington Prep School and removing barriers, such as entrance exams for current pupils
wanting to move up to the Senior School. It also involved the creation of the School's
first cohesive identity - a modern interpretation of the symbolism within the
founding family's 500 year old Coat of Arms.
Pocklington needed to make itself relevant. We ensured that they became
much more vocal about the type of education on offer - one focused on a child's individual
talent and inherent strengths. For the Prep School, this was about inspiring a love of learning;
for the Senior School, inspiring self-determined success; and for the Sixth Form,
inspiring students about their future opportunity.
We commissioned a series of photo shoots to capture the spirit, friendships and characters
of the students,themselves, as a way to help connect the brand with the curriculum.
Photography Guy Farrow
Engaging with the challenges of modern family life was important to avoid
being seen as distant and irrelevant, ensuring that everything was open to all, particularly helping
integrate boarding-based activities into the pre and after-school experience.
We also identified a number of opportunities to build on the substantial word-of-mouth
support that the school enjoyed. We focussed on Social media, and developed a strategy to harness
the enthusiasm within the school to create a strong on-line profile from everyday activity,
helping Pocklington become visible beyond the local community.
We've worked closely with the School to ensure these themes – and the new
identity – have been developed and embedded within its day-to-day life
and have seen the underlying financial performance, so essential for ongoing
sustainability and investment - secured.