How to Design a Successful School Prospectus

How to Design a Successful School Prospectus

How to Design a Successful School Prospectus 1500 1125 Spacific Creative

A prospectus is the first touchpoint potential students have with your school so it’s important to make a great impression! In many ways, it is a condensed version of the school website. It includes an overview of school life and the learning pathways on offer. 

This short book should be concise, accurate and convey what makes your school unique! Here are some tips and content ideas for your next school prospectus.

Set the Tone

Choosing a school is a big decision, so there are a few things to keep in mind when designing. A prospectus should be formal to show respect for the reader, but should also feel personal. Parents want to feel a connection with your school and know that their child will be in safe hands. It’s therefore a good idea to write like you are speaking to just one person or family. Language like ‘your child’ and ‘your decision’ will make the prospectus more personal.

It is also important to define your school’s voice and message before you begin. Does your school wish to convey prestige, a positive learning environment, or inclusivity? Your chosen message should be carried through all the written and visual content.

Promote Your School

Potential students may look at many prospectuses, so make sure to highlight your school’s unique selling points! It could be your sports facilities, academics, or world-class teachers that set your school apart. Share what makes your school wonderful, and show parents what is on offer for their child if they enrol.

8 Things to Include in Your School Prospectus

Each school prospectus is different but there are a few things that all great ones have in common! Here are 8 key elements of a successful prospectus.

1. A Letter from the Principal

Letter from the School Principal

Much like a yearbook, a great prospectus begins with a message from the principal. As the main figurehead of your school, a great principal can make all the difference for parents when choosing a school. A welcome message indicates that they are accessible and engaged with the school community.

2. The School Motto, Heritage & Values

School Heritage & Values

Readers should finish reading your prospectus with a good understanding of your school’s values and community ties. Include your motto or slogan and explain what values the school regards as important.

3. School Curriculum & Learning Style

St Paul's learning style

Parents want a school with a curriculum that suits their child. If your school offers IB or IGCSE, make sure to include this in the prospectus. An overview of NCEA is also important, especially when marketing to international students. Include facts about your school’s teaching approach and information on class sizes.

4. Student Support

Don’t forget to tell parents what support is on offer at school. Each student is unique and may need help with different things. Let parents know what academic help and student counselling are available if required. 

This could even be as simple as explaining the classroom structure, tutor groups, and duties of school prefects.

5. Extracurricular School Activities

Extracurricular school activities

Let it be known what cultural and sporting options are available at your school. Highlight big wins, fun activities and great school facilities! Pair this with some vibrant photos to help tell the story and build excitement.

6. Student Quotes & Testimonies

Student quotes in a school prospectus

Quotes from current students, parents or alumni are a good way to legitimise your claims. They also provide a different voice and perspective, bringing some variety to the prospectus. Try to include quotes that feel sincere or can be backed up by facts to ensure they have the most impact.

7. Professional Prospectus Photography

Professional photos are the easiest way to make a publication look great! With good photos, your design can remain simple and still look sophisticated.

Professional photography of students

The key to great prospectus photography is to capture a range of shots and subjects. Engaging close-up shots work well as a feature on a page, whereas group shots are important for showing school spirit and community. It is also important to capture photos of a wide range of students. Your photos should celebrate students with different interests and from all backgrounds.

8. Find Out More

Call to action enrolment information

End the prospectus with a call-to-action. Share details on how to enrol or where readers can find further information. Display the school’s website URL, physical address and a phone number or email they can contact. Interested parents will want to learn more, or speak to a staff member, so make it easy for them to do so!