Highfields to use QR codes during school tours

The independent school will bring the school to life through clips of the choir and the dining hall during tours for prospective parents and guardians

An independent school in Newark is offering prospective parents and guardians personal tours optimising QR code technology to bring the school to life during the pandemic.

Those who book a tour at Highfields Independent School and Day Nursery will be able to use their mobile phones at various points to access unique QR code content.

The QR code content is being used to show more about life at the school, as current pupils will not be present during the tours in order to keep them as safe as possible.

Headteacher at Highfields, Sarah Lyons, explained: “On our tours, there will be teachers in most classes but no children. In areas where there are no adults, such as the music room, visitors can for example, use the QR code to access clips of our choir and orchestra. In the school hall, they can see the children eating their lunch. We hope to bring our school to life virtually!”

Lyons said that in a normal year, pupils would take part in organised activities during open mornings, so visitors could get a feel for a regular school day. With social distancing still a part of life in the UK, Lyons found a way to ensure pupils could still be involved without being there.

“As ambassadors for our school, it is the children who would normally show our prospective parents around Highfields. This year, we had to come up with a Covid-secure solution to keep our children and visitors safe,” said Lyons.

“Our pupils are the lifeblood of Highfields, and it is they who sparkle and demonstrate the true ethos of the school. They have an input into all levels of school life. We never plan purely from an adult’s perspective. Highfields is truly pupil-led and it was natural that our pupils played an active role in our adapted activities for prospective parents.”

She added that she wanted the video content to reflect the day-to-day interactions between pupils, rather than an “airbrushed version of reality”.

On getting the idea to use QR codes, Lyons added: “QR codes have been used in education for a number of years and can be used across the curriculum such as in literacy or with Google Maps in geography. Anything linked to IT really engages children and facilitates opportunities for independent learning.”

A dedicated virtual tour page has also been set up on the school’s new website, enabling prospective parents and guardians to view embedded tour videos led by pupils at the school, and book in-person tour slots.

Related blog post: Why our distance learning programme has been described as ‘faultless’

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