Martin Barker, Headmaster, reports on our new branding and website.
The market for private education has become increasingly competitive over the past several years, and with that, the marketing of schools has become more sophisticated and, in many cases, more aggressive. With this in mind, Westbourne House recently set out to define our brand platform and to ensure that any and all marketing communications consistently reflect the values and objectives of the school.
Westbourne House School represents an incredible journey – over one hundred years of educating children – and our values, experience, expertise and insights have been honed and strengthened during these years. We wanted our branding to reflect these values, our experience and history, and to align with our vision for the children now and in the future.
Speaking with staff, parents, pupils and marketing professionals, our first step was to reflect on our ‘story’, which you can read here. We feel that our offering is increasingly unique. Many aspects of education that are considered dispensable all too often nowadays, are in fact central to what we do. I have used the term more than once previously, but we are keen to measure what we value much more than valuing what we measure. That may sound incongruous given the large number of scholarships that our children achieve, but these awards come out of the values that we imbue in the children – namely, a healthy attitude to life built around our holistic approach to education. When children are nurtured correctly by committed staff within this framework, amazing results follow.
We have so many stand out initiatives and programmes all designed to create this holistic experience that prepares children in every way for the future. However, we felt it was important to to crystallise our approach down to three key ‘pillars’, which, in combination, we feel make Westbourne House uniquely special:
• Celebrating individuality
• A world of experiences
• Focus on growth
Furthermore, we considered how we could encapsulate what the school was offering in a few words. We chose ‘All that I am, everything I can be’, because we wanted to reflect that the school is a non-selective environment which welcomes children who have a range of passions, talents and personalities, and we expose them to an enormous range of opportunities and encourage them to be the best that they can be.
Having so defined our brand, we decided to make some modifications to our logo. We are proud of our fleur-de-lis and the history it represents. The scouting movement, which took off in 1908 shortly after Westbourne House School was founded, plays a big part in Westbourne House’s history, influencing our logo and our patrol system and troop leaders. Feedback from parents and experts was that the Westbourne House red was a little harsh and we agreed that it didn't represent the warmth of the school and its community. The red of the logo has therefore been deepened, and the spiked lines of the fleur-de-lis softened - after all, we are a school that nurtures children during their earliest years.
You will have noticed that our website has also been renewed, as we wanted it to represent more closely the feeling that we hear time and time again from visitors – that of a happy, dynamic and caring environment. We also wanted to emphasise that the Pre-Prep and Prep School, while appropriately unique in the way they cater to the children within, are very much aligned in their values and approach. We are proud of the ways we intertwine the years, bringing older and younger children together, and the learning and confidence that brings; as well wanting to reinforce that our curriculum, teaching and initiatives in the various years are part of a bigger 'whole school' picture.
In the coming terms, we will explore each of our three ‘pillars’ a little more fully, but above all else we are very keen to ensure that every pupil at Westbourne House experiences the full range of what we have to offer and is able to benefit accordingly, in order that they become very well rounded, confident individuals, who are well equipped to take on whatever the future throws at them.