How to Write A Good School Newsletter

small films founder, george hughes

8th May 2024

written by George Hughes

Schools have several options at their disposal when they wish to announce new developments, celebrate their achievements and maintain regular contact with their former pupils. There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned school newsletter, however, when it comes to informing parents of upcoming events and recognising the hard work of their staff and student body.

School newsletters can serve as a highly effective means of communication, and so it’s a real shame when they aren’t given the attention they deserve. Let’s take a look at how you can get your newsletters read by both the parents and their children.

Command their attention with a strong opening

School newsletters traditionally open with an address from the headmaster. This is often the best approach: parents want to know what the head has to say, and it’s always good to hear from those at the top.

Whilst this is so, you may decide to freshen things up by inviting other senior members of staff to open the newsletter every once in a while. This would work particularly well if, say, the Head of Geography has taken the Sixth Form on a field trip to the Pyrenees, or if the Head of the Art Department has recently arranged a cubist art exhibition in the school hall. If you decide to opt for such an approach, be sure to choose a punchy headline. ‘Musings from A Mediterranean Mountainside’ might just serve as a good alternative to the standard ‘Address from the Head’.

We recommend complementing the text with lots of eye-catching pictures and being reasonably brief, clear and to the point. It’s also a good idea to include a sidebar on the first page of your newsletter. This is an ideal place to provide a summary of the newsletter’s contents and a ‘Save the date’ section.

Discuss the improvements that your school is making

When parents take the time to read a school newsletter, they’ll generally be most interested in the improvements that the school is making to their children’s education. Whilst it’s true that your academic achievements and sporting triumphs are also very important, you’re more likely to hold their interest if you can provide concrete examples of new facilities and initiatives that will lead to positive change.

You’d be well-advised, therefore, to discuss any new facilities on the first page. It would be difficult to top the opening of a new state-of-the-art Science Block, especially if you’ve invited the Earl of Wessex to cut the ribbon and treated him to a performance by the school jazz band!

You’ll also want to talk about new initiatives that have been put forward by the staff and their students. If you have recently launched a maths mentorship programme for struggling GCSE students, for example, it would be wise to discuss this in detail.

Highlight your finest accomplishments

The humble newsletter is best thought of as a highlight reel for your school, albeit one that is updated at the end of each week, month or half term. It represents a golden opportunity for you to showcase your school’s best academic and sporting accomplishments. Far from being a dreary document that will inevitably find its way almost immediately into the recycling bin, the newsletter is a golden opportunity for your school to celebrate what it has achieved.

Be sure to cover the following.

Academic achievements

Has your school recently achieved outstanding outcomes in public examinations? It’s time to recognise their academic excellence.

Sporting successes

Have your Under 15s wowed the cricketing world and finished as runners-up at the National ECB finals day? Consider inviting a member of the team to submit a report.

Theatrical productions and musicals

Have your Sixth Form students distinguished themselves with a stirring production of The Little Shop of Horrors? If so, you’ll want to recognise their theatrical talents in your school newsletter!


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Foster a sense of community and continuity

It goes without saying that school newsletters present an ideal opportunity to talk up everything that your school has achieved and done recently. However, they’re also a great place to discuss the activities of former students. This will demonstrate that you care about what they go on to achieve, and it also makes for plenty of interesting reading material.

One way to do this is to devote a section to alumni news, and to focus on different niches. You may decide to discuss Alumni in the Arts and Entertainment World in one of your newsletters and explore Alumni in Technology in another. This allows newsletter recipients to keep track of old boys’ activities – a nice spot for a bit of good old-fashioned networking. In a similar vein, we would further recommend dedicating column inches to former pupil reunions.

Send your school newsletters by email

What could be better than an engaging school newsletter that draws attention to your school’s best features? A newsletter that achieves this in an eco-friendly manner fit for the 21st century!

As well as being great for the environment, email newsletters are an ideal option for those who wish to reconnect with former students who aren’t physically at the school, taking the newsletters home, etc.

Include a summary of the ‘best bits’, appealing imagery and an eye-catching CTA linking to PDF in your email. Embedding promotional school videos into your newsletter emails and incorporating video URLs in the articles themselves is a great way to improve engagement.

Find out more about how to use digital marketing for schools. Discover how our digital marketing services can enable you to showcase the best that your school has to offer and change perceptions of your school for the better, and take a look at our best school promotional videos.

Express an authentic student voice

One of the best ways to write good school newsletters is to use content from the students themselves. Incorporating poetry, short stories and write-ups from field trips from the students is a wonderful way to make them feel included and encourage them to read it, and this will likely also make it of greater interest to their parents.

It’s also worth asking the students for honest feedback. Do they read the school newsletter? What sorts of additions to the school newsletter in its current form would make them want to read it and encourage their parents to follow suit?

You’re now well on your way to creating school newsletters that people want to read!

We hope that this has provided a little inspiration and will help you on your way to writing school newsletters par excellence. For further ideas and inspo, check out our schools blog, and take a look at our latest videos on our YouTube channel.

Small Films is a London-based video production company. If you’re thinking about creating a promotional school video, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our experienced team have produced films for many of the UK’s top independent schools, and they’d love to hear from you.