When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Lealands High School didn’t want to abandon its students—particularly not the upcoming students who would be joining the school in September. In any other year, there would be plenty of open evenings and transition days to acclimatise the students to their new school, but health concerns had made these events an impossibility.
Going to a new school can be nerve-wracking even when you have had a chance to look around beforehand. Those anxieties are multiplied when the environment is completely unknown. With this in mind, headteacher John Burridge decided that even if he couldn’t give new students the opportunity to explore the new surroundings in person, he could provide the next best thing.
That was where Visual Realms came in. A virtual tour would be the perfect thing to bridge the gap for pupils making the transition between primary and secondary school, and it could also be useful for event planning and other organisational endeavours. Anxious students could spend as long as they liked getting to know the school without leaving home.
“From the start, Iain was exceptionally accommodating. He made sure that we were kept in the loop at every stage of the process, from planning to the scan itself and beyond.” –Johnny Burridge
After the scan was completed, Lealands was able to offer prospective students and their parents a chance to introduce themselves to the school from the safety of their homes. The response was immediate: 89% of parents agreed that the virtual tour was informative, and 167 people reported using the tour to familiarise themselves with the school.
That’s only a fraction of the usage; four months after launch, over 1000 unique visitors had been responsible for over 2000 visits. Visitor numbers like that would have been impossible without the virtual tour. The average visitor visits twice, showing that they find it a useful resource.
Having implemented the virtual tour due to the pandemic, Mr. Burridge came to realise that this was a feature that would be useful in years to come as well. The positive reception proved that having a virtual tour was a valuable asset to his school, allowing prospective students more freedom to discover the school at their own pace, and showing off the myriad of wonderful facilities Lealands has to offer.
All told, the virtual tour looks to be an investment that will deliver value well beyond 2020.
Take a look for yourself below: