The school is opening in September 2022 after a merger between the junior schools of City of London School for Girls and City of London School. CLSG and CLS approached Wild Dog with news of the development of the new school and the brief to design and build their new website safe in the knowledge they were in good hands. Wild Dog had previously built the other two ‘City’ websites.
The brief was a unique one. The new school had to be announced to prospective parents but the school itself did not yet exist. The website had to be informative and convey life at the school, whilst building on the heritage of its ‘parent’ schools, even though there were no pupils. Meanwhile, it needed to navigate any sensitivities with new parents who were not expecting their children to be co-educated, whilst promoting the benefit of co-education at this new school. A balance needed to be found between highlighting the links with the parent schools, whilst promoting the benefit of the new Junior School’s independence.
The fundamental aim was to design an easy to navigate website with a similar overall structure to the other City schools’ websites while creating a distinctive new Junior School identity.
The new site needed to be flexible enough to launch with limited content, but enough to build excitement, whilst knowing that the site would be developed more fully in the future.
There were four main phases to the build – information architecture (IA), design, front-end code, back-end code. The IA phase required a huge amount of intelligence gathering to inform the scope and organisation of the build. Being a brand new school with no previous website to draw from made this phase a particularly in-depth discovery mission.
For the design, we were briefed to include the new school colours and, of course, the new brand which we had also created for the school. Once the page designs were signed off, we created the responsive front-end HTML and CSS ready for integration to WordPress.
Deploying the completed site to a staging server allowed us to train the school staff and also allowed them to populate the site prior to going live.
The CJS website is fresh and modern-looking using the latest coding standards to rank well on search engines and display consistently on mobile, tablet and desktop devices.