10 Great School Websites in Sussex
by David Reeder, 27 March 2019
A website can really help schools to not only establish an online presence, but to communicate with the schools various audiences such as pupils, parents, staff and stakeholders.
We take a look at ten great examples of school websites in the Sussex area and how their design and functionality help make each website a great experience for their visitors.
1. Christ's Hospital School
Christ's Hospital is a mixed boys and girls independent boarding and day school in Christ's Hospital, West Sussex, near Horsham.
What immediately strikes you about the website is it's "full screen" layout and stunning photography. The website impressively re-sizes down for mobile screens.
The great photography very quickly gives you an early impression of life at the school, with groups of students prominently featured in their rather posh uniforms and the the stunning surroundings of the school.
There is a wealth of information spread across the many pages in the website and the drop down menus and free text site search makes it easy to find what you are looking for.
It's great to see the use of Video placed between text and images and there is a nice calendar functionality showing what's happening at the school.
View the webite at www.christs-hospital.org.uk
2. Worth School
Worth School dates back to the foundation of a Benedictine community in France in the 1600's and more recently the school founded in West Sussex in the 1930's. With a strong ethos and values, faith in God and their ten values are core to life at Worth School.
The side navigation makes it easy to find what you want on the website. In the main content column, the website is very visual with great photography of the school, staff and those who attend it.
There is a nice "Meet the Pupils" section where you can meet and read about what actual school pupils and lots of other information for parents and students to absorb.
View the website at www.worthschool.org.uk
3. Arunside Primary School
Arundside Primary School in Horsham, West Sussex was opened in 1967 and takes it's name from the river Arun.
The website is composed of a clean and inviting design, using the full screen space well. The navigation allows browsing by year group to easily find what is going on for children of all ages.
The site neatly organises information such as Ofsted Reports and Exam results and features a clear Events calendar so parents can easily see what is going on at the school.
View the website at https://arunside.school/
4. Our Lady of Sion School
Based in the heart of Worthing, West Sussex, Our Lady of Sion School is an inter-denominational co-educational school that caters for students from nursery age through to Sixth Form.
The website is very visual, with photography and image links throughout the homepage.
Clicking on the navigation launches a sidebar list with a wealth of information, laid out in a clear way and very easy to read.
On the "inner" pages, the side navigation sits on the left with clear text and images in the right hand column.
Visit the website at www.sionschool.org.uk
5. Cardinal Newman Catholic School
Cardinal Newman Catholic School is based in Hove, East Sussex, dating back to 1872.
The CNCS website is a colourful Wordpress based site with clear navigation and sections for Donations, Firefly (for sharing of school information in and outside of the class room), Parentview and Parentpay.
Parentview is a government initiative to get feedback form parents about the school which their child attends.
The School Life section is a nice addition giving information about Transport, Catering, Careers and Anti-bullying information.
View the website at www.cncs.co.uk
6. The Brighton Waldorf School
Based in Brighton, East Sussex, The Brighton Waldorf School is part of an international, independent educational system which has over 1,150 schools worldwide, all dedicated to recognising and acknowledging the unique spirit and talents of each individual child.
One of my favourite sites here, this features a really nice colour scheme and carefully chosen fonts. The website feels really well designed, with a quality feel. It is simple to use, easy to follow navigation.
The "Your Child's Learning Journey" page has a grid of coloured squares that nicely breaks up the information into nice bite size chunks for users.
It is possible to book a school tour via the website using the online form and the website lists key contacts, which means that important information is always at hand.
View the website at - www.brightonwaldorfschool.org
7. Pennthorpe Preparatory School
Pennthorpe Preparatory School is an Independent school in Rudgwick, West Sussex, just off the A281 near Horsham.
The website immediately greets you with large full screen images, with a subtle zoom effect to add some movement to the page. Further down the page are links to Early Years, Lower School, Upper School and Future Schooling and you can take a tour, view the calendar or arrange a visit. Below this are news/events and nicely styled social media posts.
Throughout the site is lots of information about the school and it's Nice to meet so many of the staff on the staff page
Visit the website at www.pennthorpe.com
8. Priory School
Based in Lewes, East Sussex, Priory School is a mixed comprehensive school with a longstanding history of excellence.
The website has a clean layout that uses the screenspace well,with carefully chosen images, so it looks remarkably less "busy" than some other school websites.
There is a really nice navigation driven from a burger style menu with "family tree" style links, different to other sites and quite a unique idea. The link to "Contact us" is featured prominently making it nice and easy to find.
There is a nice "What's on" feature near the bottom of the screen and the "What's On" page features a nice clear calendar, details things going on at the school.
There are links fixed to the bottom of the screen to various important pages of the site.
View the website at - www.priory.e-sussex.sch.uk
9. Varndean High School
Founded in 1884, Varndean School is a secondary school serving a large area of Brighton, East Sussex.
The website has a really ambitious design using circles and it works really well. When you click the navigations hamburger style icon it expands as a circle to fill the whole screen.
Like the Cardinal Newman Catholic School site, there is a large range of different colours, but it's been done in a really tasteful way and adds a lot of life to the page. There are bold "colour block" links in each seciton of the site.
There are animations/transitions on a lot of elements in the site, but it isn't over the top and works well.
The site features lots of photography to give users an instant impression of all the things going on at the school and there is plenty of information throughout the websites' pages.
View the website at - www.varndean.co.uk
10. St Andrew's CE High School for Boys
Consecrated in August 1889, St Andrew’s follows the High Anglican tradition of the Church of England, which, at the time, was unique in Worthing, West Sussex.
The cross from the St Andrew's logo is repeated throughout the home page and is very well done indeed. It's a really stunning homepage, this website is definitely one of my favourite sites here. This is a very slick site and honours the schools branding very well.
The "inner" pages are more standard looking in design, but this lends itself to being flexible for adding content.
There is clear navigation with dropdown menus which sticks to the top of the screen when scrolling down and appealing typography, especially the headings which use a really lovely typeface.
Beautiful photography, capturing important "moments" in school life and stylish "calls to action" complete the classy look.
The PDF of the prospectus can be read using an in-page viewer which is a nice touch
There is a "What Parents and Students say" page so potential students and parents can hear from current school attendees.
View the website at - www.st-andrews-boys.org.uk
This article is intended mearly as an introduction to these school and their websites. We hope you enjoyed viewing the article and please feel free to add any comments that you wish to make.