Organising and streamlining the academic year can be a daunting task, especially when you’re trying to ensure that every detail is captured. Whether you’re diving into the world of school planners for the first time or looking to enhance the utility of your current one, understanding how to make a school planner is crucial. From setting broad objectives like homework recording and curriculum support to deciding on the frequency of reporting systems, every detail matters.
If you’re keen to make a school planner that truly resonates with your school community’s needs, this post will guide you through the intricate process of gathering ideas, determining content, and collaborating with The School Planner Company to bring your vision to life.
Getting Your Ideas Together
If you are ordering planners for the first time, or want to understand how to make a school planner even more valuable here is our essential guide on how to make a school planner.
- Identify the broad objectives for the planner (e.g. homework recording, progress, assessment, rewards and praise, AfL, curriculum support, discipline, etc.).
- List what needs to be covered in each area.
- Get together the information needed to support each area (policy documents, current planners, handouts, meeting notes, etc.).
- Decide how often any reporting systems are done, e.g. termly, weekly, daily or in each lesson. This will help you to decide whether to include daily or weekly reporting in the weekly homework pages.
- Create a running order for the sections or individual pages.
- The School Planner Company designers will take your ideas and create your planner for you.
Planner Page Ideas
When you decide to make a school planner tailored to your institution’s unique needs, the possibilities are vast. There’s no limit (or minimum) to the number of pages you can incorporate into your planner(s) with our services. We’re committed to designing and printing the exact number of pages required to ensure your planner functions optimally, without any constraints of a fixed format or page count. Whether you’re considering pages from existing publications (always being mindful of copyright and intellectual property rights) or class worksheets, just send us a copy. Any necessary amendments can be annotated, and we’ll redesign them to align seamlessly with your new planner’s layout.
To expedite the process consider leveraging our extensive, well-researched library of planner page ideas to help you make a school planner. These pages can be included as they are or can serve as inspiration, allowing us to modify the content to meet your specific requirements.
For those who have a distinct vision, crafting your own page from scratch is also an option. Whether you sketch your ideas, design them on a computer, or assemble sections from various resources, we’re here to refine and finalise the design.
Furthermore, any digital designs, layouts, text, or graphics you’ve created can be sent to us electronically. For peace of mind, always retain a backup of all files shared with us. Making a school planner has never been more flexible and tailored to your needs.
When you make a school planner with us, you have complete control over the aesthetics of your text pages. Standardly, they will be printed in black ink, but you have the option to choose the paper color, whether it be classic white or a selection of vibrant colored paper. If you’re looking to make a more visually impactful planner, we also offer full-color printing on white paper. While this option comes at a slightly higher cost, it can significantly enhance the overall appeal and effectiveness of your planner. Making a school planner that resonates with your school community’s needs and preferences has never been easier.
Full-Colour Print Throughout
If you wish to have large sections, or even the whole planner, printed in full colour then we recommend you call our team of advisors on 01480 410432 to plan the most cost-effective way forward
Page One (Student Details)
Most designs use the first page of the planner to capture essential personal details.
The following list is a useful starting point for what you may wish to record. All the items in the list are commonly used, but you must consider what personal information your school community requires and is comfortable with being recorded in a planner.
- School address
- School contact numbers
- Form room
- School website / email
- Tutor Absence line
- House Locker number
- Address Exam centre number
- Telephone numbers
- Candidate number
- Emergency contact name
- Emergency contact number
- Important medical information
Homework Recording Pages
The homework diary section forms the core of your planner. It is important to consider the functions you want this section to perform in order to select the most effective style of homework recording pages for your students.
You may decide you wish students to record their homework by subject, have space for tutor comments and target setting each week, use different languages throughout, or date each day.
We can create a homework diary tailored to your exact requirements. Customised homework diaries are most cost-effective when printed in black ink onto white or coloured paper, though they can be printed in coloured ink at an additional cost.
Do you need the homework diary section to:
- Allow students to record homework by day, or by subject area?
- Show several languages?
- Encourage students to monitor and record their own attendance?
- Provide a forum for feedback and communication between parents / carers and schools?
- Record merits and achievements each week?
- Allow tutors and parents to monitor homework and provide comments and guidance?
- Include dates or week numbers to help students learn to plan?
- Show term dates only or include holiday weeks?
- Include Saturdays or weekends?
- Show Week 1 / 2, A / B, Gold / Blue, etc. for two-week timetables?
A planner is an ideal way to inform students and parents of your school’s policies and procedures and ensures they are always to hand.
You could include pages which give students and parents details of important dates along with school rules and regulations. For example, you could include home-school agreements, codes of conduct, expectations, Internet and school network policies, ‘What to do if’ pages, bullying policies, marking criteria and homework policies.
For any pages which are to be signed by the headteacher or other senior staff, we recommend taking a scan of the signature to place on the page.
Including policies in the planner is helpful, as you can assert that all students then know what they are (some schools go as far as to have students sign up to them, rather like an employee signing up to the staff handbook).
Pages for Students and Parents
Including pages that help students organise their school life develops independent study skills.
When a student uses a planner for their personal organisation, it becomes easier for the school to deliver other initiatives and can reduce costs. It can strengthen the home-school link, by involving parents as part of the process.
If the planner is being used to record achievements or support Assessment for Learning, a child’s progress can be monitored.
Whatever your mechanism for assessing pupil progress, the planner is ideal as a day-to-day journal, ILP and target setting record.
Students could be encouraged to retain their planners in order to demonstrate organisational and planning skills to employers. You could include pages which give information and record the outcomes of mentoring, action planning, target setting, careers guidance, work-related learning, citizenship and academic reviews.
Subject Support Pages
Many schools choose to include pages to support individual subjects, ensuring that students have access to key information (formulae, periodic tables, maps, etc.) both at home and in all lessons.
Either to support your literacy strategy or just to have a good source of reference available at all times, the inclusion of literacy pages in the planner is highly recommended. Popular pages include basic grammar and punctuation, spelling strategies, word lists and tips for both improving writing and checking work that has been done.
If you are producing more than one edition, you need to consider whether each one should have a different style of homework diary section. For example, Key Stage 4 (or high school) planners will always require a different design to Key Stage 3 (or middle school) if you choose to record homework by subject rather than by day (may also be true if you wish to record merits or commendations on the weekly pages). When looking at possible uses for the weekly pages, consider whether it would be better to record particular elements (e.g. merits, absences, etc.) on separate pages in a different section of the book so that patterns and trends can be more easily observed.
The importance of a good cover should not be overlooked. A cover can engage the students, making the planner approachable and attractive. The planner maybe seen in the wider community and can reflect the values of the school. You can incorporate your logo or crest into the cover design.
Ideas for Your Cover Design
Photographs can be a good feature in an effective and engaging cover design.
Images that work well include:
- Prospectus-style shots that show students engaged in interesting work or a sport (particularly where the school has a specialist focus).
- Shots of a building (or part of a building) that has interesting architecture or important meaning to the school community.
- Aerial photos of the school site, possibly including part of the surrounding area.
- Photos or scans of student artwork.
Simple, crisp designs can be equally effective. You could choose to reflect the image of the school in line with your prospectus or other literature, or use different colours for each year group or Key Stage.
Other Things to Consider
- Name and form on the cover
If you want students to write their name on the front cover, go for matt lamination. This still gives the cover good protection, but is grainy enough for a ball point pen to write on it. To keep the look clean and neat, you could opt simply to omit the student’s name from the front cover and to have personal details printed on page one of the planner.
Many students leave their planners permanently open at the timetable page, which makes the surrounding pages prone to damage. You could have the timetable printed on the outside back cover so that it is visible with the book closed. To keep the look clean, you could have the timetable printed on card as the last leaf before the back cover.
- Whiteboard back cover
If you use whiteboards, you could include one in the planner (it’s free to make the cover a whiteboard with The School Planner Company). To keep the planner looking neat, the whiteboard could go on the inside of the front or back cover.
- Stop / Go covers
To avoid the cost of additional stop/go cards, you could have the front cover predominantly red and the back predominantly green (or vice versa).
- Key information
You could also choose to have key information printed on the inside of the covers or on the back, for example, your classroom code, how to use the planner, values statement, essential equipment, etc.
How Long Does It Take to Make a School Planner?
When you’re eager to make a school planner tailored to your institution’s needs, understanding the timeline is essential. Our planner advisors are here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring your planner is both functional and reflective of your school’s ethos. Here’s a breakdown of the process:
Step 1 – How to Order:
- Send us your calendar dates, along with any school policies and information you’d like to incorporate. For efficiency, consider sending your personalised page content digitally.
- From our extensive library, select the pages you wish to include in your planner. Note any modifications you’d like, either by marking changes on a printed copy or emailing us with the reference code and desired alterations.
- Request custom pages that align with your school’s reward, achievement, and other systems.
Step 2 – Design and Proofing:
- Our seasoned designers will craft custom content for each student planner edition, ensuring it aligns with your vision.
- Expect a proof and a confirmation of costs within 4–6 weeks.
- Review the proof and mark any changes. Allow 4–6 weeks for this, especially if consulting with other staff members.
Step 3 – Print and Delivery:
- Upon your approval, the printing process begins.
- Anticipate the delivery of your planners to the school on or before your chosen date, typically within a 3–6 week window.
Embarking on the journey to make a school planner can be intricate, but with clear steps and timelines, the process becomes seamless.
The journey to make a school planner is a meticulous one, requiring careful consideration of every detail to ensure it serves its purpose effectively. From the initial stages of gathering ideas to the final touches in design and delivery, each step is crucial in crafting a planner that truly resonates with the school community’s needs.
With the guidance provided in this post and the expertise of The School Planner Company, you’re well-equipped to navigate the process. Remember, a well-constructed planner not only organises the academic year but also becomes an invaluable tool for students, teachers, and parents alike. So, as you embark on this journey to make a school planner, know that the effort you invest will yield dividends in the form of an organised and productive academic year.
Craft Your Perfect School Planners Today!
Start your journey to total customisation with a free sample and information pack.