Kinnaird PTA goes Digital (App) - Kinnaird Primary School PTA, Falkirk
'In October 2016, we (Kinnaird PTA) with the approval and support of the headteacher, approached a company that produces Apps specifically for PTAs called PTA Schools App, trading under the name PTA Connect Ltd, based in England.
The Kinnaird PTA App came about because of the necessity to get PTA information to all Kinnaird parents and carers quickly, efficiently, in a paper-free and envrionmentally-friendly way.
The Kinnaird PTA App, called ‘The Thistle Point App’, was launched on Wednesday 11 January 2017, and it revolutionised the way we fundraise.
Kinnaird PTA has been able to connect, communicate and collaborate with parents and carers like never before. The App launch featured in The Falkirk Herald on Thursday 19 January 2017 titled, ‘Digital Innovation is the ‘App’ of School’s Eye.'
PTA Connect Ltd and two officers of Kinnaird PTA were the leaders for the App project. Kinnaird pupils were involved in naming the App. The winning name ‘The Thistle Point’ came from a Primary 7 pupil in Nov 2016.
The PTA committee members were involved at the user testing stage one month before we went live. We created all the content, designs and arrangement on the App. It involved a lot of work and development hours, but the result is rewarding.
We publicised the launch of the App on our Facebook, Twitter and in the school online newsletter to create awareness and promote why we needed to go digital.
Our App Launch
The day of our App launch was a crisp cold day in Larbert, Scotland on Wednesday 11 January 2017. The P4-P7 pupils filed into the school hall for the ‘Special App Launch Assembly’. The PTA Committee were also in attendance. The headteacher asked: ‘Does anyone know what an App is?’ ‘Yes’ - the pupils at Kinnaird knew the answer. The headteacher talked about Apps in general and about Apps on phones and what they do. She asked for a drumroll for the unveiling of the front of the Kinnaird PTA App which was done via the large projector screen in the hall. The headteacher showed the pupils some features of the App. It was very exciting!
Five senior pupils, each with individual iPads, went to the lower part of school to the P1-P3 classes to show pupils the App. They also used the launch poster to show the children what a QR code looks like. Overall, it was a very exciting day. The pupils were encouraged to tell their parents about the App and download it on their parents' phones!
An email message was sent to the Parents and Carers on the day of the launch; which also included the App poster with QR Codes from PTA School Apps and the eight-page illustrative guide produced by the PTA.
In September 2018, we had to change our App hosts. PTA Connect Ltd were excellent and very professional in ensuring a smooth transition. Our App is now powered by Bizness Apps based in San Diego, CA, USA.
The take up of the App by parents and carers and grandparents was superb and unprecedented.
To date our App has been viewed in 34 countries in 5 continents and total download so far is 772.
At Kinnaird we have many parents and carers who travel with their work. We can pre-set notifications on the App which can be picked up anywhere, anytime. No paper, no fuss.
The PTA App is
- it holds a lot of information about the Kinnaird PTA
- there are some useful links too e.g Connect weblinks, Facebook, Twitter and easyfundraising.
- it is fun and easy to use!
- it is colourful!
Feedback on the Kinnaird App
Some of our parents/carers said:
‘Innovative, creative and forward-thinking’
'This is a great platform to keep up to date with PTA news and events’
‘Fantastic idea! Perfect for busy families’
‘Well done, PTA team. Fab idea to keep everyone informed’
‘Great App. Well done, Kinnaird PTA’
‘Fantastic App, PTA’
We are delighted about the steps we took. The App changed the way we approach things. The ‘face’ of fundraising is changing, with the PTA adapting and embracing these changes. Parents and carers are able to sign-up for events and purchase tickets online via the App. The Kinnaird PTA will continue to serve the needs of Kinnaird pupils now, and leave a legacy for generations to come, and an indelible mark that cannot be erased.
In 2017-18, our first sponsor was a local company who is involved in children’s sports and activities. Our 2018-19 sponsor is one of the big housebuilding companies, who have a local presence and a long history with the school.'
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