My youngest daughter starts school in September (her big sister is already in the same school). As part of the settling in period the new starters, and parents, were invited to have lunch at school.
I heard one of my fellow parents say that going into the dining room at lunchtime is one of the most daunting parts of starting school for 4 and 5 year olds. And that makes sense: the hall is a big space, there’s a system and routine to learn and there’s potential for a lot of other older children there.
Thinking about this from a work perspective the school has effectively engaged in CX (customer experience) / UX (user experience) and message testing. The school wants the children to follow a system – file in, get their lunch, eat it, tidy up and leave. This is pretty similar to a user journey (on a website).
The difference being that the school are dealing with young children who are potentially feeling apprehensive about the whole school thing.
So the settling lunch was a prime example of user testing. The children went in at a quieter time with parents (reassurance), got to see siblings if they were there (further reassurance), learn the process and had a positive experience, which should make things less daunting in September.
In terms messaging, well it’s not all about words. It’s about behaviour and actions.
Through the experience the school have outlined to the children how it works and what is expected of them.
The parents also got to eat lunch, so there’s the reassurance that their child will be getting freshly cooked, wholesome and healthy meals. And the food was good. Totally unlike anything I experienced back in the beginning of the 80s.
Yellow rice pudding, lumpy custard and blancmange anyone?!
So, my verdict on the process: A+