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Our Approach

#508 Virtual Tour – Norwich Primary Academy

Rebecca Handley-Kirk, Principal, Norwich Primary Academy

What did we do?

We were lucky to be chosen to have a virtual tour to support transition into our new reception cohort in September 2020 after lockdown number 1. We worked with Insight UK who produced the virtual tour for us. During the day in school the Principal was interviewed to explain what life would be like once they joined the school. This was great opportunity to make the children and parents feel at ease about a really difficult transition into reception. The EYFS teachers were also interviewed and were able to explain the daily routines, show the children the classroom and give some information about themselves. This was a great opportunity for the children to get to know their teachers and feel as though they knew their teachers before joining.

The teachers involved in the tour were worried about being on film but the team who completed the virtual tour interviews were very reassuring and put the staff at ease. The staff were very excited to be able to share information with their new children and felt that this was a good second option to actually meeting the children and families. The questions were shared beforehand meaning that staff had time to prepare and we were allowed as many re-takes as needed.

Rebecca Handley-Kirk, Principal, Norwich Primary Academy

Summary of impact

The virtual film allowed the opportunity for children and their families to get to know the staff at Norwich Primary Academy. The scariest thing for parents and children is often the unknown, so this really helped parents to feel at ease and children to know who their teachers were. The tour also allowed the children and parents to get a sense of what the school was like, to see basic things such as where they will eat lunch, where they will play and where the main reception is. We found that the tour reduced anxiety for our children and this plus a tour on their first day meant that the children settled into school quickly and felt at ease on day one. We were concerned that we would have more children upset about leaving their parents due to not knowing about the school, but we did not experience these issues and I believe this is partly due to the virtual tour and interviews.

Steps taken

Firstly, we ensured the school was clean and displays were refreshed and looking good. Staff read through and prepared answers to some of the questions provided. Staff had time to get ready to ensure they were happy when appearing on camera. The interview of the Headteacher took place first and we had prepared the library for this interview. After this we had covered the reception teachers so they could appear in their films. Finally during lesson time and after school the shots of the classrooms and corridors took place. We had a second space set up for all classes so we could move children as and when needed.

What would we do differently

Ensure you have allocated sufficient time to complete the tour. It will take an entire day, 8am until 4.30pm, and a member of staff will need to be available at all times. Also, be aware that you will need to move classes to ensure shots of classrooms and corridors can take place with no children present.


The creation of the Virtual Tour was funded by the Norwich Opportunity Area. Total cost £795.

See how others have implemented this Big Idea

Virtual Tour - Magdalen Gates Primary

A team came in and worked with us to take high resolution 3 dimensional images and record videos with our Head and Reception teachers. We placed these on the front page of our website and were very pleased to be able to show our environment off to everyone.

Virtual Tour - Mile Cross Primary School

When we were offered the chance to film a virtual tour of reception, this was an amazing opportunity to share our school with new children and parents in a safe way. We organised this for our nursery children too.


Rebecca Handley-Kirk, Principal

Norwich Primary Academy, Clarkson Road

Norwich, Norfolk