Akumenta: Calling all Schools! ...don't be held back by your budget
Stand out from the crowd and be noticed


The Croft Primary School is a popular primary school based in Armitage, Staffordshire (UK).

First established in 1915, the school caters for children from the ages of 4 to 11, and have been serving their community for over 90 years.

Trivia: We created several games for this site, one of which has the sound of a baby duckling cheeping. This sound was actually taken from a video recording made whilst we rescued some stranded baby ducklings from a local storm drain! (More here)


Croft Primary School Web Design: Scaled down screen-shot with our opening portrait photo

In this project we were absolutely delighted to team up with the enthusiastic staff and pupils of The Croft Primary School in order to develop an outstanding and highly commended Web resource for the benefit of both pupils and parents alike. This process entailed all of the following aspects:

Intelligent content planning: For this project we were given a large amount of potential content in various formats. This included print & disk which we judiciously organised, transcribed and edited into easily manageable quantities and specific subject matter for prospective use within the site.

Before we begin to even contemplate the design or structure of any Website we carefully address the issue of how the content will be suitably organised and eventually presented online. Good content planning consequently ensures that we design accessible Websites with clear-cut navigation and uncomplicated well laid out structures. As a result visitors are able to find the information they want without any apprehension, delay or frustration.

Original custom design & build: Embracing The Croft's existing colour scheme, our goal was to create a clean but friendly site that would be engaging to both children and adults.

As with all of our work, this site was painstakingly custom crafted from the ground up to encompass the school's every need.

Custom graphics and artwork: Various original key graphics & images were created for this Website.

Stock imagery: Where appropriate professional stock imagery was carefully selected then skilfully manipulated to excellent effect.

Logo revamp: The schools existing emblem was carefully and sensitively recreated to tie in with the intended look & feel of the Website.

Photography: Various key photographs were expertly taken and enhanced for inclusion within the site. This included on site portraits and also close up photography of the school's historical records.

Custom scripting & programming: All of our Websites utilise in-house custom written scripting / programming making everything work smoothly behind the scenes. As well as the custom programmed games already mentioned, this particular site utilises a custom written enquiry form providing a friendly and effortless way for parents to get in touch with the school...

When the site's enquiry form is used, the contents of the form are immediately sent to the school, whilst an automated "thank you" response is also courteously sent out to the enquirers email address. Our enquiry form feature also incorporates various sophisticated anti-spam filters.

Six custom created Flash™ games: As a splash of fun for the site we created SIX fast loading games using Macromedia Flash™. These games serve to be fun, whilst also being educational, effectively helping to develop the children's hand to eye co-ordination / computer / literacy and also maths skills.

In the "want it now!" world of the Web, few surfers are willing to wait whilst a Flash feature loads. Accordingly we are always mindful to create FAST loading and efficiently designed Flash features, ensuring the greatest experience for all Web surfers.

Pupil involvement: With the help of the clever children at The Croft, one particular game that we created was a classic 'word search' with 23 puzzle variations. To achieve this, we first gave a selected class a set of Akumenta word search design guides / grids on paper. They then filled out the grids with their own imaginative choice of subjects and words. Once the children had created their 23 different word puzzles on paper we then cleverly assimilated them (along with each authors name) into our interactive online game, so as to form part of The Croft Website.

In-house development: As with all of our work, every element of these games was created from scratch and developed entirely in-house by the Akumenta team, including the original sound tracks.

Accessibility testing: As with all of our Website's, we robustly tested this site at various key development stages making certain that it would be fully compatible with all popular Web browser packages, (such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Netscape Navigator for example).

Ensuring the widest available audience: We understand that not all Web surfers use the same Web browser packages, screen resolution or technology, meaning that many poorly written sites cannot be properly viewed by large clusters of Web surfers. With this in mind we take great care to ensure that anything we place on the World Wide Web can be properly accessed and viewed by the widest available audience.

Format conversion: Various files were appropriately converted into formats more suited for Web use and good end user compatibility. We continue to routinely provide this ongoing service as part of our standard Web hosting remit for The Croft (see below). This ensures that all visitors to the Croft Website receive the best experience.

Web hosting and housekeeping services - an ongoing commitment: Through our own fast and reliable hosting services we successfully deliver The Croft's Website around the globe. As part of our annual hosting remit we also regularly handle all Website content updates for The Croft. This includes keeping their online news letters, gallery, calendar and various yeargroup support material up to date.

We perform such housekeeping services for many of our customers who find our ongoing commitment to their needs invaluable. Our response time for update requests is incredibly swift, generally within the hour or at least the same day. As well as being refreshingly responsive, our overall approach to content updates is also extremely flexible and generously accommodating within our standard and very affordable hosting / housekeeping plan. Indeed many of our clients have moved over from other service providers to us, for this rare and refreshingly receptive level of ongoing service.

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"The service Akumenta provided was excellent; they liaised with us throughout the process. They provided advice on layout and content and we were delighted with the finished product. We have had a very favourable response from children, staff & parents to the Website and I would have no hesitation in recommending Akumenta to others."

T.McGregor, Headteacher.

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The Croft Website was officially launched with a visit from Janet Eagland, chair of Lichfield District Council, who described the site as being both highly informative and educational. Accordingly, it is our hope that it will serve as a fitting example of what can be achieved by forward thinking primary schools looking to lead the way with a professional custom crafted Web resource within an obtainable budget.
Chair of Lichfield District Council, Janet Eagland, visits The Croft to celebrate the official launch of their new Website. Pictured with head teacher Terri McGregor, and chair of governors, Frank Lewis

Some eager
pupils enjoy trying
out The Croft's
new Website in the
school's computer suite

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Calling all Schools! ...don't be held back by your budget: We have a good understanding of the budget constraints that most schools experience, especially primary schools. Accordingly, we see every school Web project as a superb opportunity to demonstrate the excellence that can genuinely be achieved for a reasonably low fee. Indeed we are well aware that we charge far less for our custom crafted Web services than many of our competitors demand for simply passing on generic template based designs. (We are also aware that many companies see the public sector / schools as an area where they can often charge MORE than they usually would a private customer, a practice that Akumenta wholly denounces). Simply put, excellence and individuality in the realm of Web development for schools need no longer come at an impractical cost.

Continued care and service: We also understand that it's not always easy to set aside the time or staff needed to keep a Website up-to-date once it has been launched. Accordingly we provide generous / flexible ongoing 'housekeeping' and updates as required all-year-round, as part of our standard and affordable Web hosting remit, meaning that you don't have to!

OFSTED: Also worthy of note is that the ‘appropriate use of technology’ and the use of such technologies to keep parents informed etc, can be of significant benefit to OFSTED appraisals.

If YOU are a school looking for friendly advice from an experienced and affordable Web developer, then we would love to hear from you. Even if you already have a site with someone else, we can most likely save your school money and offer you a better all-round service.




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