Agency’s magic boosts ‘Hogwarts’ school

SCHOOL LIKE NO OTHER: Pupils at Christ’s Hospital School in their flowing uniforms.

An independent school likened to Hogwarts of Harry Potter fame has seen an upsurge in applications for places following work by a marketing and branding agency.

Christ’s Hospital School, founded in London by King Edward VI in 1552 and located in Horsham, West Sussex since 1902, received the boost from a radically redesigned prospectus and new advertising ideas.

Creative marketing agency Fireworx, of London and Bournemouth, has worked with the school for 12 months to challenge preconceptions and transform the school’s forward development while maintaining its 460-year traditions.

Christ’s Hospital School remains unique for a UK independent school in that it was established as a charitable school to care for poor and homeless London children and to this day it educates a proportion of its pupils for free and most at a reduced rate.

The school has been compared to the magical Hogwarts as school uniforms are full length gowns from Tudor times, there is a massive dining hall, the school has its own chapel and it sits in 1,200 acres of grounds.

It approached Fireworx specifically because of the agency’s reputation for ‘disruptive thinking’ and to support it in conveying the message of helping to transform children of all backgrounds and ages through better education.

Clare Phillips, Director of Marketing at Christ’s Hospital, said: “We wanted a fresh creative approach, one that challenged conventions, taking our school’s legacy and traditions and making it relevant to people from all walks of life through our prospectus, advertising and wider online and traditional marketing communications.

“We have been particularly pleased to have gained a significant increase in the number of enquiries and applications from potential pupils after our link with Fireworx.”

Over the past 12 months Fireworx has worked with the school’s stakeholders, students, teachers and alumni to help capture a true sense of what it means to attend ‘a school like no other’, and how it transforms the lives of its pupils.

During this comprehensive process the Fireworx team of talented creatives focused on a core concept of the unique journey that pupils take at Christ’s Hospital, depicted through ‘slices in time’ and a graphic representation of a clock face.

LIKE HOGWARTS: Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham, which was founded by King Edward VI in 1552 and remains unique for a UK independent school in that it was established as a charitable school to care for poor and homeless London children and to this day it educates a proportion of its pupils for free and most at a reduced rate

Dynamic imagery featured pupils ‘breaking free’ from their surroundings and the theme of a journey through life was taken further by using pupils’ voices and impressions from their first days at school, through to becoming an alumnus, to guide readers through a pupil’s journey at Christ’s Hospital.

Daniel Smith, pictured above, Fireworx Managing Director, said: “I will never forget my very first meeting at Christ’s Hospital. I was awestruck by the sheer scale, the history, the uniform and facilities the school had. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.

“What really got me though were the pupils. No matter who you spoke to there you were left with a positive impression and there was a sense that being part of the Christ’s Hospital family was enabling these pupils to be the best versions of themselves.

“They not only spoke in a mature manner beyond their years, but there was a sense of humility that children of all backgrounds were challenging themselves to be better.

“I’m incredibly proud to have taken such an established institution and injected our ‘challenger ethos’ into a new dynamic creative approach. The fact that Christ’s Hospital was willing to take such bold choices is testament to their very progressive outlook.”

Ms Phillips added: “It has been an amazing experience for us to work with Fireworx.

“The Fireworx team have been incredible. Their ideas for our new prospectus and advertising were surprisingly different, and this was exactly what we wanted and needed.

“Everyone at Fireworx has been very approachable and showed great patience and understanding when working with us.”

Christ’s Hospital School was established in 1552 to care for poor and homeless children of the City of London and the generosity of benefactors built up an endowment that this charitable tradition to be maintained.

Christ’s Hospital, which moved to 1,200 acres of land in Horsham in 1902, continues to provide more bursarial support to its pupils than any other school in the independent boarding sector and has done for over 460 years.

School fees are paid on a means-tested basis, with substantial subsidies paid by the school, so that pupils from all walks of life are able to have a high quality, independent school education that would otherwise be beyond the means of their parents or guardians.

Creative marketing agency Fireworx has seen continued growth as a result of rewarding client partnerships. Ranked in the top ten elite UK agencies to work with in 2015 by Drum, Fireworx is also listed in the top ten agencies in the UK by the Recommended Agency Register (RAR).