A digital transformation with purpose

Helping vulnerable young children with their transition from primary to secondary education.

The challenge

With COVID-19 and lockdown shutting schools across the nation, vulnerable young children transitioning from primary to secondary education couldn’t receive the support and guidance they would typically get in person.

This created an urgent requirement:
We needed to take the NHS in-person guidance and quickly turn it into an interactive online platform to prevent vulnerable children from falling through the net.

And we had to do it quickly – a ready-to-use platform was needed less than two months from the initial brief.

The strategy

We spoke to hundreds of parents/carers and their children to understand their concerns about transitioning into secondary education. Our resultant guiding principles were built around confidence, reassurance, discovery and connectivity.

More than anything, we needed to keep children interested amid the myriad distractions of family life and let them visualise a positive future, along with their place in it.

The solution

We brought together a dedicated agile team covering strategy, UX, design, and development to fast-track a digital experience that brought together children, parents/carers and practitioners.

For the children, the experience needed to feel as personal and familiar as possible. So, we let them create their own profiles and provided tools to make the space their own. We also borrowed our interaction language from the familiar world of tech toys and gaming – and used emojis as a simple way for them to express their feelings.

The result – from energetic ‘pop art’ design aesthetic to gamified interactions – provided a safe and supportive digital space that gave vulnerable children, with worries about moving to a new school their voice.

The impact

We delivered the project within the two-month timescale, on budget and to the delight of the Portman NHS Foundation. Since then, many hundreds of children have graduated from Level Up experience, feeling positive and empowered about their next steps in education.

But we’ll let them do the talking…