Loretto School phone app gives updates on children

Loretto pupils with the school's 'smartphone app, which relays details of sports 'matches, timetables, activities and events. Picture: contributed
Loretto pupils with the school's 'smartphone app, which relays details of sports 'matches, timetables, activities and events. Picture: contributed
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IT can often be a slog for busy parents to make it along to their children’s football or rugby match on a dreich morning.

But now, one group of mums and dads will have the option to keep up to date with their children’s latest sporting adventures from the comfort of their own homes – thanks to a “ground-breaking” mobile phone app.

Loretto School in Musselburgh, East Lothian, believes it is the first school in the UK to launch an iPhone and ­Android app.

The new smartphone app allows parents, staff and ­pupils to keep up to date with the school’s activities, timetables and news. It includes school calendars, a news feed and the option to tailor the app’s contents to a child’s ­extra-curricular ­activities.

Any changes, such as a match being cancelled or a bus delay, is the subject of instant updates.

The app also gives parents “real-time” reports on their children’s sports matches and includes maps showing venues for away matches.

Jonathan Hewat, director of external affairs at the private school, said: “Schools like ­Loretto provide a rounded education for their pupils, which gives rise to a full and varied calendar of activities and events each term. This can be challenging for parents to keep up with. The new Loretto app is revolutionary and keeps us well ahead of the game in terms of communication ­technology.

“Nothing replaces watching your child perform, whether that be on the sports field or in the theatre. But for some parents, they are incredibly busy and the vast majority of our pupils are boarders in the senior school. So, if you’re hundreds of miles away and genuinely can’t make the match or watch the school play, this is the next best thing. We can post photographs too.

“It is not our intention to keep parents away at all – it’s the opposite. The app will keep those who don’t just live up the road and can’t make it along fully informed.”

Updates on a range of games and matches, including golf, rugby, hockey, lacrosse and cricket, can be made by members of staff at Loretto via the app, with a social media sharing facility allowing the school website, Twitter and Facebook pages to be updated at the same time.

Final year pupil at Loretto, Mena Crolla, 17, said: “It’s a great app. I check it all the time. That way I never miss a lecture, sports fixture, deadline or social event.”

Zabrina Renfrew, 17, who is also in her final year at the school, said: “I’m never without my phone, so it feels good to know I can be on top of everything going on in the school, all from one place. It’s user-friendly and it keeps me on track.”

Mr Hewat added: “The ­Loretto app will not only give parents, staff and pupils ­another option for receiving information from the school, but it also allows us to get updated information to our community quickly and efficiently.

“We can also use the text alert facility as a more efficient method than we currently use to target specific parents with a real-time message about their child.

“What sets Loretto’s app apart is that it is compatible for both iPhone and Android, and it exploits Google Maps to pinpoint venues for such things as away sports fixtures and other events.”

The Loretto app can be downloaded for £2.