Microsoft Office 365 Guides

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The Office 365 app guides have been updated and we have added a guide for using Office on an iPad.

Please click on the icon or here to view the guides.

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Computing at School Scotland Annual Conference 2015

Computing at School Scotland (CASS) will be holding its annual conference at the University of Dundee on Saturday 7th November. Lecturers, teachers and industry members with an interest in education are all welcome to attend.


The conference will include:

  • a short opening talk with several optional keynotes during the day.
  • a range of hands on practical workshops available throughout the day including a chance to work with e-Textiles, get a hands on with the latest version of Greenfoot and many others.
  • a Broad General Education track with sessions on teaching Computing to Primary and lower Secondary pupils.
  • a Senior phase track with sessions useful for anyone teaching National 4 to Advanced Higher Computing Science and equivalent NPA’s.
  • a Vocational and Industry track with sessions focused around the connection between Computing education in HE and FE and work within the ICT industry.
  • a Research and Academic track with sessions sharing a range of recent CS Education findings as well how to get involved or make use of research in your own teaching.
  • a drop-in area where you can find out about extra-curricular opportunities that Coder Dojo, Lambda Jam, Code Club and others can provide.
  • an exhibition space where you can find out from various providers about Computing resources and equipment.

For more information and to register click here.

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OneNote Class Notebook at St Ninian’s Primary School

IMG_1309Primary 6/7 at St Ninian’s RC PS are one of the first primary schools in Edinburgh to start using OneNote Class Notebook as a tool for learning, both in class and as a way of accessing and submitting homework online.

Within school time, Miss Murray, class teacher, uses the tool as an additional means of recording learning. She thinks that it has made a big difference to the more reluctant writers in her class, who are always keen to use Notebook and produce more content than they might if writing in a traditional jotter.  She also finds the collaboration space useful for group work, and has used this recently to plan their forthcoming Halloween Bake Sale. While planning, the learners could ask each other questions and leave comments about the ideas of others in a structured way. The collaboration space also makes it easy for a teacher to track the contributions made by each pupil.

Picture5Miss Murray was keen to get started with OneNote for setting and receiving homework as most of the children in her class are much more enthusiastic about doing homework if it involves using a computer. She still offers her learners the chance to submit their homework on paper but says that only a small number choose to do it this way. For Miss Murray, OneNote acts as a way of sharing homework tasks, information about trips and encourages pupil voice through class votes. Another advantage for teachers is that it saves time marking and means that teachers have fewer jotters to carry around since pupil input can be commented on virtually.

Picture1Picture2The children in Miss Murray’s class said:

“I love computers. It’s easier this way because you can’t lose the sheet.”

“We can download the program for free at home or use the online version.”

“It can sometimes be difficult to get on to so I like using a mixture of the computer and paper.”

“Your hands don’t hurt from writing when you type things!”

“It’s easier to spell things right when you’re typing.”

“It saves paper and it saves time. You don’t need to waste time finding a pencil, rubber or sharpener.”

(Please click on the images to view in more detail)

For more information on OneNote Click here:

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Free trial of 2Simple Software for Edinburgh Schools

2Simple software is a UK-based company with over 15 years experience of making educational software for use in the primary classroom. Following on from a demonstration hosted by Hillwood PS this week, the company have offered a free trial for any Edinburgh school that would like to try out their online resources (Purple Mash) for free until Christmas.

What is Purple Mash and Serial Mash?

Purple Mash is a comprehensive, online suite of creative, cross-curricular resources. It contains more than 1000 ready-made writing frames with support built in, such as writing prompts, sentence starters, and check lists. Purple Mash also enables children to make graphs, spreadsheets, collaborative databases, animations, 3D computer games, mind-maps, design and print their own nets, etc. It can all be accessed from home as well as in school.
Serial Mash is a collection of gripping and fast paced fiction books, serialised into chapters. For each chapter, there are comprehension and writing activities for children to do on the computer and on paper.

What’s the offer?

All Edinburgh schools can register to access the materials for free from now until the Christmas holidays. After Christmas, schools who would like to keep up their subscription, will be offered a 50% discount until the end of June 2016.

As part of the promotion, Serial Mash will  be included for free (usually £200) and schools can  buy premium modules for half-price (usually £200). Please note – there is no obligation to continue your subscription after the free trial ends.

How do we apply to take part?

If your school is interested in taking part, please contact the Digital Learning Team ( and we will pass your details on to Anthony Wootten, our 2Simple representative.

Where can I find out more?

For more information about 2Simple, Purple Mash and Serial Mash, please see their website by clicking here.

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Apps for Good – a novel way to deliver computational thinking and foster creativity


Apps for Good is a charitable organisation aiming to allow students the opportunity to prepare for the real world by taking part in an app-designing challenge. They have created structured programmes where young people are challenged to come up with an app which provides a solution to a real-life problem. They then take their idea through the design process, working together as part of a team.

Apps for Good provide online training for teachers, teaching materials as well as course guidelines matched with CfE outcomes. The course structure is flexible, with a short and long versions, and is free for all non-fee-paying schools. Based in London, the company currently works with over 450 educational establishments and over 22,000 students from all parts of the UK. Some of their most successful app developing teams so far have come from a school in Wick.

The scheme is suitable to use all year round, although the deadline for competition entries is normally around Easter. This isn’t obligatory – schools can choose whether or not they’d like to take part in the competition, which is really a celebration of the hard work that has been happening throughout the year. The main aim of Apps for Good is to encourage entrepreneurial spirit in young people, allowing them access to a huge variety of industry experts who are giving back to the community by taking part in the scheme.

Several Edinburgh schools are already using Apps for good, including Boroughmuir and Craigmount High Schools. Here are some thoughts from teachers who have been delivering the programme:

“The materials are good and you can easily adapt them for your class. My pupils particularly enjoyed feedback from the Expert sessions. The Apps for Good team have been extremely supportive too.”
– Ms L. Dighton, Boroughmuir HS

“For anyone looking for a course that covers programming, app design, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and marketing you should really look into it.
The course has so many benefits:
Allows students to work together to create an app to solve an existing problem
Forces students to think about solutions to problems that they encounter
Forces students to work together from generation of ideas right through to implementation and marketing.” – Mr D. Sansom, Craigmount HS

For further information about Apps for Good or to sign up, please download their flyer here or view their website here.

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OneNote Class Notebook at Tynecastle High School

(Please click on the images to see in more detail)

From Skitch blur cMartyn Call, acting PT Maths at Tynecastle High, has been using Class Notebook with his Nat 5 Class this year.

Each pupil accesses OneNote via the App on their iPad.

Each pupil has their own area within class notebook for their classwork making it a virtual jotter.



From Skitch b


When teaching the whole class Martyn uses the smartboard and anything he does automatically appears in the ’Content Library’.

This means that the pupils are not required to copy anything down.

He can also easily add the Success criteria and he has personalised the ‘tags’ to distinguish the type of task that they are allocated.




The Notebook can also be used for tracking.


From Skitch 2From Skitch 3










Tasks carried out in a jotter can easily be captured and embedded in Class Notebook.


From Skitch 1

The pupils in the class said:-

“It’s better for revising and note taking and you can do your homework in one area and it allows you to draw directly on to the app.”

“I like it because it tracks what I do well and what I need to work on.”

“The benefits are it’s better for revising and no paper. Learning is easy – you don’t need to use your jotter.”

Martyn commented that:-

“OneNote allows me to interact with students in real time. Teaching with OneNote (which syncs with student iPads) has been great in building up class notes. The content library and personal spaces allow me to give out homework and feedback easily.”

OneNote is also being used in these other areas of the school:-

Physics – use as textbook

PSE – use as portfolio

PE – textbook and peer feedback

For more information on OneNote Click here:-



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Safer Internet Day 2016


Safer Internet Day 2016 takes place on Tuesday 9th February and the theme is Play your part for a better internet!

Edinburgh schools can nominate themselves for exemplifying good practice and there are also competitions that pupils can enter. For more information please click here and if you would like a poster you can get a copy here.

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