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Newsletter – March 2010

Issue 17

ICT Curriculum Support


ICT Capital Refresh
In addition, all primary schools will receive

O
ver the coming months, all primary PCs
two Easi-view visualisers to support work
that are Dell GX280s or older will be
across the curriculum. They are desk-based
replaced with new PCs running Windows
cameras that
7 and Office 2007 as part of the refresh. That
allow
represents 73% of the total primary estate.
teachers to
PCs that are newer than GX280s still have life
share
in them and will be upgraded to run with
whatever
Windows 7 and Office 2007. The change to the
comes in
new operating system will bring benefits other
front of the
than ensuring that we are using the latest
lens - an
technology in our schools in that it works far
object,
more efficiently than XP or Vista and should
document or
enable us to reduce our carbon footprint.
even a
person - on a large screen as either a photo or
To obtain most efficient use of the desktops, it
video image via their digital projector. So they
is essential that we replace the servers which
can be used with or without whiteboards.
are now coming up to 5 years old. This will be
done for all primary establishments.
A review of the secondary PC estate has
highlighted large numbers of old PCs. To
In addition, we have allocated funds to
commence a programme of updating there, a
support ICT Corporate Services’ Infrastructure
capital allocation will be made to begin a
Team to update key items of equipment that
process of refresh in the secondary schools and
will benefit all primary establishments: a core
will enable the replacement of around 300
switch for Municipal Buildings, new switches
PCs.
for all primary schools, funds for rewiring, new
cabinets and power supplies and kits to help
At Antonine PS, a pilot is being undertaken to
with bandwidth upgrades.
enable wireless to be flooded across the whole
of the school. To date we have been able to
We have been able to commence the upgrade
use wireless laptops to access the Internet
of bandwidth to our establishments. All
using what is commonly known as “Class in a
secondary schools have improved bandwidth
Box” approaches whereby the laptops and
and before the end of this financial year
wireless access point are taken from classroom
Carronshore PS, Comely Park PS, Grange PS,
to classroom as needed. However, this
Head of Muir PS, Stenhousemuir PS, Victoria PS
exercise at Antonine is beneficial because it
and Westquarter PS will all have improved
gives our corporate colleagues an opportunity
bandwidth. Early in the new financial year we
to learn how to integrate wireless with the
should see St Margaret’s PS, Camelon
council network – this is something we have
Education Centre, Moray PS and Beancross PS
not been able to do before. The work is
upgraded. Discussions continue with ICT
nearing completion and early indications are
Corporate Services regarding the scheduling of
that extensive use of wireless within a school
other upgrades not only for the next financial
is not stable with XP as the operating system
year but for 2 or 3 years taking us to 2014.
but very robust with Windows 7.
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ICT Excellence
Awards
he 2010 ICT Excellence Awards are now “The sections covered in the ‘Learning

T open for entries until 24 March 2010. All


Falkirk schools are encouraged to enter.
The Becta ICT
experience’ category are:
• Curriculum
• Learning and Teaching
Excellence • Assessment
Awards are • E-safety
open to • Professional development
schools in • Inclusion
England, • Communication throughout the school
and with parents
Scotland,
• Impact of ICT on pupil outcomes”
Wales and Northern Ireland. These awards aim
to identify and reward whole school “We then heard at the end of March that we
excellence in ICT in various categories. had been shortlisted and the date that the
Winning schools receive a cash prize. judges would visit. The visits start in May and
(http://stage.awards.becta.org.uk) go through until June. Our visit was on 11th
Several Falkirk schools entered in 2009 and May which gave us approximately 3 weeks to
Head of Muir Primary School were successful in prepare for the visit after the Easter holiday.
being shortlisted from all the schools in the We were asked to keep this information
UK. Ann Kilpatrick, ICT Co-ordinator at Head confidential.”
of Muir Primary School, kindly shared how they “With the second email came a timetable for
found the process so as to encourage others to the visit:
enter this year. • Introductions to Head teacher and ICT co-
“Head of Muir Primary School entered the ordinator
‘Learning Experience’ category and in this the • Context setting meeting with above
Becta judges were looking for ICT to be explaining the development of ICT within
embedded into the whole curriculum and the school
innovative and creative ways of using ICT. As • General tour of the school to include all
stages of the school included in the
ICT develops it is no longer enough to simply
application.
have ICT in your curriculum and to use your
• Classroom visits
whiteboard as a teaching tool - they are • Meeting with group of pupils - (we used
looking for the impact it has on learning within the web group)
your classroom, school and community.” • Meeting with group of staff members
• Further discussion with Head teacher/ICT
“They ask when visiting if the school has used co-ordinator”
the Self review framework – available at:
www.becta.org.uk/schools/selfreviewframewo “The onus is on the school to show the judges
rk . This is an excellent tool for focusing your evidence of anything they deem is
thinking and helps you to look at where you appropriate. This should be concise and
are and where you would like to go with ICT. selective as they only have a short time. We
This is best completed over a period of time by ensured that all classes were using ICT in a
a group of staff from throughout the school. different way during the visit – linking the
Each section could be saved when completed activities to our submission. Included in our
and re-visited at a later date.” evidence was our SIP, with ICT developments
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highlighted, our ICT policy, samples of weekly school) - and should be encouraged for use at
planning, highlighting activities involving ICT home too.
and any pieces of work which reflected good
use of ICT. The judges were very friendly and In a primary school when staff log on to a
they were very accommodating. We were computer they will see a blue screen, while
notified of the outcome of our visit during the pupils logging on will see a green screen, so at
summer holidays, when we were also sent a a glance it is easy to check that pupils are
press release to notify everyone of having not using a computer inadvertently left logged
been shortlisted.” on by a staff member.

Go now to http://stage.awards.becta.org.uk Whether primary or secondary, all staff get


and start the process to enter your school for access to extra facilities, the access to these
this year’s awards. being set by the use of the staff username to
the computer. The level of access to the
internet is varied – staff get access to sites to
E-Safety which pupils will not get access. If a member
of staff finds themselves unable to access a
website which they know to be a useful

M
ost teachers will encourage pupils to
teaching resource, only staff are presented
use online resources when undertaking
with a screen which enables them to directly
curricular work either in school or at
request access. Likewise if staff find a
home. So it is important for all staff to
resource which they believe should be blocked
reinforce safety messages to all pupils. The
from access by pupils in school then staff can
safety of our pupils online is the responsibility
report this via the ICT Service Desk link from
of all staff. Online safety skills are skills for
their PC or by sending an e-mail to
life. If our children can make sensible and
logcall.servicedesk@falkirk.gov.uk
informed choices online they can get the most
from the internet and stay safe whilst doing
The Thinkuknow website has an excellent area
so.
for teachers. There you’ll find films,
presentations, games, lesson plans and posters
So what resources are there to help staff?
covering a range of issues including cyber-
bullying. All of these resources encourage
Highly recommended are the e-safety online
young people to have fun with new
resources which can be found on the very first
technology, whilst staying in control of the
page of the Falkirk VTC
risks. Importantly, they also teach young
(www.falkirkvtc.org.uk) which is the very first
people where to go if they have any concerns.
page primary pupils will see when logging onto
the internet in schools. These include age-
Schools are encouraged to include links to e-
specific interactive activities at
safety resources on their own school websites.
www.thinkuknow.co.uk - so pupils from
primary 1 to S6 will find material here
relevant to them presented in ways designed
to appeal to the different age groups.

The Falkirk VTC website also has a Google


search box on the first page. This
automatically uses the Google Safe Search tool
(in addition to the Council web filters within
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In addition the Thinkuknow website has There you will find online resources for use
resources to support parents in keeping their across the curriculum. This Glow group also
children safe online and it is recommended provides an example of how a teacher might
that these are highlighted regularly in school make use of Glow as place to store their own
newsletters to parents. teaching resources, and a single place to
gather together and access resources
www.thinkuknow.co.uk elsewhere online.

This Glow group also provides examples and

Looking for support explanations of how to use various tools and


resources in a Glow group. These include
Wordle text images, Auto-collage Maker to
in using ICT across make photographic collages, blabberize to
create a speaking image in Monty Python-
the curriculum? esque animation style, and rss2java to take
feeds from other blogs, websites or podcasts
and convert them for use in Glow so that links

T
he first Glow group created for everyone
to access in Falkirk Council was one to appear automatically. Web tools which are
show how ICT can be used across the useful to teachers are regularly added to this
curriculum in primary schools. The Glow Glow group. There are also many links to
group can be found once you've logged into curricular-specific resources, including the
Glow by clicking on the Falkirk Council button presentations created by ICT Curriculum
on the left-hand side, then click on the Glow Support on using the software on PCs in Falkirk
Groups tab along the top. And then scroll primary schools.
down to "Falkirk Primary ICT Co-ordinator
Support." If any member of staff does not have a Glow
account, then please advise them to place a
helpdesk request via
logcall.servicedesk@falkirk.gov.uk requesting
a Glow account to be set up.

Internet Filtering
Changes

O
ver the past few months Education
Services in partnership with ICT
Corporate Services have been deploying
new Internet Filtering software to our
education establishments. The new provider,
Sophos Web Security, will allow for more
efficient web filtering and reporting, as well
as providing new anti-virus and anti-spyware
protection.

All Nursery and Primary schools have been


transferred to the new system, with 5
Secondary schools recently added. The
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to request the re-categorisation or unblocking


remaining schools will be transferred during of a website when they reach a blocked page.
their desktop standardisation programme over You may also see a “Blocked Request” image
the coming months. appearing within small areas of other sites you
are able to access. This indicates that an
Some of you using the new system may have advert or popup within the site is blocked, but
noticed some new functionality when using the should not interrupt normal access to the site.
Internet. Teaching staff now have the ability

Requesting Access to Blocked Sites

I
nternet filters are necessary to protect children and young people from accessing inappropriate
websites. However, if you believe that a website has been blocked in error, please follow the
instructions below:

On the screen, click on the ‘submit request’ icon.

Enter your comment stating why you think that access to the site should be granted and, if
necessary, change the category to which the site belongs (see the example below). Click on the
‘submit request’ icon.

You will be prompted to return to your previous page and the request will usually be dealt with in a
matter of hours.
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The VTC and Curriculum for Excellence


The Staff area of
the VTC continues
to be updated
regularly. If you
have any
Curriculum for
Excellence
resources, plans,
or case studies you
would like to
share, please
contact Margaret
Vass at ICT
Curriculum
Support.

The Homepage now contains information about Glow and includes links to areas within Glow that
have been designed to help you get started.

The VTC and Glow

During the next few weeks and months, there are plans to regularly spotlight good uses of Glow in
various Scottish authorities. The links provided will show examples of how Glow groups have been
set up to improve learning and teaching in a variety of stages and curricular areas.

The Staff area of the VTC can be accessed at:

http://www.falkirkvtcstaff.org.uk/
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ECDL
Congratulations
Additional preparatory work and training is
ongratulations to Louise Machray,

C teacher at Hallglen Primary School,


who is the latest to have successfully
completed the ECDL through completing the
taking place in the near future for a number
of other processes available using Seemis:

• Secondary schools developing their


ECDL for Educators course offered at Camelon
Education Centre. The ECDL is a qualification timetables using Click+Go
administered by the British Computer Society, • Piloting of the new tracking and
the UK Chartered Institute for IT, which is monitoring module at Bo’ness Academy
recognized in over 140 countries and and Grangemouth High School (see
represents a global benchmark in end-user following article from Steve Dougan)
computer skills. If you are interested in • Staff of the Registrars’ offices preparing
working towards the ECDL then contact your FME using Click+Go
CPD co-ordinator for details of the ECDL for • Education Services’ staff undertaking
Educators Course training in EMA
offered at • Training in the management and
Camelon maintenance of staff records in Click+Go
Education Centre.

Seemis - Tracking &


Seemis
Monitoring
F
or those of you who use Click+Go
regularly and feel the need and/or

T
interest in getting further training, then he new tracking and monitoring system
you may like to have a go at a short on-line offered by Seemis is being piloted in
survey trying to find out your requirements. both Bo’ness Academy and
Grangemouth High School and which should
The survey can be found at: be available to all secondary schools from the
summer onwards – once the national piloting
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GWCHLP5 has been completed. The following describes
the work undertaken and progress to date in
It will only take you a few minutes to Bo’ness Academy.
undertake it and it will be available to
access until Friday, 2nd April 2010. “We have been piloting the new tracking &
monitoring module Since January 2010 at
By completing the survey you will be helping Bo’ness Academy. After the initial fun of
us to schedule targeted training into the new setting up the tracking periods and resolving
school year knowing that it is meeting one or two glitches we have found the system
people’s needs. very simple and quick to use. An initial one
hour training session was given to all staff
along with a modified instruction manual. All
staff from the ICT experts to the less
experienced have found the system very
straightforward and easy to use.
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See below the new look of Tracking & • It is user friendly with a spell check and
Monitoring in the Seemis pilot project. sizing guide which work!
• On the printed report there is a summary
for parents showing all basic, key
Information
• There is the opportunity for teachers to
print their own condensed reports (very
useful for parents’ evenings)
• Teachers can monitor how their pupils
are performing in other subject areas

It is our intention to roll out the following


aspects of the system throughout the
remainder of the session:

• S5 SQA exam predictors


So far we have concentrated on the reporting • CAT analysis
element of the module and have successfully • Tracking comparators
produced S4 and S2 parental reports. • Intervention strategies
• SQA NAB entries
Over the coming months we will look in more
depth at the tracking & monitoring aspects. At the present time we have enjoyed using
Advantages to the school have been: the system and look forward to it being fully
integrated into Click+Go”.
• It keeps all pupils data in one system

ICT Curriculum Support Team contact details


With the arrival at Camelon Education Centre (CEC) of more staff from McLaren House, there has been
some re-organisation of staff locations and so the ICT Curriculum Support Team will no longer be
found in room 3 on the top floor. However, apart from Margaret Vass, all their telephone numbers and
email addresses will remain the same although the fax number has changed:

ICT Curriculum Support


Camelon Education Centre
Abercrombie Street
Camelon
Falkirk
FK1 4HA

Name: Telephone: Email: New room:


Jan Baxter: 01324 501987 jan.baxter@falkirk.gov.uk EY1
Isabelle Gunn: 01324 503767 isabelle.gunn@falkirk.gov.uk 5
Stuart Lennie: 01324 503765 stuart.lennie@falkirk.gov.uk 17
Margaret Vass: 01324 503764 margaret.vass@falkirk.gov.uk 17
Robert McLeary: 01324 501984 robert.mcleary@falkirk.gov.uk 15
Laurie Lee Moodie: 01324 503760 laurielee.moodie@falkirk.gov.uk 15
Malcolm Wilson: 01324 503766 malcolm.wilson@falkirk.gov.uk 17

Fax: 01324 503718