Tag: Tayside

Inspiring Digital Enterprise Awards, Grove Academy

iDEA Awards, Grove Academy

Gavin Pyott, PT Computing Science

I became aware of the iDEA awards by chance when it was first launched 3 years ago. I can’t explain how glad I am that I did. The programme is so well written and produced that all learners are drawn into the modules and are keen to do more. Due to the positive impact iDEA had with classes in my department l began promoting the awards and encouraging others to use it within their schools. As a result of this l was awarded the title of Teacher Ambassador from iDEA.  

The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA, is an international programme that helps students develop and demonstrate digital, enterprise and employability skills.

Since its launch, iDEA has established itself as the digital equivalent of The Duke of Edinburgh Award. The iDEA awards are recognised by universities and employers so are a great addition to any student’s CV.

The iDEA awards allow students to map their knowledge and understanding of the digital world through a series of modules (badges).

The badges have been designed to unlock new opportunities and raise awareness of the diverse range of careers in our digital world, all the while allowing students to gain an industry recognised award to help them stand out from the crowd.

To achieve a Bronze Award, students need to earn a minimum of 250 points, including at least 40 points in each of the core categories of the curriculum: Citizen, Worker, Maker and Entrepreneur.

CITIZEN BADGES cover digital awareness, safety and ethics.

WORKER BADGES introduce tools and techniques which are useful in the digital workplace.

MAKER BADGES cover digital creativity and building and making in the digital world.

ENTREPRENEUR BADGES explain how to originate ideas and bring them to life.

GAMER BADGES investigate gamification techniques and help people learn how to make games.

These badges are all very informative and explain complex concepts in a straightforward, easy to understand, way. All badges are designed to be interactive, allowing pupils to answer questions as they go, building up their knowledge step-by-step.

To help track student progress iDEA have launched ‘organiser codes’ and the organiser area. This allows you to provide pupils with a simple code to add to their iDEA profiles. This will then pull the progress charts for each pupil together into a handy, easy to use spreadsheet.

After completing the Bronze award, many pupils volunteer to move on to the Silver. Unlike Bronze, the Silver award has been written as a series of topics. Each topic is story-based with students being guided through a real-life scenario as they discover the skills required to progress.

Due to the amazing quality and excellent writing in the badges in the programme the target audience range has really been opened up. I have successfully delivered the iDEA award in S1, S2 and S3. We now have pupils is S4-6 who are also tapping into the programme as it has caught their attention. iDEA also works great in an upper primary setting. My own daughter liked the look of the badges and had a go herself. She successfully completed the Bronze award in Primary 6 and completed her Silver when in Primary 7. Not wanting to stop there she completed a total of 50 Bronze badges to become ‘Badge Champion’ and completed the remaining Silver topic to become a

‘Silver Star’. This determination to complete the modules has been replicated by students in my classes who applied the Pokemon ‘got to get them all’ approach to the badges and awards. I have to admit, I have done this too! The iDEA badges are so interesting and informative I found I couldn’t stop either! As an introduction to a new concept (block chain) or to brush up existing skills the iDEA Award is great CLPL for staff too.

Mr Pyott has created a Sway which will give you a full introduction to the work and process involved in using iDEA and his top tips. To view click here.

To see more from Mr Pyott you can visit his Twitter feed on @MrPyott

To see more from Grove Academy, please visit their Twitter feed on @Grove_Academy

You can find out more on iDEA Awards via https://idea.org.uk/ 

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Jayne Mays, Fintry Primary – Online Learning with STEM Challenges

Jayne Mays, Fintry Primary
Jayne Mays, Fintry Primary

When the prospect of a lockdown became apparent I, as an RCT teacher for the whole school, began to panic. My main concern was how will we be able to continue to develop the skills that they have spent the past 9 months working on with myself in Digital Technologies/STEM?

So when the lockdown resulted in both home and online learning, I had to think outside the box. I was aware that not all of our children would have access to a device to participate in online learning or even have the tools to complete the schemes of work we had planned on doing in the coming weeks.


For the home learning packs, I created STEM Challenge Grids – one for infants (P1-3) and one for upper (P4-7) classes, which you can see below. These grids encompassed previous learning since the beginning of the session, allowing the children to consolidate their learning. They were encouraged to share their progress with us via our school twitter account, or through an email (which we then shared, with permission, to our twitter feed).



I then had to start thinking of ways to continue the STEM learning as the lockdown progressed and the above grids would be getting completed.

This was when I decided to brave the camera and give the whole school STEM challenges twice a week (a Monday and a Thursday), each week would focus on a different letter of STEM for both challenges. This allowed the children to experience some old and some new learning in fun ways. The videos I make are done in one take, whether it works or not, and if it doesn’t work I will often keep persevering until I get it right so they see the process of evaluating and adapting, or if I would like them to figure it out without me giving them the answer, I will stop and challenge them to complete it better than I did!

These challenges are posted on our school twitter feed and the Microsoft Team channels for our P4-7 and ESA children.

Some of the challenges that we have had so far include:
★ Creating a ramp for an easter egg that smashes the egg at the end
★ Creating a paper ball using origami (which also doubled up as a water balloon)
★ Scavenger Hunts – maths and electronic focus
★ Designing a BeeBot and then creating a maze for it to go through, writing with 3 different levels of code ★ Chemical Reactions with Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda
★ Pushing pencils through a bag of water
★ Fitting through a piece of paper
★ Creating patterns
★ Growing a rainbow
★ Completing Barefoot online games
★ Completing Hour of Code games

Similar to the grids, I encourage the children to share how they got on and the feedback from the children has been great. They have been up for the challenges set, and some have even replicated the videos I’ve made (and done them so much better!). The children sometimes share videos or photographs of their challenges at different stages through email, uploading to Teams or the school twitter feed.

Through these STEM challenges, the learners and their families are exposed to different areas of STEM and are enjoying it. Which will definitely help us in the future as we drive STEM forward within our setting – so maybe rather than being apprehensive about how we would continue developing skills we had worked so hard on since August, I should have been jumping for joy as now they learners can share their STEM learning experiences first hand with their families and get them involved!

Jayne Mays

Twitter  @jaynemays__

To view the full sway including videos and grids, please click the link below.

(Glow account required)

Go to this Sway
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Craigie High School’s Digital Journey during Lockdown


Craigie High School’s Digital Journey During Covid-19 Lockdown

Before Covid-19, Craigie High School was looking to improve digital engagement for both pupils and staff. We werein the process of self-evaluating and looking to work through the Digital School’s award just as Covid-19 closed our schools. We had created a Digital Teacher Learning Community and set up the Twitter page @digilearnchs in order to showcase examples of high-quality digital learning and teaching in our school. If we can take any positives from lockdown, it is that Craigie Staff have gone above and beyond to improve their digital skills at home. We are looking forward to returning to school and continuing on our journey to become a Digital School. We are definitely much further forward than we were in March!

At Craigie High School staff have found many creative ways to engage pupils remotely.

Many departments have set up individual class teams on Microsoft Teams, allowing them to access resources and talk to staff directly. Many departments make use of the assignments tool to track pupil engagement and mark homework this way. We also have whole year teams, where pupils are given more generic resources and information. This has allowed for a more collaborative approach from staff and sharing of good practice. This can also be seen on our Whole School Staff Support Team.

Online Support Hub

Resources have also been added to our Craigie Online Learning Hub for pupils who may have trouble accessing Teams or may prefer a different format. This is a public facing website which has information for both parents and pupils on how to support learning for home. This directs pupils to information about lost passwords etc, and has links to lots of useful revision websites and fun learning tools. This also has information for pupils and parents about how to cope with learning from home and some information about the importance of Health and Wellbeing at such a time.


Craigie also continues to use Twitter effectively. Our whole school Twitter page keeps parents updated with all important information, as well as retweeting information from partner agencies and individual school departments,. Each department has their own twitter account and has been sending out many encouraging and positive comments along with essential information for parents and pupils.

The Art department, for example, have set up a 30 day Drawing challenge and tweet examples of excellent work from very talented pupils.


In Home Economics, pupils have been given lots of resources to learn practical life skills at home. There have even been differentiated lesson plans sent out for pupils to work on catering for their different dietary requirements. They have also used their Twitter to share examples of pupils finished recipes.

The Science departments continue to share many different exciting videos and resources for pupils. The Biology Department have set milk and volcano home experiments for pupils and a spring photography challenge. They have been sharing excellent examples of home learning from pupils on twitter.

Pupils have been making use of One Note in Science. They have made a poster about an animal and its habitat/diet etc using a rubric attached to their assignment in Teams. Some have done this digitally and uploaded it, others on paper. They’re all uploaded to their pages of our class notebook.

They have also been completing class work through OneNote, including an experiment setting up a pitfall trap and counting and identifying the insects they trapped the next day.



School Videos

Our lovely Support for Learning Dept sent out a video message on twitter to allow pupils to see a friendly face. We are currently working on a Prizegiving congratulations message and a staff wellbeing video.

Music and Drama

Our Instrumental service has set up teams groups for all instrumental pupils, they have access to video lessons, sheet music, discussions etc. Mrs Mackay has have delivered instruments and music to around 25 kids. Some of our pupils are performing outside at 8pm on a Thursday night, over the rainbow on 28th April drew a lot of participation and engagement. Our seniors are currently working on a music video which will go out in a few days. Drama pupils are engaging with the National Theatre online resources which are brilliant. Pupils have also engaged with creating online performance videos which have been edited together by one our wonderful music instructor, Mr Nicoll.




Unfortunately, the RMPS dept did not get the chance to take part in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative before the school closure. However, a ‘Your Community Fund’ challenge has been launched by the Wood Foundation. Our RMPS dept are working with pupils to create presentations explaining the reasons for donating money to a local Dundee Charity. S3 (new) have been set the task the task of writing a letter to someone they find inspirational. For example, they are able to choose to write to a key worker or even someone in their family. The returns have ranged from writing to a nurse at Ninewells hospital thanking them for their hard work and also a beautiful letter to a Gran who is also a care worker who has to come home and look after Grandad who is ill. I’ve been encouraging these pupils to actually send their letters of appreciation on.

Also for June, pupils in the BGE are going to be set this RMPS Superstar challenge.

Office 365 Tools

We have also been making use of Microsoft Forms and Insights on Teams to monitor pupil engagement and check for understanding. We have also been using other Office 365 tools through glow such as Sway to try and encourage digital literacy in our pupils.



Some staff have been providing live online lessons through Teams, whilst others have been videoing themselves teaching and uploading these to onedrive for pupils to access.

Online Classrooms

Staff have also created Online Interactive Classrooms. These have been updated with links to work, and sites along with showcasing pupil work. They look amazing!

And so much more…

Our Duke of Edinburgh candidates are still being supported remotely too, with teachers sending links and advice to help pupils to continue their award through challenging times.

Staff have also been working on continuing their professional development, and the introduction of a Craigie High Quality Learning and Teaching webpage is helping staff to consider new ways of teaching on their return to the classroom. They have also been attending Dundee City Council Online Digital Support Webinars. Finally, our amazing Parental Support Officer has delivered over 130 learning packs to pupils. She is joined by PTG’s PSWLAC and PTSFL in making weekly calls to pupils and their families. Food parcels are also organised on a daily basis for our families through other foodbank agencies.

 Twitter : @craigie_high and @digilearnchs

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Fintry Primary School – Engaging with Learners and Parents



At Fintry Primary School, we understand the challenges of teaching through an online platform and have explored a variety of options to ensure that our ‘classrooms’ are as welcoming and engaging as they would be in person for our pupils.

Within the infant department, we have focused on setting up online tasks using Education City and Sumdog which are supplemented by our learning grids that we have sent home.

For our middle and upper students, each class has their own Team through Microsoft Teams where assignments are set, feedback is given and there is an opportunity for a general chat as well. This is also supplemented by learning grids and the websites mentioned above. For our children who require further support in Literacy and Numeracy, we encourage them to access the online support resources that we use at school.

All our children can engage with their teachers via the school twitter feed – where we love seeing what they are getting up to!

Some teachers have faced their fears of being in front of the camera and shared videos of themselves setting challenges which have been STEM and HWB related, and even doing the challenges they set, to motivate and engage students further.

Through the tools available on the websites and Teams we can gather information about who is accessing these and for those who are not we can perhaps put some support in place.

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Frances Wright Nursery – Digital Engagement with Learners and Families




At Frances Wright Nursery we have used our nursery Twitter page to engage, not just with the parents, but also with the children too. Our nursery is unique in Dundee as we have 74 fulltime children from the local catchment area and 56 fulltime children with Additional Support Needs from across the city.


We have encouraged all families to log-in to our Twitter page, which they can do so simply through a Google search if they don’t feel ready to “join” Twitter yet, and , since Lockdown, we use our Twitter page to upload daily ideas for simple learning activities based around play and also helpful advice, tips and information about mental wellbeing, community and local information.


Following parents’ feedback after making a staff video to say “Hello and Stay Safe” we have started uploading videos of familiar staff reading stories, singing songs and rhymes and showing how to do activities.  Parents have been sharing photos with us showing us what their children have been doing at home, which we love to share but we also emphasise that there is no pressure to share photos or to complete any of the activities that we offer.


We have done Twitter polls to see which story the children would like to have read by video message. We have shared links to websites and apps that may be of interest. Parents shared that their children were missing seeing their friends, so we shared some throwback photos from nursery, and we are in the process of making a video to share using the photos that parents have shared with us of their child’s learning during Lockdown.


The emphasis of our nursery Twitter page is to connect with families and emphasise the importance of learning through play. We do not want to put extra pressure on families at this tough time, but provide them with positive messages, for the whole family’s mental and physical health, with easy to follow tips and ideas that have relevance to all our families, so everyone feels included, supported and connected.

We ensure that our Twitter page includes information and tips which are easily adaptable for all ages and stages, to suit children with ASN and older and younger siblings.

Frances Wright Nursery Twitter Feed 


FWN Twitter FWN Twitter 2




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Our Lady’s RC Primary School – Engaging Parents and Learners






Our Lady’s R.C. Primary School in Dundee, the prospect of delivering remote learning was a little frightening for some of us, but with a positive mindset and some sharing of skills and knowledge, our staff have risen to the challenge!

Most class teachers have opted to set up a Microsoft Team which allows them to have daily contact with their learners through chat and the uploading of files/tasks/activities for the day. Teams also allows the children to share what they have been working on with their teacher and the rest of their classmates, as well as receiving some feedback on their efforts from all participants.

Within teams, some teachers have set up instructional videos to help their learners navigate through the different sections of Teams, whilst others have contained their learners to using just the files and general sections. One of our teachers has even set up a ‘Playground’ channel where the children can chat and have fun with each other!

Other teachers have chosen to set up Twitter accounts specifically for their classes onto which they upload tasks and activities each day. This is a super platform for the children to share their learning and experiences. We can also retweet this to our whole school account, which allows our whole school family to share the learning and achievements.

Two teachers have opted to use a GLOW Group which the children are loving. They can share their tasks and fun things they have been doing throughout the day, as well as chatting with their classmates.

Regardless of the platform chosen, the big message is that the children are receiving some form of learning via their teacher and contact is being maintained. Children are being challenged daily with Literacy, Numeracy and H&WB tasks being uploaded, including links to a range of website and videos. There has also been a big emphasis on personal and research- based projects which the children are enjoying.

One very important message that Our Lady’s is trying to convey is that of family learning; exploring things together, completing tasks together, completing research together.

As well as our class platforms, we have enhanced our use of Twitter through our school account to connect with our families. Through this, we have been able to direct parents to resources/sources of support. This has tied in nicely with our efforts to create small resources ‘banks’ within our community, where we are providing jotters, pencils and other learning materials to support our learners during this time. Connecting via social media has allowed us to receive updates on demand and respond to this by replenishing when required.

In addition, we have updated and developed our school website to keep our current and future families informed and up to date on all aspects of our school and community. In particular, we have developed a support hub on the website, with Covid updates, support channels and materials / resources to support home learning. The learning resources / links area has been designed particularly for families looking for extra activities above the set learning. Our families have found it useful to find all this information in one place. We Tweet when we add updates / new information to the website.

It is our hope that digital learning methods and platforms will allow us to continue with maintaining contact and some form of learning with our families until we can all be together again.