The ICT service

Fortnightly Briefing 10 December 2015

A Very Happy Christmas from All at The ICT Service

The ICT Service would like to send seasonal greetings and best wishes to all schools as we near the end of this term and 2015!  We hope you have a well-deserved break and we very much look forward to supporting you into 2016.  

Please get in touch if you need any assistance, guidance or advice from any of our experienced personnel - our Helpline staff are ready to help you - call 0300 300 0000 or email

The ICT Service Helpline staff will be taking calls up until 2.00pm on Christmas Eve, after which time The ICT Service will close for the Christmas period.

  • Thursday 24 December 2015 - OPEN until 2.00pm
    (Thereafter you will be able to leave a voicemail or email and we will respond when we return on Monday 4 January 2016)
  • Christmas Day – CLOSED
  • Boxing Day – CLOSED
  • Bank Holiday Monday 28 December 2015 – CLOSED
  • Tuesday 29 December 2015 – CLOSED
  • Wednesday 30 December 2015 – CLOSED
  • Thursday 31 December 2015 - CLOSED
  • New Year’s Day – CLOSED
We would like to take this opportunity to let you know that The ICT Service will also be CLOSED between 12.30pm and 2.30pm for an all staff training session on Monday 4 January 2016. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Collaborative Projects from the ELearning Team

Purpose: Reminder
Audience:  All Primary School Teachers

Story Circles

Recommended for:  Reception and KS1 classes and groups
This collaborative project will start in February 2016, span half term and finish during the first week of March 2016, to incorporate World Book Day. 
Register to join a group of other classes beyond your school boundaries, to compose a story in parts by passing it around a circle. Become familiar with and contribute to the retelling of four stories, along the themes of key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales.
The project focuses on story elements such as beginning, middle and end, developing characters, re-enacting and sequencing stories and developing the use of vocabulary (e.g. using time connectives). 
Read what one teacher thought of the project after taking part this term.

Read Autumn Term 2015 Published Stories

To register please complete the online form 

Battle of the Poets
Recommended for:  Years 5 and 6
Running through Spring term 2016 this project offers opportunities for pupils to demonstrate their confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language through performance and debate.
Battle with other groups for the best delivery of a ‘Queen’ performance poem! Craft and perform poems with a real audience and purpose in mind – Her Majesty and staff at Buckingham Palace; links to final poems will be sent to the Palace in time for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday on 21 April 2016.

Tidy up - A course for Administrators coming up - 16 December 2015

Purpose: For information
Audience: All staff with responsibility for using SIMS

  • Are you responsible for SIMS basic data management in your school?
  • Have you ever taken time to look at the Contacts, Agents and Agencies areas?  How many duplicates and triplicates can you see?
  • What about your file structures in the Central Hosting and SIMS areas?  Can you find ‘easily’ what you need when you need it?
  • Ever thought you might have too many ‘archived’ items?
  • If you are asked to occasionally enter data into the Assessment area in SIMS at school, are you finding it increasingly difficult to work out where you should be entering your data and when?
  • Have you got too many Reports?  Which ones do you need?
  • Would you like the opportunity to attend a workshop where ‘housekeeping’ and ‘removing’ and ‘tidying systems up’ are all part of the course?
  • Would you like the opportunity to ‘learn’ some new tips and tricks to make your everyday SIMS experience so much easier?
  • Would you like the opportunity of networking with others who are in the same situation as you, in a quiet workshop environment with no interruptions?

Then this is the course for you! 

  • Wednesday 16 December 2015, 9.30am - 12.00pm
    at The ICT Service Training Centre, St Ives.

Upon successful completion of this course all attendees will have a greater ability to easily negotiate their existing Assessment and Reporting systems.

Course objectives include:

  • What’s needed and what’s not
  • Networking opportunity
  • Overview of current / existing resources
  • Thorough ‘tidy up’ of folders and files surplus to requirements
  • Tidy up of ‘key’ areas within your SIMS .net system (Contacts, Agents and Agencies)
  • Removal of everything not required in your existing SIMS .net Assessment package
  • Removal of everything not required in your existing reporting package
  • Set up and configuration of additional resources for the individual attending
  • Suggestions for future development (to ensure that, following the workshop systems, are kept tidy)

Book your places online here


eSchools platform Advent Calendar

Purpose: Information
Audience: Starz+ Subscribing SchoolseSchools are inviting all Starz+ subscribing schools to help populate an online Advent Calendar.

The calendar is now linked to from all login pages, with a new door opening each day until 25 December 2015.

Could your school be featured behind one of the doors?

Pictures, photos, videos and sound recordings will all be accepted. (Please remember to ensure that you have obtained permission for the use of any children’s images.)

Contact or telephone 0300 300 0000 for more information or to submit your entry.


Central Hosting Downtime

Purpose: Reminder of scheduled downtime information 12 December 2015 and Saturday 9 January 2016
Audience: School staff using Centrally Hosted Systems

On Saturday 12 December 2015 and Saturday 9 January 2016 The ICT Service will be carrying out scheduled maintenance on Centrally Hosted Systems.

The following systems will therefore be unavailable between 7.00am and approximately 7.00pm on Saturday 12 December 2015 and Saturday 9 January 2016:

  • Centrally Hosted Email (Email sent to accounts during this time will still be delivered)
  • Remote Access
  • School based systems via Remote Access
  • Video Conferencing

The full calendar of scheduled downtime dates can always be found on our website


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