Year 3, using OneNote in grammar lessons #MIEExpert

In Year 3 at Simon de Senlis, the children are working on improving their sentence structure and writing through weekly discreet grammar lessons. This week, we focused on extending simple sentences which only contain a noun and verb and up-levelling them by adding in adjectives, adverbs and conjunctions to add information.

In Monday’s lesson, the children enjoyed writing their sentences on strips of paper and playing around with sentence structure including adding in those all important fronted adverbials!

During Wednesday’s lesson, the children could then further apply their skills by working in small groups on the devices using OneNote.

In the content library a simple sentence, ‘The she-wolf looked.’ had been left for them. The children copied and pasted these into a page in the collaboration space and up-levelled the sentences using a range of grammar techniques.

During the lesson, I was able to select children’s work to show on the interactive whiteboard and give timely and relevant feedback as they worked. The children could also easily magpie each other’s ideas for inspiration and assist each other if problems occurred. They changed the text colour to purple to show where they had amended the sentences.

There are a number of ‘expert’ children in the class who feel confident with using Office365 and were able to share their expertise with others during the session. image.

This is a fantastic learning tool to have in the classroom and easily accessible to children in Year 3 who are only 7 and 8 years old!

Laura Holland #MIEExpert



Sds Coders #MIEExpert


The Simon de Senlis coders have been hard at work on their Scratch project for a local coding competition run in collaboration with Code Club. The aim is to produce a game that promotes energy saving in school and the children earn points for the quantity and quality of the coding as well as adding variables such as a timer and a scoring system.

The group have decided to add some information about each energy saving device or method they have included.  They set up a group on Office 365 to communicate and add documents and information they have collected and to comment on their progress so far.

The team have been collaborating well and we will be using Office Mix to video the game so we can share how the game works with the judges.

Check out this Sway! ” Our journey through The Enchanted Kingdom”

After a term looking at Africa, Year 5 soon became the experts of the school. To share our knowledge and expertise, group chose, planned, resourced and delivered workshops to the rest of the school focusing on areas such as cooking, geography of Africa, art, drama/ storytelling, learning Swahili and dancing. Teachers were then asked to book time slots over two days for their class to attend and evaluate the sessions.

Source: Check out this Sway! ” Our journey through The Enchanted Kingdom”

Year 1 Enchanted Kingdom Evaluation using OneNote- Beth Tallett

Beth Tallett, a Year 1 teacher, wrote the following post on how she used OneNote to capture children’s evaluation of the recent Enchanted Kingdom topic.

“The children thought about what they had learnt over the last few weeks and then as a class we answered the evaluation using OneNote online. Both classes were given the same questions so as to compare responses and OneNote made it easier to collate the children’s thoughts and ideas. The class thought about how they could improve the The Enchanted Kingdom film and I was really surprised at their mature ideas. One child said the it could be improved by “dressing up as explorers again because we have actually been explorers, exploring the ‘Mercurial Waters’ “.

Another child said “it would have been nice to include some drumming in the film because we did some drumming in the workshop on the first day”.

It showed me that the children had a clear learning journey and had made links between all of the things we have done this term.

Furthermore, I feel the ‘Enchanted Kingdom’ has inspired the children to be more curious and adventurous learners, with 16 children wanting to now visit Africa. When the children were asked this question at the beginning of the topic only ‘7’ children wanted to go.





PowerPoint Online through O365

Over the past week, the children of Year 5 have been using O365 to present research they collated through the recent survey on perceptions of Africa.

In particular, they have focused on using PowerPoint online which, at first, I though was no different to the programme you find on your desktop. However it did not take long for the children of Einstein Class to discover the unique functions and how it could help them to complete their work more efficiently.

The outline of their task was to create three slides: One which detailed the outcomes of the survey, one that provided statistics to support this outcome and lastly, one to showcase alternative options to help change the perception of people. Children were grouped into threes and without prompted, started to create their final outcome. Five minutes into the lesson it was clear that three children working around one device was no productive and therefore groups were asked to share their original document with all members of the group. This was a turning point in the lesson. Within minutes, children were working on individual devices  on the same presentation. Notifications were shown when other individuals were editing a page and identified by colours linked to users (see image below). A very handy feature which has transformed my use of PowerPoint in the classroom!

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Sway – The Gelada Baboon

During our Skype call with Myles Connolly, the producer of Enchanted Kingdom, he mentioned that his favourite animal during filming was the Gelada monkey. Here, a Year 6 has created a Sway with detailed information about this fascinating African creature. Take a look by following the link below.

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“Say hello to Sway! Sway is an entirely different way to express yourself and bring your ideas to life. When your ideas are born, you want to explore, visualize and share them—quickly and easily, wherever you happen to be, and on whatever device you have. You want your ideas to be understood. Sway helps you do just that. It’s a new way for you to create a beautiful, interactive, web-based expression of your ideas, from your phone or browser. It is easy to share your creation and it looks great on any screen. Your ideas have no borders, edges, page breaks, cells or slides. Your mind is a continuous canvas, and Sway brings this canvas to life. Sway helps you focus on the human part: your ideas and how they relate to each other. Sway takes care of the design work—a Sway is ready to share with the world as soon as it is born.” – Microsoft Sway

Enchanted Kingdom/ Africa Immersion – Making a dent in the universe with Microsoft

Having already spent a term studying Africa, Year 5 became the experts leading workshops around the school and educating the children of Simon de Senlis on areas including: African Art, dance, cooking, Story Whooshing (drama), Geography of Africa and Learning Swahili.

Through immersion for Enchanted Kingdom, Year 5 were exposed to different viewpoints, perceptions and stereotypes associated with this area of the world. As part of this, a survey was sent around to the school on OneNote for children to complete in classes. They were asked a range of questions and asked for the majority view. Having this on OneNote allowed all classes to contribute to the survey and have one place for Year 5 children to analyse the results together. (see appendix 1) Once collected, the year group used Excel Online (through O365) to create pie charts and bar charts before summarising their findings. This made it easier to compare and contrast different questions and collate the mode data. (see appendix 2)

Most people at Simon de Senlis school think that Africa is

  • Mainly a desert
  • Consists of mainly people with black skin
  • People are poor
  • They don’t have much fun
  • They are all farmers and workers
  • Children play with animals all day
  • They don’t live in houses like us

Having looked at Africa in detail for 6 weeks, the children recognised a problem and soon started to become passionate about changing people’s perception. Quite rightly one child pointed out that not all English people live in Buckingham palace and drink tea. After an in depth discussion, many believed this opinion was down to the adverts seen on TV, appeals and articles. It became clear that although the children of Einstein and Dyson class were well aware of the positives Africa has and the many diverse opportunities available, this is not widely shown to the public. After hours of ideating, synthesising and questioning, it has become clear that we need to offer a way of showcasing all of these aspects of the continent and presenting it in a different light. The work carried out so far is completely child led and driven by their passion and desire to learn and educate others. Over the next three weeks they will take a different aspect of the survey and produce an Office Mix in the form of a tourist brochure and narrating throughout based on the information they have discovered. Linked in with the ‘Alien Sands’ this will also guide them through the world of the desert and the many discoveries there.

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