Monthly Archives: October 2022

How to post a document as a news item on SharePoint

Posting a document as news on SharePoint is a great way to share important information and resources with a large group of people. For example, you can share policies, handbooks, revision material, or any other useful information that your school, trust or organisation may need to be informed about.

Here’s an example of staff handbook updates we posted to a SharePoint site as news:

News item about policy in SharePoint

In this guide, we show you the very simple process of sharing documents on the news page of any SharePoint site.

Here’s a video our Trainer Joe created that walks you through how to post a document as news on a SharePoint site. Meanwhile, below is a written step-by-step guide.

How to post a document as news on a SharePoint page.

  1. Go to SharePoint or Teams and find the document you would like to share.
  2. Hover over the document and select the tick box, which is on the left-hand side of the document.
  3. Select Copy link. This copies the link to your document into your clipboard until you’re ready to paste.

Copy the link to the document you want to post as news on SharePoint

Important: Be sure to check your permissions on your document to ensure the right people will be able to access it.

4. Go to the homepage of your chosen SharePoint site.

5. Under News, you can either add a news post or a news link.

If your SharePoint home page doesn’t have a News section, find out how to add one in our Ultimate Guide to SharePoint Homepages.

6. Select News Link to open up a link box.

7. Paste (right-click + paste) the link you copied earlier.

Adding a news link to your SharePoint homepage

Once you’ve done this, you can include any additional information (such as a title, description etc). You can see the preview image and also have the option to change it to something else too from your images or a search engine.

5. Hit Post.

You can post a document as news on any SharePoint page, so you have the option to share documents to subject pages, year group pages and even staff pages. It’s a great way to connect with others, while also giving your document a permanent and designated place for students, teachers or staff to find in the future.

Sharing a document as news on SharePoint

Found this helpful? Share this guide with your colleagues.

The benefits of 1:1 devices in schools with Lingfield College

The Director of Digital Learning at Lingfield College talks about the school’s plan to roll out per-student devices to every student and the challenges and benefits that come with digital transformation. 

Lingfield College is a co-educational independent school in Surrey for pupils aged two to eighteen. Stefan Hagen is the Director of Digital Learning and works with his team to help drive digital learning within the school, working with the school’s partner companies – including Cloud Design Box – to deliver quality technology to staff and students.  

The school has bold plans to introduce a per-student device policy – eventually rolling out touch-screen laptops to every student within the school.  

In this podcast episode, we discuss the challenges of moving to blended learning, as well as the many benefits that come with a 1:1 device policy in education.  

Stefan also outlines what the school has done so far to lay the foundations for this digital learning strategy and what the plan is to accomplish their goal of per-student devices.  

A vision for cloud-based learning. 

Lingfield College had begun looking at ways to “get digital moving”, as Stefan puts it before the pandemic.  

But, things didn’t move as quickly as they had hoped and as the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns hit in the UK, the school had to move quickly to deliver quality lessons via Microsoft Teams.  

“When we returned to the classroom after lockdown, I was keen to keep the momentum that we had built up going, encouraging staff members to use Teams and OneDrive,” Stefan explains. 

“However, I realised that many people were fed up with computer screens and that we had to move more slowly and carefully to get everyone on board.”  

It was around that time that Lingfield College began working with Cloud Design Box to create a long-term strategy that would enable the school to migrate to the cloud, which would lay the foundations for their 1:1 device policy.  

Moving to the cloud. 

As they say, when you move house, you have a clear out before you move so you don’t take all your junk with you. And, it was the same as we moved from our old servers to the cloud,” Stefan explains. 

Cloud Design Box worked with Lingfield College to give staff the time and training they needed to move their resources over to the cloud.  

“We set up key milestones and eventually turned the old servers to ‘view-only’ to give staff who hadn’t been able to move resources over yet access without creating a confusing dual system.” 

Rolling out per student devices with Lingfield College education podcast

1:1 devices for teachers and school staff.  

Moving to the cloud allowed Lingfield College to roll out 1:1 devices for every staff member, allowing teachers to build up their confidence with the new technology.  

“This approach made the most sense to us because teachers can get used to the technology as they’re using it for teaching so that when we are ready to roll out 1:1 devices for students, teachers can help resolve some tech issues if they do occur in the classroom.”  

Infrastructure challenges that come with 1:1 devices.  

As Stefan points out in the podcast, there’s more to think about when rolling out 1:1 devices than simply giving everyone a laptop or tablet.  

“Getting the infrastructure right is a challenge. For example, our flooring makes it difficult for us to put charging ports into our classrooms. So we’re now looking at charging lockers that can work for multiple types of devices,” Stefan tells us.  

“For staff, we have installed a dock in each classroom that allows any staff member to come in, plug into the dock, charge their device and start teaching straight away.”  

Rolling out devices to teaching staff

Introducing 1:1 devices for students. 

Now all staff members have their own devices, the school is now in a position where they can plan a rollout for students, starting with year 10 and up.  

“We are going to introduce a policy where Year 10s and above purchase a laptop through the school – this ensures that the devices are set up correctly and securely, and they are from our approved list of devices,” Stefan reveals. 

“All devices are going to be Windows stylus-enabled touch devices.” 

While spreading the word to parents that they need to spend money on a laptop for their child could be challenging, the school has made steps to ensure the transition goes as smooth as possible: 

“There will be different price points so that parents can choose how much to spend on the device. And, we’ve already been using a recommended list of Windows devices over the last few years that parents have bought from, so it’s likely those devices are suitable for the new rollout.”  

The school has also deliberately chosen the GCSE group for this rollout to help the students develop digital skills for the future:  

“Obviously, we don’t know what kind of jobs there’ll be in the future when it comes to technology. It’s not about tying them to Microsoft and Windows, but it is about building those transferrable skills.” 

Benefits of 1:1 devices for teaching and learning.  

Although the student devices haven’t been fully rolled out yet, the school is already seeing huge benefits to using Microsoft 365 for teaching and learning.  

“It’s a huge time save for teachers. Yes, it’s a bit of effort upfront to transfer all your resources to the cloud, but once it’s there, you can reuse the content, set up self-marking etc. It’s going to get so much quicker the more we use it,” says Stefan. 

Create a self-marking quiz in Microsoft Forms

“It has driven productivity. Staff are sharing and collaborating on documents, and planning lessons as a team. Teams meetings are also more efficient – a quick call with a staff member for 10 minutes, rather than sitting through hours of in-person meetings. Also, for the longer meetings, you can multitask and get on with something else while listening.”  

It’s clear that moving to the cloud has made things more flexible for both staff and students: 

“One of our students can only come into school one day a week because they’re an academy footballer for a premiership club. We have quick chats and share audio notes on Teams; I send feedback on OneNote and set assignments,” he describes. 

“But audio and video are powerful tools for all our students. Verbal communication is so much more powerful than written feedback. I can send video feedback via Teams and even attach it to assignments. It’s like an extension of the classroom.”

Give video feedback to students in Microsoft Teams Assignments

We’re excited to see Lingfield College’s vision come to life over the next few years and are looking forward to catching up with Stefan at a later stage to hopefully see students benefiting in even more ways from Microsoft 365.

Catch up on all the episodes of our podcast on YouTube, Spotify or on our website.

If you would like to find out more about Cloud Box and how we can help your school or MAT harness the full power of Microsoft 365, SharePoint and Teams, book a free demo today.  

We’re attending The Education People Show 

Cloud Design Box is exhibiting at The Education People Show – Kent’s leading event for the promotion and development of effective school leadership, management, learning and teaching.  

Come down and see us on Stand 415 where Joanne, our Customer Success Manager, and Steve, our Support Case Manager will be on hand to demonstrate how we can help your school or trust harness the full power of Microsoft 365, Teams and SharePoint.

The show takes place on Thursday 10 November 2022 at The Kent Event Centre.  

“I’m really looking forward to catching up with schools and seeing how they’re getting on in the new academic year. One of my favourite parts of my job is speaking to teachers and finding out how we can enhance the incredible work they do with Microsoft and Cloud Box,” Joanne says.   

The Education People Show – which is aimed at headteachers, IT managers, finance directors and other school leaders – is jam-packed with a comprehensive schedule of talks, inspirational workshops and exhibition of some of the leading suppliers and service providers in education.  

Alongside all of this, there are three keynote speakers: Greystone Partnership’s Christopher, Countdown Dictionary Corner Expert Susie Dent and Headteacher Chris Dyson. 

Speakers at The Education People Show


“Just one day at The Education People Show will help you and your team resolve many of your challenges, share experiences with other school management teams and grasp the numerous opportunities for improvement as you embark on a new school year,” explains one organiser of The Education People Show.  

The Education People Show is free to attend – you can register your place today.  

If you are coming along, please come and say hello at Stand 415.  

TEP Show Exhibiting banners 10-November2022 1170x200pixnewdate2

We’re at the Schools and Academies Show and EdTech Summit

Cloud Design Box is attending the Schools and Academies Show and EdTech Summit at the Birmingham NEC on Thursday 17 November 2022.

The Schools and Academies Show and EdTech Summit have teamed up to create an amazing, free co-located event, filled with CPD-accredited content, learning and networking with over 3,000 education leaders.

We're at the SAAShow 2022

Cloud Design Box is on Stand A7, and our Founder Tony Phillips will be joined by our Customer Success Manager Joanne Harkin-Arro and Operations Manager Darren Hemming.

We’re going to be showcasing how schools and trusts can harness the full power of Microsoft 365, using SharePoint and Teams to reinforce and accelerate blended learning.

Come down and talk to us about how we can build a powerful central hub that drives excellence, promotes collaboration and ignites teaching and learning in your school and trust.

Our education experts will also be on hand to talk about how we can support you to create a clear long-term strategy and help you maximise user adoption across your entire staff and student body.

CDB Benefits

The show is now in its 11th year, and we’re thrilled to be part of such a leading event where the education community can come together to learn, collaborate, and gain inspiration from the sector’s most recognised leaders in education, including representatives from the Department for Education, the Education & Skills Funding Agency and more.

Attendees can enjoy over 50 hours of content from over 150 key speakers in education, ensuring you come away equipped with the resources, tools, and guidance needed to deliver outstanding teaching & learning.

Cloud Design Box is also going to be taking part in the EdTech Trail, created by The ANME. Visit our stand (A7) and get your QR code to be in with a chance of winning a Ring Stick Up Camera.

Win a Ring Stick Up Camera on the EdTechTrail

Register for free if you work in a school, academies, MAT, local authority, central government or the wider education sector.

School Homepages in SharePoint – The Ultimate Guide

Creating a visually appealing yet functional homepage for your school or trust is challenging. It isn’t easy to strike the right balance between including all the information, links and announcements and making it look engaging and fresh for staff and students.

What’s more, creating and maintaining SharePoint sites can be time-consuming. You want to make sure your school homepage is updated with the latest news, announcements and resources, but you don’t want to be tied to manually updating it every day. 

We’ve created this ultimate guide, so you have all your bases covered, from must-have web parts for schools and trusts to simple design tips that will transform how your pages look. 

The best part? Once set up, a lot of the content automatically updates, pulling information from other SharePoint sites, document libraries and external web pages. 

Get started creating a school homepage in SharePoint.

Your SharePoint homepage is made up of different web parts. Web parts are essentially widgets or content blocks that can be configured to display different types of information.

You can add web parts to the sections of your SharePoint homepage.

How to add a section to your SharePoint homepage.

Hit Edit at the top-right-hand corner of your SharePoint homepage.

Select the plus icon in the top left corner of your homepage to bring up a list of Section types to choose from:

  • One column
  • Two columns
  • Three columns
  • One-third left
  • One-third right
  • Full-width section
  • Vertical section

Add different sections to your SharePoint homepage to add interest and variety

Tip: Use several different section types on your SharePoint homepage to make them more visually interesting.

How to add a new web part to your SharePoint page.

  1. Hover over a section, and a plus icon will appear.
  2. Hit the plus icon to bring up a list of available web parts.
  3. You can use the search part to look for a specific web part, or filter by category.
  4. Select the web part you wish to add to your page.
Note: Some web parts are only available in certain sections.

Some top tips for creating a beautiful SharePoint site:

  • Use different section types to make your site look more interesting.
  • Stick to a specific colour scheme.
  • Use the Spacers web parts to spread out content on your page.
  • Stick to high-quality images that are either taken by your school or trust, or from the Microsoft stock image bank.

We have created a full guide on how to make SharePoint sites look great here. 

Must-have web parts for your school or trust SharePoint homepage.

Sharing links, resources and documents in SharePoint.

Hero links.

With the Hero web part, you can add up to five links on a hero-style banner with clickable tiles.

You can pick 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 links.

Some example destinations you could link to on your school or trust homepage are important documents and policies, key areas of the SharePoint site or external links to other frequently used sites.

Add a Hero banner to SharePoint linking to key resources and documents

Customise your Hero banner by:

  • Editing the title of the link.
  • Adding a background image – you can use a colour block, add your own image or choose from one of the many stock images from Microsoft’s library.
  • Add alternative text to assist usability and accessibility.
  • Add/remove a call to action such as “Learn more” or “Visit now”

Jump to the Hero Links section in the video.

Promoted links.

This is a Cloud Design Box exclusive web part.

The Promoted Links web part helps you navigate the key document libraries within the current SharePoint site.

promoted links

You can add a different title – for example, “Libraries” or “Resources” and configure it to show certain libraries.

Save time by checking “Include document libraries from the current site automatically”. Doing this ensures that any new libraries created in this SharePoint site are automatically shown in your Promoted Links section.  

Tip: Users with permissions can add a new document library by selecting New and Document Library.

Jump to the Promoted Links section of the video.

Quick links.

The Quick Links web part allows you to add a list of links to internal or external pages.

It’s easy (and quick) to add a link, and you can rename the links and customise their icon or image.

Jump to the Quick Links section of the video.

The Quick Links web part allows you to add a list of links to internal or external pages.

Sharing news and announcements on SharePoint.


Add a news feed to your SharePoint homepage to share announcements and news with the rest of the school or trust.

You can configure the News web part to pull in news from different sources. For example, the current SharePoint site, multiple SharePoint sites or news that is tailored to the current user (this pulls news from any sites that the user is a member of).

announcements and news

The filter tool is handy if you want to only show news with certain keywords. For example, “Sports” if you are designing a sports homepage.

Pick from several different view options, including a list, side-by-side, tiles or carousel.

There is a slider option to choose the number of news items to display, and you can also choose whether to display info, such as number of views, author and publish date.

Tip: Users with permission can add a new news post or link. Select New in the top-left-hand corner and News link or News post.

Jump to the News web part section of the video.


The Events web part enables you to post important events to your site.

Similar to the News web part, you can configure it to display events from certain sources. For example, “Events from this site”.

Post important events to your SharePoint site with the Events web part

You can also narrow down your events by category or date range.

On top of this, you can choose whether to display your events in a film strip or grid style.

Add a new Event by hitting Add Event at the top of the web part.

From here, you can add a title and image, choose your start and end times, and a location or meeting link if it’s online.

You can also set a category, add a description or invite and tag people.

Jump to the Events section of the video.

Twitter feeds.

Another way to ensure your school SharePoint homepage isn’t static is to embed social media feeds.

The Twitter web part can be used to display tweets from any account. We’d suggest using it for your school or trust’s Twitter account.

Simply type in the username to start displaying Tweets from that account.

The Twitter web part can be used to display tweets on your SharePoint site.

Jump to the Twitter section of the video.

Personalised SharePoint web parts. 

My Profile.

The My Profile web part automatically creates a profile banner that is tailored to the user who is logged in.

The My Profile web part in SharePoint creates a profile banner, automatically tailored to the user.

The profile includes the user’s photo, name and a list of handy links that are relevant to them. For example, My Classes, My Assignments and OneDrive.

Jump to the My Profile section of the video.

My Events.

The My Events web part gives you a quick glance at your upcoming events by showing your calendar events from Outlook. This is exclusive to Cloud Design Box customers.

With this web part, you can flick back and forth through the days of your calendar.

Our customer-exclusive My Events web part gives you a quick glance at your upcoming events in SharePoint.

You can also select Open My Calendar to open a full view of your calendar in Outlook. 

Jump to the My Events section of the video.

My Class Teams.

The My Class Teams web part brings in all the Class Teams you’re a member of, whether you’re a student or teacher. This is exclusive to Cloud Design Box customers.

You can click on a Class Team, which will take you directly to the class within Microsoft Teams.

My Class Teams

Jump to the My Class Teams section of the video.

My Assignments.

My Assignments is great for student homepages as it allows students to see all their current and upcoming assignments. This is exclusive to Cloud Design Box customers.

The student can see what assignments are coming up, what class theyre for and when theyre due. The ones that are overdue are highlighted in red.

Our customer-exclusive My Assignments shows students' set and due assignments in SharePoint.

Jump to the My Assignments section of the video.

Add media and other content to your SharePoint homepage.

YouTube and video.

You can embed a YouTube video by inserting the YouTube web part and copying and pasting in the YouTube link or embed code.

Tip: If you want to embed a video into SharePoint that is hosted on another platform (i.e. not YouTube), you can use the Embed web part.

Jump to the Add Video section of the video.

Word of the Day.

The Word of the Day web part updates every day of the year with a different word. This is exclusive to Cloud Design Box customers.

You can select our pre-populated word banks, or create your own list of words. The Word of the Day web part could also be used for a “Quote of the Week”.

Our customer-exclusive Word of the Day web part updates your SharePoint site every day or week with a new word or quote.

Jump to the Word of the Day section of the video.

CDB Blogs.

If you want to share our helpful teaching and learning guides with your staff and students, you can use the CDB Blog Post web part to automatically pull through our latest blogs, guides, podcasts, videos and resources.

Depending on the page you’re creating, you can filter our blogs to focus on student tips, teacher guides or parent guides.

Jump to the CDB Blogs section of the video.

Share our helpful teaching and learning guides on your SharePoint sites with the CDB blogs web part.

Found these tips useful? Share this guide with your colleagues.