Tag Archives: Class Teams

How senior leaders in education can make the most of Microsoft Teams and SharePoint

Microsoft Teams and SharePoint have emerged as powerful platforms for schools and multi academy trusts (MATS), facilitating collaboration, improving communication and driving up the quality of teaching and learning. 

In this guide, we showcase some of the ways in which Microsoft 365 is supporting our MAT customers in accelerating digital transformation and streamlining senior leadership. 

Here’s an example of one trust-level intranet site we’ve created:


Build trust-wide communication

One of the biggest challenges for MATs is managing trust-wide communication, whether it’s distributing resources, informing staff of new policies, sharing best practices or publishing news and announcements.  

It’s challenging in two key ways: 

  • Getting information out to the right groups of people. 
  • Delivering the content in an engaging way.  

With SharePoint, you can bring together your entire trust with dynamic central hubs where you can tailor and share content for specific groups of staff, students and even parents.  

A centralised SharePoint intranet allows you to create a place where everyone can get the latest news, updates, announcements and resources.  

Not only does this help senior leaders to communicate the important stuff, but it also cuts down the amount of emails being sent, received and forgotten about in people’s already-overloaded inboxes.  

A main school or trust homepage can be created in SharePoint; this can be a central hub for school news, announcements, events and resources everyone needs on a regular basis.  

Design a SharePoint homepage

Here’s a full guide on how to design a great SharePoint school homepage, but here are some ideas to get you going: 

*Cloud Design Box customer exclusive. 

Meanwhile, areas for specific departments, subjects, year groups, and more can be created, with user permissions set up only to allow access to those who need it. 

Again, you can fill these hubs with all the information staff and/or students need about that specific topic. For example, a list of quick links to resources, a section for upcoming dates, links to resource libraries, an FAQs section and more. 

You can use a combination of SharePoint and Teams to have a designated place for each type of update or announcement.  

Add a news feed to your SharePoint homepage to share announcements and news.

The Call To Action SharePoint Web Part is a Cloud Design Box exclusive feature that allows you to quickly create professional-looking and eye-catching call to actions on your SharePoint sites. 

call to action banners in SharePoint

And, with the CDB Section Breaks Web Part, you can make sure your sites look interesting and professionally designed.

CDB Section Breaks


Here’s a guide on how to easily share news onto a SharePoint site and post documents as news in SharePoint. 

Create Eye-catching announcements in Microsoft Teams

Alternatively, you can share important announcements to specific groups in Teams.

Facilitate collaboration and improve quality of learning resources

Centralising learning resources in SharePoint and Teams allows your trust to build a powerful library of materials that can be shared, reused and improved year after year.

Instead of ten teachers creating ten versions of the same document, you can pool together your resources and free up time to spend on other areas, like grading, working with students or professional development (or even just taking a break!). 

centralising resources

With Microsoft 365, teachers can co-author Word Documents, PowerPoints, Excel Spreadsheets, and more in real-time with colleagues.

Why spend hours creating a resource from scratch that your colleague has already spent time making?   

Instead, easily and securely share, edit and co-create documents with others in your school, academy or trust.   

sharing resources

And, when everything is centralised in the cloud, resources can be used and improved upon year after year.

Here are some more ways that your teachers can save time creating learning resources with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint. 

With our Cloud Box solution, we manage your end-of-year process, so you don’t have to.  
Using our subject and department teams, you don’t need to start from scratch every academic year. It helps save teacher time by having a single approved set of resources. SLT can easily keep track of the quality of resources being used in their department.
We use Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS) to start a rollover and clean-up process; our centralised resource areas allow you to reuse resources year after year, while the Class Dashboard enables students to easily access archived Teams from previous academic years.

Connect across different schools

Getting everyone from the different schools in your trust in the same room can be difficult for MATs.

Microsoft Teams empowers MATs to function as one unified entity, regardless of physical distances between schools.

For example, you can create dedicated Teams channels for certain staff groups to instant message colleagues to discuss the latest projects.

Meanwhile, video calls in Teams bring everyone together and reduce the need for in-person meetings.

What’s more, you can record and store Teams meetings in OneDrive for rewatch later or if colleagues cannot make the call.

meeting recording

OneNote is another great tool for staff collaboration. You can create a Staff Notebook that sits within Teams that facilitates collaboration, saves time and keeps everything organised and in one place.

Create a Team Staff Notebook

Find more time in your day

As SLT in a MAT, there’s always something to do, whether it’s strategic planning, staff management, curriculum development, policy management, budget management or looking after student and staff welfare.

With a combination of tools in Microsoft 365 and Cloud Design Box’s purpose-built education solutions, senior leaders are able to find more time in their day to focus on the important stuff.

Check in with students and staff

Reflect check-ins in Class Notebook are a brilliant way for teachers to get a good understanding of which students may need additional support or guidance. 

Find out more about Reflect here.

Check Reflect check-in responses

Get insights into teaching and learning

Microsoft Teams Insights can help in providing detailed information on student engagement.

In these video guides, we take you through adding the insights tab to Class Teams and how to use it to track student usage, assessment trends, digital activity and much more.

Manage class cover quickly

Cloud Design Box’s Class Cover Manager allows SLT to quickly and easily organise class cover, making sure the member of staff has temporary access to the right learning resources and Class Team within seconds.

Here’s how to get started with our Class Cover Manager tool.

Organise class cover quickly in Microsoft Teams with CDB Portal

Search for student assignments

Our new Student Assignment Search allows you to effortlessly search for a student and view all of their Microsoft Teams assignments. As a head of year or registration group teacher, you can use this tool to support students with their workload or quickly check the status of assignments.

This feature not only displays current assignments but also allows you to view all past assignments. You will see the name and status of each assignment, as well as the class name and subject.

Assignment Search Feature

Select an assignment to delve deeper, where you can easily access teacher comments and view the assignment grade. The user can easily start a Teams chat with the person who set the assignment or send them an email.

Speak to our team today to find out how your school or MAT can make the most of Microsoft Teams and SharePoint.



Cloud Design Box achieves Microsoft Education Solution badge

Cloud Design Box has achieved the Microsoft Education Solution badge, further demonstrating our understanding and expertise in Microsoft Education.  

The new badge dovetails with our existing accreditations, such as Microsoft Education Global Training Partner and our Microsoft School Data Sync Professional status.  

“To earn this badge, we needed to possess a comprehensive understanding of how Microsoft technology contributes to digital transformation,” Darren Hemming, Cloud Design Box’s Chief Operations Officer, explains. 

“We accomplished this by participating in the Microsoft Partner Success Series and the Education Solution Partner Programme.” 

Cloud Design Box has achieved the Microsoft Education Solution 2023

The Education Solution badge demonstrates that our engineers have successfully completed the Microsoft courses in crucial areas for education, such as Microsoft Teams for education, Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS) and Microsoft InTune.  

The Microsoft Teams for Education course requires consultants to possess in-depth knowledge of how Microsoft Teams can be effectively utilised in the classroom, looking at Microsoft learning tools such as Class Teams Assignments, Class Notebook, Reading Coach, Search Coach, and Reflect. 

Meanwhile, Microsoft School Data Sync uses data from the School Information System (SIS/MIS) to establish and maintain class teams. It also enhances the digital identities of both staff and students, enabling their integration with strategic tools like Microsoft Insights for Leaders and Microsoft Reflect. 

“At CDB, we ensure that our consultants and engineers undergo relevant Microsoft courses during their onboarding process, and our colleagues are consistently engaged in Microsoft update sessions as part of their continuing professional development,” he adds. 

“We hope this instils further confidence for our customers in schools and multi academy trusts (MATs) that we’re the ideal partner to help them achieve their digital goals.” 

To find out more about how our team can help you achieve more with Microsoft, get in touch with one of our consultants today.   


Student Guide to Microsoft Teams Assignments

For students, Microsoft Teams Assignments is a powerful tool for managing schoolwork, staying organised and keeping track of homework grades and feedback.

In this guide, we run through the basics of Microsoft Teams Assignments for students, from getting notified about your new assignments and accessing resources to completing homework and viewing teacher feedback.

View your assignments in Microsoft Teams.

There are a few ways you can view your assignments in Microsoft Teams:

View assignments for a specific class in Teams.

Go to the Class Team of the class you want to view assignments for and tap the Assignments tab.

Viewing assignments from Class Teams

View all your upcoming, past and completed assignments.

Go to the My Teams toolbar on the left-hand side of your screen and select Assignments.

Viewing assignments from Assignments tab

From here, you can select Upcoming, Past due and Completed to see your assignments.

View past upcoming and completed assignments in teams

Notifications about new assignments in Teams.

You should be notified in your Activity feed whenever a teacher sets you a new assignment. Tap the assignment in the Activity feed to view it.

Viewing assignments from Activity Feed

Completing an assignment in Microsoft Teams.

Open your assignment to view all the details and resources provided by your teacher. This could include a set of instructions/description of your assignment, attached reference materials/worksheets and the due date and time.

View Assignments in Microsoft Teams

If the assignment is being graded, you can view how many points are available, plus the rubric (marking scheme).

View Rubrics for Assignments in Microsoft Teams

If your teacher has attached a worksheet or template for you to work from, you can click on the attachment and work directly in Teams.

View Assignments in Microsoft Teams Reference Materials

If you need to add files or documents to complete your assignment, tap Attach (paperclip) and you have the choice to:

  • Upload a file from your device.
  • Attach a file from OneDrive.
  • Attach a file from another Teams channel.

Did you know?

You don’t have to finish your assignment in one go. You can come back to your assignment at any time. Close Teams and your progress is automatically saved.

Submitting an assignment in Microsoft Teams.

When you’re happy with the work you’ve done, you can submit your assignment by tapping Turn in in the top right-hand corner.

Turning in an assignment in Microsoft Teams

View feedback and grades for your Assignment.

You can view your grades and feedback on your work by going to Assignments and then selecting Completed.

If your homework was graded with points, you can see these on the right-hand side. 


If your assignment contains any feedback, you can see a small feedback bubble.View grades on your Assignments in Microsoft Teams

Tap the assignment to find out more about your feedback. You can also select Rubric to see how your work has been marked against the marking scheme. 

Sometimes your teacher may leave feedback on the document itself. 

feedback in teams

View all your grades from one class.

Go to the class in Teams you want to view grades for and tap Grades to bring up a grid of all the work you’ve completed for that class, whether you’ve turned it in on time and any feedback/grades from your teacher.

view grades

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How to cut the chaos when using the collaboration space in Class Notebook

The collaboration space in Class Notebook allows students and teachers to work together on a learning resource in real-time. This is a great opportunity for students to get more involved in working as a group as they can add text, digital ink (drawing) and insert images and videos.

Although letting your class loose on a shared workspace may seem chaotic initially, if you plan ahead and use the tips below, you’ll be able to get everyone engaged in the learning.

Here are a few ways you can streamline your collaboration time:

Assign different areas to different groups of students.

Assign different areas for different students to prevent them from working on the same thing simultaneously and overwriting each other’s work. This can result in a page conflict, which leads to you needing to choose the version you wish to add to the collaboration resource.

Create a separate page for each group.

Work in groups and create a separate page for each group to contribute to. This reduces the number of people working on one resource but allows you to oversee all your students’ work.

Lock and distribute the collaboration space.

Once the collaboration is over, lock it. This prevents students from adding or changing the resource any further. Here’s how to lock a collaboration space:

  1. Go to Manage Notebook.
  2. Select Lock Collaboration Space.

After locking the collaboration space, you can then distribute the resource into your students’ Class Notebooks for later revision or even assign it for further editing as homework.

  1. Select Class Notebook.
  2. Select Distribute Page and then Class Notes.
  3. Hit Distribute. 

When you’ve distributed the collaboration space to Class Notebook, you can now clear the area for next time.

Read our step-by-step guide on sharing and locking collaboration spaces in Class Teams.

How to create collaboration channels in Class Teams

A collaboration channel in Class Teams is a great way for students to communicate and collaborate on projects in a safe and controlled way.

Teachers can create a workspace for group work and add resources so students can work on projects together. The collaboration channel allows you to oversee your students’ progress.

How to add a collaboration channel to Class Teams.

  1. Start in the class that you wish to create the collaboration channel for.
  2. Select the three dots (…) and select Add a channel.

Add a collaboration channel in Class Teams

3. Add a title and description.

4. From here, you can also set the privacy settings of this channel and tick a box to enable/disable everyone seeing the channel in their channel list.

When your collaboration channel has been made, you can add any resources that you want your students to access.

You can also create different folders, which is handy if you want to split your class into groups.

Important: students can access each other’s folders, even if they’re not in that group. A way to prevent this is by creating private group channels.

How to create a private collaboration channel to Class Teams.

  1. Start in the class that you wish to create the collaboration channel for.
  2. Select the three dots (…) and select Add a channel.
  3. Add a title and description.
  4. In Privacy, select Specific teammates have access.

Add a private collaboration channel to Teams

5. Hit Create.

6. You can add students and teachers who you wish to access that channel from here.

Important: If the teacher leaves the private group channel, the channel remains active with students having full access to the channel, and it’s impossible to remove by another member of staff – essentially, you’d be leaving your virtual classroom without teacher supervision.

If you would like to find out more about our Cloud Box platform and how we can help extend Microsoft 365 in your school or MAT, book a free demo today.

How to access subject resources in CDB Class Teams | Student Guide

When working in Microsoft Teams, each Class Team that you’re a member of contains a tab where important subject resources can be viewed.

Access a resource library for your class by selecting the tab at the top of your Class Team.

In this example, it’s a Year 11 English student accessing their Year 11 English subject library.  

Click the resource tab in your Class Team to access resources

This is where your teachers store all of the resources for that topic.  

This folder is read-only to students, so you cannot edit the resources, but you may download your own copy if you wish to make annotations. 

Often, a teacher will assign this work to you and you can edit the file and return it to them for marking.  

You can also open up resource libraries in SharePoint by selecting Open in SharePoint. This takes you to the same folder in your school intranet.

student resources

You can view all subject site resources at any time from the school megamenu. 

View all your subjects in your school's megamenu

These libraries remain available to you every year, so you can access old topics as you move up through the years in your school.  

Resource libraries for that class.If you would like to find out more about our Cloud Box platform and how we can help extend Microsoft 365 in your school or MAT, book a free demo today. 

How to add Teams assignments to the student and teacher calendar

In this quick video, Tony shows you how to add assignments in Microsoft Teams to student and teacher calendars. 

When you next go to set a task in Assignments in Teams, look for the option to Add assignment to calendars.  

Assignments settings - adding assignments to student and teacher calendars

Here you have four options: 

  • None – The default setting and will not add the assignment to any calendar. 
  • Students only – Only adds the assignment to student calendars. 
  • Students and me – Adds the assignment to student calendars and your (the teacher) calendar. 
  • Students and team owners – Adds the assignment to student calendars and any teachers that teach that class. 

Add assignment to calendars dropdown menu

Once set, the assignment is sent as an event invite to your Outlook mailbox, the same way a Teams meeting, or calendar invite would be sent out.  

Outlook invite for Assignment event

You can then accept the invite and it will appear on your calendar the day the assignment is set for.

Assignment in calendar example

Automatically set up calendar events for assignments. 

As it may be difficult to remember to set up calendar invites each time you create an assignment, there is a way to automate this process.  

Simply head to the Assignments tab in Teams and hit the cog button to open Assignment Settings. 

Set automatic calendar invites for Teams assignments via the Assignment settings tab

Under the Calendar section, there is an option to Add future assignments to calendars.  

Select your preference from the dropdown menu (None, Students only, Students and me, or Students and team owners).  

From now on, all future assignments you set will be sent out as calendar invites to that selected group.  

Not only is adding calendar events for assignments a great way to remind you and the students of upcoming homework deadlines, but it can also be useful when planning workloads and help you avoid setting multiple big assignments for the same dates.  

If you would like to learn more about how we can help your school or MAT achieve more with Microsoft, please contact a member of our team today.

How teachers can save time creating learning resources with Microsoft 365

We know that time is precious when you work in education; whether you’re marking, planning, or delivering a lesson, it can be tricky to find the time to get back to what you love about teaching.  

While we can’t increase the number of hours in your day, we can give you some ideas on saving time when creating learning resources with some essential tools and features in Microsoft 365.   

Centralise resources.   

Centralise resources graphic

Create a centralised, long-term resource bank in SharePoint for teaching resources, policies and other documents that can be reused and repurposed every academic year.   

With Microsoft 365, you can create designated areas in SharePoint that only users with the correct permissions can access. For example, only one department, only certain classes or students or only staff members.   

Not only does this save time each year by not having to replicate or re-upload resources, but it also means that everyone has access to everything they need to work – whether that’s a student or staff member.  

We provide automation services to create centralised resource areas automatically from your school’s MIS data. Find out more by chatting with a member of our team.  

“Everything we need is in the cloud, so we don’t have to worry about losing paper worksheets. Pupils can also use SharePoint and Teams to download assignment tasks, refresh their memories, take quizzes and be in touch with the teacher in between lessons.”

Whitely Bay High School

Co-author documents with colleagues.   

Co-author documents graphic

Word Documents, PowerPoints, Excel Spreadsheets, and more can be co-authored in real-time with your colleagues.  

Co-authoring is excellent if you need another staff member’s import on a document or if you’ve agreed to share the workload by co-creating learning resources for your department.   

Why spend hours creating a resource from scratch that your colleague has already spent time making?   

Instead, easily and securely share, edit and co-create documents with others in your school, academy or trust.   

Sharing is caring.   

Share the workload graphic

By centralising your resources and co-authoring documents, you can begin to build a powerful library of learning materials that can be shared across an entire department, the whole school or even your trust.   

So, instead of ten teachers creating ten versions of the same document, you can pool together your resources and free up time to spend on other areas, like grading, working with students or professional development (or even just taking a break!). 

“Cloud Box has been transformational in the way we work and create learning content. We are now beginning to create revision resources that can be accessed by our pupils at any time on a connected device. Not only is this brilliant for the students, but also for staff who can dedicate more time to sharpening their message and delivery.”

The Ashcombe School

Rollover resources to the next academic year.  

Share across the whole trust/school graphic

With our Cloud Box solution, there’s no need for you to start from scratch when a new academic year rolls around.   

Instead, everything – your resources, classes and student information – is cleaned up and rolled over automatically, ready for the start of term.   

We use Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS) to start a rollover and clean-up process; our centralised resource areas allow you to reuse resources year on year, while the Class Dashboard enables students to easily access archived Teams from previous academic years.  

Already have Microsoft School Data Sync? Talk to us about how we can extend this to provide central resource areas, SharePoint intranets, Class Cover tools and much more  

Not set up with Microsoft School Data Sync? We can help you get started and future-proof your Class Teams setup. Contact us for a friendly chat with one of our Education Experts.    

Meet Cloud Design Box at EdTech’s biggest reunion

UPDATE: Bett has moved to Wednesday 23 – Friday 25 March 2022
Cloud Design Box is attending Bett 2022 – which returns to the ExCeL London from Wednesday 23 – Friday 25 March 2022. 

The most prominent international EdTech exhibition is back, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it for another year.  

You can find us at Stand SP53 – next to our partners SalamanderSoft – where you’ll be able to meet our team and talk one-to-one about your blended learning needs as a school or trust.  

The long-awaited Bett 2022 – dubbed EdTech’s biggest reunion – provides a unique chance for educators to explore innovative product demonstrations, access CPD seminars and network with thousands of people in the education community.  

After months of virtual meetups, it’s going to be fantastic meeting you all in person and showing you all the new and exciting things teachers and schools can achieve with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint.  

We know many people will want to plan their visit ahead of time and avoid queues, so we’ve opened meeting slots for you to book a meeting with us at a time that suits you 


A photo of a previous Bett show

On the second day of the show, we’ll also be joining in with the first Bett After Hours – designed for visitors who cannot attend Bett during the school day. Open from 6pm-8pm on Thursday 24 March 2022.  

Bett is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape, bringing together 550+ leading exhibitors and sponsors and over 20,000 attendees from the global education community. 

It’s the event to attend for the education community…

And we cannot wait to see you there! 

Bett takes place at the ExCeL London on 23-25 March – Register your place here and reserve a meeting slot with Cloud Design Box here 


How To Create a Group Assignment in Class Teams

Teams has introduced a new group assignments feature, allowing students to work together and submit one assignment for the whole group. Teachers can then provide feedback and grades to either each individual student within that group or give out an overall grade for the group.   

Below is a walk-through of how you can: 

  • Create a group assignment. 
  • Manually and randomly assign groups for assignments.  
  • Complete a group assignment (as a student). 
  • Grade a group assignment.  

Create a group assignment.  

In Assignments, select Create and then Assignment.  

As with any new assignment in Teams, you can enter a title, instructions, attach any documents the students require, add points and rubrics and set due dates.  

To assign the assignment to a group, go to the Assign to section and this will be currently set to the default All students. Select Group of students from the drop-down menu.  

Group Assignments in Teams 1 - Create a group assignment

You have two options – to manually or randomly assign groups for your assignment.  

Group Assignments in Teams 3 - Manually group students or randomly group students

Manually assign groups for assignments.  

Select Manually group students from the pop-up window and then click Create groups. 

This allows you to filter and manually add specific students to a group. 

You can also add a group name for this group of students.  

Once you’re happy with your first group, click Create. 

Group Assignments in Teams 4 - Manually assign students to a group assignment

You can then choose to add another manual group or randomly assign other groups.  

Tip: There is a countdown of how many students are left to be assigned to a group at the top of the group list.  

Randomly assign groups for assignments. 

Select Randomly assign groups from the pop-up window. 

Enter the number of groups you need and select Create groups 

Group Assignments in Teams 5 - Randomly assign students to a group assignment

You can then go in and add/remove students from groups and change the group names if necessary.  

Editing and deleting assignment groups in Teams.  

If you haven’t already set the assignment, you can edit and delete groups by selecting the pencil icon next to the group you wish to edit.  

From here, you can add or remove members and change the group name. You can also delete the group. 

Want to start over? You can recreate groups by selecting Recreate groups at the bottom of your list of groups.  

Group Assignments in Teams 6 - Recreate groups

Assigning a group assignment in Teams.  

Once you’re happy with your groups, click Done to head back to the main Assignments page and select Assign 

Note: Currently, there is no option to edit groups after an assignment is set. You would need to delete the assignment and reassign all the groups.  

Completing and submitting a group assignment as a student.  

The group project is visible in the students’ general channel – they should receive a notification.  

Group Assignments in Teams 7 - Group Assignment student view

Also, if the student clicks on Assignments, they are able to view the group assessment, see who else is in their group, and open/co-author the document with their classmates.  

Once the group work is complete, one of them can turn in the work on behalf of the whole group by selecting Turn in for group. 

Group Assignments in Teams 9 - Turn in a group assignment

Note: If they have forgotten to add something, students can undo the turn in and add further information, attachments and work. 

Reviewing a group assessment.  

Teachers can see which groups have handed in the assignment by viewing the assignment in the Assignments tab in Teams.  

Group Assignments in Teams 10 - Reviewing group assignments

You can choose to give the group an overall grade or grade students individually by selecting the three dots next to the selected group.  

From here, you can add feedback and give points as you would any other assignment. 

Group Assignments in Teams 11 - Grading group assignments

Click Return to return the work back to students for them to view your feedback or make amends. 

Head to the Grades tab to look at a class overview of who has handed in their group assignments.

Group Assignments in Teams 12 - Class overview of group assignments

If you would like to learn more about how we can help your organisation achieve more with Microsoft, please contact a member of our team today.