Message sent from:

Following our experiences of the national lockdown we thought it would be useful to share some top tips for schools using DB Primary for remote learning in the event of local lockdown whether it be regional, school or a bubble. 

There are two key steps. Firstly, ensure everyone and everything is prepared in advance and secondly embed use to secure preparedness. 

Here are our top ten tips:

1) Make sure your platform is set up appropriately. All children and staff have DB Primary accounts. Ensure that both staff and pupils are part of the appropriate communities (with the correct membership settings). 

Community membership(1)

2) Make sure children and staff know their login details. 

login details(1)

3) Have a clearly defined route for children and their parents to retrieve forgotten/lost passwords. We cannot provide children or their parents with passwords (we cannot do this as we are unable to verify they are who they say they are). 

4) Make sure the children and parents are using the correct web address (URL) to access your portal. The best and easiest way to do this is to place a link on your website directly to your school portal login page (test it before sharing). Inform parents and children to look for the school name, between the parrot and monkey, when they reach the login page.

See the document below for help and guidance around logging in - this could be sent out to parents to let them know the process and what to expect.

5) Decide which settings are appropriate for the school, year groups and which exceptions are required. There a significant number of areas you can control on a whole school, class, group or individual basis including, but not restricted to:

  • Pupil webmail – This can be enabled or disabled completely, or can be set to only allow them to receive emails from their teachers but not send emails. 
  • Children’s view of each other’s homepages - It is possible to allow children to see personal pages of peers in their community easily via a direct link named ‘Members’ which appears in the left-hand menu of the community page. You cannot stop children from viewing the pages of peers within their communities, but you can make it more difficult for them to access by removing the ‘Members’ link on a community page. 
  • Blog and Forum - It is possible to switch on/off navigation to the community Forum, Blog and other facilities by removing them from the left-hand menu on the community page. We would recommend switching off any link if the functionality is not being used. 
  • Moderation settings - The Community Forum and Blog may be set as moderated (different levels of moderation are offered), or not. 
  • ​Nicknames - The children may be allowed to change their nicknames or not. 

All of the above are controlled either through the admin settings – help videos can be found here or within the Community page itself- help videos found here

settings and admin

6) Make sure staff are familiar with DB Primary. Use the training video found here to support this, but most importantly get them to use it with their class in school time and for home learning. Examples of this include, but are not limited to: 

  • Using the Learning Library activities on your interactive whiteboard for whole class or group teaching. There is no need for the children to have laptops to use these resources- the fact files, storybooks and teaching materials can all be used on the IWB as part of a lesson introduction, main teaching or plenary. 
  • Using a blog (or a forum) as a class discussion tool or writing modelling activity shown on your IWB. 
  • Using the task tool to set a piece of home learning having shared it in class in the first instance. 
  • ​Using Learning Library activities for home learning. 

7) Make sure your children are familiar with DB Primary by using it as part of their regular learning in class and for home learning. Not only will giving them greater class access improve their readiness for remote learning if needed, but it will improve their engagement and used effectively can have a positive impact on learning outcomes in many areas. All the ideas in 6 above are relevant for this, but you may also encourage children to use their personal blog as a learning journal and reflective blog. This can be particularly powerful to support Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) at a time of lockdown. 

8) Teach the children explicitly about the online safety features including about the audit trail. They should know: 

  • That they are responsible for the security of their own password. 
  • The purpose of the Golden Whistle and how to use it responsibly. You can find a lesson plan for this here.
  • That it is possible for administrators to identify someone who logs into the system using someone else’s credentials. 
  • ​That it is wrong and against the law to misuse computers, including logging in using another person’s credentials. 

9) Use your Community page as a central resource to support your children with their remote learning. It may be used to share success, to maintain relationships, provide learning and signpost resources. It was a ‘life-saver’ for many schools as they entered national lockdown. 


10) Enjoy teaching your children once again. You’re doing a brilliant job and we very much appreciate it. Use the resources out there, such as Oak National Academy by providing links through DB Primary rather than try to reinvent the wheel yourself. 

Hit enter to search