Abacus Getting Started Guide - ActiveLearn Primary support

Abacus Getting Started Guide - ActiveLearn Primary support
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Welcome to Abacus!
Abacus is your unique maths toolkit that’s carefully crafted to help
you inspire a genuine love of maths and help every child master the
national curriculum.
Activelearn Logo v1.0
It’s powered by ActiveLearn Primary, a powerful teaching and learning
platform, that together with Abacus, gives you everything you need to
plan, allocate and assess all in one place, plus everything your children
need for practising maths at school or at home.
This Getting Started Guide has been created to help you familiarise
yourself with Abacus, and the features of ActiveLearn, so that you can
get going as quickly as possible. We’ve also included information on
where you can find additional help and support should you need it.
Don’t forget to visit our member site MyAbacus for more useful tools for
introducing Abacus in your school.
You may want to bookmark our member site so you can return to it
easily; the full address is www.pearsonprimary.co.uk/myabacus.
All the best,
The Abacus Team
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What’s inside?
Set up your account in 4 easy steps 4
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Activate your Abacus
Log in
Check you have everything you need to run Abacus
Create your your school account
The Teacher Toolkit 6
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Home
Administering your class
Planning
Searching for resources
Allocating resources
Assessment in Abacus
The Pupil World 14
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Logging in
Pupil Home
My Stuff
My Library
My Rewards
Abacus Glossary 17
 Resources
 Strands
Troubleshooting 21
 Trouble accessing ActiveLearn Primary?
 Forgotten your password?
 Forgotten your school code?
Further help and support 25
Feed back 25
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Set up your account in
4 easy steps
1. Activate your Abacus subscription
You should by now have received an email from us ([email protected])
asking you to activate your subscription.
To do this, you simply need to accept our terms and conditions – follow the instructions
in your activation email to do this.
You will then receive a second email containing your Abacus login details, including
your username and school code with a link to set your password. Click on the link
and you’ll get the opportunity to set a password for your account. This information
is your passport to the world of Abacus so make sure you don’t lose the email!
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Still waiting on your activation email, or having trouble activating?
Give us a call on 0845 313 88 88 or email [email protected]
2. Log in
Visit www.activelearnprimary.co.uk to log into Abacus in ActiveLearn Primary.
You may want to bookmark the site and ask your IT technician to add it to the list of
trusted sites on your school network.
Enter your username, password and school code into the login box.
3. Check you have everything
you need to run Abacus
We strongly recommend using Google Chrome
or Mozilla Firefox web browsers to use Abacus on
ActiveLearn Primary.
If you prefer to use Internet Explorer, you will
need at least IE9 in order for everything to
work as it should.
Whichever browser you are using, you need to
make sure it is set as your default. This will ensure that
resources always open correctly, and prevent you from
being logged out of ActiveLearn Primary. You can set
your default browser by going into the ‘Settings’ area
within your chosen browser.
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To check you have everything you need to run ActiveLearn, click on the
‘Run a quick test’ link on www.activelearnprimary.co.uk.
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Having trouble accessing ActiveLearn or viewing content?
See the Troubleshooting section of this guide.
4. Set up your school account
Once you’ve activated your subscription, you can start to import teachers and pupils
with your existing datalists, by finding the Admin area at the top right and selecting
‘Import’ in the dropdown. This will walk you through importing your existing
datalists. For more help on this feature go to ‘Help’ and select ‘Bulk import’ under
‘Setting up your school’.
Any teacher with an account can add user details for new accounts or edit
existing ones.
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For more help on how to add teachers, pupils, classes, groups
and cohorts take a look at the Administration section in Help.
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The Teacher Toolkit
Home
This is the first screen you’ll see when you log in for the first time.
You can also choose
whether you see recently
opened documents,
suggested resources,
or resources you’ve
bookmarked (My Files).
Notifications on
children who are
running low on
resources.
Your recent activity (if you are
assigned to a class this will
just be your activity and the
children in your class’ activity).
Logos for the ActiveLearn
Primary subscriptions
your school holds. If you
only have a subscription
to Abacus then the other
logos you see here will be
greyed out.
My Messages section, which
will include updates from us
on new content, features and
Abacus news.
Each time you log into ActiveLearn Primary, you will be taken to the last place
you were when you logged out previously. Clicking on ‘Home’ in the top menu
will bring you back to this Home screen.
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For more detailed help on the Home screen, and
guidance on how to personalise your view, see
the Homepage section in Help.
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Administering your class
Once you have assigned yourself to a class you will be able to add
notes on all your pupils by clicking ‘Assessment’ then selecting
‘Observations’ and ‘Pupil Profiles’.
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To assign yourself to a class go to ‘Admin’ in the top right-hand corner of
ActiveLearn Primary then select ‘Teachers’. Click ‘Bulk Edit Options’ then ‘Set Class’
or ‘Set groups’ to link one or more teachers to a class or group. Please note that as
a teacher, you can only be linked to one class.
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For help on how to edit pupils, teachers, classes, groups and cohorts,
take a look at the Administration section in Help.
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Planning
The Abacus planning area is where all your yearly plans, unit overviews and lessons
plans are stored.
To access the planning area click on ‘Planning’ at the top of your screen.
Once there, the menu on the left of the screen will help you to navigate between
year groups and drill down to the level of detail you want.
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For help on how to allocate
resources, see the Planning
section in Help.
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Searching for resources
Use the Resource Finder to search for a particular resource to use in a lesson or to
allocate to a child.
The Resource Finder works in a similar way to a lot of online shopping websites and
is very intuitive and flexible, allowing you to filter search results to find exactly what
you need.
You can search for resources by year group, strand, objective, type of resource,
ability level and classroom management. You can also use the search tool at the
top of your screen to identify resources by key words or references.
To access the Resource Finder, click on ‘Resources’ at the top of
your screen and select ‘Abacus’.
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For help on using the Resource Finder, see
the Browsing Resources section in Help.
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Allocating resources
You can allocate resources to a child to look at or work on from home, or in the
classroom. Children are awarded coins for every activity they complete which can be
spent in the rewards area of the pupil world.
Please note: practical activities and lessons (anything with an icon rather than a
thumbnail) cannot be allocated.
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For help on how to allocate
resources, see the Allocation
section in Help.
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Assessment in Abacus
Assessment tests
Abacus includes half-termly assessment tests for Arithmetic
and Problem Solving and Reasoning (except at Year 1, where
there is one combined Progress Check). These tests are part of our new Progress &
Assess tools, and are aligned to both National Curriculum objectives and Pearson
Progression Map outcomes.
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You can find the tests in the Planning section of ActiveLearn Primary, within the
dropdown menus on the left-hand side, which you can find by clicking on the
‘Assessment Toolkit’ link in each term’s ‘Planning’ structure.
Alternatively, you can find tests by filtering by type and by year in the Resources
section. Select ‘Tests’, ‘Assessment Guide’ or ‘Progression Map’ to see all of the
Progress & Assess resources within Abacus. Please note, selecting ‘Assessment’ will
return all of the Practice Activities as well as the Progress & Assess resources.
If you also subscribe to Bug
Club, or to Progress & Assess
Reading, you can find all of
your assessment resources
together in one place by
hovering over the Resources
link in the top toolbar and
selecting 'Assessment' within
the Collections section of the
dropdown menu.
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Read more about the different resources in
Abacus in the Glossary within this Guide.
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Marking guidance for each test can be found as a linked
resource. This marking guidance identifies possible errors to
look out for and advice for tackling or revising questions that
children have answered incorrectly.
Regular testing, or ‘temperature checking’ is a key feature
of a mastery curriculum, as it allows you to check children’s
understanding at regular intervals and react with your
teaching accordingly and helps you see when the majority of
children are ready to move on.
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Tracking
In order to get the full value out of the tests we recommend that you enter the data
into the Progress & Assess tracker that comes as part of your Abacus subscription.
To find the tracker, hover over the Assessment link in the top toolbar. Select ‘Maths’
under Test Results in the drop-down menu to open the Overview page.
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Please note, it is extremely important to ensure your class is assigned to the
correct year; if you need to, you can update this information in the Admin area.
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Then, when you input scores under each term tab, the powerful technology
behind Progress & Assess will calculate each pupil’s test score against Age Related
Expectations (On track, Working towards, or Below) and provide you with a useful
overview to help you monitor progress.
Once populated, the Overview page will show each pupil’s attainment in each
half term. In the top left-hand corner you can filter the view to show your class, an
entire cohort, or a specific group of pupils.
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Interpreting results
Once you have clicked ‘Done’ in a term tab, the page will refresh
and display each pupil’s total percentage test score as well as
their attainment measure. You can choose to turn the comments
on or off by selecting the ‘Show Comments’ box. You can also
choose to view your pupil’s results as a percentage, raw score or an
attainment measure by choosing your preferred option in the View
dropdown.
Setting up groups
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You can set up groups in your class for the purpose of reporting on test results: for
example, you could view results for Pupil Premium or EAL children to give you a
more granular picture.
Activity reporting
Within the Assessment tab you will also see Activity Reporting, where you will find
data from the practice activities your pupils have undertaken at home or in class.
This reporting will tell you how well each child has performed at the Bronze, Silver
and Gold level of each Individual Practice Game.
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For more help on setting
up groups, take a look
at the Administration
section within Help.
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To find out more about
how Abacus supports
formative assessment and
evidence gathering, take
a look at the Guide to
Assessment in Abacus
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The Pupil World
The Abacus pupil world is where your children log in to watch
videos that you allocate to them, play maths games and
complete interactive activities. It is also where they can access
the rewards they earn by completing games and activities.
Logging in
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Once the accounts have been set up for your class (see the Set up your school account
section of this guide), you will have logins for all of your children.
Children log into the pupil world in the exact same way as you,
via www.activelearnprimary.co.uk.
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You can download login reminder bookmarks from MyAbacus
for sending home with children or for keeping in book bags.
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Pupil Home
Once children have logged into the pupil world,
they’ll arrive at the Pupil Home screen.
Children can personalise their home screen by choosing a world. The worlds differ
depending on key stage but include Race World, Skate World and Future World.
My Stuff
My Stuff is where children can see resources you have allocated to them.
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My Library
This is a store of old resources. It is where resources will go when you de-allocate
them. Individual Practice Games will go here automatically as soon as they have
been completed.
My Rewards
My Rewards is where children go to select their rewards after completing allocated
resources.
Here they can customise avatars, decorate a tree house, visit the sticker factory,
play games and more. The more allocated resources children complete, the
more rewards they can unlock and buy.
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For more detailed help on the pupil world,
see the Pupil section in Help.
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Abacus Glossary
Resources
Assessment Guide: a guide containing useful information on how to
use the maths tests and progression maps.
Resource type: Assessment, Assessment Guide
Example reference: Year 4 Maths Assessment Guide
Assessment Toolkit: found in the ‘Planning’ area of ActiveLearn Primary, after the last week
of teaching in each half-term. Each toolkit contains tests, with marking guidance as a linked
resource.
Resource type: Assessment
Carpet Maths: a Reception activity for the whole class to do at any time and in any order,
such as chanting or singing number rhymes. Resource type: Various • Example reference: CM R.1.i
Five-Minute Filler: a quick whole-class activity at KS1 to keep key facts and skills simmering,
that requires no resources and can be done at opportune moments.
Resource type: Starter; Play • Example reference: FMF 1.10
Fluency Fitness: a quick whole-class activity class at KS2, to keep key facts and skills
simmering – great for having on the board when children arrive in the
classroom in the morning.
Resource type: Practice • Example reference: FF 3.1a
Further Extension: a section within a daily plan, linking out to NRICH activities for
developing a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and providing further
extension.
Resource type: Practice • Example reference: FE 3.1.5
Graded Practice: an editable PowerPoint for use with the whole class,
containing carefully graded questions or calculations related to a specific lesson.
Resource type: Practice • Example reference: GP 3.1.1
Guided activity: a practical, small-group activity led by the teacher, to give focused guidance
and intervention, and to assess pupils’ understanding.
Resource type: Practice; Assessment • Example reference: Gui 3.2.2
Independent practical activity: a practical,
small-group activity related to a specific lesson that children carry out independently to
practise skills learnt in the lesson.
Resource type: Practice • Example reference: IP 3.12.3a
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Individual practice game: a fun interactive game,
that pupils can use individually to practise key maths skills and facts at school or at home
(great for use on mobile devices).
Resource type: Assessment; Homework; Interactive game/activity; Practice
Example reference: IPG 1.7a
Interactive screen: an interactive activity for whole-class teaching, that illustrates
a specific concept in a lesson plan.
Resource type: Interactive whiteboard • Example reference: Screen 1.6.4b
Lesson: a detailed daily lesson plan, accessible online or in Word, incorporating many of the
resources listed below.
Resource type: Lesson Plan • Example reference: Year 1 Lesson 1
Marking guidance: a linked resource, accompanying each test providing important making
guidance and advice.
Resource type: Assessment
Example reference: Year 4 Autumn 1 PSR Marking guidance
Mixed-age plan: a detailed weekly lesson plan, accessible in Word which includes many of
the other resources listed in this Glossary. There are 33 weekly plans for each mixed-age year.
Resource type: Lesson Plan
Example reference: Mixed-age Year 1/2 plan Autumn Term 2 week 6
Observation Sheet: a printable PDF for Reception teachers to record their observations about
children during a small group activity.
Resource type: Photocopiable • Example reference Observation Sheet SG R.1.i
Problem-solving activity: an interactive activity for use individually, in pairs, in small groups
or with the whole class, to stimulate pupils’ imaginations and challenge them to solve
contextual problems.
Resource type: Interactive game/activity; Problem-solving and reasoning
Example reference: PS 1
Problem-solving and reasoning activity: a practical,
small-group contextual problem solving activity related to a specific lesson, supervised by the
teacher.
Resource type: Problem-solving and reasoning; Practice
Example reference: PSR.C 3.2.5
Progression map: a document listing key outcomes for each term.
Individual year group progression maps are provided as PDF documents
and an all years progression map is available in Excel.
Resource type: Assessment, Progression Map
Example reference: Year 4 Maths Progression Map
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Pupil video: a video to support children in consolidating key maths skills at school or at home.
Resource type: Video; Homework; Practice • Example reference: Pupil Video 2.13
Pupil worksheet: a practice worksheet linked to a pupil video, to help children to consolidate
their key maths skills.
Resource type: Video; Homework; Practice
Example reference: Pupil Worksheet 2.13 (answers)
Quick Maths: a quick activity for the whole class at KS2, to keep key facts and skills simmering
(could be used outside the daily mathematics lesson).
Resource type: Practice; Interactive whiteboard; Starter • Example reference: QM 3.1.1
Quick Maths Driving Test: a fun end-of-week whole-class animated quiz,
for use at KS2, for assessing the key facts and skills practised that week in the
Quick Maths activities.
Resource type: Interactive whiteboard; Practice; Assessment
Example reference: QM 3.1.5
Resource sheet: a printable PDF sheet to make or display
practical resources, or worksheets on which children write their answers.
Resource type: Photocopiable • Example reference: Resource sheet 132
Small group activity: a Reception-level adult-led (T or TA) or child-initiated (C) activity for a
particular week to be used with small groups of children. Resource type: Various • Example reference: SG R.1.iv
Speaking and listening activity: an interactive activity designed to get pairs of children
working collaboratively.
Resource type: Interactive game/activity; Speaking and listening
Example reference: SL 1 Challenge
Starter: a page of practice questions related to a specific lesson that children work through
independently to practise skills learnt in the lesson.
Resource type: Starter • Example reference: ST 1.1.1
Structured play: a play-based, small-group activity, carried out independently or with the
support of an adult to practise skills learnt in the lesson in the context of play.
Resource type: Play • Example reference: SP 1.1a
Supported (TA) activity: a practical, small-group activity, led
by the teaching assistant to support children in practising skills
learnt in the lesson; Year 1 only.
Resource type: Practice • Example reference: TA 1.14c
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Teaching tool: an interactive model or image, for whole-class teaching,
that can be customised to fit your teaching.
Resource type: Interactive whiteboard • Example reference: TT 08
Test: Arithmetic and Problem Solving and Reasoning tests (Years 2-6) and Progress
Checks (Year 1) aligned to Abacus planning and Pearson Progression Maps with
marking guidance as a linked resource.
Resource type: Assessment, Test
Example reference:Year 4 Autumn 1 Problem solving and reasoning test
Textbook/workbook page: an interactive activity designed
to get pairs of children working collaboratively.
Resource type: Practice; Pupil book • Example reference: Y3 TB1 p12 or Y1 WB1 p12
Whole class activity: a short Reception-level activity suggested for
teaching in a particular week; these activities should be used in the
order 1-5. Resource type: Various • Example reference: WC R.3.1
Strands
Abacus contains thousands of resources, and each one has been linked to one of
our Abacus objectives. This means that there are lessons and activities to match
every national curriculum aim.
Each Abacus objective sits within an Abacus strand - we’ve listed these below to
show you how it works.
NPV:
Number and place and value
MAS:
Mental addition and subtraction
WAS:
Written addition and subtraction
MMD:
Mental multiplication and division
WMD:
Mental multiplication and division
FRP:
Fractions, ratio and proportion
DPE:
Decimals, percentages and their equivalence to fractions
PRA:
Problem solving, reasoning and algebra
GPS:
Geometry: properties of shapes
GPD:
Geometry: position and direction
MEA:
Measurement
STA:
Statistics
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Troubleshooting
Trouble accessing ActiveLearn
Primary?
If you are having trouble accessing ActiveLearn or viewing and downloading
content, try these steps.
1. Make sure you’re using an appropriate browser
We strongly recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browsers with
Abacus in ActiveLearn. If you prefer to use Internet Explorer, you will need at least IE9 in
order for everything to work as it should.
2. H
ave you tried the ‘Will this work on my
computer’ button?
This can be found on the login page. Follow
the easy on-screen instructions to ensure
your computer is set up in a way that will
allow you to use the ActiveLearn Primary
site.
3. H
ave you set your
‘default browser’?
See note above on our recommended
browsers. Whichever browser you are using
to access ActiveLearn Primary, you need to
make sure it is set as your default. This will
ensure that resources always open correctly,
and prevent you from being logged out of
ActiveLearn Primary.
You can set your default browser by going
into the ‘Settings’ area within your chosen
browser.
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4. D
o you have everything you need to run
ActiveLearn?
To check that you have everything you need to run ActiveLearn, click on the
‘Run a quick test’ link on www.activelearnprimary.co.uk.
5. H
ave you got the
latest version of
Adobe Reader?
If you are having trouble opening PDFs
specifically, it’s worth checking to see
if you have the latest version of Adobe
Reader. To do this, type “latest version
of Adobe Reader” into an online search
engine to find and download the latest
version.
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6. Are you using Internet Explorer?
If you are using IE9 or above and are still having trouble, you may need to turn on
Compatibility View:
With ActiveLearn Primary open, go to ‘Tools’ (if the Tools tab is not visible,
press the ‘Alt’ key on your keyboard)
 TSelect ‘Compatibility View Settings
Copy and paste https://www.activelearnprimary.co.uk into the box and click
‘Add’ then close the window.
7. Try clearing your browser’s cache
Firstly try a forced refresh, by pressing Ctrl+F5, to see if this makes any difference.
If not, it may be necessary to clear the cache:
 To clear the cache on a Windows PC, simply press Ctl+Shift+Delete to bring up the Delete Browsing History option in the browser. From here you can delete the appropriate history files.
 To clear the cache on an Apple Macintosh machine when using Safari, click the Safari menu and select ‘Empty Cache’, then click ‘Empty’.
If you are using any other web browser, the command is
Shift+Command+Delete (to bring up the Delete Browser History option)
where you can then delete the appropriate history files.
8. Is ActiveLearn Primary a trusted site?
It’s possible you may need to check that https://www.activelearnprimary.co.uk has
been added to your school network list of trusted sites (especially if you have had
set restrictions previously). To do so, contact your
school’s network technician or, if your school’s
internet connection is provided by your LA, get in
touch with your LA ICT contact.
Note: You may require admin rights to edit browser/
computer settings. Your network technician should be
able to apply these changes on the school network.
However, some settings might still be controlled or
overridden at a Local Authority level.
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Forgotten your
password?
From the ActiveLearn Primary login page, click
on ‘Forgotten password?’ and enter the email
associated with your account. If you don’t have
an email associated with your account, you can
always ask another teacher in your school to
change it for you. For help on how to do this,
go to ‘Changing a teacher’s password’ in Help.
Forgotten your
school code?
School codes are the same for all teachers and
pupils in your school so if you can’t remember
yours, try asking another teacher.
If no one has the school code, call our Digital
Support team on 0845 313 8888 who will be
able to help.
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Further help and support
If you need any more help or support don’t forget we also have:
 a detailed Help Section - just click on ‘Help’ at any point once you’re logged in.
 a friendly Digital Support Team team - call 0845 313 88 88 or email
[email protected] with your query between 8am to 5pm.
 Help videos and free support on MyAbacus. You can also access this page
through ActiveLearn Primary by selecting ‘Resources’ and the top and clicking
on the ‘MyAbacus’ link under the ‘Support pages’ heading.
 Professional Development - to help you get to grips with your Abacus resources.
Feedback
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We’re always seeking to improve our service to you and welcome feedback, good
or bad. The beauty of Abacus being online and in ActiveLearn Primary is that it has
the ability to update and evolve, so if you think we could improve on anything, then
let us know! Click on the ‘Feedback’ button in the top-right corner of ActiveLearn
Primary when you’re logged in.
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