Editing the default learning plan template - using placeholders

This is the third in a series of help guides focusing on Insight's new learning plan feature. The first covered the basics of accessing, completing and downloading a learning plan using our default, built-in template. The next guide showed you how to change the comment boxes and target columns in the default template to make it more personalised. In this guide, we're going to look how placeholders can be used to enhance your learning plans. These are pieces of code we can embed in the template that will instruct Insight to insert specific items of information in a defined location on the document. If you have already had a go at building a parent report in Insight then you will be familiar with this concept.

Downloading the template

To get started, we first need to download the template into Word. To do this, click Admin>Learning Plan Templates and select the template you want to edit. Here, we are going to edit the template we worked on in the previous help guide.

Don't worry if it all goes wrong. By clicking New Template (see screenshot above) you can reinstate a copy of the default template.

This takes you to the learning plan template admin area. Note that the comment boxes and target column headings in this example differ from the default because they were changed in the previous help guide.

Click on the Download Word Template button and open the file in Word.

Note that the template contains a mix of plain text and text in curly brackets. Any text that is not contained in curly brackets will appear unaltered on the final learning plan. This could be the school name, a section heading, or sentence of explanatory text that you need to appear on every pupil's plan. Any text that is contained in curly brackets is a placeholders - instructions to Insight to insert information at specified locations on the plan. In the above example, placeholders include the pupil's name, creation and review dates, comment boxes, assessments, and targets. Here, the pupil's name will be inserted top left and the teacher assessment comment box will be placed at the bottom. Now let's insert some more.

Inserting additional placeholders

In the template in Word, let's insert a 4x3 table. To do this click the Insert option on the menu ribbon, click Table, and select the array of cells required.

Now return to the learning plan admin area in Insight (from where you downloaded the template). Scroll down to view the list of placeholders and copy one by clicking on the button provided. First, let's copy the placeholder for Date of Birth.

Then return to your Word template and paste the placeholder in cell number 2 of the table. This will ensure the pupil's date of birth is inserted in the plan in that location.

Now do the same for age, year group, class, attendance, and UPN. Make space above the table (click above and hit return) and insert a heading e.g. Pupil Details. To give the heading the same format as others, use the format painter (paintbrush icon). And finally, add explanatory headings in the blank cells of the table next to each of the placeholders. These could be changed to bold text to make them stand out. Your table should now look like this:

Any changes to the font (type, size, bold, italics, underline etc) will be reflected in the final, downloaded plan.

The last information to add is that relating to SEND status and area. Under a headline 'SEND details' insert a 2x2 table into template as follow:

From the learning plan admin area, copy placeholders for SEND stage and area and paste them into the cells in the second row of the table. Add headings above these placeholders to provide clarity and perhaps increase the font size. The template will now look as follows:

Uploading the new template into Insight

Save the template and return to the learning plan admin area. Now click on the Upload Word Template button to upload the new, edited template into Insight. You should see a green tick to confirm it has been uploaded.

Viewing the new template in Insight

Return to the pupil area of Insight and either select a pupil with a current plan based on the template you are working on, or set up a new one and enter some information. It doesn't need to be fully completed, just as long as one has been started. To set up a new plan, click on a pupil and select the relevant plan template from the dropdown, i.e.

Now click the download button to view the changes made to the template:

The downloaded plan now contains the tables showing pupil and SEND details, as defined in the template. The placeholders are doing their job of inserting pupil specific information in the defined locations.

In the final help guide we will draw on all of what we have learned so far to build a template from scratch.

We hope this help guide has been useful. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

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