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SIMS Primary, where are you?

Introduction At BETT in January 2018, Capita launched SIMS Primary – the new version of SIMS for primary schools. Promoted as the replacement for SIMS 7, it offered a re-designed interface, web browser compatibility and a re-designed assessment system. It looked good, and people keep asking me when it will be available. But, I suspect all is not running to schedule with SIMS Primary. Why? Not much to see here The number of schools using...

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School expectations for programmes of study – new functionality in SIMS make life easier

Hidden away in the summer 2018 release of Capita SIMS was an extra feature that will make the programme of study marksheets much more useful. Since they were introduced in 2015 (as a response to the removal of levels from the curriculum) the programme of study (PoS) marksheets have been the best way of recording formative assessments for from EYFS to KS3. Each PoS marksheet displays all the relevant statements from the National Curriculum and...

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Two new features for SIMS assessment for autumn 2018

If you are a true SIMS geek you’ll love the first of these new features… New feature 1: Add new columns directly above an existing column Previously, new columns always used to add themselves to the bottom of the template. So if you wanted the new column to appear higher up the template (and hence further leftwards in the final marksheet) you had to click the Up and Up 5 buttons multiple times to move...

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Progress 8 is being gamed – how to spot if your school is gaming progress 8

Emma Ing has just published a new article about the techniques certain schools use to enhance their progress 8 score by promoting ‘easy’ subjects in the Open bucket. There’s a good definition of gaming: Gaming happens when the decisions made about the curriculum favour the league tables, rather than the individual needs of pupils. Of course, no senior management team would ever admit to making decisions on this basis, but data managers in many schools...

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Calculating KS1 to KS2 Progress Measures 2018

You can now use SIMS to calculate the KS2 value added for your Y6 pupils. This article shows how to do it in simple steps. First, here’s a video to show you how to set up and use the resources: Primary School Accountability In September 2016 the DfE outlined how they would measure pupil progress for the pupils who did KS2 tests in 2016. We already knew how attainment would be measured – a scaled...

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Using SIMS Interventions

Earlier this year Capita release a new module for SIMS. Called SIMS Interventions it helps schools to record the interventions that schools put in place for their pupils. It also helps schools to record the associated costs and link those costs directly to pupil premium pupils. It’s easy to set up, quick to maintain and gives access to a wide range of useful reports. To help you implement it in your school I’ve put together...

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Create a SIMS mobility report

When you are analysing your assessment data it can be useful to know how many pupils joined and left a particular year group as the cohort progresses through school. This report will list every pupil who was ever in the cohort, regardless of how long they stayed with the group. This report is based on all pupils ever recorded in SIMS (not just pupils currently on roll) and identifies pupils only by their date of birth. So...

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Next Generation SIMS – what we know so far

I was lucky enough to be invited again to  the recent SIMS Annual Conference. The focus of the conference was on SIMS Primary, the next generation SIMS product. In my next post I’ll talk about the specific changes for assessment in next generation SIMS, but first let’s look at the bigger picture for the whole of SIMS. Background to Next Generation SIMS The next version of SIMS will be entirely cloud based. There will be no...

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KS4 Resources Update October 2017

Capita have just released a new update to their KS4 Resources. If you use the resources you will want to download this update asap. The update includes the latest progress estimates, plus an update to allow combined science to recorded. New scatter graphs are also included. Note that if you want to use combined science aspect included in the release, you will have to wait till you get the autumn term SIMS update (in the...

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Assessment in SIMS Next Generation

In a previous post I talked in general terms about the changes to assessment in SIMS Next Generation. In this post I’m going to focus on assessment and what the changes to assessment manager will mean for those of us who develop systems in SIMS. Results will migrate Its important to reassure SIMS users that no results will be harmed when schools migrate to the new version. Your data is safe! Its also nice to...

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August 2017 Updates to the KS4 Resources

As of the 11th August 2017 there’s a new version of the KS4 resources available for download. The new download incorporates the new average Ebacc and standard pass measures. Here’s the details from the KS4 resources newsfeed: To try to keep up to date with all of the changes made by the DfE we have updated some of the KS4 resources.  These can be found here along with the latest versions of all of the resources.  These...