Category: Assessment Without Levels

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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...


How to set up your own programme of study grades

The programme of study marksheets are SIMS version of assessment without levels. Each statement from the national curriculum is available for teachers to assign a grade. Until the autumn 2016 release of SIMS schools have only been able to record their assessment as ’emerging’, ‘developing’, ‘secure’ and ‘mastered’. The autumn 2016 update to SIMS allows flexibility within the programme of study marksheets and schools can now ‘override’ the default grades with their own programme of...

Making sense of progress 8 2

Making sense of progress 8

Over the last few months many schools have been obsessing about progress 8 scores and I’ve watched a few schools get worked-up if the value of progress 8 was one decimal point above or below a specific value. That’s why it was reassuring to see advice from David Blow in Schoolsweek, Leading Learner and from Data Educator that any calculation of P8 was inherently flawed: all calculations are currently based on the 2015 attainment 8 estimates. The clue...


4 Ways to Set a Baseline in Assessment Without Levels

Why Summative Baselines Matter When I go into primary schools to create an assessment system one of the main discussion areas is usually progress: how to measure it and, crucially, what baseline to measure it from. With the old sub levels, the starting point for measuring progress during the current academic year was almost always the sub level the pupil achieved at the end of the previous year. But because the new curriculum is based on...


Measuring progress in primary school. Do points mean prizes?

When I designed the new School Analytics system I was aware that measuring progress in primary schools was very important to many senior managers. Even in the brave new world of assessment without levels, teachers were telling me that they still needed a measure of progress for the termly (or half termly) summative assessments. So the new system assigns a value to each grade. When the system calculates progress it compares the baseline grade with the most...


Extending SIMS Programme of Study Marksheets: Summative Assessment

Capita recently released a their new ‘programme of study marksheets‘. They allow teachers to record a grade against each and every statement in the entire national curriculum. They work well, but there’s no option to give an ‘overall’ summative assessment for a subject. Here’s a solution I worked out for a school that wanted a closer link between formative assessments and the overall strand and summative subject assessments. Why Summative Assessment Still Matters To explain,...


KS3 Programme of Study Marksheets for Secondary Schools

Yesterday I was at a meeting of local secondary schools with one of Capita’s consultants, Matt Sharman. Secondary schools were keen to discuss Capita’s approach to ‘assessment without levels’ and Capita are always keen to talk to schools. The focus of the meeting was an update on the new KS3 Programme of Study Marksheets for Secondary Schools. There was welcome confirmation that the KS3 version of the programme of study marksheets will be released a...


SIMS and Chris Quigley Assessment

Several people have asked about SIMS and Chris Quigley assessment milestones. Well, here’s a system I developed for a school last week. As with most systems, the school wanted a few tweeks and changes to fit in with it’s existing system, but the flexibility of SIMS means that any changes are quick to make. Here’s a demo video to show you what it looks like: I’ve developed systems based on the popular Chris Quigley method...


SIMS Programme of Study Course: use the new Assessment without Levels marksheets

I was busy over Easter creating this SIMS Programme of Study Course to showcase how schools can use the new ‘programme of study’ marksheets. You can access the course from this website: (For a small number of schools your web filter might block access – you should be able to get the site unblocked via your usual tech support team)