Category: Assessment Without Levels

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Formative Assessment using SIMS

Why everything I thought I knew about assessment was wrong. Perhaps without noticing, the last few months have seen a massive shift in the assessment paradigm that held sway in most schools until the introduction of the new curriculum in 2014. With the new curriculum came the removal of the previous levels-based system. It has been replaced with nothing and schools are free to develop their own systems. I now realise that I was addicted to...

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Beta Testing SIMS Marksheets for the new National Curriculum

In the spring 2015 release of SIMS schools will have access to Capita’s new marksheets designed to allow schools to record assessment against the new national curriculum 2014. It’s the biggest new development in SIMS for several years as it constitutes their first attempt at adapting SIMS for formative assessment. Tip: If you’re a non-teacher and not familiar with the new national curriculum 2014 here’s a link to the curriculum documentation – now’s a good time...

Greentrees Primary School. Picture credit: Alan Bennett/Media Imaging Solutions 0

Assessment Without Levels: Lessons from Last Term

This article was first published in December in my termly SIMS assessment newsletter which you can sign up for here. What Is Everybody Else Doing? I’ve visited lots of schools since September and almost every school has asked me this question quite early on during our meetings. Assessment without levels means that most school are looking for a sense of direction from other schools, which is understandable. There’s also an assumption that other schools must...

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SIMS and the Trinity Mastery Pathway

For many secondary schools the most pressing issues currently are the introduction of new GCSE grade format and the new Performance 8 measure of school performance. I’ve blogged about using SIMS to record Performance 8 and new GCSE grades previously. Suprisingly, relatively few secondary schools have made any move to replace levels at KS3. This was re-enforced by a recent poll of primary and secondary schools from Capita SIMS suggesting that 28% of schools had made...

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Assessment Without Levels: What I Learned This Term

I’ve spent the majority of this academic year helping primary and secondary schools design their new assessment systems. Needless to say, the removal of levels has left most school unsure of how best to replace the previous flawed but very well understood system. After working with 15 and more schools since the end of July, I want to summarize the key issues for most schools: SIMS is very good at summative assessment. This shouldn’t really be a...

SIMS: Helping schools inspire 0

SIMS and the Michael Tidd ‘Key Objectives’ system for KS1 and KS2

As readers of my other blog (assessmentwithoutlevels.com) will be aware, I’m working with an increasing number of schools to create assessment systems that don’t rely on levels and sublevels. Here’s the latest in a set of small demo systems that exist as a sort of ‘proof of concept’ for the various new pupil tracking systems which are being developed by schools, LAs and consultancies to respond to the demains of the new primary curriculum 2014. This time...

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Assessment Without Levels – A Guide for SIMS Staff

With the start of the new primary curriculum just round the corner many schools are holding off making major changes to their assessment systems, preferring instead to maintain their current system based on familiar national curriculum levels. Nevertheless, schools must eventually embrace the new freedoms provided by assessment without levels, so with primary schools having finished KS2 SATS, this seemed like a good time to have a look at what a typical primary school assessment system might...

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Assessment Without Levels: Volunteers Needed!

I’m looking for two or three primary schools who want to create a new assessment without levels system using SIMS Assessment Manager. I’ll provide the SIMS know-how if you can articulate a clear assessment policy using the new curriculum. I’m happy to provide up to 2 days development time (plenty of time to create a full KS1 and KS2 system) over this summer term and the summer holidays. You’ll get a complete set of marksheets designed...