Category: Beginner


Analysing GLD EYFS results in SIMS 2017

If you’ve followed the instruction in my previous blog post and calculated the good level of development measure for your EYFS pupils you be delighted to know that, if you are interested in analysing GLD EYFS results, SIMS now allows you to create a very deep analysis of your EYFS data. Here’s an screenshot and a video walk through: The report analyses the number and percentage of pupils achieving the GLD in each of the...


SIMS assessment pros and cons

Last week someone asked me to summarise what SIMS assessment does well and what it doesn’t. I’m aware that SIMS can be a bit like marmite for many people – they love it or hate it. Here’s an honest review of SIMS pros and cons (with thanks to Gary Skelton who added to my original list of seven with an extra six excellent reasons of his own. Gary’s suggestions are in italics). Sims assessment pros: Flexibility. SIMS...


Calculating EYFS Good Level of Development

Capita have release a set of EYFS marksheets that will be very useful for primary schools that want to identify the pupils who attained a Good Level of Development. Here’s a sample: A good level of development (GLD) at the end of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) is a key measure of primary school effectiveness. A child is deemed to have attained a good level of development if they attained at least the expected level of...


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...


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)  


The new SIMS ‘assessment without levels’ solution is available for schools

At the end of  March 2015, Capita SIMS released their new ‘programme of study’ marksheets – a formative assessment system that links into SIMS assessment manager. Over the next few weeks I’ll be publishing new articles to suggest ways that you can amend and adapt the core system to suit your school. Your school should be getting the update within the next few weeks (you’ll need version 7.162 – also known as the ‘spring 2015...


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...


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...


SIMS in the MS Azure ‘Cloud’

When I visit schools I’m often frustrated that teachers and staff, fresh and keen to use the new assessment resources that we create, are held back by a lack of access to SIMS. It’s many years since the toughest technical obstacles to SIMS access were ironed out but many schools and local support units are still slow to remove the barriers for everyone who needs it. So I was interested when, At BETT 2015, Capita SIMS announced a new partnership with Microsoft to...