Category: Beginner

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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...

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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...

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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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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Six Ways to Measure Pupil Progress in Primary Schools

With Ofsted putting more emphasis on the progress pupils make between key stages it’s more import than ever that schools have easy access to raw progress data. In this article we’ll have a look at the different definitions of progress and I’ll demonstrate some marksheets that help you calculate this data. 1) Progress Between KS1 and KS2 The DfE minimum target for schools is that pupil should make 2 whole levels of progress between KS1...

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Free Download: Data Analysis Quick Tips for Teachers

I’ve been working in a lot of primary school recently and I’m often asked to lead ‘twilight’ sessions with staff to help them get the most out of Assessment Manager. Here’s a copy of the course notes I use, for anyone who finds them useful! PDF Version: [download id=”5″] If you’d like to amend or re-use the instructions to use with your own staff, that’s great but I’d appreciate a mention or a link! Word...

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New Course: School Improvement with SIMS

Photo Credit: Kristina Alexanderson via Compfight I’ve always felt that senior school leaders need an overview of  SIMS to demonstrate exactly what is possible for a school that really pushes SIMS to its limits. So here’s a new course aimed at senior leaders within a school. It assumes no prior knowledge of SIMS and mixes some hands on exercises with demonstrations from the front. It starts with a simple but impressive hands-on demo of the...