Category: Beginner

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...

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Graphing Progress in Reading with SIMS Discover

Here’s a simple but useful graph from SIMS Discover. It plots the APS of a single year group over a period of 6 years, term by term (in blue) against  their end of year target (in pink). I’ll publish the instructions for creating your own version of this graph over the next few days but in the meantime I’ve posted the graph as a file you can download and import into your SIMS Discover configuration utility. Before...

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New for 2012: An Integrated Tracking System for Primary Schools

I’m pleased to announce the release of a new set of SIMS Assessment Manager marksheets aimed at KS1 and KS2. Features: Integrated p-scales, FSP, APS and NC sub levels so you can record the progress of all your pupils. Automatic termly KS2 Targets based on KS1 results (12 points or 14 points) Traffic lights based on progress to termly targets. Generate school ‘expectations’ of KS1 progress based on EYFS results Calculates the point score progress...

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Five Ways to Measure Progress In KS1, KS2 and KS3

Photo Credit: Dia™ via Compfight For many schools the progress that children make during their school career is more important than their attainment at the end of a key stage. This is especially true for schools in challenging areas such as inner cities where many pupils arrive in school with low level skills. They might not all leave school with a top grade, but they will have progressed a long way from their on-entry ‘baseline’....

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Top SIMS Assessment Manager Tips for Secondary Schools

I’m often asked for advice from schools who are implementing SIMS Assessment Manager for the first time. In no particular order, here are my ‘top tips’ for secondary schools: Go on the ‘Essential Assessment Manager for Secondary Schools’ course. Capita run them frequently. Your local support unit (if you have one) may also run them. Put plenty of time to one side. Expect to spend at least three to five full days developing a KS3 system. The same again...