Category: Beginner

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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...

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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...