Category: Secondary

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KS4 Resources Update October 2018

Capita have just released an update to their KS4 Resources to include the new estimates released by the DfE a few days ago. If you use the KS4 resources now is a good time to log in to MyAccount and download them. For convenience (or if you don’t have access to MyAccount), here’s a copy of the October 2018 updated resources. There are also a few minor updates and bug fixes included in the new...

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SIMS Primary, where are you?

Introduction At BETT in January 2018, Capita launched SIMS Primary – the new version of SIMS for primary schools. Promoted as the replacement for SIMS 7, it offered a re-designed interface, web browser compatibility and a re-designed assessment system. It looked good, and people keep asking me when it will be available. But, I suspect all is not running to schedule with SIMS Primary. Why? Not much to see here The number of schools using...

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Two new features for SIMS assessment for autumn 2018

If you are a true SIMS geek you’ll love the first of these new features… New feature 1: Add new columns directly above an existing column Previously, new columns always used to add themselves to the bottom of the template. So if you wanted the new column to appear higher up the template (and hence further leftwards in the final marksheet) you had to click the Up and Up 5 buttons multiple times to move...

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Progress 8 is being gamed – how to spot if your school is gaming progress 8

Emma Ing has just published a new article about the techniques certain schools use to enhance their progress 8 score by promoting ‘easy’ subjects in the Open bucket. There’s a good definition of gaming: Gaming happens when the decisions made about the curriculum favour the league tables, rather than the individual needs of pupils. Of course, no senior management team would ever admit to making decisions on this basis, but data managers in many schools...

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Create a SIMS mobility report

When you are analysing your assessment data it can be useful to know how many pupils joined and left a particular year group as the cohort progresses through school. This report will list every pupil who was ever in the cohort, regardless of how long they stayed with the group. This report is based on all pupils ever recorded in SIMS (not just pupils currently on roll) and identifies pupils only by their date of birth. So...

KS4 Resources October 2017 Update 0

KS4 Resources Update October 2017

Capita have just released a new update to their KS4 Resources. If you use the resources you will want to download this update asap. The update includes the latest progress estimates, plus an update to allow combined science to recorded. New scatter graphs are also included. Note that if you want to use combined science aspect included in the release, you will have to wait till you get the autumn term SIMS update (in the...

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August 2017 Updates to the KS4 Resources

As of the 11th August 2017 there’s a new version of the KS4 resources available for download. The new download incorporates the new average Ebacc and standard pass measures. Here’s the details from the KS4 resources newsfeed: To try to keep up to date with all of the changes made by the DfE we have updated some of the KS4 resources.  These can be found here along with the latest versions of all of the resources.  These...

Next Generation SIMS 0

Next Generation SIMS – what we know so far

I was lucky enough to be invited again to  the recent SIMS Annual Conference. The focus of the conference was on SIMS Primary, the next generation SIMS product. In my next post I’ll talk about the specific changes for assessment in next generation SIMS, but first let’s look at the bigger picture for the whole of SIMS. Background to Next Generation SIMS The next version of SIMS will be entirely cloud based. There will be no...

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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...

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KS4 resources ‘shadow data’

At the end of March the DfE published the estimates for Attainment 8, English, Maths, Ebacc and Open for last year’s (2016) cohort, but recalculating them using this year’s conversion values (a C is worth 4 in 2017 but was worth 5 in 2016). For most schools this ‘shadow data’ will have the effect of raising school P8 scores by about 0.5. Confusingly, the DfE have only released 2016 estimates for some, not all, subjects (no...