Category: Secondary

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Extending SIMS Programme of Study Marksheets: Summative Assessment

Capita recently released a their new ‘programme of study marksheets‘. They allow teachers to record a grade against each and every statement in the entire national curriculum. They work well, but there’s no option to give an ‘overall’ summative assessment for a subject. Here’s a solution I worked out for a school that wanted a closer link between formative assessments and the overall strand and summative subject assessments. Why Summative Assessment Still Matters To explain,...

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KS3 Programme of Study Marksheets for Secondary Schools

Yesterday I was at a meeting of local secondary schools with one of Capita’s consultants, Matt Sharman. Secondary schools were keen to discuss Capita’s approach to ‘assessment without levels’ and Capita are always keen to talk to schools. The focus of the meeting was an update on the new KS3 Programme of Study Marksheets for Secondary Schools. There was welcome confirmation that the KS3 version of the programme of study marksheets will be released a...

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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...

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The New SIMS Teacher App

Last week was BETT week – the annual education technology exhibition in London’s ExCeL. It gives education suppliers a global stage on which to launch their new products.  I visited on Thursday and Friday with a special interest in the new develops that Capita SIMS were showcasing. The New Teacher App for SIMS Capita’s main product launch at the show was their new SIMS Teacher App – an iPad app that links back to the...

SIMS: Helping schools inspire 0

Another Easy Way to Calculate Levels of Progress in SIMS

My previous blog article on how to calculate levels of progress using SIMS is one of the most visited pages on this entire site, so it’s clearly a very common task for data managers in secondary schools. As with many SIMS tasks, there is more than one way to accomplish the same task so I thought I would share an alternative technique. Check your KS2 and KS4 Data Identify the aspect and result set combination...

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...

SIMS: Helping schools inspire 3

Using SIMS to Convert to New GCSE Grades 1-8

Over the summer months I’m sure many SIMS Assessment Manager users in secondary schools will be grappling with the new GCSE grades and also with the new Progress 8 measure. The immediate problem for many schools will be ‘how do we move from the old A*-G grades to the new GCSE grades 1-8. Luckily SIMS Assessment Manager provides us with the flexibility and configurability to cope. I’ve blogged previously about using grade sets to convert grades...