Assessment Manager Blog

Getting the most out of SIMS Assessment Manager
Attendance Dashboards with SIMS and Power BI

Attendance Dashboards with SIMS and Power BI

After a first page that should consist of the most important 'headline' measures for a school, the next page in any SIMS + Power BI report is probably attendance. Partly, this is because of it's importance to schools and partly because it is one of the few areas that...

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SIMS + Power BI dashboards: getting the first page right

SIMS + Power BI dashboards: getting the first page right

Here's the first page of my School Analytics pupil dashboard. It's built using SIMS and Power BI - where SIMS provides the raw data and Power BI provides the analysis and visualisation - and it is intended to show the data required by a primary school to demonstrate...

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Removing groups of pupils from key stage analysis

Removing groups of pupils from key stage analysis

Why many schools have 'official' and 'unofficial' results... I find that schools often have two sets of statistics: the official set of statistics that includes the results of all the pupils who will be included in the year's key stage results, and an unofficial set...

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Design tips for visualizing school data with Power BI

Design tips for visualizing school data with Power BI

You can't just throw a few Power BI visuals into a report and expect users to be able to analyse their data more effectively. In this post I try to highlight what I think makes an effective Power BI report. Firstly, I recommend anyone starting to work with data...

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Useful DAX measures for schools

Useful DAX measures for schools

Update: Check out the comments for some more tips on using DAX measures. DAX is the language behind Power BI. If you want to get the most out of Power BI sooner or later you'll need to write some DAX code. The best DAX reference is Microsoft's DAX reference website....

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Ordering year groups with Power BI

Ordering year groups with Power BI

If you have been using Power BI to create data visualisations for primary schools, you've probably run in to this problem: you want the x axis of your graph to run from nursery through reception to year 1 and then to year 6, but Power BI insists on alphabetical order...

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Primary key stage analysis resources 2019

Primary key stage analysis resources 2019

Primary schools will find these special marksheets and reports incredibly useful when analysing EYFS, KS1 and KS2 results this summer.  Updated January 2019 These resources were updated by Capita in January 2019 to include the changes to the PAG groups and national...

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Welcome back to SIMS assessment

Welcome back to SIMS assessment

Over the past few months I've spoken to an increasing number of schools who are starting to use SIMS assessment again, after using third-party assessment products for several years. Talking to these returning schools, it seems there are several drivers behind their...

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SIMS and Power BI in ten (yes ten!) minutes

SIMS and Power BI in ten (yes ten!) minutes

If you have access to Capita MyAccount you can now watch a 10 minute demo by John Christian during which he takes you through all the key tasks in setting up the automatic report link from SIMS into Power BI. The resource is part of Capita's 'Customer Success' strand...

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SIMS for beginners course

SIMS for beginners course

It always amazes me how many jobs require SIMS experience. Experience in the England and Wales' most popular pupil database is required for jobs in British schools all over the world. That's probably why I get so many emails from people asking how to get SIMS...

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Course: SIMS and Power BI for Beginners

Course: SIMS and Power BI for Beginners

If you read my article about the SIMS Consolidated Report utility or if you just want to find out about SIMS and Power BI - I've developed a free course for you. It's aimed at school staff with no previous experience of Power BI although you'll need to have some SIMS...

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New Microsoft Power BI Resources for SIMS

New Microsoft Power BI Resources for SIMS

New analyses with Microsoft Power BI Microsoft Power BI is an analysis tool that allows you to create powerful data visualisations - it's like Excel on steroids. The BI stands for Business Intelligence and it's used by many large organisations to help them understand...

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Primary Assessment in 2019

Primary Assessment in 2019

I wrote this post before the news that SPTO, one of the main assessment products for primary schools, was to close at the end of December 2019. Perhaps we can expect more consolidation in the assessment marketplace. Ofsted have announced that they will no longer take...

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KS4 Resources Update October 2018

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...

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SIMS Primary Update October 2018

SIMS Primary Update October 2018

Introduction Last week I met with Graham Cooper and Ben Jones from Capita to talk about progress with SIMS Primary. A few weeks ago I blogged about how quiet progress seemed to be, since the official launch back in January and Graham was keen to update me on recent...

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Two new features for SIMS assessment for autumn 2018

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...

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Calculating KS1 to KS2 Progress Measures 2018

Calculating KS1 to KS2 Progress Measures 2018

You can now use SIMS to calculate the KS2 value added for your Y6 pupils. This article shows how to do it in simple steps. First, here's a video to show you how to set up and use the resources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSLSB3A9uJk&feature=youtu.be&hd=1...

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Using SIMS Interventions

Using SIMS Interventions

Earlier this year Capita release a new module for SIMS. Called SIMS Interventions it helps schools to record the interventions that schools put in place for their pupils. It also helps schools to record the associated costs and link those costs directly to pupil...

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Create a SIMS mobility report

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...

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Next Generation SIMS – what we know so far

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...

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If you need a little extra help with your SIMS system I'm here to help. Contact me at david@davidpott.com for consultancy and training. Or you can subscribe to my termly assessment newsletter using the button below.

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