Group Analyses are one of assessment manager’s ‘hidden gems’ – many school never use them and miss out on a very powerful analysis tool. An APS grid will quickly calculate the average point score (APS) of a group of pupils, showing progress term by term. The groups are commonly year groups, but can be pupil premium pupils, SEN or almost any potentially vulnerable group. Here’s an example of an APS group analysis:
These grids are relatively easy to create, requiring just an intermediate knowledge of assessment manager. Here’s a step by step guide:
- Go to Focus | Assessment | Group Analysis and click the New button
- SIMS now starts a wizard that steps through the process of defining the rows and columns that will make up our grid.
- Our rows will be year groups, so click on the magnifying glass and choose Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 from the list (if you’re at a secondary school this example works just as well at key stage 3 for Year 7, 8 and 9).
- Re-order the year groups if required using the green arrows. See below:
- Next, you’ll be prompted to choose the columns. We want terms to appear as columns (eg Year 1 Autumn Term, Year 1 Spring term and so on, up to Year 6 Summer Term). In assessment manager terms are referred to as ‘result sets’ so from the drop down menu, under ‘column type’ choose ‘result set’
- Next choose the column pattern. A ‘pattern’ is a pre-defined set of column headers. However at this point you’ll probably have no suitable patterns available (not surprising as this will probably the first such grid on your system!). In an ideal world, Capita would have provided us with a ‘new’ button so we could create a brand new pattern and use it. However, in their wisdom, Capita haven’t provided a new button, so we’ll just leave the column pattern blank and press next.
- Leave the dates on the next screen as the default values and click Next.
- The final screen asks us to select the aspect that contains the actual maths teacher assessment. Click the magnifying glass and select the correct aspect. Users of the School Analytics system should find three aspects called !Assessment Maths (note the exclamation mark), !Assessment Reading and !Assessment Writing. Users of Capita’s standard ‘Tracking Progress’ marksheets should find a set of aspects called TP Maths Actual, TP Reading Actual and TP Writing Actual.
- Choose the aspect you want and press next.
- The final box asks us to decide what values will be calculated in each cell of the final grid. The default is count which needs to be changed to ‘mean value’ (because the APS score is the average NC points score of each grade)
- Press finish.
- The grid will display, but disappointingly without any columns or values. We now need to create a new column pattern (remember we couldn’t do it earlier because of the missing ‘new’ button?).
- Click the column button at the top right hand side of the grid (see below)
- A ‘Result Set Patterns’ box is displayed.
- Click the New button to create a new pattern.
- Give the pattern a name (eg ‘All Terms KS1 and KS2’) and click apply.
- Your new pattern will be highlighted in the top ‘patterns’ box and the ‘elements’ box underneath will be empty.
- In the elements box, click the New button and tick the terms (ie. results sets) that you want to see as columns in the final grid.
- If you’re using the School Analytics system the results sets will start with an exclamation mark (eg !Year 4 Autumn Term). If you are using Capita’s system, look for results sets that start wit the initials TP.
- Click apply and you grid will populate with APS scores.
Now your grid’s working here are some ways to get analysing the data!