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 the new column where it needed to go.

Doing all this was time consuming, and the bigger the marksheet the slower the column would move. Anecdotally, you could press the button (say) twenty times, then go and make a cup tea and the column still wouldn’t be in the right place when you returned.

No longer! Within the template you’ll notice a ‘New Above’ button. Highlight the column immediately below the location for the new column, press New Above and you’ll get the familiar dialogue box for adding a new data entry/data review column.

The 'new above' button in a template

The ‘new above’ button in a template

Note that If you choose a formula column you’ll get the full list of all the column in the template to base your formula around, but if one of those columns is below the insertion point for the new column, you will get an error message and the new column will be dropped to the bottom.

New feature 2: Freezing additional columns to stop them scrolling out of view

This update isn’t particularly exciting, but it is potentially useful for some schools. Being able to add additional columns like SEN status, age, and percentage attendance is a benefit of using SIMS assessment – because the additional information is fresh from the SIMS database you know that the data is accurate. But adding lots of additional columns means that it’s not easy to scroll without losing sight of the extra columns. Now we get an extra tickbox that freezes the additional columns and keeps them visible:

The new freeze frame option for additional columns

The new freeze frame option for additional columns