Primary schools using SIMS must sometimes feel like the Cinderellas of the assessment world. Most of the new resources created by Capita tend to focus on secondary schools. But Capita SIMS have just released a new primary school assessment system that comprises a set of integrated marksheets, analysis reports and data dashboards. And best of all? It’s free!
The core of any new SIMS assessment system is always the marksheets where data is entered by teachers and where teachers can gain their insights into pupil performance. The key features of Capita’s design are:
- All three subjects (reading, writing and maths) are included on the same marksheet.
- The marksheet uses traffic-light colours to highlight the pupils who are at the expected standard in reading, writing and maths.
- Key stage results from the EYFS onwards are included for each pupil, including phonics test results.
- Grades are based on the commonly used emerging, developing, secure and mastered system.
- The assessment system links with Capita’s formative assessment system (PoS).
- You can set end of year targets for pupils.
- The system includes a measure of pupil progress (steps) since the previous year.
- Prior attainment is calculated and pupils are tagged as L, M or H.
- You can enter scaled or standardised scores for each subject.
- In line with most schools, the assessment system varies the ‘expected standard’ (EXS) depending on the term. So in the autumn term, pupils are expected to be emerging, in the spring term pupils are expected to be developing, and in the summer term they are expected to be secure.
As with the primary key stage analysis tools, Capita provide easy analysis of the data entered into the marksheets. The reports are excel marksheets with the following information:
There are two reports. The ‘high level’ report is shown above. You can see that each year group is represented as a row, with each demographic as a column.
The detailed report format is shown here. Each year group is again displayed and the statistics are broken down by:
- Demographic, including prior attainment, term of birth, registration group, pupil premium and ‘stable group’ (which only includes pupils who’ve been in school for more than a predefined period).
- Gap analysis for SEN, gender, EAL and pupil premium.
- The % of pupils below ARE, working towards ARE, at ARE or higher and exceeding ARE.
- Various progress measure including an average steps measure (similar to the old APS score) and steps since the previous summer term.
- There also a summary for combined reading, writing and maths statistics (RWM).
The reports we’ve looked at so far concentrate on assessment data and aren’t very interactive. But we know that assessment data shouldn’t be looked at in isolation, so that’s where the data dashboards come in. The primary assessment system comes with a link to a set of dashboards that let you see attainment data alongside attendance data and various demographics in an interactive and very shareable format. Here’s what they look like:
Data ‘nerds’ will have noticed that the dashboards are produced using Microsoft Power BI. The data dashboards take a little bit of setting up, but they’re a fantastic addition to the analysis that you can already do in SIMS.
How much does it cost?
The system is effectively free as the cost is covered by your annual SIMS license. Support units may charge an installation fee and a configuration fee, where appropriate.
Where can you get the system from?
You can download these resources from Capita’s MyAccount service if you have access. Search for ‘Primary SIMS Assessment Resources’. Alternatively, your local SIMS support unit can provide and install the resources for you. If you want me to install these resources, contact me.