For SIMS primary schools in England and Wales there is a free, robust and easily learned assessment system that is already installed with SIMS Assessment Manager. Here’s what it can do. In my next blog post I will show you how to get the system up and running in about half an hour.
Back in 2014, when assessment without levels was happening, Capita launched their programme of study marksheet system, which was (and is) all about understanding what a pupil knows and what a pupil doesn’t know – all cross-referenced to the national curriculum.
It remains a great system. But what SIMS Assessment lost at that time was an easy way to show summative assessments – overall grades across a range of subjects. Many of us felt this was a mistake, as there’s still a need to report the overall attainment of pupils to governors, to Ofsted and to other professionals.
Quitetly, and without any fanfare, Capita have released a new summative assessment system, that integrates with the programme of study marksheets, your existing EYFS results, phonics tests, KS1 results and KS2 scaled scores. While there are more visually impressive systems available, this system has the benefit of using SIMS – so you already know how to use it, and your pupil data is already present and up to date.
Capita provide 6 different marksheets, one for each year from year 1 to year 6. Each marksheet holds all the data you need to see each pupils’ progress through the school and to record their progress across the three terms of the current academic year.
Each single marksheet has columns for reading, writing and maths (no SPAG) and can record teachers’ summative assessment for each of the three terms . The marksheets also provide a comprehensive summary of pupil progress through the key stages.
Taking the year 6 marksheet as an example, we have access to the following information:
- Early Years Foundation Stage results from reception year – listed as 1, 2, or 3 for emerging, expected or exceeding.
- Phonics check marks for years 1 and 2.
- Key stage 1 reading, writing and maths teacher assessments.
- LMH columns for the KS1 results indicating if the pupil is therefore classified as a low, middle or high attainer.
- Columns for year 1 and year 3 to year 5 that show the summer term overall age related expectation ARE (for example 4E for year 4 emerging) for each pupil – giving a history of attainment.
- A set of three columns to allow teachers to set targets for the end of the current year.
- Calculated columns that use the age related grade to categorise the pupil as exceeding, expected, working towards or below expectations. For example a pupil working at 4S (year 4 secure) by the end of year 4 is categorised as ‘expected’, but a pupil graded at 4E by the end of Y5 is categorised as ‘below’.
- For each term in year 6 the marksheets allow teachers to enter their ARE grades for each pupil. Pressing the calculate button shows if the grade is expected, exceeding, working towards or below the ARE.
- A progress column, that shows how many grades of progress the pupil has made since the end of the previous year (controversial, but school can ignore or hide it) and a corresponding indicator column that shows if the progress is exceeding, expected etc
- At the end of each term in the current year, a column shows if the pupil is at the expected level in reading AND writing AND maths (RWM) with a simple Y or N
See the screenshots below.
So that’s a comprehensive list of practically every piece of information that a primary school teacher or senior leader needs. The really cool part of Capita’s system is that it integrates with all the other parts of SIMS. Obvioulsy, the list of pupils in the marksheets is always up to date, as is attendance and PP details (because SIMS is still the authoritative source of information for pupil data). But your existing EYFS and KS1 results will be displayed when you open the marksheet for the first time, as will your phonics results. If you use the the programme of study marksheets, the overall grades for each subject will be brough through too – because the same column is used in both systems – it’s the same data. For some schools that already use the programme of study system, absolutely no data entry will be required – just press the calculate button,
Why you should consider using this system
- You already have access to the system, it is pre-installed on your copy of SIMS
- It is effectively free
- For most schools, it records the data you need without causing undue extra work for teachers
- If the data already exists in SIMS, this system re-uses it.
- Many schools already have SIMS skills in the workforce, most teachers have used SIMS assessment at some point
- No need to export pupil details to third party systems
- You can use many of the analysis features built-in to marksheets
- For more complex online analysis, this data can be exported to Power BI
- Assessment data also feeds into other SIMS modules (interventions, Behaviour etc)
Contact me or your local SIMS support unit for more infomration and help installing. I’ll public DIY instructions in a future blog post.