Assessment Manager Blog

Getting the most out of SIMS Assessment Manager

Formative Assessment using SIMS

Why everything I thought I knew about assessment was wrong. Perhaps without noticing, the last few months have seen a massive shift in the assessment paradigm that held sway in most schools until the introduction of the new curriculum in 2014. With the new curriculum...

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SIMS in the MS Azure ‘Cloud’

When I visit schools I'm often frustrated that teachers and staff, fresh and keen to use the new assessment resources that we create, are held back by a lack of access to SIMS. It's many years since the toughest technical obstacles to SIMS access were ironed out but...

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The New SIMS Teacher App

Last week was BETT week - the annual education technology exhibition in London's ExCeL. It gives education suppliers a global stage on which to launch their new products.  I visited on Thursday and Friday with a special interest in the new develops that Capita SIMS...

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Another Easy Way to Calculate Levels of Progress in SIMS

My previous blog article on how to calculate levels of progress using SIMS is one of the most visited pages on this entire site, so it's clearly a very common task for data managers in secondary schools. As with many SIMS tasks, there is more than one way to...

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Assessment Without Levels: Lessons from Last Term

This article was first published in December in my termly SIMS assessment newsletter which you can sign up for here. What Is Everybody Else Doing? I've visited lots of schools since September and almost every school has asked me this question quite early on during our...

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First Look at the New SIMS ‘School Report’

Update: In the original version of this post I said that secondary schools would have to wait until spring 2014 for their version. I was wrong! Secondary schools can print a version of the school report that includes all the metric for 5+A*-C EM, P8 and A8 measures....

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SIMS and the Trinity Mastery Pathway

For many secondary schools the most pressing issues currently are the introduction of new GCSE grade format and the new Performance 8 measure of school performance. I've blogged about using SIMS to record Performance 8 and new GCSE grades previously. Suprisingly,...

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Assessment Without Levels: What I Learned This Term

I've spent the majority of this academic year helping primary and secondary schools design their new assessment systems. Needless to say, the removal of levels has left most school unsure of how best to replace the previous flawed but very well understood system....

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Creating an Assessment System for Primary Schools

I was recently asked to provide some design considerations for a primary who are just starting to use SIMS assessment manager for their assessment data tracking. Here are the questions I usually ask primary schools who are creating an assessment system for the first...

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Using SIMS to Convert to New GCSE Grades 1-8

Over the summer months I'm sure many SIMS Assessment Manager users in secondary schools will be grappling with the new GCSE grades and also with the new Progress 8 measure. The immediate problem for many schools will be 'how do we move from the old A*-G grades to the...

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Assessment Without Levels – A Guide for SIMS Staff

With the start of the new primary curriculum just round the corner many schools are holding off making major changes to their assessment systems, preferring instead to maintain their current system based on familiar national curriculum levels. Nevertheless, schools...

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Attainment 8 Estimates Are Now Available (But Beware!)

The Dfe have released the 'missing link' for calculating school Progress 8: the table that maps each possible KS2 decimal fine grade score to the 2013 attainment 8 estimates. [gview file="https://googledrive.com/host/0B8EpiuDuVvnIbUR1ajJ0clpPcWs/DfE Attainment 8...

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Progress 8 Update (with thanks to ASCL and FFT)

In June 2014 I attended a Progress 8 update hosted by Duncan Baldwin of ASCL and Mike Treadaway from the FFT. This is my précis of their presentation. It is intended for users of SIMS Assessment Manager who need to understand the principles behind the new measure. I'm...

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Assessment Without Levels: Volunteers Needed!

I'm looking for two or three primary schools who want to create a new assessment without levels system using SIMS Assessment Manager. I'll provide the SIMS know-how if you can articulate a clear assessment policy using the new curriculum. I'm happy to provide up to 2...

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Attainment 8: Calculating the New Measure

Back in October 2013 (pdf), updated in January 2014 (pdf) and again in March 2014 (pdf), the government published the details for the new Attainment 8 measure. Although we still don't know exactly how the related Performance 8 measure will be calculated, we do know...

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Assessment Manager Enhancements Summer and Autumn 2014

Last week, I attended an update from Capita's assessment product manager, Rachael Marshman. Most of the assessment 'gurus' in the room were very impressed by  capita's commitment to developing Assessment Manager. Indeed, news of the following new feature felt like an...

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Creating a Group Analysis to Show APS Progress

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...

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New website design

I've changed the design of this website to make the content easier to find. Let me know any feedback you may have and thanks for looking!

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5 Tracking Pupil Progress Tips for Assessment Manager

Tracking pupil progress is vitally important for primary and secondary schools. Here are 5 tips to help you use your SIMS Assessment manager system to track pupil progress more effectively. Some of them are very simple, others might take a bit of specialist knowledge....

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