Assessment Manager Blog

Getting the most out of SIMS Assessment Manager

SIMS Assessment Manager Training Online

Over the years I've often been asked to provide on-line SIMS assessment training. These days, the expense of traditional training, plus the need to provide cover for staff, means that many staff just can't access traditional courses. I've noticed international schools...

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KS3 ‘Programme of Study’ Marksheets Now Available

Capita have released a patch that enables the new KS3 Assessment resources - good news for secondary schools who want to test drive the new 'programme of study' marksheets before September.  If you don't apply the patch you'll need to wait till the Autumn release to...

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Progress 8 Breakdowns Now Available

Last week the DfE release a breakdown of the seperate parts of progress 8. For the first time we have a breakdown that maps the KS2 fine decimal level to the English, Maths, Ebacc, Open and non-GCSE slots. Thanks to Mark Maher at Blacon High for bringing it to my...

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KS3 Programme of Study Marksheets for Secondary Schools

Yesterday I was at a meeting of local secondary schools with one of Capita's consultants, Matt Sharman. Secondary schools were keen to discuss Capita's approach to 'assessment without levels' and Capita are always keen to talk to schools. The focus of the meeting was...

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SIMS and Chris Quigley Assessment

Several people have asked about SIMS and Chris Quigley assessment milestones. Well, here's a system I developed for a school last week. As with most systems, the school wanted a few tweeks and changes to fit in with it's existing system, but the flexibility of SIMS...

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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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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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