Skip to Content

Category: General News

Highlights of the SIMS Autumn release 7.161

Nick Finnemore the Head Of Product Management explains about some of the new features within SIMS…

capita-sims.co.uk logo

 

With the new school year now in full swing, schools across the country are dealing with an array of changes to the new curriculum. SIMS is constantly evolving to help schools manage these changes effectively, which is why the Autumn release has a range of new enhancements and features that will make life easier for school leaders, teachers, technical and admin staff. Here are some of my top highlights:

1. New School Report

Reports | School Report

One of the big news items for SIMS this autumn is the new School Report. This feature provides an instant overview of your school, based on the latest data held in SIMS. This will give school management teams an insight into their current pupil numbers, attendance, achievement and behaviour information as well as some Assessment data for Key Stage 2 and 4, for which you will need to complete the assessment mapping first. There’s the option to view either a long or short version of the report and you can export it into pdf or excel so that you can share it with key stakeholders in your school.

2. Responding to the national curriculum changes

The removal of levels in the new national curriculum is one of the biggest challenges currently facing schools. We’re confident that SIMS can provide a solution for your school, whichever approach you choose to take. We have already made some notable enhancements to the New Curriculum Progress Grids for the Autumn release. These include:

  • A replacement for the original DfE-aligned outcomes of pupils being ‘at expected’, ‘above expected’, or ‘below expected’. The language used within the Early Years Foundation Stage has been extended into KS1 and KS2 so that attainment can be recorded against knowledge descriptors as either ‘Emerging’, ‘Developing’, ‘Secure’ or ‘Mastered’.
  • Foundation subjects have been split so that each subject now has its own separate tab.
  • An ‘overall assessment’ has been introduced so that teachers can apply a judgement to each subject and record what stage of the National Curriculum a pupil is working within.
  • Values have been introduced to individual statements of knowledge to allow for the reporting and analysis of information.

With these changes to the Progress Grids teachers can now record achievement against all of the National Curriculum Programmes of Study (PoS) in a simple traffic light display, whether a pupil is ‘emerging’ and just starting  to learn a new skill, ‘developing’ showing an increased understanding in that area, or ‘secure’ when they  have achieved expectations. Teachers can also go on to indicate if a child has ‘mastered’ a skill upon  gathering further evidence of deeper understanding being shown.

Any attainment data recorded through the progress grids in Autumn will feed into the completely new assessment without levels solution being introduced in Spring. This includes a new screen for more efficient recording of achievement against the entire National Curriculum PoS and will be linked to instant analysis and individual reports.

3. Support for Universal Infant Free School Meals

With schools being paid funding for each meal taken by newly universal infant free school meal pupils, you need peace of mind that all pupils are being charged correctly. SIMS Dinner Money reports can now identify Universal Infant Free School Meal numbers separately from paid and Free School Meals, ensuring that all school records are accurate and reflect changes in government policy.

4. Enhanced Quick Search

The SIMS quick search facility helps you save time when you need to find pupil details, a birthday, a car registration or a particular home or email address.

SIMS now has enhanced the quick search to make it even quicker and easier to find information. For example, currently the hashtag search relies on knowing search terms such as #B for a birthday list or #A for an email or part of an address, where you don’t know the full information.  We’ve adjusted this to use plain English for search terms instead of hashtags, for example you can now search for ‘Year 7 Boys’ instead of ‘#Y 7 #M’.

The search has also been extended to include user defined fields, wildcard search (Sm?th), age search, finding a sibling and setting up shortcuts for frequently used searches. All of these adjustments have been made to save valuable time for schools and I hope will encourage many of you to try out quick search when you next need to find something!

Prize Draw: Winner

Firstly I would like to thank all those who took the time to complete our customer surveys and you were very kind with your feedback.

Following the compilation of all 4 surveys results, placed in chronological order and then drawn by a representative onsite at Holy Family Catholic Primary, I can announce the winner as Sue Green at Burley Park Children’s Centre. Sue will receive her £25 M&S vouchers shortly.

Following the success of this exercise we have scheduled another survey in November which will be another prize draw.

If I could ask for suggestions of the prize for the draw be sent to myself via email: darrenr@connect-up.co.uk

Darren Rose

MIS Consultant

0113 2105008

 

Anti Virus Update

Anti Virus

The Latest Technology Working For You

Exploit Blocker: A powerful defence against threats avoiding detection. Stops attacks on  browsers, document readers and email clients.

Advanced Memory Scanner: Gives you extra protection from heavily-encrypted malware. Scans for threats directly in the system‘s memory.

Lighter, Faster build: Extremely small updates and ESET‘s cloud-powered scanning delivers faster scans.

 

Good browsing practices can take you pretty far. If you aren’t browsing non-approved sites, downloading files from suspicious sources, and clicking links from people you don’t know, you’ll put yourself at less risk for viruses. But you can still get infected

Many people think that you can only get malware by downloading suspicious files, running unpatched software, visiting the wrong websites, and doing other irresponsible things, but this isn’t the only way malware can spread.

There are “zero-day” exploits – vulnerabilities that the bad guys find first. Ones we don’t know about, which we can’t protect ourselves from. These flaws are corrected as soon as they’re found, but new ones inevitably pop up.

In other words, your computer could be infected just from you visiting a website. Even if you only visit websites you trust, the website itself could be compromised – something that happens with alarming frequency these days.

Connect-Up Support Services Update

Support Services News Update

You may already be aware that Darren Rose our SIMS Support officer of six years left our organisation at the end of September 2013, to take up a new opportunity.

We are pleased to announce that following the departure of Darren we have been able to review our staffing levels and schools needs moving forward. We expect to announce in the coming days a number of new appointments to the SIMS support team to further enhance the service we are able to deliver to our schools.

With news of this, we wish to provide you with assurance that Connect Up Support Services continues to go from strength to strength. As ever we remain fully committed to support schools for the future, in the knowledge that we will continue to listen and understand school needs to ensure we deliver a first class service to all our customers.

We look forward to continuing to work with you and would like to thank you for your continued support.

If you have any queries in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact me on 0113 2105010 or via email @:- markd@connect-up.co.uk

Kind Regards

Mark Driver

Managing Director

Connected Assessment

Assessment Flyer

Nobody looks forward to that dreaded phone call!   The  one that  states that  you are going  to be visited tomorrow.  Should it really be so worrying?  You can’t prepare in advance for every question  but if you know your  school  and  your data then you  can feel confident that you  can  find  the  answers quickly.  One key sector of all Ofsted visits is now Assessment.  Under the new Ofsted  framework  Assessment has become a key factor in the success or failure of your school.  Every member of your staff, from teaching staff to office staff needs to  be able to answer the inspectors questions and know how their pupils are performing against key criteria.
Connect-Up  Ltd  is  a  well  respected  and   Capita  accredited MIS support team and as such we take  our  role  in your  success  very seriously which is why  we have teamed up with nationally respected assessment consultants. Over the last 18 months a program  has  been undertaken  to customise  a package, currently used in 7 local authorities.

Ultra Small Form PC Offer

Ultra Small PC 18_09

Limited quantities are available of this exceptional small form pc.  With a Core i3 processor, 4 Gb of RAM, and 500Gb of storage it suitable for everything from the Admin office to use for Classroom Registration.  In addition it’s ultra small profile allows you to mount it to the back of the monitor to save space and give an ultra modern look.

Please contact Jason on 0113 2105020 for further details on this and all our offers.

 

Holy Name Revitalizes Admin Network

Connect-Up Support Services recently helped Holy Name Catholic Primary School renew and improve their Admin Network, Head Teacher Aiden Duffy had this to say

“Dear Team

Just a quick mail to say ‘THANK YOU’ for all the support in getting our Admin system up and running following the recent installations. A special thank you to Liam and Peter….great work!”

 

Brudenell Primary School gets Connected

Brudenell Primary School have signed up for support on their Curriculum network so they could receive the same great service that they enjoy on their Admin network.

Tina Hind (Business Manager) said

“Thank you so much for providing our school office with an efficient and reliable service on all occasions within our administration. As a result of this we have decided to choose yourselves for our curriculum support and are very impressed with the speed in which you have been able to put this in place at such short notice.
The quality of service we receive is always of a high standard and all calls are dealt with either immediately or as soon as the fault can be detected.
Once again a big thank you for the excellent service.”

Going Green with Connect_Up Electrical

 

 

 

Reducing energy use makes perfect business sense; it saves money, enhances corporate reputation and helps everyone in the fight against climate change. Connect Up Electrical provides, effective advice to help organisations take action to reduce carbon emissions, and the easiest way to do this is to use energy more efficiently. The first step to a greener environment is to understand where you are right now.

Call Connect Up Electrical today for your no obligation free energy reducing survey.

New Standard in Energy Efficiency

Connect-Up is proud to announce that the Remote Monitor Solution has been awarded an A**** energy rating, it is so energy efficient, a new standard has been set.  Contact the sales team for details on this incredible new technology.

The system consumes only 42kWh per year, compared to a household kettle which consumes 160kWh per year, and a standard 32 seat ICT Suite which uses over 4,000kWh per year.
Our 32 seat ICT suite solution costs as little as £20.00 per year to run, saving up to 97.5% on most energy bills, as a standard PC based 32 seat ICT suite can cost as much as £6,000.00 per year . 

At a time when everyone is looking to get the most out of their budget, this solution can provide massive savings, and equip your school with a state of the art ICT suite.