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Ottery St Mary Primary School


Ottery St Mary Primary School is a large primary school situated in East Devon.  The school receives children from Reception to Year 6 and has around 400 pupils on roll. In 2017 the school was judged as Good by Ofsted showing strong aspiration for pupils and staff. 

The Challenge

The school decided that it would track pupils half-termly, using their Fischer Family Trust (FFT) targets as a guide to assess the child’s performance. Initially these were held in Excel spreadsheets making it difficult to get a full picture of how pupils were progressing over time. Head Teacher of Ottery St Mary Primary School, Mark Gilronan, wanted a solution that would do away with manual systems and streamline the school’s information making it easier to enter and access data and provide analysis tools to help identify quickly where interventions were required.

The Solution

Mark Gilronan looked to SIMS to provide a simple interface for teachers to input data. SIMS also provides a series of tools for Senior Leaders to analyse data and provide information for the Governing Body to scrutinise. The BETT award winning SIMS Assessment forms part of the software the school was already using daily, so there was no additional licencing costs to use SIMS Assessment.

Permissions allow all teaching staff to enter data in a simple format, and the Assistant Headteachers can then scrutinise this through Grid Analyses, Tracking Grids and Discover Charts informing teaching and learning. SIMS Discover provides graphical visibility and analysis of trends, and in-depth comparisons of group or class performance. It also enables bespoke reporting that allows the school to analyse data and present it in a variety of ways.

The Impact

As data is entered it is immediately colour-coded based on the child’s FFT Target, so any child falling behind can quickly be identified and interventions put in place. The Grid Analyses, particularly Chance Analysis, allow the comparison of two sets of grades in a matrix arrangement. It is simple to look at targets against current teacher assessment, but also to track from Early Years to any point in Key Stage 1 or beyond.

This information can then be easily exported into Excel for reporting to Governors or pinned to the Senior Leaders’ SIMS Home Page for quick access. Tracking Grids are also used for internal analyses which allow staff to review individual pupils, and to cross-match against all key factors:

  • Pupil Premium
  • SEND
  • EAL
  • Looked After
  • Attendance or Behaviour


Mark Gilronan explains “Being able to track our pupils through SIMS greatly improved the efficiency of our assessment processes. We know that our pupil lists, and characteristics are always up to date and we no longer have to manually update this information in our own spreadsheets. The data entry itself is quick and easy for teachers and SIMS does all the calculations for us. We can easily pull off a range of reports and tracking grids for different purposes. Teachers can see exactly which children in their class are not currently on track to achieve their targets and leaders at all levels, including Governors, can easily see both percentages and number of pupils who are on track to achieve their targets and those who are working towards, at, or beyond age related expectations.”

SIMS Assessment allows staff at all levels to independently interrogate their own data and react swiftly to emerging trends. In the next phase the school will be looking to see how they can report to parents using the data which has already been entered into SIMS by the teachers, reducing teacher workload and the administration time required.

“Being able to track our pupils through SIMS greatly improved the efficiency of our assessment processes. We are not constrained by having to buy in another package and then do it their way, and the support from Scomis is excellent."

Mark Gilronan

Head Teacher

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