St Budeaux Foundation C of E (Aided) Junior School
St Budeaux Foundation is a friendly school with a family atmosphere. They are one of the oldest schools in Plymouth if not the oldest! They are proud to be a fully inclusive school and welcome all faiths and backgrounds.
“Dear Scomis, I am a Head Teacher trying to get the most out of SIMS for my school. I have found my way around some of it but need to use it more effectively. Many thanks, Cathy”
Scomis receives a plea from Cathy Drage, Head Teacher of St Budeaux Foundation and this is where the journey begins. The school leadership team, like many schools, are facing ongoing challenges to raise standards whilst keeping costs down. Budgets are tighter, and the school want to get the most out the investments they make. Having the right technology in place can play an important part in helping the school get the balance right. Fortunately, SIMS can support the growing demands placed on the school and with expertise from Scomis, their ICT partner, the schools can maximise the potential of SIMS.
Cathy explained, ‘The school was also using a different system for tracking pupil assessment and we needed a system that was central to the school and held everything we wanted in one place. This would avoid inefficiencies from duplicating tasks, paying for different systems as well as potential GDPR risks from the paper based systems we were using too.’
A member of the Scomis Account Management team visited Cathy to understand what the school’s priorities were and how SIMS was currently being used throughout the school; from the office, to the classrooms to the Head Teachers office. Cathy’s priorities were to ensure all staff got the most out of SIMS every day, both in the office and the classroom; to save time and to work more efficiently. Cathy wanted to make sure that all relevant members of staff had up to the minute data about pupils readily available.
An area Cathy wanted focus on was attendance and with registration carried out on SIMS it provides immediate feedback to senior leaders and for office staff to follow up. Giving classroom access to SIMS brings information to where it is needed. Schools completing electronic attendance in the classroom see impressive timesaving and improvements in attendance. By configuring the SIMS Home Page, staff have their own dashboard, relevant to their job role, to school performance, information on attendance, behaviour and achievement and it provides a secure interface for messages about pupils. Relevant staff also have access to pupil records including contact details, medical details and SEN needs at the tip of their fingers.
BETT award winning, SIMS Assessment, forms part of the software the school was already using, so there were no additional licencing costs saving the school money. SIMS Assessment provides flexibility with assessment and reporting in a way that supports the school and the way it works. Teachers can see a pupil’s progress historically or live as they enter their assessments. Quick access to this information means that timely interventions can be introduced to support pupil progress or help them to achieve even more. It also enables bespoke reporting that allows the school to analyse data and present it in a variety of ways.
Storing all the support information needed in the SEN area of SIMS, such as Individual Education Plans or Provision Maps, as attached documents, makes that information readily available to authorised staff. This includes managing and setting up details of reviews, events and provisions as well as adding linked adults, agents, and agencies so that staff can easily access information central to the pupil.
SIMS is more than just an administration tool and at St Budeaux Foundation School it is the central hub for information. This has made a big difference for senior leaders who can now see the complete picture of every child without searching for the information across different systems. With SIMS in the Classroom, teachers become far more aware of their pupils’ progress so that gaps can be easily identified, and timely interventions introduced and monitored for effectiveness.
"SIMS ensures triangulation of assessment between learning, work scrutiny and learning in lesson is easily accessed"
Attendance within SIMS means that staff have immediate feedback and can identify patterns of absence and follow up swiftly. By reducing the number of systems, the school has saved time and money. As all the pupil information is in one place schools can link progress to attendance and behaviour and empower teachers with the information they need on delivering quality education that supports the progress of every pupil.
Looking ahead, Cathy is keen to utilise Discover in SIMS with pupil assessment data. Discover is a graphical analysis tool which allows you to easily analyse pupil data held in SIMS in minutes, saving valuable time. This user-friendly interface enables the data to be presented in a variety of ways, including, Venn diagrams, bar charts, pie charts and line graphs, with the ability to drill down into the data.
Cathy has also organised inset training to get the whole school onboard with SEN in SIMS and embedding SIMS into everyday school life to improve staff workload and pupil outcomes.