It has been a busy couple of months, but what a great time was had by all at the Autumn set of user groups. Held in six different locations across the country, we talked through SIMS updates, listened to school user presentations and discussed best practice.
Talking of sharing best practice, another great place to do this is our annual conference – our 2018 conference will be held 10-11 October, so make sure you put the date in your diary!
It was great to see so many familiar faces but also some new; these groups are the perfect place to share ideas with other schools using SIMS and for users to meet with our team and ask questions. We had the highest number of attendees we’ve had yet, an almost 20% increase on last year, so thanks all for attending and hope to see even more of you next year!
Thanks to those who completed the post user group survey; you’ve highlighted the main challenges you face as being recruitment, the new GDPR regulations and getting staff using SIMS. Hopefully we’ve addressed some of these topics already and we will be paying close attention to the survey results when preparing content for the next series of user groups.
Some of my highlights of the last couple of user groups are:
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
Everybody is talking about GDPR at the moment; the new regulations are being enforced from 25 May 2018. We heard from schools who have huge plans in place and schools who are not quite so prepared, but talking it through with different schools in the area, sharing ideas and best practice for how to prepare was beneficial to all. Talking about how SIMS can be part of this preparation was also beneficial; the creation of the new student Person Data Output Report was a very exciting development for attendees! The Person Data Output Report collates all the information about a student, making the process to get this quicker and easier for the school. For more information on this please contact the SIMS Independent Team.
SIMS Options online
We shared with attendees at our user groups SIMS Options, which is now online. It allows pupil to login and complete the options themselves saving huge amounts of time. The licence is included in Curriculum Management Suite so you can get started right away. You can find a guide on My Account.
It was good to see the best use of SIMS at the user group such as:
- Using class registration to monitor if pupils are fully participating in the lessons (or not, as the case might be!) and using a report to identify those pupils who need rewarding and encourage pupils to reach their potential.
- Reporting on behaviour & achievement and emailing these reports to pastoral leaders.
- Using SIMS Registration & Admissions for marketing analysis or conversion rates, scholarship entrance tests or to make enquiries and applications which are available to be submitted online.
- Use of SIMS Discover to monitor or track progress
- The use of conduct to monitor of smallest achievement to the bigger awards.
- Using our partnership programme to get comments from students on targets and objectives which can then be added to parental reports
- Using Nova and academic management to create individual timetables to personalise timetables to meet individual student needs.
What outstanding school presentations, we can’t thank the presenters enough for their time and expertise. A Huge thanks to Karen Fox, Sharan Rider, Paul Wilmore, Mike Gibson, Jonathan Sharples, Mark Fitzsimons, Jemma Whitehead, Fraser Robertson, Sheila Hallsworth, Matt Nice, Dan Stone and Mark Vanstone.
A big thank you to…
Every year, we are extremely grateful to a large number of schools for hosting our user groups and November was no exception. From historical grounds and beautiful settings to wonderful hospitality, we were made to feel truly welcome by the six schools who kindly hosted us. I’d like to say a big thank you to the below schools:
- Stephen Perse Foundation for hosting the East Anglia user group
- Wetherby Prep School for hosting the London user group
- FLT head office for hosting the Midlands user group
- Stonyhurst College for hosting the Northern user group
- St George’s College for hosting the South East user group
- Bristol Grammar School for hosting the South West user group
Christmas is approaching and it seems odd to even dream of Spring given the temperatures now, but we are already looking ahead to our next set of user groups. This year they will be held in March, and as always, we would appreciate any offers of hosting or of presenting. If you’d like to be involved or want more information, please contact me on 01285 647459 or email email@example.com
For more information about the user groups and for presentation slides, please visit My Account.