It’s always exciting being a product manager at SIMS, not only because there’s always so many developments happening but also because I get to witness firsthand how SIMS can truly help schools to raise attainment. Homework is one important part of this which can be managed in SIMS using Homework Diary.
Homework Diary was previously an optional extra to SIMS Learning Gateway. However, with the fantastic feedback we’ve had from customers following the recent development and with homework being such an important part of a child’s progress, we’ve made the decision to make it part of SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG). This means, if you’re currently paying for SIMS Learning Gateway as part of your annual entitlement, your school is also entitled to the Homework Diary functionality.
The new Homework Diary functionality gives senior leaders, teachers, parents and students access to homework – anytime, anywhere.
Homework Diary allows teachers and senior leaders to monitor the levels of homework students are given and track their attainment. It helps them to support early intervention and ensure the success of assigned homework tasks.
The homework timeline allows you to see subjects, homework titles, due dates and descriptions for your students’ current, previous and future assignments. The traffic light colour-coding also helps you to see the status of the homework assignment – whether it’s been handed in on time, was late, not handed in at all or whether it’s not yet due.
Keep track of all your students’ homework
When you’ve got a class full of students who are all handing in their homework at different times, it can be hard to keep track of everyone, and that’s before any of the marking has even begun! With Homework Diary, teachers can go through the class register and mark against each student’s name who has handed in their homework.
They can also record the grade they achieved and provide online feedback to students. This can be an explanation of their grade, or to point out areas in need of attention. The marks recorded are integrated into Assessment Manager, helping to reduce the administration and save time.
What do parents see?
Parents can keep track of homework assignments that have been set and get a better idea of their children's achievements and areas where extra time and effort may be required. So parents can have meaningful conversations with their children about what they’re expected to be doing. It can also make those discussions in parents’ evenings much more productive, because the teacher and the parent are both on the same page with their child’s progress.
How does it help students?
Homework Diary allows students to see all their homework assignments and grades together. It’s also easy for them to see which tasks need doing first, so that they can prioritise their workload. The online feedback opportunity can also help them to see where they need to improve or where they’re doing particularly well.
As with parents, students can also choose which device they access homework information from as homework is part of the smartphone browser option and is also available through a tablet or PC browser.
What else is on the horizon for SLG?
There’s still lots of exciting things to come! Summer 2014 will see the inclusion of a SIMS Homepage SLG widget so schools can see the number of parents who have filled in the SLG data collection sheet and read the published reports. Our most exciting development for 2014 is the inclusion of the SIMS Teacher App, which we previewed at Bett in January and we’re looking forward to launching later in the year.
I’d love to hear from you, whether that be to let us know your feedback or to find out more about SIMS Learning Gateway. Get in touch and email your comments to us.