When Colchester Academy converted to academy status, they decided to take up the SIMS whole support package on the basis that they would be able to free up staff time if they opted to bring in specialist SIMS and ICT support.
SIMS whole support has ensured the academy can make the most of their software and has given the staff more confidence in their use of SIMS. Associate Principal Clare Gleave explains: “SIMS telephone support is particularly popular amongst our staff as an effective support tool – they know they can pick up the phone and speak to a friendly voice if they get stuck. We also value the face to face support provided by SIMS, such as on-site visits, to help with specific, more complex issues.”
The SIMS whole support package provides customers with their own named customer service manager. Clare comments: “It’s reassuring to have a named person to get in touch with when we need that extra level of support.”
Clare describes how SIMS is used extensively throughout the academy as the central source for their data: “We open up SIMS Lesson Monitor for every lesson. It helps us identify internal truancy, punctuality issues, and track ongoing attendance. We use SIMS to track student progress and for behaviour management, recording any incidents or sanctions.”
In a recent Ofsted inspection, the inspector noted that the percentage of students attaining five or more GCSE A* to C grades or equivalent increased from 46% to 69%, whilst the percentage of students attaining five or more GCSE A* to C grades including English and mathematics increased by 15%. He noted the improvements were mainly due to carefully targeted support for all Year 11 students.
Clare explains the role SIMS Assessment played in achieving these results, “By being able to formulate our assessment data using SIMS ‘traffic lights’, we knew exactly where to target additional support and as a result our academic results went up significantly. SIMS is very intuitive and easy to use.”