Located in Staffordshire, Walton Priory is an all-inclusive, equal opportunity community middle school in which students feel both happy and secure. The school offers a broad curriculum and encourages all children to recognise their own self-worth and that of everyone else in the school. Children are encouraged to take a genuine pride in their own achievements, realise their own potential and celebrate the success of others.
To ensure their high standards of success, the school uses SIMS, the market-leading MIS in the UK.
We spoke to Sue Barker, SIMS and reports co-ordinator who has been at the school for six years and has been using SIMS throughout that period. With such experience, Sue is ideally placed to give a considered, expert perspective on how SIMS makes a difference to school life:
The bottom line for us is that SIMS enables the effective day-to-day running of the school, delivering everything we need from an MIS. This is why we have never considered an alternative system. Using SIMS to its full capability means we do not need to purchase any other products, therefore saving us potential further costs. From a personal perspective, I am very happy with SIMS; it has everything I need to carry out my responsibilities across the school.
School data is incredibly important and SIMS is the right tool to securely manage and present that information in an efficient and meaningful way. SIMS supports the many administration requirements of the school, for example, we use Nova T6 which helps me effectively run the timetable and Discover is a useful tool for half termly reporting, providing a range of graphs which are clear and easy to understand.
The power of SIMS is not just restricted to the office; it also plays a part in transforming the curriculum. Teaching colleagues use the assessment section to monitor progress and identify pupils who may be struggling and therefore, urgent interventions can be put in place to aid their learning. We also record achievement which enables us to reward pupils efficiently and by using the behaviour section we are able to monitor and analyse specific issues pupils may have. Spotting pupil trends and behaviours in the early stages allows us to take a proactive approach rather than being reactive to our pupil’s needs.
New applications and modules are added to SIMS, so the system is constantly evolving to meet developing needs. When training has been required, the most recent being for the Intervention system, it was delivered by the Link2ICT Learning Technologies (LT) MIS team to a high standard and enabled us to implement new practices when we return to work.
Using SIMS on a daily basis means I am extremely familiar with it, but teaching colleagues have remarked on how user friendly it is and are able to navigate around the system without full training.
Having used SIMS for the last six years, I have encountered very few problems whilst using it and any that I do come across are quickly resolved by the SIMS Support Team with whom I have an excellent working relationship. They always answer my queries quickly and effectively, for example, we changed our grading system on assessment which required some very tricky conversion work but with the help of the support team we were able to complete the work within a few hours. Knowing that the Link2ICT SIMS team are constantly working on projects to keep the system up-to-date, gives me great confidence to continue using SIMS for many years to come.
SIMS does so much for us, from routine administration to supporting teaching and learning in the classroom, therefore I would highly recommend SIMS to other schools.
With all SIMS has to offer, it’s not surprising that Headteacher, Lindsay Taylor-Potts is similarly impressed by the school’s MIS:
"SIMS is a very flexible, responsive system and allows us to plan with confidence for the weeks ahead. It gives an extremely useful overview of staffing, data and attendance. At Walton Priory Middle School, SIMS provides teachers, senior leaders and support staff with the tools to efficiently manage daily school life and drive improvement."
Thinking about moving to SIMS?
With over 20 years’ expertise, our team is proficient in the knowledge of MIS management, school business processes and expert in the systems that integrate with your MIS, ensuring you receive a seamless service throughout your estate. By migrating to SIMS, you can rely on support from an experienced team that fully understands the needs of schools and your data management. To find out more about migrating to SIMS or to book a demo, please contact Link2ICT or call 0121 303 5100 and we'll be delighted to help.