The ICT service

Working with an MIS Consultant

Babraham Church of England Primary School, Cambridgeshire

Overview


Babraham CofE Primary School is one of the smallest primary schools in Cambridgeshire.  However, despite its size, the requirements with respect to keeping their Management Information Systems up-to-date and recording their pupils’ progress are much the same as any school in the County. 
 
Set in beautiful countryside, just a few miles from Cambridge, children attend Babraham from a wide geographical area, not just the immediate locality. The school ethos concentrates on a global community; and children and staff alike knowingly benefit from understanding different experiences.

How MIS Consultant, Donna Flynn, started work for the school


Donna has worked for The ICT Service since 2002 and divides her time between bespoke consultancy work in schools, delivering training and providing valuable support to customers on The ICT Service Helpline.  She has in-depth knowledge of Management Information Systems and specialises in the full SIMS suite of modules. Donna was first invited into Babraham Primary School in April 2014 to meet and train the new school secretary, Claire.
 
The systems in the school office had been in use for many years and were in need of ‘tidying up’.  Subsequently Donna has regularly, via our remote support service and on the Helpline, supported Claire through her first academic year, for things like the School Census.  For more involved processes Claire has attended many workshops facilitated by Donna at The ICT Service Training Centre in St Ives.
 
During the initial meeting at the school, Donna also met Headteacher, Mark Verde.  Mark requested help to complete his Raising Achievement Plan and this was the ideal time for Donna to look at the school’s tracking systems, to offer advice and support in making best use of SIMS Assessment Manager.  Mark advised Donna that before he began in post in 2012, SIMS had not been used to track data; therefore accessing historical data proved quite an arduous task. Since then, Mark has kept in touch periodically with calls to the Helpline, during which time Donna has helped him to negotiate the system to track and carry out analysis on key groups of children.


Life without Levels

 
The introduction of the new curriculum in 2015 saw vast changes in the way schools needed to monitor their children’s progress.  Mark attended one of the IMPULSE conferences in June 2015, when The ICT Service launched the SIMS answer to life without levels.  Soon after the conference Mark contacted Donna to express that the SIMS Programme of Study was what he wanted his school to use, confident that his staff would like the look and feel of the latest tracking system.  Budget would not have allowed for them to buy in an additional system that they were concerned might not work for them anyway.
 
Donna visited Babraham Primary during school holidays for staff INSET sessions in 2015, after which Mark provided the following feedback:

 

Since then…

 
During subsequent visits the staff set Donna many challenges and, over a very short time period, the teachers began to record their data confidently and questioned how and why they recorded as they did. Analysis could be performed relatively quickly, and they began to work on their data fantastically well as a team.  
 
As with all systems there were some things that initially didn’t go down too well; however, Donna helped everyone to cross every bridge as they got to it, making sure that the system met the needs of the school. Following one such visit Mark commented to The ICT Service as follows:

Babraham Primary School has opted to use SIMS to report to their parents in both spring and summer.  Consultancy time with the school has been used to determine what they would like to include.
 
Despite some initial staff concerns, these SIMS reports were printed and then saved in the children’s records electronically.  Parental feedback has been good and staff are already looking forward to tweaking the design and using them next term.  


Why use The ICT Service?

The ICT Service currently offers FREE MIS audits, which we hope will increase and expand your understanding of what the SIMS system can do for you and how it can better meet the needs of your own specific school requirements.
 
We offer regular training to support your staff throughout the year with key areas of focus and across all aspects of SIMS.  Please visit www.theictservice.org.uk/training for the full schedule of workshops available.  Alternatively, our consultants can deliver training via remote sessions or in-school consultancy.
 
If you think your school would benefit from a bespoke service offered by The ICT Service MIS Team, please call us on 0300 300 0000, send an email to support@theictservice.org.uk or visit our website at www.theictservice.org.uk
 

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