Are you making the most of your SIMS system?

SIMS Top Tips

SIMS Top Tips

SIMS Top Tips

SIMS is central to school’s operations, but is often not used to its full potential. Our SIMS support team has provided some key information about SIMS:

      • Have you had to send out letters to parents but Parental Salutation or Addressee is missing?

        The easiest way to sort this is to use the Bulk Update option in Routines| Pupil| Update Salutation/Addressee. Click on search and then choose “All” under the “Select” option. Tick the option(s) you would like to update and then click on “generate.”

        Bulk Update option is also great for updating pupil information during Census time. It allows you to update data items such as ethnicity, nationality and SEN Status.

    • Although the Bulk Address Validation is available in SIMS do NOT use this facility until we get the go-ahead from the Local Authority.

    • The Documentation Centre is located on your homepage at the top right-hand side of the screen and is an invaluable source of information. Handbooks, Quick Reference Sheets, Videos and FAQs are just a click away. You also have the facility to search for any SIMS, FMS, Discover or Solus 3 information that you may require.

    • There are so many ways in SIMS of accomplishing the same result. Designing reports or using the Student List option in SIMS pretty much achieves the same thing. If you are trying to run a simple report, your best option is to use Reports |  Student List | General Student list.

      Designing a report is just a more complicated way of achieving the same end result but it will give you the option to add more output fields. You can add data items to your report by highlighting the field in the data area and dragging it onto the report area. You can sort and filter to include and exclude groups and if you like the report that you’ve set up you can print, export or save it for future use.

    • Window: This option, at the top of the screen within SIMS, allows you to jump between screens without closing the screen you are currently in.

    • Hyperlinks: You will notice that most of the menu options within SIMS are underlined – this means that if you click on the option you will more than likely receive an additional menu giving you further options. This hyperlink works within other areas of SIMS that you may not be aware of. In pupil/student record Class, Year Group, Ethnicity, amongst others, are underlined. If you clicked on Ethnicity a dialogue box will pop up displaying all the members in the school with the same ethnicity. Similarly if you clicked on class you will obtain a list of all pupils within that specific class.

    • User Defined Fields: There are so many fields already setup in SIMS but if ever you need to setup an additional field this is possible by using the User Defined Fields (UDF) option. Any additional fields that are added to SIMS can be pulled through to Designed Reports under the UDF option

    • Deleting Pupil Records: It is possible to delete a pupil’s record only if there are no attendance or dinner marks allocated to that pupil’s record. If you are expecting a pupil to attend your school and they don’t arrive do not remove them from you records until you have confirmed that they started at another school and that they haven’t missed any attendance sessions. The pupil is your responsibility until they start at another establishment.

    • Attendance: There are a number of effective ways in which you can monitor pupil attendance to assist in raising attendance and attainment. The help desk has been working closely with our attendance team to try and raise awareness out at our schools of the various ways in which you can track pupil attendance. We have set up RAG attendance reports to enable schools to monitor persistent absence on a weekly basis thereby stopping poor attendance in its tracks.

    • Schools have also been very keen on using SIMS Discover to flag poor attendance. Red, Amber and Green groups can be setup in Discover – these groups can be added to the attendance panel on your home page and when a pupil falls in or out of a targeted group you are immediately alerted. It is possible to use Discover to monitor key data within your school instantaneously. Discover is such a useful tool and forms part of your SIMS annual entitlement and for a small fee we will install it for you.

    • The School Report is another a great way of immediately getting an overall view of ALL Key Pastoral factors within the school. At any given time you can get a picture of Attendance, Persistent Absences, Conduct, Exclusions and Achievements. This report is one that will be beneficial when Ofsted visit and can be located by clicking on Reports | School Report - the report is setup to pull through Attendance from the start of the academic year to the reference date, although both dates can be changed. You are able to choose the report sections which you would like to include and the report can be run as a summary (coverage) or detailed (long version).