From January 2017 the school system for recognising all the good things that students do is moving from vivo to SIMS achievement.
Why is this change being made?
We wanted to find an easier way of communicating all the good things students do more easily than was possible with vivo. It is easier for teachers to use, and for everyone to see, including tutors and heads of community.
What are the achievement categories?
There are four which are
- Brilliant effort
This may be for a lesson which went particularly well, or for when a student has tried extremely hard (and demonstrated resilience). The end product may not yet be right, but if they keep showing the same effort, it will be.
- Community contribution
This could be for supporting a school event, or for something particularly good in the tutor room. ‘Community’ could refer to, for example, the tutor group, the community or the whole school community.
- Excellent progress
Generally this is for progress shown ‘over time’, for example a series of lessons where the student is clearly moving forward as a result of a sustained effort.
- Outstanding work
This could be for an individual lesson, piece of homework or project.
How will this work?
Most achievements will come from lessons, but may also come from around the school. This is for the sixth form just as much as year 7. Everyone likes having their achievements recognised, regardless of their age. The fact we are using SIMS to recognise achievement means that even more of our key information on students is going in one place, so it can be easily retrieved and shared.
There will be a sense of competition between tutor groups and communities. How that works is still to be decided. Our experience tells us, that what students most want is the praise and recognition for getting things right.
How will parents know?
By the beginning of February 2017 the intention is to connect SIMS with our text messaging service so that each achievement is followed by a text message home. We hope you do not find this to be an intrusion; when we ran the idea by our parent group they were very supportive. It should give you more information about how your child is doing day by day.
Other methods of rewarding and recognising such as positive phone calls or good news slips will still continue but SIMS achievement is likely to be the main system. We may also provide a full list at parents evenings or community days so you have the whole picture.
We hope you like it and enjoy receiving positive messages about your child’s achievements.