Hi, apologies if this has been discussed before but I couldn’t find anything on the forums.
From the beginning of this academic year we have reintroduced a house system into school. The students are receiving lots of points which is great, but the problem for us comes to reporting on the points totals, specifically concerning House events. For example, PE run a sports afternoon with various competitions happening. At the end of the afternoon points are awarded to the individual winners, but we also look at the bigger picture when it comes to overall House performance and reward points accordingly to each house.
The problem occurs at this point since there is no House entity within SIMS (that I’m aware of) that we can assign the points to. As a work around for this we have decided to award these performance points to the House Captains so we can run reports on overall House points totals monthly/termly etc, but the issue arises when we come to run individual student/form points totals. I know that we can remove the overall points totals from the House Captains individual points totals by filtering out the House Event Achievement Types to give more accurate results. Though this is a simple solution that requires little effort, this solution isn’t liked by the staff in charge of the House system since its open to human errors. ie when entering the awards, choosing the wrong Achievement Type would mean that the filters wouldn’t remove the points from the reports when being run so would therefore give false points totals for the House Captains.
We can't be the only school that has come across this problem, so I was hoping if anyone knew of a more elegant solution to this, or can anyone suggest any alternative methods of storing points? Ideally we would like to remove the link of Event House points to individual students and somehow award them directly to the House, but we’ve been searching unsuccessfully for a way to do this for a while. (One crazy idea was to create a fake student entry per House to award the points to, but I put a stop to that because it would affect the census etc.) Any and all ideas are welcome
- you have your houses set up in SIMS and students assigned to their houses
- you are using achievement points to log house points with a custom category set up specifically for them
- you are assigning all house points to the house captain (this seems odd to me, can't see the benefit?)
Is that all true? Also, is your aim to be able to print off reports showing how many points each house has at any given point and also how many house points each individual student within that house has?
Yes, we have the Houses set up in the pastoral structure, and each student is assigned to a House.
We are using the achievement module to assign points (ie 1HP, 2HP etc) as House points so any achievement given to a student also benefits the House. There are however a couple of Achievement types setup such as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Place House Event, which are used to monitor the best performing House. Ie a student may win a race for House A, but overall House A students don't perform as well as several students from House C. So an average is worked out and the Houses are given the relevant Nth Place Event type based on the students performance which are awarded to the House Captain.
Each student in school is awarded House points for various class work and community work. But when it comes to the 5 House Captains they are given their usual achievement points, but also they are awarded the House Event achievements as a way to assign these points to the House for reporting.
As for reporting, we run off on a monthly basis a report which gives the total house points and there is no issue with this report since all of the points are awarded to the students who are all in a House. The problem comes when we run individual Form/Student reports. This is because for the results of the House Captains, their totals also include the Event Achievements Types so it doesn't give a true reflection of their achievements, as well as their Form's totals as they are massively boosted by the Event Types.
Now I know these Event Types can be filtered out in the reports easily, but the staff running/monitoring the House data don't like this idea because if a mistake is made by selecting the wrong type etc, the points will still be included when it comes to reporting. So what I/we are looking for is a way to log these Event Types in SIMS assigned to a House, but without being assigned to any student.
I'm with you now, although I'm afraid I don't have a straightforward solution for you...
The only simple way I can see of doing this in SIMS is to award House Event points only to those students who participate, rather than assigning them all to the house captain. For instance, if you had a relay race with 4 members of each house involved, you could award points based on position to each participant e.g. 5 points each for first (20 points total for the house), 4 points each for 2nd (16 points total for the house) and so on. That way, the house would still get the points in their total and the individuals who participated would get a few extra points in their own total to reflect that.
This all falls down of course if you have an event involving entire houses which will more than likely have a varying number of students!
If that solution won't work, I'm afraid I can't think of another way to do it in SIMS and would instead be looking at setting up an Access database to deal with house points.
We do currently award points for participation, finishing place in competitions etc so what you say does make sense and we have a similar thing in place. But the management team also want to award the Houses themselves as well as the individual students. I guess its a way to make everyone feel involved even if its event they don't participate in?
The Access database was discussed at one point, but we wanted to keep as much as we could within a single database location, but this creates the problem we have now. It would be nice if SIMS could treat Houses as seperate things somehow to award points to, or even have staff be able to be associated with Houses would be nice. We could then give the Event points to the Head of House instead which would remove the problem of it skewing the students results.
Thanks anyway, maybe somebody else has an alternative method? Until then I'll keep until my filtered reports are accepted!
I had this issue with our upper school, and the pe department do exactly as you do. We didn't resolve it yet, so are not using it yet.
The idea of adding guest pupils wasn't liked by me either.
What i suggested and met with a generally good response was to allocate each participant with points, rather than the captain. This was in addition to the points for specific placing in races etc.
In addition if you wanted to extend to the house as a whole, to promote a sense of team / camaraderie, then create an achievement for group/team housepoint, and give each member of the house 1pt for that. This seems like a reasonable workaround, however the practicality of putting it in, isn't so straight forward. You can bulk add the students to an achievement after filtering by house, but afterwards, if you want to put an award date or awarded by, i think you have to do it separately. If you can ignore those fields, it works quite well, and you could put a comment in with it to explain what it was for.
I've not implemented this, just planned it out, so not sure how it would work in practise.
Just to add, staff can be linked to the house from pastoral structure, just not given points. I'm sure you knew that.
What i like about giving everyone in the house points is that when you are reporting, even those that aren't taking part feel part of the group, and are encouraged to maybe participate in the future. Also they can join in any celebration, knowing they are all 'winning'. This can be re-inforced when you report on individual behaviour, as someone with no other achievements will have something on record, and if you look at net totals it is helping those that are otherwise wayward and may have clocked up a lot of negatives, to have some some claw back.
Looking at that overall picture, does mean you have to think carefully about how many points you award per incident. If a base team point is value +1, you might need to increase all other positive / negative types to a multiple to stop them easily cancelling eachother out.