ProjectO (27th June 2012)
I am working to support a (non-UK) school struggling to fully introduce SIMS for Sept 2012 after failing to resolve various issues in 2011-12. Their technical support company officially supports SIMS but is still building their experience with the product. I have identified two distinct timetabling realities that the company are finding difficult to model in NovaT6. There is a two-week timetable cycle where only Wednesdays differ.
1. "full" and "half" subjects (think similar to short GCSEs)
There are periods that contain both full and half courses e.g. French (full), Geography (full), Geography (half), History (half), Biology (half) etc. Over two periods on different days, students may take a full subject (in all 10 periods per fortnight) or they may take a half-subject and any other half-subject (5 periods and 5 periods). e.g. student could take full Geog, or full French, or half Geog AND half Hist, or half Hist AND half Biology. The person building this in NovaT is attempting to do so with one block but this results in curriculum assignment problems as a student can be allocated only to one subject. I would be grateful for any insights or directions to point the Nova timetabler!
I thought that two blocks, with full subjects in both, could work but the support person seems to be doing everything to avoid this. I have no major preference at this stage but do need a solution!
2. Carousel "taken from" other subject
PSE and a couple of other subjects are timetabled (in reality not in SIMS yet) to coincide with e.g. English i.e. PSE 1 = Eng 1, etc.
This means that over 10 days, every group of students has 8 English lessons and 2 PSE. On MonA, Eng 1 & Eng 2 have PSE instead of Eng; on TueA, Eng 3 & Eng 4 have PSE etc. This strikes me as different to issue 1 but, as currently built in NovaT, the same problem arises with curriculum assignment.
There are a number of (lesser?) issues as well but these two are having a significant impact on related activities and delaying academic promotion rules etc as class names are still up for grabs. We will also have to manually populate classes that did not exist in last year's timetable i.e numerous from each of the above scenarios.
Thank you in advance!
The important thing here is that the two groups of students are mutually exclusive - they can take a full course OR two half courses. To build this in Nova you need two bands, one for the full course students, one for the half course students. You then create a block in the full course band containing all your 10 period subjects and allocate them all 10 periods each. In the other band, you create two blocks, each containing the 5 period courses, allocating them 5 periods each.
You can then shedule the 5 period blocks to fit at the same time as the 10 period blocks across the two week timetable.
If you are trying to fit it into an existing band structure which is determined by other factors, you can acheive the same thing by using sub-bands of an existing band, but as we don't use these here I am less familiar with their implementation.
For the carousel issue, you can do this in the same block, you just put 8 periods of English and 2 periods of PSE in the block for each class. - this assumes that the PSE classes contain the same pupils as the corresponding English classes.
ProjectO (27th June 2012)
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