I was wondering how you guys collect and maintain/manage the EAL data in youor schools?
Is there any additional software that you have to do this or do you use your Student record system?
Ours is Sims.Net. Does Sims.Net have any EAL modules that will allow us to interrogate the data for our needs?
Sorry for all the questions. I would just like to see a better, more efficient way of dealing with EAL and related records/assessment data.
At the moment we use an Excel spreadsheet. We have just started out recording and monitoring EAL properly, but already I can see this becoming increasingly difficult to maintain, both through the amount of data and also the limited time to update the records. The spreadsheet was created manually so any data coming out of Sims would be difficult to import as far as I am aware.
Hope you can help.
We use SIMS.net too. For very basic data (i.e. are they EAL or not) the student details page can control it, but anything more advanced and you're probably going to want to be looking at marksheets.
Have you used marksheets at all?
No I haven't. What is marksheets (although I will be looking it up :))?
Originally Posted by LosOjos
In SIMS assessment module you can create what SIMS calls templates. The simplest way to look at these templates (for somebody with an Excel background) is like a workbook. You define the set of columns to be used in this workbook by using pre-made "aspects" in SIMS. Within the template, you then create a "marksheet". You can think of a marksheet as a spreadsheet within your workbook/template, whereby each marksheet will contain all of the columns/aspects you defined in the template along with a list of students for whom data can be entered in to these aspects. The list of students will depend what you base your marksheet on, and that can be anything from an entire year group, an individual class or reg group or even a user defined group; more usefully in this case perhaps is the fact you can create them from students details, so you could have a marksheet containing all your EAL students as defined by their EAL status in SIMS.
The reason I feel this is more useful than Excel (although not without it's limitations I will admit) is that all the data is then stored on your SIMS server and can be made available to people easily. You can also go on to create "Individual Report Templates", which is essentially a mail merge based on the data you enter in to SIMS to enable you to produce nicely formatted print outs.
It is quite a large subject to cover, and I would suggest you either get some training or more easily if you have a data manager, go and talk to them, explain what data you would like to record, and they should be able to set it up for you :)
Many thanks for the summary. It's most appreciated. It does sound like something that could do the job we want to do. The problem with using Excel is that the details won't get updated (i.e. new school year year groups change, pupils leave and arrive etc.)
We, or I, was hoping for something that would be more centralised and perhaps the marksheet could fill the roll.
It's looking to be that I am becoming the data manager :D
We're not restricted by having to do returns to government, so have been using the SEN area to record information on EAL and other support. You can customise certain categories and creates needs, and then get some level of reporting out of that. It really shouldn't be lumped together like that, and may not be possible for you, but it seems to be working for us.
Otherwise, i agree with @LosOjos , marksheets would be the way to go. They will stay up to date with linked data. If you create a custom group of EAL, you would need to maintain that yourself, but it wouldn't be a hard undertaking, and the list can be easily shared to others.
Who does your assessment or do you not use assessment (yet!)?
You can go to Focus | Groups | User Defined Groups and create a custom group. Assuming you have the right permissions for this. I'd ask for Assessment Operator at a minimum. Ideally, Assessment Co-ordinator. This group can then be applied to any marksheet, which is where the real fun will begin.