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SIMS Timetable reopening advice

By 4th June 2020 No Comments


Please see the below campaign we have sent out to all our schools regarding SIMS Timetable and the reopening of your school:- 


Dear colleague

We are aware that you will currently be formulating and confirming your plans for the reopening of your school from the 15th June 2020.

It is important, to maintain current class memberships. This ensures that current assessment systems, academic promotion, course memberships and 3rd party systems (including those being used for remote teaching) continue to function correctly. The following is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution as all schools will need a different approach according to school size and circumstances. Some schools may decide to use a solution which is not MIS based however, for those looking at adapting Nova/SIMS please see the suggestions below.

Option 1 – Timetable (recommended)

  • Add new blocks into the current timetable alongside the existing blocks.
    • Take care that you do not create duplicate names, use a block identifier of either a letter or number.
    • Should you need a different band structure for the new timetable, this can be achieved by using a scheme stretched across the existing bands, leaving the existing bands in place.
  • Unschedule the old blocks, leaving the blocks built and classes within the model. This ensures that current class memberships will continue.
  • Schedule the new blocks.
  • Once sent through to SIMS, assign students to the bands/block/classes via academic management.

This option is most suited to schools who wish to continue to deliver a structured curriculum. This will give you ‘normal’ functionality and you will have registers for all new classes.

Option 2 – Alternative Curriculum

  • Suspend classes in cover, freeing up teachers. 
  • Create Alternative Curriculum Classes
    • Ensure you allocate the prefix in a systematic and logical manner.
    • Each class will need its own class creating.
  • Once sent through to SIMS, assign students individually to each class that they are due to attend.

This option is most suited to schools with a smaller student population. Due to the amount of time required to allocate students to classes this is not our recommended solution especially for a school of any size.

Option 3 – User defined Groups

  • Suspend classes in cover, freeing up teachers. 
  • Create User Defined Groups (UDG)
  • Add Students into the UDG.
  • Registers can now be updated via the Edit Marks screen.
    • Supervisors will need to be assigned to the UDG
    • Supervisors will need to be assigned permissions to access attendance

This option is most suited to schools with a smaller student population. Not suitable for taking lesson registers but could be used to record AM/PM attendance.

As your SIMS support provider, we are here to offer assistance in the integration of these plans with SIMS and Nova-T. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0345 2226802 should you have any questions or would like advice.

Looking forward to September we would advise all schools to ensure that the end of year procedures are fully completed before 31st August 2020. We would recommend that schools develop timetables as normal for the next academic year. In the event that we are still in a partial lockdown and social distancing is required, then the new timetable can be adapted to follow the current government guidance but with the aim that the original school timetable will at some point of the academic year be applied fully to all year groups.

Kind regards

School ICT Services Ltd
The Courtyard
Swillington Lane
LS26 8BZ

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