A New Primary Tracker for Assessment
April 4, 2019 / Richard King
The first main release of Bromcom’s MIS is almost due to go live. As I promised in my last blog in February, we’ll be introducing functionality for Clubs and Trips, so I thought I’d give you a bit more information about some of the options we have built into Clubs, before talking about a new project that I’m working on: a Primary Tracker, aiming to make the tracking of Assessment easier.
Clubs can be found via the Group List page, as seen below. Just switch the group type in the top left to ‘Club’, and you’ll see the list of Clubs you have set up. On the right, you will see several different menu options that are specific to Clubs.
Clubs Setup Options
When you are setting up a new club, as well as the standard name and description fields, there are some other options available to you: ‘Membership limit’, ‘Reserved Spaces’ and ‘Go-live on MCAS’.
‘Membership limit’ allows you to set a limit of how many people can join a club. This is particularly helpful if parents are going to be signing up to your clubs using MyChildAtSchool. As soon as the club is full, further enrolments will be prevented, so you won’t have to disappoint any parents and refund any money they’ve paid.
‘Reserved Spaces’ gives you the ability to hold some spaces back. So if I have a membership limit of 25, and choose to reserve 5 spaces there will only be 20 spaces available on MyChildAtSchool. You can then fill those spaces yourself in the MIS without worrying about the membership limit being reached. There are lots of occasions that this might be useful: if your star baker’s parents don’t have access to the internet, and you want to make sure that she can be in the Baking club this term, you could withhold a space and add the budding Mary Berry to the club yourself.
Finally, you can use the ‘Go-live on MCAS’ field to choose a specific time and date when the clubs will go live on MyChildAtSchool. This means you can create the clubs over time instead of cramming it all into one afternoon, and you can be specific in any communications you send out to parents, telling them that the clubs for Summer will go live on MyChildAtSchool at 7pm on the Sunday before term starts.
Clubs – More To Come
Already we have a long list of enhancements we are aiming to make to Clubs. The next release will bring several new features, including the ability for you to set up clubs, trips, and products in the shop with different payment options. You will be able to choose to allow parents to pay in instalments or even pay offline by bringing a cash or cheque into school. We’ll also be improving the reports available for Clubs, helping you easily get access to the information you need.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve being working on an exciting new project that aims to make primary assessment easier from start to finish: setup, data entry and reporting. We’re planning to cater for EYFS, formative assessment, summative assessment and standardised tests, with other assessment areas such as phonics coming later.
For each assessment model we’ll be delivering several pieces of functionality:
A simple setup wizard, enabling you get your school set up in as little as a few minutes.
Marksheets that help make data entry quick and intuitive. Features such as flood-fill will be included, as well the ability to see pupils’ prior attainment, or more detail about specific pupils.
Report builders. If you an SLT meeting this afternoon and need to create some graphical reports, highlighting some specific figures, you will be able to do this in a matter of minutes. You will be able to compare your school’s data to the national average, and also create some more in-depth reports for those times that you need to get into the detail a little more.
It’s very early days for this project, but I’d be really interested in gathering any information you might want to share. What is it about assessment that continually frustrates you? What would be your ‘I wish it would do this’ feature? What’s the obvious function that no software provider seems to offer? What’s the one report that you need but can never get? You can get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org – it’d be great to hear from you.
The screenshot below shows some very early concept work on this project. This is a view of a ‘Diminishing the Difference’ report for EYFS (bear in mind this is very early work, so the finished article will probably look completely different!).
Data entry can often feel like an interminable slog, so I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to find some ways of speeding it up. The following concept shows an idea we’ve had for adding an EYFS stage & age (I chose EYFS because the combination of ages and stages makes it a bit more complex than some other assessment types).
The goal of the project is to make assessment in Bromcom as simple and quick as it can possibly be, with the ability to easily create the reports and analysis that our users need. I’m looking forward to sharing more information in the next blog.