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Discussion in 'Assessment' started by shy anne, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Not only has this thread been derailed, it may have been hi-jacked. There are three posts here saying almost the same glowing things about some primary software I have never heard of, and in each case it is their first post. A bit too suspicious for my liking. Anyway, thanks to the last post for an honest review. What about other options? Datsec and 4matrix have been mentioned. Anyone had experience of these? How do they compare? Remember to say what you paid for them.
  2. Others have mentioned 4matrix (http://www.4matrix.org/index.htm) which is developed by education experts. Anyone can generate pretty graphs and reports but we don't want information overload, especially for the thousands of pounds quoted by some companies. We also didn't want a multi-year lock-in so we can change easily as and when we decide.
  3. I wonder if the SISRA team feel the need to spam threads relating to their competitor's products?
  4. Please forgive my brief visit to your staff area.
    I heard that my name had been mentioned.
    Whilst it is nice to see genuine discussion about products, there exists a good convention that anonymous comments should always be taken with a pinch of salt. What you will see if you visit the websites of SISRA or 4Matrix are plenty of endorsements by school users who are prepared to put their name to their statements.

    Whilst you are there, you might also see that there are some distinct differences between these two products, such that they will appeal in different measures depending on what a school is looking for.
    I think it good that schools have a choice, and better still that suppliers are prepared to work hard to provide schools with high quality solutions to managing performance data.

    With kind regards
    Mike Bostock
  5. The TES forum, I guess, would be a much less interesting place if members couldn't hide behind total anonimity. It would be a much more honest place, but less interesting.
    I would hope that any thread discussions regarding 4matrix (or any other such services) are not hi-jacked by SISRA users slating other providers with little or no knowledge of their latest offerings. It's a tad disappointing that the forum administrators don't simply delete any posts that are not directly related to the original post. I'm not suggesting the negative posts should be deleted (even if they are inaccurate) - just the posts that don't even mention SISRA.
    As you say Mike, SISRA and 4matrix are distinctly different, both in the aspects of how they are managed and what they produce and it's a case of what is the best fit for each individual school.
  6. banjouk

    banjouk Occasional commenter

    I have been reading some of the information on the primary tool kit website. Coming from a LA perspective and in the interest of 'balance' some of their methodology is pushing the boundaries of what should and can be done. Converting FSP scores directly into NC points is a bit grey area, to say the least. The DfE don't do it because there is no proven method and direct correlation between FSP > KS1 results. Any other adviser would tell those school(s) the same message, don't do it.
  7. We also use SISRA and have for 3 yrs. simple, effective and easy to use. Every one of my HoDs has said how glad they are that I got it into school. They are always available for a livechat if there's an issue (which we have usually created,) always respond to suggestions for improvements and have constantly updated it. They now have a copy of the expected progress matrix you see in raise but the difference is its live so we can instantly see who and where to target.

    Overall I can honestly say its been total value for money and saved me hours and hours that I used to spend just using sims which I find far too clunky and unresponsive.

    Mark, Assistant Head, East Yorks
  8. We use Sisra Online and 4Matrix in our school. They both process data but they do different things with it. Our data manager uses Sisra because it makes all the data available in graphical form easily accessed by everyone on the web. SLT and HoDs use 4Matrix because it lets them analyse the data for themselves. We use it for gap analysis mostly but there are lots of different tools for analysing the data. There are choices in the Sisra graphing tools but you can't do as much. 4Matrix shows pupil photos and other information wheras Sisra works at grade level. Both companies are good to deal with. We also do quite a lot of work with FFT data but it is a lot harder to use than either Sisra or 4Matrix. Ofsted said that data use was a big strength of this school. I wouldn't like us to be without any of these applications.
  9. We have been using SiSRA for around about a year now and it's been a God-send. We don't use SIMS and so the setup has been more long and drawn out than it would have been with SIMS. However, I have documented the process as I've gone and worked with the support team to iron out issues.
    The online support is available throughout the day and response is immediate.
    Analysis that previously took hours/days via Excel and exported files now takes minutes. The data is shared throughout school and cannot be amended (broken) by users. Senior leaders, curriculum area managers and classroom staff all approach the data slightly differently and we are still in the early stages whole school. However, it has been worth the effort to set up and the money we have invested.
  10. I have been developing my own attainment and progress system for use in the school where I teach. We have been using SISRA for a while but always needed to supplement it with our own spreadsheets as it never did everything we wanted it to. I am now in a position where I have a fully working system that serves the needs of teachers, tutors, HODs, pastoral staff and senior leaders. And I've had colleagues from all of those groups say how much they love it!
    What I need is for other schools to have a look and tell me what they would want out of an attainment and progress monitoring system. That way I can develop further and create something that lots of schools benefit from using and which doesn't cost them much money. I've got a demo running online or if you want to try it for a longer period of time with your own data, I've made it very easy to export data from SIMS and to sign up for a trial account.
    If you're interested, have a look at www.maplearners.co.uk and let me know what you think on info@maplearners.co.uk or here through TES.
  11. kevgeall

    kevgeall New commenter

    I've previously used SISRA and it did drive us forwards but had its issues. It wasn't at all easy to keep the data current for the students we had in front of us and we struggled to make it reflect the complexity of our curriculum offer.
    My current school has adopted Go4schools (like much of Cambridgeshire, it seems) and I have to say I really rate it. It has raised all sorts of questions that have led to improved assessment school-wide. We now use it for tracking student progress (on class/subject/year group and intervention group levels), doing all the data analysis for SLT/Governors and for formal reporting to parents. There is also a behaviour module but we haven't bought into that.
    The most powerful aspect of it, imho, is that as an internet-based system parents and students can access all their marks and reports from home. Students care whether their latest assessment has pushed them into a "Green" for current grade vs target in that subject. We have some way to go but it is making a difference for us. I am not on retainer for them...
  12. Pupil Tracking have just launched a new product to help schools with performance table analysis. The system has a free version and a paid version. If you are at a school that only needs single user access then the system is free whilst offering all the features available on the paid version. The only difference between the two versions is the number of users who can get access. For a whole school version the cost of the system is under £500.
    Currently additional features are being added weekly and there is a simple interface to add comments and requests for future development.
    More details including a full list of current features can be found at analytics.pupiltracking.com
    Alternatively you can opt in to be emailed as more features come available.
    Pupil Tracking Analytics offers amonst other features:
    • automatic upload of core data from SIMS (keeps all student data up to date)
    • up to 10 data collection points supported
    • full performance table analysis at KS4
    Sally O'Neill
    Pupil Tracking Ltd

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