Newent Community School staff

Their experience using PARS Connect and INSIGHT…

Vicky Roberts, Attendance Co-ordinator
“…can sign in online and update their contact details at times they find convenient. This has made a huge difference; we don’t get notes being left with various teachers, never to find their way to the appropriate person! Watch video…
Dave Cooper, Subject Leader for IT
“We have got students who are already coming into school first thing in the morning to logon to INSIGHT to see the various bits of information that staff have put on their about them. Watch video ….. 
Adrian Underwood, Head of Science
“I was using INSIGHT yesterday with a group of students, they were asking me what their science module test mark was, I logged in to INSIGHT which picked them up from SIMS and was able to give them their mark straight away and the mark for all of their exams. Watch video...
Jen Wells, Second in Maths (KS3)
“…in terms of making my life easier, the link between SIMS and INSIGHT is fabulous, because once it’s in SIMS then it’s in INSIGHT (if you want it to be). You can decide exactly what you want it to show to the parents and from that, you know, the world is your oyster. Watch video…
Ashley Mortimer, Advanced Schools teacher
“I think that parents’ evenings will be revolutionary, staff can have really meaningful discussions, because parents will have the information before they come. So to me INSIGHT has a huge, huge potential. Watch video…
Kirsty Gordelier, Science teacher
“…so I am finding it’s very, very useful in terms of being able to access information very quickly, in one place, and to know what information parents are actually accessing. Parents are saying, ‘”It’s brilliant!” It’s really, really useful because they can talk to their children at the end of the day and actually see that they’ve received several house points. Watch video…
Dawn Terry, PSHE & Citizenship teacher
“..I thought ‘oh no.. it’s a technical thing and I’m not going to be able to use it’. I took a look at it and was really, really impressed with how easy it is to use, and I didn’t need IT to teach me – I managed to have a look round it myself. Really easy to navigate, lots of information on there and I think it’s fantastic! Watch video
Del Hughes, Teacher of ICT & Progress Leader for Yr11
“…but INSIGHT is a massive tool! I can’t talk highly enough about it if I’m honest, because, one of the main ways we are going to try and do this is obviously by increasing communication with parents at home and this tool really allows us to be able to do that so, so easily! Already, i’ve had parents ringing me to talk about their child’s progress, not waiting for the reporting cycles to come round, not waiting for interim reports to go home, just ringing me up out of the blue to discuss CQs and have the sort of conversations that actually, we should be having, and they should be having with their children as well. Watch video…
Mark Ellis, Development Leader of ICT
“We really want to get this dialogue with parents going because in terms of raising achievement, that’s what the core business is, you have to have these conversations. What INSIGHT does is present an interface to students that is really comfortable, without being patronising. Children can pick out their own historic records and they can see subjects against each other. They then become part of the conversation in a meaningful way. Watch video…
Hamish Young, Head of Art
“I am expecting students using electronic portfolio to actually access their feedback and their current progress levels in Insight. Students will access their current assessment information, and also comments about what’s going on with their work and what they need to do to improve it. Watch video…
Martyn John, Senior Pastoral Leader
“Parents have access to information to know exactly what is happening with their child on a daily basis. In terms of their behaviour management and academic progress, and they can see exactly what their child has been ‘up to’ in school.
Lee Hampton, Parent
“I have found the software very easy to use; nice and simple, and it’s all categorised into various bits and pieces on the left. Nice simple menus to navigate your way through. I am really impressed with the software and can keep an eye on how he is going, without having to keep asking questions – that he gets very annoyed about! Watch video…
Kevin Stacey, Technical Manager
“INSIGHT, has I think, started some very interesting conversations. Excellent feedback and engagement with parents, we are targeting specifically behaviour, attendance and assessment data but many other features are available. This flexibility gives you the ability to tailor solutions specifically for your school. Watch video…
Glen Barber, Assistant Headteacher
“Our particular area has been in the development of INSIGHT for online reporting. The on-going assessment data we collect in SIMS just feeds directly onto INSIGHT. We create our reports in SIMS and then our documents are linked for everyone to access. In fact, we are going to go paper free and get our parents to look at reports online.”
PARS Connect
Adrian Underwood, Head of Science
“We have used PARS for a very long time and PARS is a valuable system. As a tutor helps me to put a student’s progress during the day. It gives me the instant feedback as to where the students been, whether they were in lesson, whether they were not in lesson, and also the behaviour management – the fact that it records the CQs and the house points. It is useful to me because it is up to date and very current and that’s what’s good about it.

Sarah Smith, Attendance Officer

“Use PARS for lesson by lesson monitoring registers done within first 10mins so can see very quickly which students are in and which aren’t. One of the useful features is that it has a whole load of filters. Uses ‘students not in filter’ for a very quick way to find out which aren’t in. From that does a lot of texting. Get a good response back from sent text msgs. Another benefit is, you can note down where students are if not in lesson. But difference is they are doing music lessons, then you can code them down as ‘in school, but not in designated lesson’. Like the letters in PARS. In other systems you can only put ‘late x number of times in a year’. In PARS you can put ‘late 25 times and its a total of 400 mins’. So from that parents can see that they’re arriving frequently late in the morning and can hopefully drop child off earlier. Watch video…..

Del Hughes, Teacher of ICT & Progress Leader for Yr11
“I use PARS on a daily and hourly basis from a registration perspective to keeping an eye, again, on students who turn up to lesson. You can see what house points they have or CQs they’ve had and that can be a little bit of a tool if I’m honest. The fact that when students come into a lesson and they have just had a CQ and its a nice tool to be able to use and I can say that, “Well look I can see that you’ve had a CQ so let’s see if we can sort of try and counteract it by getting a house point this lesson”. So I leave them alone for a bit. So having that as a visual thing, a visual stimulus and something that we can use, because the whole point of progress leader – not just increasing communication – not just raising achievement, but the ways in which we are going to do that to ensure that teachers are using data not once every reporting cycle, on a daily basis on a regular basis and again, this is another tool that enables us to do that. So, having that data there in front of us and we are looking at ways as well, of maybe incorporating other things into it. I mean it’s only recently we’ve started to put the numbers on so you can see how many house points students have. It’s not just the one sort of happy green face. We’ve got that, “Oh! That kid has had 3 house points today”. You know and that is brilliant! So that sort of thing is great because that is really going in the direction that we want to be going with our use of data. Data isn’t a static thing that sort of dusty and stacked away on SIMS in this old database. It’s something that we want people using on a daily basis to help inform their teaching. So, all in all the two systems together combine and it’s fantastic! It really going in the direction that we want it to go and taking us in that direction.
Mark Ellis, Development Leader of ICT
“The stuff that we’re getting from PARS is, you might think, just the same as what you get in a paper register. Yes it is at the core, but there is more to it than that and it’s the histories, the patterns and the accessibility of the data that makes it for us, absolutely glorious! The fact that you can use it as a messaging system – yes, helpful! We have got other messaging systems, but everyone goes onto their register. The fact that people can keep on top of the key absences – ‘looked after children’, things like that. People who are missing and shouldn’t be missing – we can pick that up. We’re never going to have a black hole. We counter count for a child. We know where they are. One of the jobs that is new to us, is the ability to monitor children really closely and pick out students who need good mentoring and need it today and not at the end of the reporting cycle because the data is coming regularly and is coming into the Progress Leader’s hands. They are able to be very responsive and say, “Well, why is there a problem there?” erm and go and deal with it in a way that I don’t think they could ever do if they were relying on paper communications. We are also able to put some of our Progress Leaders have been working on trying to put some reports on a daily basis, put into the system. As the register is taken, everything is available to the class teacher and they can communicate with whomever that needs communicating with on that single screenshot and we think that this is going to be a really useful tool.
Hamish Young, Head of Art
“In terms of using PARS as a registration tool, it is primarily used for that but we also have the capacity to reward students with house points and also to apply sanctions, in this case, CQs which would result in various forms of detention. The school is actually currently looking at ways to moving away from using detentions as a form of consequence and looking more to moving to a restorative point of view. The CQ marks you can put in PARS enables information about an incident or a particular type of behaviour that needs modifying to be passed to tutors and other members of staff to enable those restorative conversations that need to happen between adults to enable students to be modify their behaviour. So its a really really useful communication tool at the point of which an incident happens and that can inform other adults that need to know that particular time.
Martyn John, Senior Pastoral Leader
“The way that PARS is particularly useful to me and my role within the school is that it gives me immediate access to student details. As part of my role, I need to speak to students at short notice and PARS enables me to find out exactly where they are so that i have instant availability for all students. It also allows me to get a picture as to their behaviour within the school, both in terms of ‘conduct log’ and their collection of ‘house points’. PARS enables staff to have immediate access to that and we can tell on a day by day basis and a lesson by lesson basis how well they are performing in school. It is key as well in terms of contacting parents that very often we have to quick phone call them up home and we can immediately log on to PARS and we know exactly where that student is so when talking to parents, we can say, “Yes, that they have been registered in a particular lesson”, erm, which doesn’t happen very often at this particular school but obviously that sort of information is key to the school and the parents. So those are the main benefits we get from PARS.
Ashley Mortimer, Advanced Schools teacher
“We have been using PARS for quite a number of years now and its integrated well into our system now. The clever thing thats happened is that we have this simple single sign on in terms of username and password which saves us a whole load of problems and means that people use the software more easily and regularly.