The following order forms are available to download:
The following documents are responses to our most frequesntly asked questions:
Is there a way to speed up the input of my student details?
Yes. Many schools are provided with or compile the details of their new students on disk or in school administration software. It is a very quick process to copy and paste the essential details onto the “List” sheet. If you are not sure how to do this there is sure to be a colleague familiar with the process of copying into Excel. Use their expertise to save you time.
How do I print a sheet?
You can choose to print any chosen area of a sheet simply by highlighting the area using the mouse drag technique and then clicking “File” “Print Area” and “Set Print Area”. Then choose to print. If you wish not to print a certain column, click in the column and click "Format" "Column" and "Hide" before printing.
I think I have messed up the Factors sheet because the "Build" routine doesn't seem to work. Can I recover it?
Yes. Open up a fresh version of the Student Sorting Kit (from a backup copy or use the original disk to reinstall it to a different area). Then simply copy and paste your current student data into the fresh copy.
Why are some students not with their friends?
This happens when:
I’m getting a large difference between the total numbers of students in the classes
This can happen if you are using the "Initial SPACE Surname" method and have not ensured there are no ambiguous names being used. Always run the Student Detail Check before assigning students to classes.
What are the differences between 'Text', 'Integer' and 'Real' categories?
You choose 'Text' if you are going to use letters or combinations of letters and numbers. You choose 'Integer' if you just want to use single whole numbers. You choose 'Real' if the students' can be assigned any number (including decimals) and you want the program to group them into certain ranges such as 1.5 to 4.3, 4.3 to 8.7, 8.7 to 12.5 etc.
All my categories are well balanced but my Males and Females are not. What can I do?
Go to the factors sheet and increase the weight of the Male and Female categories. Then open the Utilities sheet and press the "Build" button. This will force the sorting routine to give more consideration to the gender balance. An increase of just 1 will usually do the trick.
Macros – how do I enable / allow them to run?
When you open the Student Sorting Kit, you may find that clicking the Utilities sheet simply produces a darkly shaded page with a message about enabling macros. This will happen if your Excel security settings are set to disable macros (the Kit’s programming code).
If you are using versions of Excel from 1997 to 2003 (including that in Office XP), do the following:
If you are using Excel 2007 or later, there are several important points to note
Excel 2007 will automatically load with settings that disallow macros. A message will appear above your worksheet saying “Security Warning – Some active content has been disabled”. An options button will follow the statement. If you press the button, you can simply choose to “Enable this content”. After clicking OK, the macros will be activated.
If you want Excel 2007 to allow the macros to run without having to give permission every time you open the Kit, you must use the “Trust Center”.
Note that Excel 2007 will automatically open the Student Sorting Kit 2008 in “Compatibility Mode”. This is perfectly acceptable and will not prevent the Kit from functioning normally. However, there are different ways of saving Excel workbooks in Excel 2007. Using "save as";
The following are comments received from schools since the launch of the Student Sorting Kit (in 2000)
Yes, previous to 2000, this is what my school used to create the eight tutor groups from our new intake - a cork board! On the board would be pinned coloured labels containing names of students and positive friends, each tagged with various symbols and colour dots representing factors such as gender, ability band, ethnic group etc. Gradually, over several weeks, the "Transition Manager" would reposition the labels until she had, what she thought, was eight "balanced" groups
Unfortunately it was often the case that, when the new term started, her efforts were rewarded with various complaints from teachers about some classes being more "difficult", "bright", "unharmonious" than other classes. Naturally the question arose as to the possibility of developing a system which could achieve better results (and more easily). Several months later, the Student Sorting Kit was handed over for testing.
In its original form, the following factors were identified as being important to balance across tutor groups:
whilst allowing you to:
After successful testing, we were surprised by the intense interest from other transition managers and it soon became clear that, if we were to release it, we would need to allow schools to reconfigure the application to meet their exact requirements.
In September 2001, over 200 UK schools used the Student Sorting Kit. Today, it is used by more than 2000 UK schools and colleges and is also in use as far away as Australia, Singapore and the United States.
We are a small family team. Our developer has worked in schools for over thirty years as a maths teacher, timetabler, assessment manager and computer programmer. Our support and training person worked for many years in an international financial software company. She gave this up so that we could offer one-to-one support to our customers (and our daughter!)
In addition to developing the Student Sorting Kit we have designed:
One of our most popular web solutions is the "Year 9 Options Site" examples of which are:
Every now and then, a teacher asks if we have already written or, if not, can produce a little time-saving application. In such cases, our programmer delves into his vast archive of self-made applications (generated as off-shoots of his 28 years work in secondary school). Sometimes he finds "just the thing" that's needed or decides that he could do with the entertainment.
Here are some such programs, created in our programmer's leisure time. We thought you might like to try them: