Gameplay – Education

As I mentioned in my post on time and aging, I have a very thoroughly thought out education system in play in my game. I shall explain it here:

Primary school
I have a big school (I love that place) which took me weeks to build and decorate and has way too much stuff inside. The primary department is situated on the ground floor. There are six classes and kids are in a class with peers their own age. There are three yeargroups and two classes per yeargroup. Not every group has students every year. It depends on how many kids I have of one age. I keep a record of which kids are in which classes, complete with dates of birth etc.There are never more than six kids in a class. This is still something that comes from my schoolsystem in TS2. I couldn’t have more than six in a class then, because when the schoolpictures needed to be taken, all the kids, their teacher and the person taking the picture had to live in the school so I could control them all and get the picture. (I didn’t know how to make families bigger than eight then). Now, with mods and such, this wouldn’t be necessary anymore and I could have classes of over six. But I like it this way. It keeps things manageable.

The age/class system works this way:

Class 1: 5 and 6 year olds. Children start primary school the moment they turn 5. Whether this is in September, December, May or any other month. The month they have their fifth birthday is the month they start school, so technically I can have kids coming in to this class all year round. They leave they summer after they turn 7.

Class 2: 7, 8 and 9 year olds. Children go to this class the summer after they turn 7 and leave the summer after they turn 10. Much like the real life montessori system, kids are the youngest, the middle and the eldest in the class at some point.

Class 3: 10 and 11 year olds. Works the same way as class 2.

Apart from the six classes which are all designed to fit the agegroup occupying the class, the groundfloor of the school has a remedial teaching room, a teachers lounge, a janitor’s cupboard and several restrooms.

High school
My high school is in the same building as my primary school. On the first floor. Here, it’s all a little different. I have specialised classrooms here; Music, maths, world studies (geography and history), IT, science and art. The school gym and the headmistress’ office are also located here. The teachers working here are also specialised, The teens are still in their own agegroup though and the high school teachers all mentor a group.

The age/class system works this way:

Class 4: 12, 13 and 14 year olds. According to the same idea as class 2 and 3 of the primary department.

Class 5: 15, 16 and 17 year olds.

Class 6: 18 and 19 year olds. Teens stay at The Beehive until they are 20. That’s when they age up. I think of class 6 not so much as a regular high school class anymore, but more of a preparation for adult life. Teens can very much choose their own specialities in this class and can either continue to University after this class or start working in a lower paid job immediately.

At the end of high school, I have my teens take the aptitude test that came with the University EP. They can score up to 2400 points on this. I decided on a final exam scorelist that looks like this:

0 – 900 points: No graduation, retake the year.
900 -1200 points: You’ll graduate, but you won’t get accepted into university.
1200 -2000 points: Well done, you’re a graduate now with the possibility to attend university.
2000 – 2400 points: Woah! Excellent score! You’ll graduate with honors and can get a partial scholarship for university.

The entire school (called The Beehive) has a staff of nineteen (!) These nineteen sims all live in my town and have families etc of their own with whom I play. I don’t always play the school, it depends on my mood. Sometimes, when I’m with a certain teacher, or a certain child or teen I want to play the school and send them all there to play. I always play the school when it’s schoolpicture time though. This is every year in May. When I don’t play the school, everyone still goes to school there. The lot has several rabbithole rugs.

My lovely simfriend Rachel has created some amazing custom careers that function as University majors. I was fully planning on using those, but eventually found a way to have my sims take classes and also have part time jobs to pay for their education and/or living arrangements. I use Cherry’s evening school mod which I have tuned to my liking. I’m yet to try it out, so I’m not sure all the values I set are okay this way. The lessons are all in the mornings, from 9.00 to 13.00 (1 pm).
I created 9 “majors”. Art, Education, History, Linguistics, Medicine, Music and Science all take 4 years and my simmies have to earn 20 skill points in different areas in those years (idea adopted from the wonderful Sandy). Culinary takes 3 years and my simmies have to earn 15 points and Sports takes 2 years and they have to earn 10 points. In addition to the 20 (or 15/10) skillpoints, my sims also have to meet a final year requirement, like an exam if you will.
Each days my sims take a different class which teaches a different skill. I’ve made timetables per year for each major. Pasting the full sheets here would be a LOT of text, so you can view (or download by right clicking and choosing save as..) the sheets in PDF format below:

Uni class overview
Uni class timetables

These pictures are just to give an impression of the places I’m talking about. I shall post more pictures of both my school and my university in time on this blog. 

29 thoughts on “Gameplay – Education

  1. Your schools look amazing, as does the university! Love all those bikes lined up in the primary school shot – reminds me of the school I teach at!

    I have a question though, one I’ve always wondered about with TS3. How do you get everyone to come to a particular lot you want to play, like bringing all the students and teachers you need to your school? With Sullivan, I have a few options; I can teleport everyone in, I can throw a community lot party (a Squinge mod) or with my schools, I can just “enrol” everyone with Inge’s mod and they arrive automatically when I start school. I’ve never understood how TS3ers set up things like this though but I’d be very interested to find out!


    • Thank you Carla! I’m a teacher too, so I also got to draw from real life experience 😉

      Wow, I wish I had known about those mods when I played TS2! That would have made things a lot easier!
      In TS3, especially with Twallans Master Controller, there are a few ways to get sims in one place. You can very easily switch between families, select the sim you want and then teleport them into the school. The only problem with TS3’s “open neighbourhood” is keeping them there… They tend to leave when you activate another family… So I often lock them in when using this option. 😉
      Another option to get a lot of sims in one place is to just have someone invite over all the others, but there’s always a chance someone won’t show.
      Lastly, and this is what I usually do to get one class there, you can just put everyone you want in one family temporarily. This way you can control them all, so noone leaves. You can very easily add people to another household, so this usually only takes a few minutes. For the school, this is still my prefered method, because I then get to switch between sims and control them all like you would a family.
      Either way, it’s all a bit of a hassle. I would love for someone to create a TS3 mod, or mod option, with which you could just call a whole group of sims over to the lot. Actually, typing this, I suddenly realise maybe MC can do that… I’ll have to check that soon.


      • If MC can indeed do this, that would be great! I tried looking for the option one day, but I never really found anything. Hopefully a modder will come up with a way to “summon” sims to community lots in the near future. With the way things are going, I don’t think it’s too far off! 😀

        I was actually wondering if Inge’s ticket machine mod could be further refined to invite sims of certain professions or jobs to the lot. Hmm…


  2. Hey Kimmie!

    Wow, I love your school and university. Can you tell me how to tune the evening school mod? I have S3pe but am not quite sure how to change the mod.


    • Hi Enja, thanks for your nice words. Tuning the Evening School mod is not that hard. At the moment I can’t open S3PE to walk you through it, but I will do so later today and comment back.


  3. Thank you, Kim but the tool doesn’t work. I downloaded the mod and tried to browse the file but nothing happens. So I tried to paste the content of the file but that doesn’t work either. Do I need the tuning file of the mod and where do I find it?


    • The tuning file of the mod used to be up for download along with the mod on MTS. That’s how I got it anyway, I think… Maybe Cherry updated the mod since then and there no longer is a separate tuning file? My advice is you ask on MTS where the tuning file can be downloaded.

      Once you have it, it is also possible to tune the mod using S3PE.
      Here’s what you do:

      * Open S3PE
      * Choose file —> open
      * Find the file called CherryTS3.EveningSchool_Tuning.package.
      * You will see a file that says _XML. Click that and on the right you will see the strings show up.
      * When you right-click the XML file you can choose notepad from the menu.
      * This will open an adaptable note for this file. Here you can change the values for things like fee, starttime, endtime etc. Only change the digits, don’t delete the ” ” etc.
      * Once you’re happy with your values, save the note, then save the file.
      * Install the file in your game along with the Evening School mod itself.

      Hope this helps! Good luck!


  4. Ahhhh, why can’t I ever create things like this for my game!!! Just wondering, did you use twallans nraas portrait panel to control all the sims in one class from different households or make them all in one household?


    • Awww, I’m sure you can do it too! Or just borrow ideas from other people and make them your own, that works too 😉
      I usually either use MC (and portrait panel for a big class) to combine all the sims I need in one household temporarily, or switch between them with MCs “make active” option.


      • Wow thank you, to be honest I wasn’t expecting a reply so soon 🙂
        I might copy your idea of not having too many sims in a class, right now I have 30 children all in one household and I usually end up having to cheat to keep them from getting sad.


  5. Nope, I made a word document of my legacy family and my school, but that’s about it.
    Yeah, 30 is quite alot. 😦 But if I was removing kids from the class, I wouldn’t know who to remove 😦


    • Yeah, I get your dilemma! Would dividing them over several classes help? That way you wouldn’t have to get rid of anyone, they’d just be in another class. Of course I don’t play legacy style, so my way might not be feasible for you.


  6. I tried it and it worked:-) 🙂 🙂 😉 Thanks
    Now I have 2 classes, and i use portrait pannel when we go on school trips and have assemblies. I really like your idea of having a rabbit hole school, so that when I’m playing with 1 class the other class will still go to school.


    • Great! Having a rabbithole rug in the building really makes it playable 🙂
      I would love to see pictures of your schooltrips and assemblies. What a great idea 🙂


  7. This is a great Education system, Kimmie! 🙂
    Just a question; how are you working out skill points? Do you just go by the ‘1 to 10′ levels that show on the skill panel? How do you work out what is ’20 skill points’?
    I’d like a more clearer way of showing skill progress than the blue bar, as I can barely see it anyway due to vison problems. A numerical value mod would be useful (besides Awesome Mod). But since I can’t find one, I’m very interested in how you work out your skill points. Thank you! 🙂
    Desiree (DeeSim)


    • Hey Desiree! Thanks for your comment! I actually do simply use the game’s skill panel. By 20 skill points I don’t mean 20 point in one area, it’s 20 points divided over about 5 different skills. In the pdf file I put up for download you can see what I mean more accurately. Sorry I can’t help you more!


  8. How did you create your school? I thought when we sent children and youth off to school we could not control anything like when adults go to work. I am so fascinated. I’ve had the Sims for many years but I am just getting hip to using mods and customizing it


    • Hi Ann-Marie! Thanks for your comment. I built my school myself and use rabbithole rugs. I’m on my phone right now so I can’t give you a proper link, but a Google search for rabbithole rugs should be able to do that for you. 🙂
      When my kids and teens go to school normally they just disappear into the rabbitholes but, as you can see in my stories, I love using the school as a setting for various things happening in my town. In those cases I do play my school.
      Mods are awesome! I couldn’t play without mods to be honest. Good luck setting it all up. If I can help in any way, let me know! I would love to see what you do with your town and your simmies!


  9. So you put the rabbitholes in the buildings you build?I found a site with them!The rabbitholes make it able for you to control people at school and whatever?


    • I put the rugs in the buildings, but these just make sure the building functions as a school. I still can’t control my sims at work or school. When they go to work or school they enter the building and then dissappear into the rabbithole. You can’t actually follow your sims at school or work I’m afraid. But I do play out school-like events for which I use my school.


  10. um… i luv ur education system. can u pls post the link to the custom careers that function as majors? pls and thnx.


    • Hi! Thanks for the compliment. Unfortunately, the person who put up the custom careers as majors no longer has them up. 😦 Sorry for not being able to help you with this.


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