Build - (Primaries) How to set up Assessments

Begin, Build, Boost

You're at Build, the second step in your school's journey to getting the most out of assessment in Arbor!



Let's take a look at how to get your assessments set up in Arbor. You can then add baselines and targets (to help track student progress) before handing over to student's teachers to input their grades.

How long will it take?

This is an estimate for each assessment set up. The more assessments you have, the longer the setup, and the more time teachers will need to spend recording marks.

  • Check your Grade Sets - 5 minutes
  • Add the assessment to your framework - 5 minutes
  • Mark courses as assessable - 1 minute
  • Check your Assessment Periods - 5 minutes
  • Add the assessment to your policy - 5 minutes
  • Set targets - 15 minutes


How do we set up assessments in Arbor?

We offer two pathways for setting up assessments in Arbor.

Out-of-the-box frameworks for Reading, Writing and Maths

First, you'll need to decide which grade set you want to use (flat or rising) with our quiz: Which summative assessment framework should we use?

A flat grade scale

Using a flat grade scale, a student is classed as making the expected level of progress if they achieve the same grade (or greater) each assessment period. For example, a student in year 1 working at Developing would be expected to be working at Developing in year 2.

This scale is used for assessments spanning many years of assessments, as it provides greater granularity for tracking against age-related expectations. For example, if your year 1s to year 6s are all graded on a progressing grade scale, your year 1s will likely be all graded with the lowest grade, leaving little room for analysis.

A rising grade scale

Using a progressing grade scale, students are graded every year from the same grade set e.g. Y1E Y1D Y1S, Y2E Y2D Y2S etc. For example, a student in year 1 working at Y1D would be expected to be working at Y2E by the start of year 2.

This scale can be simpler to explain to parents as they can see what the student needs to work towards. It's used to track student's progress at key points in the academic year, analyse whether students have made a certain number of steps of progress, and easily identify students who require more support. 

An example of a rising grade scale, available as part of our ready-to-go assessments.

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Next, you can set up your assessments with our guides:

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Set up your own assessments

First, you'll need to decide on the grading scales you'll use for your assessments. Follow this article to decide: What grade scale should I set up for my assessment?

Next, you can set up the actual assessments. Click the links below for helpful articles on how to set up each type of assessment:

Here's a video on how to set up an example summative assessment.

Step 1 - Define your Assessment Framework

The Assessment Framework includes all the supporting information that makes up an assessment, such as the grades that are used or the name of the assessment. You can manage grade point scales and grade sets, assessments that can be added to the Annual Policy and the marksheet settings such as which columns should be shown.

As Assessment Frameworks are typically only created once and last for a number of academic years (grade sets and the course name rarely change), this part of the assessments is separated out for a simpler yearly setup process.

Go to Students > Assessments > Assessment Framework > Assessment Catalogue to see all the assessments available at your school to run, and add new assessments.

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Step 2 - Check your assessable courses

Once you have defined your Assessment Framework, you'll need to make sure you will be able toassess all the courses that should be assessed from Students > Assessments > Annual Policy > Assessable Courses.

Step 3 - Add assessments to your Annual Policy

The Annual Policy includes all aspects of assessments that are specific to an academic year, such as which assessments students are taking and Data Collection dates. In this section, you will also be able to manage your assessment periods, assessable courses, curriculum expectations, and schoolwide targets for the year. You'll need to add assessments to your Annual Policy every year to select which of your assessments you'll be using.

Go to Students > Assessments > Annual Policy > Manage Assessments to add your assessments.




Recording assessment data

Once your assessments have been set up, you'll need to create 'flightpaths' for students by setting targets.

Here's a video on how to set targets for an example summative assessment.

Summative tracking

To set targets:

  • You can manually set targets from the Baselines & Targets page by adding them or importing them.
  • You can also set up Attainment or Progress Target rules to automatically set targets for groups of students within an assessment so that these don’t have to be set manually.

You can see how to add these here: Adding and locking Baselines and Targets


You can edit your Target Judgement rules to colour code your mark sheets depending on how you students are doing in their assessments relative to their targets.

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Formative tracking

For your curriculum assessments, you can set formative assessment curriculum expectations in Curriculum Expectations.



If you use summative and formative assessments, see below for how to input your marks and analyse them. To save time, if you use both together you can use curriculum assessments to suggest summative assessment grades - see how this works here

Here's a video on how to import marks into an example summative assessment.

Summative tracking

The marksheets are accessible in different ways by different people:

Once your marks have been put in, view analysis for Summative, Ad Hoc and 3rd party Standardised Assessments (such as Hodder) in the Analysis section.  

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Formative Tracking

Enter marks against the curriculum and statements you've set up from Students > Assessments > Formative Tracking > Mark Entry.

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Once you've put some marks in, you can view analysis and track your student's progress through the curriculum using the curriculum analysis pages.

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What's next?

So you've set up your assessments, you've got teachers to start entering marks and you're wondering what else you can do with them? Jump to the next part of your journey to Boost your school to the next level where you'll see how to: 

  • Report on and analyse your assessment data effectively
  • Customise your marksheets
  • Bring assessment data into other areas of Arbor

Boost - Make the most out of Assessments

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