Assigning strands to assessment periods and using them in marksheets

What are strands?

You can set up multiple strands when setting up your summative assessment, that feed into an overall mark. There are two different calculation methods for how your strands are used to calculate the overall mark:

  • SUM - each strand mark is added up together to a total.
  • Average - all strand grade values are added together then divided by the number of strands to get an overall average grade. You can choose to assign strands different weightings, so they'll have greater impact on the overall mark.

When you create strands, the summative assessment becomes a parent assessment, with each strand marked independently but feeding into the overall parent assessment’s grade. You are able to create as many strands as you need for your assessment.

Here’s an example of how strands can be used to assess a student using strands:

‘Parent’ Assessment: Yr 7 Science 100% weighting
Strand 1 : Reactions 11.11%
Strand 2 : Acids & alkalis 11.11%
Strand 3 : Adaption & inheritance 11.11%
Strand 4 : Ecosystems 11.11%
Strand 5 : Healthy lifestyles 11.11%
Strand 6 : Electricity & Magnetism 11.11%
Strand 7 : Motion & pressure 11.11%
Strand 8 : Practical 11.11%
Strand 9 : Exams 11.11%


Strand rules

  • You must name each of your strands, but creating a short name for your strands is optional.
  • The combined total weighting of your strands must total 100%.
  • The minimum weight of a stand is 5%.
  • You cannot manually enter an equal weight for an odd number of strands that results in a split that relies on recurring decimal places, e.g 33.33% for each strand. You must use the equal weight feature for these scenarios.


Assigning strands to specific Assessment Periods

When you create strands as part of your summative assessment, your strands will automatically be applied to all of the assessment periods that have been assigned to the parent assessment.

For instance, if you have created a summative assessment and have chosen a half-termly assessment period and your school has the typical 3 terms per year, then all of your strands will appear in each assessment period, with a total of 6 instances of strands that you can enter marks for.

Assigning strands to specific Assessment Periods

In some cases, a strand may only be taught and assessed in some of the assessment periods. For instance:

  • 'Numbers' might be a strand of your 'Maths' parent assessment, but it is only taught in the first term of the year.
  • One of your strands is the final exam of the module. Therefore, you would only need to assess this strand in the final assessment period for that assessment in an academic year. 

To specify which assessment period a strand can be assessed in, go to the Students > Assessments > Annual Policy > Manage AssessmentsSelect your summative assessment with strands.



From the Assessment Overview, click the field containing Strand Assessment Periods.



Each assessment period will have a check-box for each strand. To remove a strand from an assessment period, simply un-tick the relevant strand box and then click 'Update Assessment Periods' at the bottom of the slide over.

Please note: You can only remove strands that do not already have any marks entered for an assessment period. Please ensure the strand is blank before attempting to exclude the assessment period.


How do we set different targets for each strand?

You can set overall targets in the same way you would set targets for assessments without strands: Adding and locking Baselines and Targets

If you want to set a target for each strand, you'll need to do this from the Academic Unit marksheet.


What other aspects of strands can I edit?

To edit your strands for an assessment, go to the Students > Assessments > Annual Policy > Manage Assessments. Click the + next to the assessment name then click the strand.



Can we add or delete strands?

If you wish to add or delete strands, please contact the Arbor Support Team if supported by Arbor, or your Support Partner if not supported by Arbor

This is because once a summative assessment with strands setup has been completed, you cannot add a new strand or delete any of the current strands. You will need to back up any assessment data, delete the assessment, create a new one and re-upload the backed up data.



What do strands look like in a marksheet?

In the markheet (we're looking at the Academic Unit marksheet), for each assessment period, baseline or target, you'll have a column for each strand, and an average or SUM column (depending on the calculation method chosen).

As with all marksheets, to enter a mark for one of your strands, you must ensure you have selected a date in the filter that falls within the relevant assessment period you are trying to enter marks for. In the example below, the parent assessment has been created with termly assessment periods, so I've set the filters to a date in summer term.


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