Begin - (Secondaries) Introduction to Arbor Assessments

Begin, Build, Boost

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




  • 00:00 - Introduction to Assessments
  • 04:30 - What types of Assessment can be recorded, and what summative, formative and ad hoc assessments are
  • 17:30 - Summative assessment marksheets
  • 38:40 - Summative assessment analysis
  • 43:00 - Formative assessment markbooks
  • 46:30 - Formative assessment analysis
  • 48:40 - Reporting in the Custom Report Writer


Why use Arbor Assessments?

There are a number of assessment types available to set up on Arbor depending on your needs.

Why use Arbor to manage assessments?

Arbor Assessments is more than a tracker it's an integral part of your MIS. Create, enter, track and analyse all your assessment types in one system.

Here are some of the benefits of managing your assessments in Arbor:

  • Understand your data using familiar Arbor tools (seven built-in analytics screens as well as custom reports)
  • Take action straight from your Assessment data - add pupils to interventions, send a message home, flag to another staff member and more
  • Keep parents in the loop on pupil progress through the Parent Portal and the Parent App
  • Cut down on assessment admin with straightforward marksheets, customisable report cards and automatic reminders for data collection 

The best thing is, you don’t have to be an expert to set up your assessments in Arbor. Use our handy guide below to choose a ready-to-go assessment approach, and get going straight away.  



What features are included in my package?

We have loads of different features that you can use to input, track and analyse progress and attainment. To find out how to upgrade your package, get in touch with your Account Manager.





Other requirements

Summative tracking default or custom marksheets


Progress and attainment analysis for summative assessment


DfE Assessment analysis

Cannot use the built-in page for Primaries, but can export or use the Custom Report Writer

Built-in Report Cards (Long, Short and External)

Our newest Core package only

Have Parent Portal and App switched on to share these

Custom Report cards


Our newest Comms package only

Have Parent Portal and App switched on to share these

Improve attainment and progress over time with Interventions





What are the different assessment types?

To see more information about our assessment types and the names for different areas, please see: Glossary of key terminology for Assessments

We find secondary schools tend to use these assessment types:

Summative Tracking

Use Arbor’s Summative Tracking to record assessment results at key points throughout the year to measure student's overall knowledge and progress.

You can create your own custom grade scales and grade sets (choose these when setting up the assessment) to record assessments on a monthly, half-termly, termly or annual basis. You can create custom workflows around data collection cycles to notify and monitor the collection process closely.

You can also set target rules to specify the progress or attainment a student should make within a year and identify children who are not on track to achieve their end of year target. 

Within Summative tracking, you can follow one of two types of grading scale:

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 7 working at expected standard would be expected to be working at expected standard in year 8.

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 7s to year 11s are all graded on a progressing grade scale, your year 7s will likely be all graded with a U, leaving little room for analysis.

A progress grade scale

Using a progressing grade scale, students are graded every year from the same grade set e.g. GCSE 1-9. For example, a student in year 9 working at level 2 might be expected to be working at level 6 by Year 11.

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 identify students who require more support. 


Students can be marked on a progressing grade set, showing progress across multiple assessment periods and across years, within one assessment. 

Progress 8

Progress 8 assessments are a type of summative assessment available in Arbor, used by secondaries to measure the progress of KS4 students. You can see further details of how Progress 8 works here.

Use Arbor’s Progress 8 assessments to record subject-specific assessment results with a pre-determined grade set - all you need to do is choose the course to link the assessment to and choose how often the student will be assessed.

Like summative assessments, you can set target rules to specify the progress or attainment a student should make within a year and identify children who are not on track to achieve their end of year target, and you can use the same summative assessment analysis pages. 

Ad Hoc Assessments

Ad hoc assessments can be used to assess things normally not collected in summative tests, or for extra non-academic assessments you would like to record. They can be recorded at one point in the year or can be recorded regularly to accompany a grade achieved in a summative assessment by linking the ad hoc to the summative assessment marksheet. You can choose to assess all your students for all subjects, or only assess a specific subject or key stage.

There are two types of Ad Hoc assessments:

  • A stand-alone assessment - an assessment not linked to a particular subject or class, such as swimming distances. The assessment won't appear in marksheets and has its own separate area where marks can be input.
  • A linked Ad-hoc assessment - an assessment to support monitoring of students alongside their subject grades, such as an Attitude to Learning assessment. The ad hoc can be linked to particular courses and appear on the marksheet alongside their summative/progress 8 assessments.




How do we get started?

To get set up with all the assessments you'll need, click the button below to jump to the next step in your journey.

We'll walk you through how to set up your own assessments from scratch, or you can use our ready-to-go assessment approaches for science, technology and english.

Build - Set up assessments

Do you offer training?

Our Customer Education specialists can offer in-depth support on how to use the areas covered in Begin Build Boost, and beyond for other areas of Arbor. Depending on the area, there are Foundation sessions, more in-depth consultations or a bespoke session.

To discuss what would best suit your school's needs, please contact your Account Manager.

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