Introduction to Arbor Assessments for Secondaries

We know schools need to be able to see assessment data quickly and easily, so there are a number of assessment types available to set up on Arbor depending on your needs. 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. 

Grading scales

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 easily 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. 

Next steps

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. 

There are also additional Progress 8 analysis pages where you can see attainment 8 average, Progress 8 and average for each 'bucket' of courses snd see individual student marks.



Next steps

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.


Next steps

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