Ahead of booking your Assessment Consultation, we advise you read this article to find out more about what to expect and how to prepare for your session.
Your Assessment Consultation will be delivered by one of our Customer Education Specialists or External Consultants. These people specialise in training on assessments and either have a background of working in schools as a teacher or SLT member, or experience in training school’s on data and systems relating to Assessments.
The consultation will start with an e-learning course on the Arbor Training Hub ~ 1 hour. This course includes a demonstration of the assessments module including the key features of Arbor Assessments. It also has details of a consultation document so you can be prepared to bring the information ready for the 2 hour live consultation session with the trainer.
Within this time your Customer Education Specialist will demonstrate some of the key features of Arbor Assessments (especially areas which may differ most from your current assessment system). They will then work with you through a questionnaire developed to identify your needs as a school/trust in order to create a clear training and setup plan for you.
Once the consultation is complete, the Customer Education Specialist will go away and write up an Assessment Framework and Training Plan for you to review and sign off. It is vital this is agreed and signed off before any training takes place because if changes are required during the training process this could lead to additional costs to ensure you have the time available to make the changes and get your assessments up and running on Arbor.
In some cases, you may be required to purchase additional time for consultation if you have very complex requirements or are a large trust with different phases and requirements. You also may find the Consultation will run under the 3 hours booked in. In these cases the Customer Education Specialist will use any remaining time to ensure you have a clear framework and plan and may even create some example assessments for you to review on their site before signing off the framework and plan.
Assessment Consultations work best when the right people are on the call/ in the meeting. The most important person to join the consultation is the decision maker - this could be a Head Teacher, Trust CEO or Member of SLT in charge of data and curriculums. Moving systems is a great time to review current policies and make amendments and because the way you do things currently may need to be tweaked to work effectively in Arbor as no two assessment systems are the same.
We also advise that the person or people who will be creating and managing the assessments is at the consultation. They will be able to help answer questions on the day to data workings of assessment in your school and the reports that are required for different users including SLT and parents.
If either of these people are unavailable, we would recommend rescheduling for when they are all free to join together as this allows everything to move ahead within the consultation and a better experience for all involved.
The main thing to do is to review your current policy internally before joining. You should discuss what data you collect, how it is collected and what you do with the data. This process will help you identify areas you might want to change due to their lack of impact or increase on workload or it can help identify what you want to continue using due to prior successes and feedback from users and parents.
Next you will want to review your reporting - consider what reports you need and for who. You can either gather some example reports together that can be shared ahead of or during the consultation. This will give the Customer Education Specialist an idea of your end goal and so they can ensure that the data going in is able to produce the required reports.
Finally, don’t forget to consider the different types of assessments you run on top of your Summative tracking or data drops.
- Do you use any third parties for assessments, e.g CAT score or Reading ages, and if so does this data need to be in Arbor or is it collected elsewhere?
- Do you use third parties for analysis such as Sisra or 4matrix and do you plan to keep these systems going forward?
- Do you store any additional data at certain points in the year e.g. mock grades, test scores or Attitude to Learning scores.
Here are some questions to consider ahead of your Consultation:
- What works well with your current assessment policy and what could be improved?
- How do different teams feel about the current policy and processes? Does this have a high or low impact on their workloads? If it is high, what could you do to reduce this?
- Do parents find the data you share with them easy to understand and useful?
- What are your key areas to improve that can be identified via assessments e.g Maths attainment in PP boys? Is there anything in our school improvement plan that we need to consider in relation to this?
- What other assessment systems do we use? Do we want to keep them or do we hope Arbor can replace them?
- If you’re a Trust, how do you want to align practices? Where can you provide standardisation and where can schools be autonomous?