When moving from ScholarPack to Arbor, some of the language, page names and key areas will be named differently and may work differently from what you're used to.
In this article, we'll look at some of the areas in ScholarPack and their equivalent in Arbor that commonly cause confusion. Plus, we've included links to our guidance where you can find out how to get the most out of these areas in Arbor.
Arbor enables staff to access and take action with the data that's relevant and important to them.
In ScholarPack, your System Administrator chooses who can access the MIS - access is manually given usually to Teachers and administrative staff by creating a ScholarPack login. At Arbor, anyone can log in automatically (as long as they have an email address and a Business Role). This allows:
- all staff to take action, such as your lunchtime monitor recording behaviour incidents as they see them
- senior leadership to do any data analysis themselves, without relying on other staff to print out reports to pass to them
You can see more information on how staff access works here: What are Business Roles and Permissions in Arbor?, and how staff can log in here: Log in and out of the School MIS as staff and troubleshooting login issues
In Arbor, staff are presumed to be present unless:
- it is outside of their working hours - this is managed using working periods
- they have an absence logged - staff absences tell the system and the Workforce Census that the staff member was off. You can see a list of those staff members who aren't in school due to absence from School > All Staff > Absences.
You must use one of our staff absence codes, you cannot create your own like in ScholarPack - you can see more details on this here: Can we add a new staff absence type or category?
There is also optional functionality that exists in ScholarPack that isn't possible in Arbor. In ScholarPack, it is possible to mark staff as present in Admin > Personnel. Whether staff are marked present here doesn't impact staff absence statistics, but does bring these staff into the Fire List.
In Arbor, the equivalent of the Fire List (the Emergency Evacuation Register) does not include staff. It is not possible to store staff attendance in the same way as for students, with an attendance mark for a time period. This is because there isn't the same legal requirement to report on specific attendance sessions as for students, such as for the School Census.
In Arbor, Attendance is managed all from the Attendance area - get started with this area here: Attendance
'Opening the register' is when the teacher manually clicks into the register (they can do this from their homepage) to input the attendance codes. This can be done up to an hour before the session is scheduled to begin.
In Arbor, you set 'Roll Call times' across your whole school to determine which registers' attendance codes (more information on the available codes here) contribute towards your roll call attendance.
In ScholarPack you would have ticked a box to say the student is out all day in the morning's register. In Arbor, if you know a student or a group of students is going to be absent, you can easily add planned absences to fill the register with the right attendance code. It's the same process whether the student is out for the rest of the day, or for a longer period of time!
In Arbor, Attendance Patterns refers to a way nursery students can be added to certain registers based on when they attend, but doesn't choose which attendance mark should be used. If you wanted to pre-fill certain attendance marks for certain registers in the same way Patterns work in ScholarPack, you'd use planned absences here as well.
For your Fire List, you can use Arbor's Emergency Evacuation Register. Please note that this will give you a list of students in their Form Groups, but not staff.
Just like from Daily Check > Registers Taken in ScholarPack, it's easy to make sure teachers are completing registers. You can go to Students > Attendance > Incomplete Registers to view unopened and incomplete registers for any date, and send teachers reminders: Completing incomplete or unopened attendance registers
Unlike ScholarPack, not everyone can take all attendance registers. They have to be assigned to the register by being an Administrator, the Academic Lead or by having the session added to their calendar. You can see how to manage who can take attendance here: Giving permission to take attendance registers
We have a similar auditing tool as in ScholarPack to see who changed an attendance mark and when, by going to the student's profile: The audit log.
You can complete the same processes for following up with absent students, they just have different names in Arbor:
- For Students Not in School, you can use the Absentees by Date page to see students with Absent codes (such as N)
- For Students not registered, you can find gaps in your register or blank marks using the Raw Attendance Marks page
For reporting attendance trends over time, instead of creating a report in a special Reporting area, you can just jump straight to the Students > Attendance > Absentees reporting pages for out-of-the-box pre-built tables, that you can easily filter using inbuilt demographic groupings like Pupil Premium vs Not: Attendance reporting and analysis
If you do decide that you want to build a bespoke report to share outside of Arbor, we have lots of pre-built reports you can just import into your site's Custom Report Writer: Creating common Attendance reports
The Conduct area in ScholarPack allows you to record behaviour. For an introduction on what you can do with the Behaviour area in Arbor, take a look here: Behaviour in Arbor
In ScholarPack, there are a variety of different areas within Conduct that you can record behaviour, including Merits, Housepoints, Referrals, Incidents, Exclusions etc. In Arbor, you can't rename most of these areas with your own terminology:
- Behaviour Points - you can set up multiple point award scales for tracking different behaviour points. For example, you could set up the equivalent of Merits, Minuses or Housepoints.
- Behaviour notes - like Referrals in ScholarPack. You can't report on these, they're just for making notes about student behaviour.
In Arbor, you can set up 'automatic behaviour workflows' to record incidents and follow-up with them with detentions, exclusions or communications with guardians: Behaviour Workflows and Escalation
Depending on their level of access and permissions, staff can record behaviour points and behaviour incidents from a variety of places. You can see how this can be done here for points and here for incidents.
Teachers also have a special area just for them called the Lesson Dashboard, where they can manage everything about their current class. They can record behaviour for students from here in bulk, and see any students who are due to be out of lessons. Take a look at how the Lesson Dashboard works here: Managing my class from the Lesson Dashboard Overview
In ScholarPack, you may have used the old Steps area or the newer Simple Assessment area, which is most similar to how Arbor assessments work.
Be sure to take a look at our assessment glossary which will introduce you to the key assessment concepts in Arbor: Glossary of key terminology for Assessments. Here are some key differences:
- In ScholarPack, you would have used Classes to determine which groups of students will be used for assessments. In Arbor, you can set up marksheets for registration forms, class register groups, year groups etc.
- Checkpoints in ScholarPack are the equivalent of Assessment Periods in Arbor, to determine when data is input for assessments and how often.
- Linear or Standardised Schemes are referred to in Arbor as Rising or Flat grading scales.
We migrate only Statutory Key Stage data (Standardised Assessments and marks for students in these assessments). You can see where to find this information here: DfE statutory Primary Assessments
For other assessments that you previously set up in ScholarPack, you'll need to set these up. You can use Summative Assessments in Arbor to set up linear assessments using a pre-built template and grade set (like you would have used Steps or Simple Assessments for), or you can set up a custom assessment. Use our guidance to get started with Assessments and set them up, then import your assessment grades.
In Arbor, once you've set up and marked your assessments, any data entered into marksheets will immediately appear in your analysis pages. We've already created the tables and graphs you need, so click here to get started: Introduction to summative assessment analysis in Arbor
Arbor has similar functionality to ScholarPack for reporting, in that we have both pre-built reports, and an area where you can create your own bespoke reports.
The great thing about Arbor is that it's usually quickest and easiest to use the pre-built reports in the area of the system you want to report on, rather than creating a new custom report. All your reporting can be done in the same area as where you manage your data, without needing to go to a specific reporting section like in ScholarPack.
In most areas of Arbor, you can find tables of data for reporting purposes!
For example, our attendance reports are usually called the same thing (such as with Persistent Absentees). Instead of creating a report in Reporting, you can just jump straight to the Students > Attendance > Absentees reporting pages for out-of-the-box pre-built tables, that you can easily filter using inbuilt demographic groupings like Pupil Premium vs Not.
If you do decide that you need a bespoke report, you can use our Custom Report Writer. Just like in the Reporting and Custom Report areas in ScholarPack, you can use pre-built reports or ones you've designed. You can import a whole host of common reports from our Help Centre: Creating common Custom Report Writer reports
There aren't the same rows under each column header to filter your report, bin icons or sorting options. But you can still filter your data! Take a look at how filters, groupings and collations work, and how to make the most out of reporting by hiding columns, or using custom columns and formatting. You can also schedule the report to be sent out and shared with other staff.
The Reporting > Data Digger area in ScholarPack enables you to create Venn diagrams of students based on their characteristics. Although you can't create visual Venn diagrams in Arbor, you can still use something similar to create Dynamic or Static groups - Custom Groups!
- Dynamic Groups - these groups are created based on student characteristics such as whether they are FSM. In Arbor, many of these groups (such as EAL, Pupil Premium, FSM etc) are automatically created for reporting so you don't need to set them up. If you wanted to set up your own group where students are automatically added and removed, you'd set up a Custom Group with Automatic Membership Criteria.
- Static Groups - In Arbor, you would manually add or remove students from the Custom Group.
Your Custom Group will show a list of all the students in the group, like the Data Digger in ScholarPack. You can then use these groups across Arbor to filter reports, or send communications (like you did in ScholarPack for Static Groups, or Dynamic Groups you turned into Static Groups).
On the Dashboard on your Homepage in ScholarPack, your Live Feed tracks important things you should be notified about, such as new Conduct merits and absences.
In Arbor, we have a similar feature on the Homepage, referred to as To Dos and Alerts. Take a look at how these work, and what else you can do on your homepage in Arbor here: Your personalised Arbor Homepage
A Live Feed in Arbor refers to a method of extracting data in real time, into an external spreadsheet such as Google Sheets or Excel, so you can make reports outside of Arbor. You can see how these work here: Using Live Feeds
Year End procedures
At Arbor, we call the process of switching over to the new year at the end of the current year the New School Year Setup process.
In ScholarPack, the Admin > Year End section would be where you would archive attendance, create CTFs, off roll leavers and promote students into Form Groups for next year.
A similar process is done in Arbor - we also refer to it as 'promoting' your student groups. You can see how the whole process works here: New School Year Setup help and guidance
In Arbor, the academic year runs until the end of August, rather than the last good school day where attendance is taken. Because of this, you don't need to archive attendance in Arbor, and your site automatically moves over to the setup for next year on the 1st September. This means you can complete the New School Year Setup in Arbor at any point during the summer term.
If you want to Off Roll your leavers in bulk at the end of the academic year, you would have done this in Step 4 of your Year End process. In Arbor, this is done as step 2 of the New School Year Setup process - you also create CTFs in bulk from this same step.
You don't need to add a 7 year for students who have left, as you can just report on students who are no longer in your school, basing your reports on the time period they were in school. You can see how to report on the students who've left your school, and send communications to them here: See students who have left
Part of New School Year Setup process in Arbor includes adding the students to your site who will be joining you next year. Called Admissions in ScholarPack, we refer to these students as Applicants.
If you need to collect data for your applicants, you can use Data Collection Sheets (similar to the Capture Sheet in ScholarPack), or have parents and guardians add this detail themselves: Collecting data and consents for applicants starting in September
In ScholarPack, these students will have been Rolled Up into their first year, but in Arbor you need to add them to the Registration Form they'll be in - you can manage this process in the Students > Applicants area. If you don't have N1 students in your school, you don't need to add a -1 year for your admissions. Arbor treats students who haven't joined your school yet as not being in a year.
You can still report on admissions who haven't joined you yet, based on the future dates they will attend the school. You can see how to report on the students who've joined your school, and send communications to them here: See students that have joined, or create a bespoke report following these instructions: Reporting on Applicants