Glossary of key terminology for enrolment, timetabling and registers

What is Enrolment in Arbor?

Enrolment is how students are marked as students at your school, as being a part of different student groups, and is what determines which attendance registers they appear in.

  • Students who attend your school are 'enrolled' in your school.
  • You have different students 'enrolled' in each class.
  • When students join your school you need to 'enrol' them to say they have officially joined and will be attending your school.

In Arbor, you manage the:

  • course timetables (including lesson times and room locations) from the School > Timetable area.
  • the students in the attendance registers or in different groups from the Students > Enrolment area.

You can also manage these for individual students from the Enrolment section of their student profile.

Pastoral enrolments

Pastoral enrolments are ways to group students together. Pastoral is the provision a school makes to ensure the physical and emotional welfare of pupils. 

Year Groups

This information is collected in the census, so you'll need to make sure you have one Year Group for each age category of students.

Registration Forms

Registration forms will either be:

  • a mix of students from different year groups
  • a year group split into one, two or more groups of students

They can be used when setting up your timetable to schedule classes for the same group of students. Any student added to the registration form will be also added to the class register if Automatic Enrolments are set up (see the section below).

These are then assigned to a Form Tutor who will take attendance. They will also be able to track and monitor their student's enrollment and demographics. 


These are optional. You can use these in your reporting, for example to see the number of behaviour points awarded for each House to drive team spirit.

Academic enrolment

Academics are more focused on departmental attainment and their team's well-being.

In Arbor, your courses will be organised into different 'levels' (sometimes referred to as modules or a course hierarchy) to help organise your classes with different subjects together.

For example, here are two example structures with a top, middle and bottom-level course. You can read more about our recommended course structure here: Building a course hierarchy in Arbor


  • Top-level course - The top-level course acts as the subject to group all your classes together. Grouping classes together in this way means that you can set up certain assessments only for specific subjects, or group your reporting. Each mid-level course is a 'component of' a top-level course.
  • Bottom-level course - Bottom-level courses sit within your mid-level courses. These courses are the ones that will have timetable slots scheduled against them. Students need to be enrolled in the bottom-level courses, as this is what created your registers to take attendance with. Each bottom-level course is usually a 'component of' a mid-level course, but it could be a component of the top-level course directly.
  • Module - This is the generic term for top-level, mid-level and bottom-level courses you'll see within the MIs, where you can add component modules within a course.

Methods of enrolment

There are a few different ways to add students in bulk into registers in Arbor - you don't need to enrol students one at a time.

Automatic enrolment

Automatic enrolment is a way of adding all students who are in a particular student group or register, into another register.

Automatic enrolments

You can choose to have a Registration Form pastoral group that automatically enrols students into the Registration form register.

Attendance patterns

These can be used with Automatic enrolments to enrol certain students in certain registers depending on when they should appear in registers. For example, if you have an Automatic enrolment set up to enrol Morning only students into your register, a student with a Morning only attendance pattern will appear in your AM registers. You can see more about these here: What are Attendance Patterns?

Teaching Groups

You may have used the term 'Teaching group' in your previous MIS. This can be confusing when you move to Arbor, as a Teaching group is used to enrol students who share the same classes into their registers using an Automatic enrolment. 

However, TimeTabler also uses the term 'Teaching group' to refer to classes, so bear that in mind if you will be importing from TimeTabler.

You can see more about using Teaching Groups in Arbor here.

Manual enrolment

There's a few ways you can add students to registers in bulk which don't require an Automatic enrolment. These are best when there isn't a 'one size fits all' solution to which students should appear in which registers.

You can see how to use our bulk enrolment spreadsheet, or using our bulk page here: Bulk enrol students to add them into lesson registers

Timetabling and Ad Hoc student groups

Custom Groups

Custom groups (sometimes referred to as user-defined groups in other systems) can be used to manage groups of students, guardians or staff for specific purposes, such as filtering on our built-in reporting pages or contacting them with communications.

Alternative curriculums

In some MISs, there's a different area to schedule an 'alternative curriculum' for students who will be out of lessons. You'd then need to set up an Intervention in a separate area to track their progress against their goals.

In Arbor, this can all be done in one place with timetabling built-in using Interventions.

TimeTabler or Edval

We integrate with TimeTabler and Edval so you can more manage timetabling and enrolment of your students into the right courses. 

If you use Edval or Timetabler, you can make edits to your timetable either in Arbor or in your timetabling system. Take a look at our guidance for the best way to make timetable changes depending on the scale of your changes: Should we edit our timetable in Arbor or import a new one?

Timetable slot

This is the event that appears in staff and student timetables and calendars. Staff can click the timetable slot in their calendar to access the Lesson Dashboard and take the register for the timetable slot.

Enrolment mode

If no mode has been selected, the system will assume the student is a single registered student and that your school is the only school the student attends. Some other options are Dual registration and Guest Pupil (also to be used if you record nursery pupils from another PVI provider - you can see more about this here).


Depending on what staff have been assigned as determines whether they can take the register.

Academic Lead

This is the main teacher for the class. They are assigned to the class register, and can do additional things like mark assessments and give assignments.

Form Tutor

This is the staff assigned to the Registration Form pastoral group. Staff must also be added as the Academic Lead of the actual class to be able to take the register etc.

Timetable Slot staff

You can add additional staff that are not the main teacher to the registers themselves to enable them to see the lesson in their calendar and take the register, but not give them administrative ability.

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