How Arbor can support your school as you reopen

blank Maddie Kilminster - 4 March, 2021

Category : Blog

How Arbor can support your school as you reopen

As schools return fully this week, we’ve pulled together a list of the main ways Arbor is here to help. From getting your timetable set up to full capacity, to keeping your online learning provision running alongside it, we’ve made it easy to follow the new government guidance, whilst creating a positive working culture for

As schools return fully this week, we’ve pulled together a list of the main ways Arbor is here to help. From getting your timetable set up to full capacity, to keeping your online learning provision running alongside it, we’ve made it easy to follow the new government guidance, whilst creating a positive working culture for your staff.

Check out The Key for School Leaders for further resources to help you plan your reopening here.

1. Set up your timetable flexibly

Following the guidance that schools should return to a full timetable without bubbles or rotas, it’s simple to update your timetable and classes in Arbor in the ways you need to. You can also arrange staggered start and finish times by adjusting your Statutory Roll Call times, as well as kickstarting your Breakfast or After School clubs, all within Arbor. 

Thanks to our integration with TimeTabler, you can also create your timetable with added flexibility, with an instant import straight into Arbor.

As soon as your classes are set up, your Lesson Dashboard will be up to date with all your students’ information. Create your new seating plans with all the demographic information you need to hand in My Classroom, our all-in-one classroom management tool.

2. Track, trace and test your students and staff 

To help you deliver Covid-19 testing for your students and staff, we’ve made it easy to track everything in Arbor with our new Testing Register. Schedule regular tests for staff and students, see who is due for a test each day, manage guardian consents, update test results and log confirmed cases.

What’s more, Arbor’s My Classroom is a really handy way to trace contact between students by using our live seating plans. 


3. Keep a close eye on attendance

With mandatory attendance back in force, Office Staff need quick access to attendance data at their fingertips. Arbor makes it easy to track all attendance and absence information, including new DfE sub-codes, spot patterns and follow up with guardians straight from built-in attendance dashboards. Plus, staff absences are flagged to everyone who needs to know, making arranging cover simple.

We’ll be sending out some resources soon to support Arbor schools with attendance analysis this term, so watch this space!

4. Complete your DfE form in minutes 

To save you time completing the DfE’s Daily Form, Arbor’s Covid-19 Dashboard crunches the numbers for you, giving you all the student attendance data you need to submit in the form each morning. 

Your Dashboard is up-to-date with the latest attendance codes and categories that the DfE is tracking, including key vulnerable categories and confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19. Click on each category for a breakdown by year group and a full list of students.

For a MAT-level overview, you can use Arbor’s Group MIS for an overview of all your student and staff data. Monitor attendance patterns, student and staff absence, key disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and manage Covid-19 related issues centrally.


5. Give students and staff access to school at home 

As some students might be isolating or shielding, you’ll need to ensure they can still access learning from home. Thanks to Arbor’s integration with Google Classroom™, all your student and staff information syncs automatically into your Google Classroom™ account, saving you any manual data entry. What’s more, once you’re set-up, data syncs every 24 hours, meaning your information is always up-to-date.

Because Arbor MIS is cloud-based, all school data can be accessed securely away from the school site, which means there won’t be any disruption to daily tasks and admin if a member of staff has to work from home.

6. Get your meals back up and running

With your kitchens reopening, it’s easy to restart your meals provision in Arbor. Either align your meal sittings with your new timetable or create different meal times for groups of students.

If you need to arrange meals for FSM students who are still at home, Arbor generates all the information you need to submit to your voucher service.

7. Support your vulnerable students

In Arbor, it’s easy to pull together custom reports on key demographic groups, including children with EHCP, child protection status, FSM, and children of key workers at school or MAT level. Given that Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) staff and students have been told to shield at home, you’ll easily be able to track their attendance, send out communications or add them to an intervention in Arbor.

Arbor’s in-built safeguarding features also help you keep on top of any changes to your students’ circumstances – from automatic notifications on the Homepage when any student records change, to medical notes and key pastoral information flagged on every Lesson Dashboard.  

Check out our most popular blogs on supporting vulnerable students:

8. Communicate clearly with your school community

Forget switching between systems or uploading or downloading contact lists, in Arbor you can follow up with parents, students or other staff members as soon as you spot something important, from wherever you are in the system. Simply choose the method that’s best for your message – from an email, an SMS, a mail merge letter or an Arbor App message.

Click here to see how Arbor’s communications allowed The Parks Academies Trust to improve the way they contacted hard-to-reach students during the pandemic. Check out three top tips for communicating with your staff, parents and guardians from our Head of Support, Emily, here.

We’re here to help

During all the change over the next few weeks, don’t forget the Arbor Team is here to support you.

  • Check out the Help Centre – We’ve put together a page dedicated to everything you need to manage your school during Covid-19 with Arbor
  • Join us live – We’re hosting a range of webinars this term, including sessions with tips and tricks for Arbor users, and sessions open to everyone to learn more about Arbor. Check out what’s coming up here
  • Join the community – If you’re an Arbor user, join the Arbor Community of fellow schools where you can share advice, best practice and learn from each other
  • Get in touch: Our Support Team are here from 8:00am-5:00pm Monday to Friday on email, phone and webchat, or you can book a 1:1 15-minute Support Slot

You’re invited to ArborFest!

Whether you’re already using Arbor, or if you’re hearing about us for the first time, everyone is invited to ArborFest – our virtual conference on 18-19th March! From workshops and talks to an exciting keynote speech by Mary Myatt – we’ve got tons of sessions all dedicated to exploring innovative ways of working with Arbor MIS.   

If you’re new to us, there are also lots of opportunities to discover how schools and trusts like you are transforming the way they work with Arbor MIS. 

Find out what’s on and book your spot here. 

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