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The Arbor Blog

Expert ideas for a better working life at your school or trust

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Anna Christie - 1 December, 2022

Category : Blog

What’s new in November?

And just like that, it’s the end of November and the holiday season is approaching. We released some very exciting features in November that we can’t wait to share with you!   What’s new for schools At Arbor, we’re on a mission to transform the way schools work for the better. Here are just some of

And just like that, it’s the end of November and the holiday season is approaching. We released some very exciting features in November that we can’t wait to share with you!  

What’s new for schools

At Arbor, we’re on a mission to transform the way schools work for the better. Here are just some of our recent launches and updates: 

Live National Benchmarks are here 

You can now see live national data from other Arbor schools in your MIS. Starting with attendance data, you’ll be able to see real-time National Average and National Percentile data so you can compare yourself to similar schools and see where you sit. Learn more here

Calendar update on the Arbor App

Parents can now see their child’s calendar for the whole day on the Arbor App! Parents and guardians can see exactly where their child is at any point in the current day, rather than just the lesson before and after. Learn more here

New Marksheet Analysis Fields 

We’ve added new marksheet fields so you can see student progress at a glance, including:

  • Current vs Baseline
  • Current vs Year Target
  • Current vs Predicted Mark

Learn more here

What’s new for MATs

MAT MIS is custom-built for better collaboration across your trust, with tools that make it easy to work together as one organisation.

Import Assessment Marks in MAT MIS 

Roll out assessments to the schools in your trust. Instead of logging into individual school sites or sending assessment data to your school data managers, you can now use an import spreadsheet in MAT MIS to input the school data yourself. Learn more here

New Power BI Datasets

In November we added even more datasets to our Power BI connector to give you more bespoke reporting options. You can now analyse Academic Units, Academic Unit Enrolments, Timetable Slots and Timetable Slot Staff. Learn more here

Don’t forget to visit the Arbor Change Log for all things new in the MIS. Make sure to bookmark the page for easy access!

If you haven’t already, book your free ticket to join us at ArborFest 2023 our biggest in-person customer conference to date! Meet school and trust leaders from across the Arbor Community for a day packed with inspiring talks and workshops – all exploring the theme “Transforming the way schools work.”

If you don’t yet use Arbor, we’d love to speak to you: email hello@arbor-education.com and one of our team will be in contact.

Hilary Aylesworth - 11 November, 2022

Category : Blog

The three themes shaping our Autumn Term Roadmap

– At Arbor, we’re on a mission to transform the way schools work for the better. And it starts by giving everyone the right tools and technology for the job. We’re constantly evolving and looking at the different ways we can help support schools and MATs to thrive. In the Summer Term, we released: 42

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At Arbor, we’re on a mission to transform the way schools work for the better. And it starts by giving everyone the right tools and technology for the job.

We’re constantly evolving and looking at the different ways we can help support schools and MATs to thrive. In the Summer Term, we released:

  • 42 new features
  • 60 improvements to current features!

Click here to find out exactly what these features included.

In a recent survey carried out by The Key, Arbor has the highest percentage of customers saying they are “extremely satisfied” with their MIS functionality. View full report here.

Our product vision at Arbor is to ‘Give school leaders, teachers, admin staff and parents the tools they need to work faster and smarter – together’. This vision sits across our three development themes for Autumn Term: 

  • Visible, clear, actionable data
  • Easy to find, easy to use
  • Work together, effortlessly

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The data that sits in your MIS is a powerful resource. We want schools and MATs to have this data at their fingertips, so that they can make data-driven decisions quickly and easily. To do this, data needs to be consistent, efficient and actionable

Here’s three key releases due in the coming months, which will help you make actionable decisions from your data:

  • Refreshed predicted Progress 8 scores based on DfE updates
  • View data on parental engagement in MAT MIS
  • School staff absence reports in MAT MIS

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It’s not worth having an MIS packed with brilliant features if they are difficult to find or use. Our second theme is all about making sure Arbor continues to be the UK’s most intuitive MIS, for both staff and parents. 

Here’s my top three features to look out for which will make our MIS even easier to use:

  • Biometric login to the Arbor App – I’m so excited about this one!
  • View all your School Shop orders on one overview page, letting you easily see all outstanding orders in one place
  • Greater visibility for parents, on the App and Parent Portal, to see what money they owe to the school 

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Collaboration is key to any school or trust, whether you’re joining up processes across your team or streamlining communication with parents. 

With so many exciting new features to come under this theme, I’ve given you my top five to keep an eye out for:

  • Create and update bulk pay scales in MAT MIS, and pushdown to your schools
  • New workflows for Behaviour Types and improvements to our behaviour comms templates
  • Create custom report cards within Arbor
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay on the Arbor App
  • Integration with Pebble Cashless Catering

 

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If you have an improvement or an idea for a new feature we should develop, we’d love to hear it. There are four ways you can share it with us:

  • Comment on our Product Roadmap: Upvote your favourite feature and leave a comment describing how we can support you most. Upvotes and comments feed directly into how we prioritise and build what we’re developing each term. View our Product Roadmap.
  • Come along to an ArborFest Feedback Forum: Every ArborFest, our Product Team runs workshops tailored to different roles and remits. We’ll work together to identify and prioritise the most impactful improvements and new features to build. We’ll be announcing how to register for our 26th January forum in the coming weeks.
  • Complete the Customer Satisfaction Survey (NPS): Towards the end of each term, we send out a quick survey where you can have your say in how Arbor impacts your school day-to-day. We review all the data in order to understand what’s working well and where we can improve.
  • Join an Arbor User Group: Our user groups require regular participation in meetings, testing features, giving feedback and sharing best practice. You can register interest in an Arbor user group via your Account Manager.

I’m looking forward to hearing all your thoughts and suggestions so we can continue to make Arbor the best it can be for our schools! And I hope you are as excited about our Autumn Roadmap as I am.

View the recording of our Autumn Product Roadmap Reveal webinar here.

Anna Christie - 31 October, 2022

Category : Blog

What’s new in October?

Welcome back from Half Term! We hope you had a restful break – we’ve got lots of treats for you in this month’s blog. – What’s new for schools At Arbor, we’re on a mission to transform the way schools work for the better. Here are just some of our recent launches and updates:  Product

Welcome back from Half Term! We hope you had a restful break – we’ve got lots of treats for you in this month’s blog.

What’s new for schools

At Arbor, we’re on a mission to transform the way schools work for the better. Here are just some of our recent launches and updates: 

Product Roadmap Reveal webinar 

We’re excited to share Arbor’s product roadmap for Autumn Term! On Wednesday 9th November, Hilary (Head of Product at Arbor) will take you through our vision for Arbor and the themes we’re focusing on this term for product improvements and new features. Book your free spot here

Post-16 Census report 

You can now generate a quick summary report of your Post-16 data to ensure you receive all your funding from the School Census, either for yourself or to send to a third party. Learn more here

CRB Cunninghams Cashless Catering integration 

Arbor now integrates with CRB Cunninghams! Our cashless catering integrations let you manage cashless catering payments directly from your MIS – without needing a separate payments system as well. The integration is included in our MIS Payments module, and is also part of our Arbor Perform package. Learn more here

Manage school events in bulk 

We’ve added two new pages to manage events more easily. Go to School > Timetable > School Events to update staff, location, and cover requirements in bulk. Learn more here

What’s new for MATs

MAT MIS is custom-built for better collaboration across your trust, with tools that make it easy to work together as one organisation.

New PowerBI Datasets
Another month and another group of datasets have been added to our PowerBI connector. You can now analyse Student Academic Year Enrolments, User Defined Fields (created at both MAT and school level), and User Defined Records. Learn more here

Don’t forget to visit the Arbor Change Log for all things new in the MIS. Make sure to bookmark the page for easy access!

If you haven’t already, we’d love for you to join in the #WhyMySchoolSwitched campaign and share your “switch stories” with us on social media!

If you don’t yet use Arbor, we’d love to speak to you: email hello@arbor-education.com and one of our team will be in contact.

Amy Underdown - 20 July, 2022

Category : Blog

Arbor’s year in review

Over the past year, we’ve added lots of exciting new features and integrations into our cloud MIS! We update Arbor fortnightly, listening closely and responding to what you tell us. Below are just some of our top picks of everything our team have been working hard on for the past year. Advanced Report Calculations Approve

Over the past year, we’ve added lots of exciting new features and integrations into our cloud MIS!

We update Arbor fortnightly, listening closely and responding to what you tell us. Below are just some of our top picks of everything our team have been working hard on for the past year.

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Advanced Report Calculations

Approve and lock assessment marks in bulk

Improved keyboard accessibility

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Wraparound Care Clubs

Bulk copy Assessment marks 

New MAT MIS homepage

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Improvements to Contributing EEP Hours

Attainment Over Time in MAT MIS

Prevent Attendance from being overwritten

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Bulk update Core Learning Aims

Share report cards with students

User Defined Fields (UDFs)

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School-led tutoring hours

External report cards

Guardians of applicants can access Parent Portal

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Clickable hyperlinks in In-App Messages

Custom Group Alerts

Attendance KPIs in MAT MIS

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Pay by childcare voucher

Show RANK order on Marksheets

Track Learner Engagement 

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Suspend lessons

Send emails via bulk action in MAT MIS

Civica cashless catering integration

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School Shop

Census Audit in MAT MIS

Shared Teaching

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New Marksheets

Creating templates for In-App Messages

Live Register cashless catering integration

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Automatic Assessment target-setting

Ad Hoc permissions in MAT MIS

Options import from TimeTabler

Have your say in where we go next and help us shape the UK’s most-loved school MIS by adding to our roadmap. 

Want to stay in the loop of all our new features? Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn where we post the link to our monthly updates.

Amy Underdown - 29 June, 2022

Category : Blog

Top tips for Assessments in Arbor

With summer holidays on the horizon, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you can get the most out of Assessments in Arbor, ready for the new school year. We know how important it is to get Assessments right, so we’ve put together our five favourite tips to help make the process

With summer holidays on the horizon, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you can get the most out of Assessments in Arbor, ready for the new school year.

We know how important it is to get Assessments right, so we’ve put together our five favourite tips to help make the process a little easier. Keep an eye out for some of the exciting features that we’ve added this year!

1. New marksheets

Say hello to super speedy data entry in Arbor’s marksheets. Our marksheets have Excel-like functionality, including keyboard entry, custom filters, and copy and paste, making life quicker and easier for staff. 

School Assessment UK

Find out more here.  

2. Copy your Annual Policy

Schools can easily spend hours in the initial setup of Assessments creating baselines and entering targets. With our Copy Annual Policy feature, schools can quickly copy the previous years’ data, including student groups, Baselines and Targets for maximum time-saving.

Find out more here. 

3. Use a SUM calculation

By using a SUM calculation, schools can recreate things like AQA Maths or Question Level Analysis (QLA) within Arbor. This means that all your Assessment data can be in one place, rather than spread across different Excel spreadsheets. 

SUM calculation

Find out more here. 

4. Report card templates

Report cards are a key link between students, parents and your school’s Assessment system. In Arbor, you can use a report card template to set up your reports and then copy over the information you need when setting up for the following term. This means you can complete Spring and Summer reports in less than 10 minutes and easily share them with guardians. 

Want to use your own report card design and layout? Use Arbor’s ‘External Report Card’ feature to bulk upload report cards generated elsewhere, such as Microsoft Word, and easily share them with guardians and students. 

Find out more here. 

5. Make Assessment work for your school

Every school’s Assessment model is different, so take advantage of the features and training that will most help your school. But don’t take it from us… hear from Kate Ferris, Data Analyst at Baxter College, about how their adoption of Formative Tracking transformed the way their school thinks about Assessment. 

school assessment uk

Click here to find out more about Assessments training, or to discuss how it can benefit your school, please contact your Account Manager.

Looking for more tips and tricks? Keep an eye out for our #ArborSpotlight series on Twitter and LinkedIn. for weekly pointers on how to make the most out of our cloud MIS.