When we talk to schools, we often ask them what they want from their pupil tracking software. Some are looking for a more effective way to record pupil assessments. Others are keen to save time on classroom admin or provide better quality data for the SLT, governors and parents. Of course, these things are all important.
But what headteachers really want from their systems is to help them get better outcomes for their pupils.
Our pupil trackers have the power to do this by giving teachers the tools to accurately inform, enter and manage pupil assessments so schools can capture the evidence they need to make decisions about children’s learning progress.
With four leading pupil trackers in the Juniper Education portfolio, experience tells us that a good tracking system can give you the insight to make a positive impact on every single child in the classroom.
Your pupil tracker shouldn’t be a data entry chore. A good system can give you the insight to make accurate decisions for interventions and pupil support, at a time when understanding where children are in their learning has never been more urgent.
So what do our systems allow schools to do?
1. Target resources swiftly and effectively
This autumn, pupils will be returning to the classroom having had vastly different learning experiences over the past six months. Some children will have struggled to engage with home learning and many will have gaps in the core subjects which are the building blocks of education.
Understanding where children are in their learning has never been more urgent.
With the best will in the world, most schools cannot give support lessons tailored to each individual child. Instead, schools have to make the maximum impact in the time available, so what they need are rapid, accurate and measurable decisions about how to use their time and resources to the best effect.
Our solutions can help you make these decisions.
For instance, you may have six pupils in your Year 3 class whose reading and writing is on target, but they are slightly below expectations in maths. Our software helps you identify this group of pupils so you can put extra maths support in place and quickly fill in the missing skills that could hold back their learning.
2. Spot the invisible pupils
Sometimes, even with the best intentions, not all pupils achieve their maximum potential. These children may be on the margins of achievement, but for a variety of reasons they don’t achieve the outcomes they deserve.
That’s why you need a system that not only reports on aggregated progress data, but can also help you uncover your invisible pupils before it’s too late.
Say one of your group of six pupils is not responding as well as the other five to the maths interventions. It’s not immediately obvious why that’s the case, but could there be other factors at play? Such as the fact that this child is often late to school or absent on Fridays, and your emails to their parents have remained unopened.
Combining this type of information with the narrative in your tracking system can help you provide new opportunities such as breaktime catch-up sessions to bring a child up to speed who would otherwise be lost.
3. Focus on essential progress
This year, schools face the challenge of helping pupils catch up with lost learning while they continue to progress towards the key stage expectations. Our systems can help schools focus on the learning that matters in this toughest of years.
The clear, actionable insights our solutions offer can help teachers target the curriculum areas which have the biggest impact. Our systems give you the flexibility to record pupils’ progress against your own customised curriculum so you can ensure children are gaining the essential skills they need to move on.
For instance, you may decide that the children in your Year 3 maths intervention group need to know their four times tables so they can build on this knowledge, but telling the time using Roman numerals is something you can teach them later on.
Using the reports from our trackers, schools can see how well each pupil has mastered the knowledge, skills and concepts they need so they don’t get left behind.
Why are we so well placed to help?
As you may know, Juniper Education offers a suite of four leading systems – Target Tracker, OTrack, Classroom Monitor and Pupil Asset, and each of these solutions has been built from a vast pool of experience by people who talk to schools every day.
That puts us in the unique position of being able to share the most effective solutions so we can keep building on our expertise – whether that’s building our systems with teacher-first simplicity or adding new features as the education landscape evolves. And over the coming months, we’ll be combining the strengths of each existing tracker to offer schools an even better, more child-centred way to their teaching and learning count.
Every school is different and these differences shape the way schools assess their pupils. Having the knowledge and experience from our suite of solutions gives us the flexibility to offer schools the approach that works best for them.
However, all schools have one thing in common, the desire to improve outcomes for their pupils – and it’s never been more important to get that assessment right. That’s when it’s best to call in the experts.