Like most primary schools at the moment, at our school, Mundella Primary in Kent, we’re continuing to focus on closing the gaps in our pupils’ learning as a result of the pandemic.
However, regardless of whether COVID is a consideration in the future or not, there are always going to be challenges in identifying exactly where pupils are tracking against their learning objectives; and more importantly, being able to deliver catch-up support when we understand that a pupil is falling behind.
As educators facing this challenge on a daily basis, we started to look at how pupil tracking technology has evolved to meet the changing needs of schools, and so when we were given the opportunity to pilot Sonar Tracker, Juniper Education’s new pupil tracking tool, we jumped at the chance.
Sonar Tracker is specifically designed to help teachers identify and support children at risk of not achieving their full potential. The trial was so successful. We have now adopted the solution across the school.
There were five key things about Sonar Tracker that really stood out for us.
Five Benefits of Sonar Pupil Progress Tracking Software
1. Looking ahead not back
Pupil trackers typically hold a huge amount of historical data and present it back to you with little guidance of what analysis is worth doing. Sonar has been designed to use all that valuable information to help teachers and school leaders to make rapid decisions on how to best support all children to maximise their outcomes. It’s like having a crystal ball that you can use to flag children who might be coasting or starting to struggle in a specific area of the curriculum, even if they are over-achieving in others.
You can also take a closer look into the data to see the individual learning objectives for each subject.
2. Seeing the impact of interventions in advance
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to predict what impact a history club or after school maths revision class would have on pupils’ progress? You can do this with Sonar Tracker.
It allows you to simulate the potential outcome of putting a subject focused approach in place for individual children, groups or the whole school. We ran a number of different scenarios and could immediately see what difference they could make to the percentage of pupils achieving their learning targets.
It means we now have the ability to see the actual children who will benefit from a targeted intervention and what the outcome could be before committing any funding to it. I’ve not seen any other tool that can do this before. It’s a real game-changer for ensuring every child reaches their full potential, and we have changed our approach to supporting pupil progress as a result.
3. Easy on workload
There are some subtle but important design features that make Sonar Tracker really intuitive and, for me, a complete joy to use. I don’t have to go hunting for a widget or tool I only use occasionally, as everything is exactly where I would expect it to be.
Teachers don’t need to constantly update pupils’ records unnecessarily either, as data only has to be entered when there’s a change in pupils’ achievement. If progress stays the same, the software automatically reflects this, saving so much time. The layout is familiar wherever you are in the platform, which means very little training is required. There’s a handy help icon on every screen, too, that takes you to support tips and videos that are specific to the page you’re on, and if you still need to speak to a member of the support team, they’re just a phone call away.
4. Real flexibility
There’s nothing more frustrating than having to change your school’s processes to match the functionality of an IT system. With Sonar Tracker, there’s no need for any of that.
We can design pupil lists and data charts exactly how we want them and choose how they’re colour-coded too.
All the key curriculum subjects and learning objectives are pre-loaded for ease, but you can also add your own.
We’ve included our forest and beach schools, for example, so we can monitor children’s progress and support them in getting the most from the outside learning opportunities we offer.
5. Shaping future development
We loved the opportunity we were given to feed back openly and honestly to the product team at Juniper as part of the trial and play an active role in the development process for Sonar Tracker. In my view, this is an innovative pupil tracking tool that saves you lots of time. But its real strength is that it’s designed and built to truly enable schools to help each child reach their full potential.
FIND OUT MORE
You might find this webinar Q&A discussion with Frazer Westmorland from Mundella Primary helpful to find out more about how they are using Sonar Tracker to monitor and support pupil progress. For more information on how a pupil progress tracker could help your school or book a demo, please take a look at our Sonar Tracker page.