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A Return to School Like No Other

September is always an exciting, and slightly nerve-wracking, time of year for the school community and this year is no exception as we navigate our way through a very different return to school.

The government is clear: education is not optional; schools need to teach an ambitious and broad curriculum; the most important missed content must be covered. Thankfully, the EEF have published a characteristically useful COVID-19 Support Guide for Schools along with a Guide to Supporting School Planning: A Tiered Approach to 2020-21.

Supporting Great Teaching

Once new routines, habits and systems are established and pupils are ready to learn, the focus needs to be on making up for lost time.

As the EEF states, “Great teaching is the most important lever schools have to improve outcomes for their pupils.” Teachers need to be supported and prepared through professional development opportunities tailored to the current situation.

Pupil Assessment and Feedback

Accurate assessment is more important than ever.

Carefully structured one-to-one ‘learning conversations’ designed to identify pupils’ gaps in learning will enable staff to assess pupils’ wellbeing at the same time. These conversations might be time-consuming but they will make it easier for staff to plan effective support for each pupil.

Juniper’s Recovery Resources for Reading, Writing and Maths

In line with the EEF’s guidance, we’ve created bespoke courses and will be remotely-delivering professional development for teachers to support the return to school along with extra support for NQTs via our new NQT programme for 2020/21 that offers a blended approach of online, self-driven modules as well as coached peer-to-peer support.

Our Resources to Support the Identification of Gaps in Reading, Writing and Maths for Years 1-6 provide a simple structure to identify quickly gaps in learning as part of a ‘learning conversation’ and are also supported by our Reading Comprehension Question Cards.

For more details about our Recovery and Catch-up in Response to Covid-19, contact

Kathryn Day

Kathryn Day

After leaving behind careers in the wine trade and archaeology, Kathryn Day has worked in various education roles across both primary and secondary for nearly 20 years. She’s been a secondary ICT teacher and subject leader, a local authority computing adviser, a local authority school improvement adviser and a primary school deputy headteacher. Kathryn is Director of Training and Development at Juniper Education.