Back to School Gift Guide 2020: Gift Ideas for Teachers & Students

Summer is coming to an end (didn’t it only just start last week?) and that means it’s almost time for school to begin again.

The idea of returning to school in 2020 might be more daunting than usual for many students and teachers. On top of the usual school stress, they must also adapt to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

That’s why we’ve put together this special 2020 back to school gift guide, with meaningful gift ideas for teachers and students! A small but thoughtful present can make anyone’s return to school a little brighter this year, and might just offer a much-needed boost of confidence after a prolonged time off.

It’s a tricky one, finding the right balance of buying something that they’ll really appreciate while not going overboard on the spending. That’s why we’ve chosen a range of thoughtful and unique gift ideas to suit every budget!

Personalise it!

If you’re just buying for one person, you may want to get them a gift that’s a bit more personal and really shows how much you appreciate everything that they do. 

We offer a wide range of personalised jewellery here at Joshua James, from funky zodiac pendants to engravable Nomination charms. One of our favourite back to school gifts for students is the stylish initial necklace, which is simple yet fun! Take your pick from elegant gold or sparkling silver:

Joshua James Silver & CZ Letter A Pendant
Joshua James Silver & CZ Art Deco Initial A Pendant
Joshua James 9ct Gold Letter A Pendant
Joshua James 9ct Gold Letter A Pendant

Meanwhile, our silver “Best Teacher” charm makes a lovely and meaningful gift for any teacher with a Nomination bracelet. If you want to get them something extra personal, take your pick from our wide range of engravable jewellery, all of which can be inscribed with a name/message of your choice.

Nomination Classic Silver Round Pendant Charm
Nomination Classic Silver Round Pendant Charm
Joshua James Silver Engravable Disc Ball Bracelet
Joshua James Silver Engravable Disc Ball Bracelet
Nomination Classic Silver Best Teacher Wishes Charm
Nomination Classic Silver Best Teacher Wishes Charm

Inspire positivity

Both pupils and teachers are always in need of a little inspiration and encouragement to help them avoid procrastinating or getting bogged down in work. Again, jewellery can be the perfect gift to help with this, as inspirational pieces can be worn as a constant reminder to stay motivated!

Our wide range of Nomination rainbow charms make colourful and inspiring additions to any charm bracelet, decorated with the ultimate symbol of positivity!

Nomination Classic Rainbow Heart Charm
Nomination Classic Rainbow Heart Charm
Nomination Classic Silver Rainbow Mask Charm
Nomination Classic Silver Rainbow Mask Charm
Nomination Classic Gold & Enamel Rainbow Charm
Nomination Classic Gold & Enamel Rainbow Charm

Wish them luck

Along with a little motivation, students especially appreciate an extra dose of good luck to see them through the challenges of the new school year. Therefore a lucky charm or two is sure to make a wonderful back to school gift for any school student!

The beautiful thing about jewellery is that it can be worn just about all the time, so you can take your favourite good luck symbols with you wherever you go. Some of our favourites include the horseshoe and four leaf clover – check out our top picks below!

Nomination Gioie Rose Gold Plated & CZ Clover Engravable Bracelet
Nomination Gioie Rose Gold Plated & CZ Clover Engravable Bracelet
Thomas Sabo Silver & White Zirconia Pave Horseshoe Necklace
Thomas Sabo Silver & White Zirconia Pave Horseshoe Necklace
Thomas Sabo Turquoise & Silver Cloverleaf Bracelet
Thomas Sabo Turquoise & Silver Cloverleaf Bracelet

Keep it practical

No matter the age, students and teachers alike will always get back to school and then realise they’ve forgotten something important. 

A sparkling Swarovski pen makes the ultimate back to school gift for teachers and pupils, combining both style and function. You could go for a multi pack of plain pens or pencils, but why not spend a little more on a beautiful pen that they’ll never want to put down? Swarosvki’s crystalline pens are the perfect accessory for adding some much needed sparkle to a stressful day, and will make any desk that little bit brighter. At the end of the day, there’s nothing more useful in a classroom than a pen!

Swarovski Crystalline Nova Chrome Plated Ballpoint Pen
Swarovski Crystalline Nova Chrome Plated Ballpoint Pen
Swarovski Crystalline Nova Rose Gold Tone Plated & Red Crystal Ballpoint Pen
Swarovski Crystalline Nova Rose Gold Tone Plated & Red Crystal Ballpoint Pen
Swarovski Crystalline Nova Chrome Plated & Clear Crystal Ballpoint Pen
Swarovski Crystalline Nova Chrome Plated & Clear Crystal Ballpoint Pen

Meanwhile, one of our designer watches will mean no more excuses for being late to class! A Nordgreen watch will make an especially stunning and useful back to school gift for any school student, an accessory that is both practical and stylish.

Nordgreen Native Rose Gold Mesh Unisex Watch
Nordgreen Native Rose Gold Mesh Unisex Watch
Nordgreen Infinity Silver & Black Leather Gents Watch
Nordgreen Infinity Silver & Black Leather Gents Watch
Nordgreen Native Rose Gold & Dark Brown Leather Unisex Watch
Nordgreen Native Rose Gold & Dark Brown Leather Unisex Watch

Homemade is fun!

If you’ve got enough time, making gifts can be a great way to give a thoughtful back to school present without spending too much money – and it can also make a fun activity for all the family! There are lots of options for gifts you could make that teachers and classmates will really love. 

Baked treats are always a good shout, as long as you know they have no dietary restrictions. An easy option could be to make a tasty fudge, which you can make in large batches and then divide up into cute gifts bags to give out to all your teachers and friends. This is a particularly good option if you have younger children, as they’ll be able to get involved in the baking and will love decorating the cute gift bags! Try this recipe here for one of our favourite quick fudge flavours! 

How about a gift bag?

If you really want to go all out…why not create a thoughtful and personalised goodie bag for your favourite teacher? Fill it with a mix of treats and they’re sure to be delighted. It’s the perfect back to school present if you’ve got a little extra time on your hands!

Not sure what to include in your teacher gift bag? Here are some of our favourite ideas…

  • A Swarovski crystalline pen
  • Their favourite chocolate
  • A bath bomb (Lush always has some great options!)
  • A cheeky bottle of wine
  • A thoughtful handwritten note

Upgrade your gift bag to a hamper if you really want to go the extra mile!


We hope that our 2020 Back to School Gift Guide has offered some inspiration, whether you’re looking to treat your favourite teacher or classmate! Remember to browse the full range of gifts here at Joshua James for plenty more ideas to suit every occasion, and subscribe to our newsletter for all the latest gift ideas and offers.


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