Throughout this document the phrase Pupil Premium students is used to describe “students eligible for the Pupil Premium funding.” The government refer to these students as “disadvantaged students” but this terminology has been avoided below.
What is Pupil Premium?
The Pupil Premium is intended to tackle the achievement gap between students from families with some hardship and their peers. After prior attainment, poverty has been identified as the most important factor in predicting a child’s future life chances. In previous years, the chances of a student eligible for free school meals (FSM) achieving five or more GCSEs at A*-C including English and Mathematics was less than one-third those of a non-FSM student. The pupil premium is received in addition to main school funding and is intended to address the current national achievement gap between children eligible for free school meals and those from wealthier backgrounds.
The Government allocates funding to schools each year to cover the different aspects of the pupil premium. This money is not ascribed to individual students or ‘ring-fenced’, but schools should be using the funding to improve outcomes for the students in these cohorts. As well as funding for students who have been in receipt of free school meals at any point in the last six years, there are also allocations for Looked After Children and adopted children. All schools are free to spend the pupil premium grant as they see fit, but will be held accountable for how they have used the additional funding by measures in the performance tables.
At Larkmead, we make decisions on how to collectively spend the funding by carefully identifying the individual needs of our students, right from when they join us. We have also made use of educational research to help identify good practice. Evidence shows that the most effective schools narrow the achievement gap by using a combination of quality teaching, strong leadership and monitoring, a relevant and coherent curriculum, and targeted catch-up and enrichment activities. We intend to use the pupil premium grant to help us succeed in these key areas. Having implemented successful strategies to narrow the literacy gap between pupil premium and non-pupil premium students over the last two years, one of our current foci is on improving numeracy attainment.
Why is Pupil Premium important to us?
Our recent Ofsted report recognised that “the values of tolerance, fairness and respect are woven throughout the school.” We are passionate about providing the opportunity for all students to reach their potential and consequently the Pupil Premium students in our school represent a key cohort. Our mission is to identify how each individual student can be nurtured and supported to become successful and overcome whatever obstacles they might have encountered in the past. We are developing a culture of pride, resilience, self-discipline and individual goal setting which helps all our students, but particularly benefits our Pupil Premium students because it encourages them to challenge themselves in a very supportive environment.
Our Aims & Objectives
- All Pupil Premium students will make at least expected progress, in line with national averages for students who are not eligible for Pupil Premium funding.
- All Pupil Premium students will have good attendance and behaviour, in line with national averages for students who are not eligible for Pupil Premium funding.
- All Pupil Premium students will be successful learners, provided with timely and accurate feedback on their learning and given additional support where required, particularly to develop their literacy and numeracy skills
How we are monitoring our progress
- Appointment of a Pupil Premium Co-ordinator responsible for raising the attainment of our Pupil Premium students.
- Clear analysis of tracking data at both group and individual level to help us monitor student progress against cohort and national performance.
- Rigorous, regular work samples and interviews with students to monitor the impact of teaching and assessment on the progress of Pupil Premium students.
- Clear pro-forma used consistently to evaluate the impact of interventions, to ensure consistency and provide measurable outcomes.
- Raising Achievement Panels, focussed on numeracy and literacy, to highlight students who are underachieving in these key areas.
- Clearer monitoring of attendance and behaviour data to inform future interventions.
What we are doing to maximise progress
Introduction to the school: All new Pupil Premium students entering year 7 are invited to attend our summer school, which is separately funded. This gives them a great head start as they become very familiar with the site, the core lessons and key staff members who will support them. This significantly eases their transition into secondary school and enables them to settle quickly and happily.
Literacy and Numeracy: Students in KS3 who have been identified as being below target in these crucial areas are given special intervention sessions in small groups and are carefully monitored to ensure they have every opportunity to catch up. The Numeracy Strategy at Larkmead School started last year and saw immediate impact amongst KS3 students. The Literacy Strategy has been ongoing for a number of years and continues to see benefits in the same Key Stage. We give Pupil Premium students priority consideration for these interventions.
Whole school focus: A key part of our approach is to ensure that all staff constantly remind themselves which of their students are in the Pupil Premium cohort and may need extra support and encouragement. This is reinforced with frequent input in staff meetings and sharing of good practice for these students. This is proving effective in raising awareness of these students’ individual needs and supporting them.
Extra-Curricular Visits: Pupil Premium funding was used to ensure as many Pupil Premium students as possible went on the Osmington Bay residential visit in Year 7. This was a great success. This year, funding will continue to be offered, on a case by case basis, to ensure that Pupil Premium students are not excluded from activities due to financial constraints. This is being extended to funding small items of stationary (and similar) that are preventing students from fully accessing the school curriculum and opportunities on offer. The amount of money being used per student is being recorded so that impact can be measured effectively. Additionally, we will be providing enrichment opportunities for all Pupil Premium students through the year with scheduled trips and visitors.
GCSE and Power Hour: Our particular development area this year is in our Year 11 GCSE cohort with individual and group mentoring for students identified as requiring extra intervention. We are also increasing attendance at our KS4 independent supported study group (Power Hour) by directly inviting individuals to commit to attending, and rewarding those with consistent attendance and increased achievement in effort and attitude (measured through tracking). We are also supplying these students with hot drinks and healthy snacks to make it easier for them to stay after school and benefit from developing study habits in a good learning environment.
Pupil Premium Co-Ordination: The Pupil Premium Co-ordinator has been appointed to ensure we are carefully tracking and monitoring the progress of our Pupil Premium students and any interventions that are in place. The Pupil Premium Co-ordinator has also raised the profile of these students in school, to ensure that all staff are aware of who these students are, and alongside teaching staff, has introduced new interventions and initiatives to boost the progress of these students.
The Pupil Premium Co-ordinator will, with the Leadership Group, report to Governors on the spending of the Pupil Premium funding and also provide an evaluation of the impact of the interventions. Each year, a report will also be published to parents via the school website on how the Pupil Premium grant has been spent.
The current Pupil Premium Co-Ordinator is Mrs A Morgan who can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org