We, at Catchgate Primary School, strive to break the link between family income and educational achievement, ensuring that children from all backgrounds can fulfil their potential and make the most of their talents.
On 26th January 2015 we received a letter from Rt Hon David Laws, MInister of State for Schools, congratulating school on our disadvantaged pupils key stage 2 results since 2012. He stated that 'it is clear that you and your staff have provided your disadvantaged pupils with a good start in life and prepared them well for secondary school'.
It was introduced in April 2011 to tackle ‘educational inequality’ by raising achievement and improving outcomes for children from low-income families who are eligible for free school meals; also pupils in care and those from families with parents in the Armed Forces. The additional funding is made available to schools to help them narrow the attainment gap that still exists between pupils from disadvantaged and more affluent backgrounds.
In 2011-12 the funding was set at £488 per pupil. This rose to £600 in 2012-13, £900 in 2013-14 and £1300 in 2014-15. In the 2015-2016 financial year, this figure rose to £1320 per child. The current level is £1345 per child.
From September 2012, schools have been required to publish online information to parents about how they have used the Pupil Premium funding and what the impact has been on learning, attainment and pupil wellbeing and/or pastoral care.
To ensure that our Pupil Premium funding is spent in the most effective ways we aim to:
- Target the funding well from the outset, being responsive and flexible to individual needs.
- Use progress tracking procedures effectively to identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual pupils and groups, in particular those children underachieving and eligible for
- Pupil Premium, and target intervention and support to accelerate their progress.
- Use effective intervention classes and individual tuition to improve achievements in English and Maths.
- Ensure that well-trained Teaching Assistants help to raise standards.
- Minimise the barriers to learning and achievement.
- Actively involve the governors in our decision-making processes.
- Effectively monitor and evaluate the impact of spending.
To help achieve the aims outlined above, Governors and Senior Leaders have agreed the following principles:
- Funding will be ring fenced so that it is always spent on target groups of pupils.
- Eligibility for the Pupil Premium will never be confused with low ability; it will focus on supporting our disadvantaged pupils to achieve the highest levels.
- Proper analysis will be undertaken to identify where pupils are underachieving and why.
- The use of research evidence, including the Suffolk Pupil Premium Guidance and OFSTED Pupil Premium report, will inform spending decisions.
- Teaching Assistants will be highly trained and understand their accountability for pupil achievement.
- We will have a clear policy on spending the Pupil Premium, agreed by governors and publicised on the school website.
- Careful monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken to demonstrate the impact of each aspect of spending on the outcomes for pupils.
- Our focus will be on high quality teaching, rather than relying on intervention to compensate.
- Frequent use of achievement data to check effectiveness of interventions; continuously adjusting techniques to meet the needs of pupils.
- Systematic focus on clear pupil feedback and advice for improving their work.
- Designated Senior Leaders will have an overview of funding allocations.
- All class-based staff will be aware of the Pupil Premium children in their classes so that they can take responsibility for their progress.
- Strategies are available for improving attendance, behaviour or family links if there is an issue.
- Governors will be actively involved in the decision-making and evaluation processes.
Evidence about What Works for Schools
The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) provides up-to-date information on what works in raising the achievement of disadvantaged children. In order of impact it cites eight approaches:
1. Effective Feedback on Learning
Feedback for children and teachers on children’s performance relative to learning goals can be very effective in raising attainment if it is about challenging tasks or goals, focuses more on what is right than what is wrong, and encourages the child rather than threatens their self-esteem.
2. Metacognition and Self-regulation
Teaching children strategies to motivate themselves and plan, monitor and evaluate their own learning is a well-proven, high impact approach that carries little cost other than staff CPD.
3. Peer Tutoring
In these approaches learners work in pairs or small groups to provide each other with explicit teaching support. The boost to attainment provided by peer tutoring is apparent for both tutor and tutee (particularly in cross-age tutoring).
4. Early Intervention
Research shows that high-quality early years provision, with a strong educational focus and activities which support early reading and number concepts, is beneficial for disadvantaged pupils.
5. One-to-one Tutoring
There is good evidence that providing intensive 1:1 remedial tuition, for short, regular sessions over set period of time can enable children to catch up with their peers.
Investing in digital technologies to support learning can be effective, particularly if used to supplement teaching, rather than replace more traditional approaches.
The evidence suggests that phonics can be an important component in supporting the development of early reading skills, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
8. Parental Involvement
Activities that involve parents in supporting their children’s learning can be effective, though ensuring that there is an impact on children’s attainment is challenging and needs effective monitoring and evaluation.
These approaches will be taken into account when making decisions about the spending of our Pupil Premium.
Activities that we have undertaken using the Pupil Premium, and that have impacted on closing attainment gaps include:
- Reading, writing and numeracy interventions for target groups.
- Reading and other resource purchases to benefit targeted pupils and groups.
- Funding additional Teaching Assistant time and resources for specific intervention programmes and pre-teaching
- Providing pastoral care through our interventions such as Connecting with Children and Silver SEAL to support pupils’ social and emotional development.
- Subsidising or paying for educational trips and residential visits.
- Forest School provision throughout KS1
- Music and singing lessons delivered to Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 by trained music teachers.
- Weekly French lessons delivered throughout Key Stage 2.
- Behaviour Support worker delivering in-class and external support to vulnerable pupils to help develop strategies for coping with challenging situations.