Our Understanding of the Pupil Premium Grant
The Pupil Premium is an amount of money that a school receives based upon the number of children at that school that are eligible for Free School Meals (FSM+6).
The Pupil Premium has a number of aims:
〈 To increase social mobility;
〈 To enable more pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to get to the top Universities;
〈 To reduce the attainment gap between the highest and lowest achieving nationally.
In view of these aims, the money was allocated as part of a strategic approach to raising standards across the academy, providing better opportunities for our students academically, as well as developing life, work and personal skills to give them the best chance of a successful future.
Summary Overview of Pupil Premium Spending Decisions
From its inception, the Academy had already recognised that our most challenged students, specifically those from difficult economic backgrounds, needed significant investment in terms of funding and time in order for them to fully achieve their unique potential. The academy invested much of its start up fund into achieving this for the first 3 years of its operation.
However the Pupil Premium has enabled the academy to continue with all the strategies and interventions developed since 2008. Without Pupil Premium, these strategies and interventions would have had to be scaled down or cut altogether. The Pupil Premium in the academic year 2014-2015 enabled us to continue, both directly and indirectly, providing essential additional support and interventions for those students, highlighted by the government, as needing it most.
We decided to invest the Pupil Premium in the four main areas (listed below) that we believed to be key in raising standards for those students who have disadvantaged backgrounds. These four areas are:
- Extra and additional challenges and incentives
Explanation of Interventions and Examples of Costs
The Academy motto is Aspire, Serve and Achieve and this is an aim and expectation for all cohorts within the academy, including students on FSM. As a Church of England Academy, we are inclusive and dedicated to providing our students with equal opportunity to fulfil their unique potential, irrespective of socio-economic circumstances. The Pupil Premium has enabled us to continue to promote our inclusive ethos and demonstrate the equal self worth of all students through:
- Enabling the Academy to provide all students with a blazer and tie. Since the Academy’s inception, this intervention has enabled us to build the sense of community that makes us unique and distinctive.
- Providing all students with a planner; replaced for free for families unable to do so. This intervention enables the Academy to keep all parents informed of their child’s ongoing development as they progress in school, helping our parents to support their children.
- Funding placements for work experience, for students unable to find and organise their own. These work placements are crucial in helping our students to gain an
insight into the expectations of the world of work, and also helps to re-focus them as they begin to prepare for the most important year of their time in school, year 11.
Greater investment in pastoral support is essential to promote progress for students on FSM, and in closing the gaps between themselves and their peers who do not receive this support. Pupil Premium is used for strategies and interventions to support this. However, as these strategies also support other students, we have divided these costs by 62.4% ( the proportion of students in receipt of the Pupil Premium, according to RAISE 2014) to account for the spending as accurately as possible.
Our inclusion strategies reduce absence, maintain high standards of behaviour, reduce exclusions to levels that are well below national averages, and ensure that students are happy and well cared for. 45% of FSM students in the academy also have Additional Educational Needs (AEN). Pupil Premium spend has made an impact on inclusion through:
- Enabling us to employ a dedicated attendance team, including a full time EWO.
- Providing dedicated Student Liaison Officers (SLO) to work with each house and the sixth form. SLOs are non-teaching staff, and are available to provide instant care, guidance and support for students and parents as a result. SLOs deliver restorative practice, a listening surgery, parent coffee mornings, as well as following up behavioural issues working closely with the Head of Houses with regard to sanctions and strategies.
- Providing teaching assistant support for those students with special educational needs (SEN); 45% of AEN students are also in receipt of the Pupil Premium. Throughout our time as an Academy, we have maintained and even increased our numbers of Teaching Assistants because of our belief that they provide the support our most vulnerable students need, at a time when most other schools are cutting this provision.
- Enabling students who have difficulties with learning and/or behaviour to have a more varied curriculum in smaller groups through our off site provisions at the Progress Centre, ASPIRE, Accelerate (Learning Support Unit) and AOP (Alternative Outreach Provision).
- Funding student placements at external provisions such as Taboo and BEST.
- Enabling isolation units and the AOP unit to sanction behaviour and provide opportunities for reflection and restorative work.
- Providing varied curriculum choices, including personalised and vocational opportunities.
A laser-like focus on ensuring academic achievement for all our students will enable them to leave with the right qualifications for their chosen path, including sixth form and increasing numbers who go on to university. The progress the academy has made in this area is represented by our NEETS; 99% of our students, including Pupil Premium students, left with a positive destination, such as further education, training or employment, which is one of the best in the city. Pupil Premium supports our intervention programmes. It has a direct impact on achievement through:
- Employing staff specifically to deliver early intervention strategies in KS3, particularly in English and maths;
- Enabling smaller teaching groups in maths at KS4;
- Providing additional small group tuition before, during and after school in English, maths and other GCSE subjects;
- Providing teaching assistant support for those students with special educational needs (SEN); 45% of AEN students are also FSM. This enables students in this category to make more progress;
- Providing dedicated Learning Mentors to work with the most able students in each year group from 7 to 11. Learning Mentors are non-teaching staff, and are available to provide learning support. Learning Mentors work closely with the Director of Sentamu Advance, and deliver pre-school Private Study support and after school learning support to these students;
- Providing a dedicated intervention team to work with students in years 10 and 11 specifically for English, maths and other GCSE subjects.
EXTRA AND ADDITIONAL CHALLENGES AND INCENTIVES:
In order for all students to succeed they need to build resilience. The Pupil Premium Grant enables us to help build resilience in our students by funding them as they take on new challenges and new experiences, providing them with priceless opportunities to take pride in trying, even if the end result is not what they hoped for. Pupil Premium students are less likely than their peers to have such experiences outside of the academy.
Through extra and additional challenges and incentives, students develop in ways that see them relish challenge, rather than fear failure. The personal quality of resilience is essential for success in life and work, as well as in secondary and further education. The concepts of personal reward and gain, in addition to personal pride in success, are also important in achieving this. The Pupil Premium impacts on extra and additional challenges and incentives through:
- Investing in a rewards system, which provides all students with the opportunity to attend a rewards extra curricular visit each term;
- Enabling all students to attend visits which form part of their education, including those studying Travel and Tourism, who visit a theme park resort, and those students who travel to Poland to work in an orphanage as part of their Health and Social Care voluntary placements;
- Providing students with the opportunities to visit our link schools in Poland and China, learning about other cultures, developing confidence and resilience;
- Enabling all students in year 11 to attend revision retreats and residentials.
- Enabling all interested year 11 students to visit Taize, France for ‘Taize Experience’ organised by the Church of England Board of Education.
- Funding all private music lessons for all students who wish to take up or continue with a musical instrument.
Measuring the Impact
Pupil Premium is used to impact in a wide variety of ways in order to ensure it meets the aims of:
〈 Increasing social mobility;
〈 Enabling more pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to get to the top Universities; and
〈 Reducing the attainment gap between the highest and lowest achieving nationally.
As a result there are various methods used to monitor and ultimately measure impact, including:
- Measuring the impact of the aforementioned interventions by tracking the progress of Pupil Premium students each half term. This information is then used to support students and to inform intervention for the next data collection period;
- Measuring the success of Pupil Premium students at the end of Key Stage 4 in relation to their target grades against threshold measures such as 5+ A*-C and 5+ A*-C including English and Maths;
- Monitoring and supporting FSM students requiring and accessing pastoral support. This information is then used to inform interventions, and;
- Measuring FSM students progress post-16, by measuring our NEETS figures and offering intervention post-16 for those students who decide to stay on to the sixth form.
As a parent, you have the right to know how our Pupil Premium money is used within the Academy. We hope you find the included information helpful and that it provides everything you need to know.
If you require further information on this, please contact us at the Academy.