The Pupil Premium is additional funding paid to schools in respect of their disadvantaged pupils (pupils who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years or are looked after continuously by the local authority for more than six months). School received this funding to support their eligible pupils and narrow the attainment gap between them and their peers. Headteachers are free to decide how best to use the Premium to support their ‘Ever6’, FSM and Looked After Pupils.
At St. Mary's we support all our pupils. We do this by providing high quality classroom teaching supplemented by interventions to support vulnerable learners as and when required. The School Leadership Team and Governing Body use the progress of individual pupils as our first starting point when allocating additional resource to support pupils’ progress. We believe strongly that the best intervention that can be provided for a child is through focused assessment and targeted support from their class teacher. Through the use of targets and very focused marking, we help all of our pupils to understand what it is they are doing well and what they need to do to improve further.
We have high aspirations and ambitions for our children and we believe that no child should be allowed to underachieve. We strongly believe that it is not about where you come from but your passion and thirst for knowledge, and your dedication and commitment to learning that make the difference between success and failure, and we are determined to ensure that our children are given every chance to achieve well, whatever their starting point. Pupil premium funding represents a significant proportion of our budget and we are committed to ensuring it is spent to maximum effect.
We believe that one of the biggest barriers for children can be low expectations and so are determined to create a climate that does not limit a child’s potential in any way
When making decisions about using pupil premium funding it is important to consider the context of the school and the subsequent challenges faced. Common barriers for FSM children can be lack of support at home, weak language and communication skills, lack of confidence, more frequent behaviour difficulties, and attendance and punctuality issues. There may also be complex family situations that prevent children from flourishing. The challenges are varied and there is no “one size fits all”.
Our key objective in using the Pupil Premium Grant is to narrow the gap between pupil groups. Through targeted interventions we are working to eliminate barriers to learning and progress. For children who start school with low attainment on entry, our aim is to ensure that they make accelerated progress in order to reach age related expectations + as they move through the school.
We have analysed our data thoroughly and have made use of a range of research, such as parental engagement research, good practice in using pupil premium funding, the Sutton Trust research on within school variance and the Sutton Trust toolkit, to inform our decision making.
In addition to this, we have identified some key principles (outlined below) which we believe will maximise the impact of our pupil premium spending.
We are determined to ensure that the percentage of children working at age related expectations and above increases, especially at KS1 and in the EYFS and that we narrow the attainment gap between pupils in receipt of free school meals and other pupils.