Part A: Pupil Premium Strategy Plan

Statement of Intent

Our intention is that all pupils, irrespective of their background or the challenges they face, make +1 progress and achieve high attainment across the curriculum. 

The focus of our pupil premium strategy is to support disadvantaged pupils to achieve that goal, including progress for those who are already high attainers. We will consider the challenges faced by vulnerable pupils, such as those who have a social worker and young carers. The activity we have outlined in this statement is also intended to support their needs, regardless of whether they are disadvantaged or not. 

High-quality teaching is at the heart of our approach, with a focus on areas in which disadvantaged pupils require the most support. This is proven to have the greatest impact on closing the disadvantage attainment gap and at the same time will benefit the non-disadvantaged pupils in our school. Implicit in the intended outcomes detailed below, is the intention that non-disadvantaged pupils’ attainment will be sustained and improved alongside progress for their disadvantaged peers. 

Our strategy is also integral to wider school plans for education recovery, notably in its targeted support through the National Tutoring Programme for pupils whose education has been worst affected, including non-disadvantaged pupils. Our approach will be responsive to common challenges and individual needs, rooted in robust diagnostic assessment, not assumptions about the impact of disadvantage. The approaches we have adopted complement each other to help pupils excel. To ensure they are effective we will:

  • ensure disadvantaged pupils are challenged in the work that they’re set
  • act early to intervene at the point need is identified
  • adopt a whole school approach in which all staff take responsibility for disadvantaged pupils’ outcomes and raise expectations of what they can achieve

Challenges

The table below outlines the key challenges to achievement that we have identified among our disadvantaged pupils.

Challenge Number

Details of the Challenge

1

General academic disadvantage, upon entry into the school. As a school we use GL Assessment to understand about the prior attainment as students start at the school. Evidence from these assessments show that students eligible for the pupil premium are already academically disadvantaged. Last year, upon entry into the school, disadvantaged students were found to be 11 SAS points (standardised age scores, a nationally benchmarked age-related measure) below their more affluent peers in maths, and 9 SAS points behind in English.

2

Poorer reading and spelling, upon entry into the school. Nationally standardised reading and spelling tests are taken every year as part of our ongoing monitoring of student outcomes. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to enter the school with lower reading ages and spelling competency than their more affluent peers. Typically upon entry, disadvantaged students are 8 months behind their more affluent peers in spelling and score 5 SAS (standardised age score) behind in reading ability.

3

Poorer organisational skills. From our experience and observation, students from more disadvantaged backgrounds tend to face specific organisational challenges at the school. This includes accessing and completing homework, punctuality to school, bringing in the correct equipment and wearing the correct uniform. Consequently, we see an overrepresentation (40% rather than an expected 20%) of sanctions for poor organisation.

4

More complex pastoral issues that impact on academic performance. From our experience and observation, students from more disadvantaged backgrounds tend to face a greater range of pastoral challenges. This includes mental health issues, challenging familial and peer relationships, poor behaviour, safeguarding concerns and other problems often associated with low economic circumstances. The number of concerns regarding disadvantaged students last year was almost 7 times greater than for more affluent peers.

5

Poor attendance. From our experience and observation, students from more disadvantaged backgrounds tend to be absent from school more frequently. Last year, the attendance rate for disadvantaged students was 92%, compared to 95% for more affluent peers.

Intended Outcomes

This explains the outcomes we are aiming for by the end of our current strategy plan, and how we will measure whether they have been achieved.

Intended Outcome

Success Criteria

Improve general academic outcomes relative to peers.

At the time of our first published public examinations (academic year 2023/24) disadvantaged students achieve significantly above a P8 of 0. In the intervening years, there is evidence of closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged and more affluent peers.

Improve reading and spelling

Reading comprehension tests and spelling tests demonstrate improved comprehension skills among disadvantaged pupils and a smaller disparity between the scores of disadvantaged pupils and their non-disadvantaged peers. Teachers should also have recognised this improvement through engagement in lessons and book scrutiny.

Improve organisational skills

From Year 9 onwards, there is a significant reduction in the number of sanctions awarded for organisation.

Reduce the impact of pastoral issues

Year -on-year decreases in the number of referrals made to external agencies, and flagging of concerns by staff. Pastoral services provide proactive support.

Improve attendance

Sustained high attendance from 2024/25 demonstrated by the overall absence rate for all pupils being no more than 5%, and the attendance gap between disadvantaged pupils and their non-disadvantaged peers being reduced to no more than 2%.

Activity in this academic year

This details how we intend to spend our pupil premium (and recovery premium funding) this academic year to address the challenges listed above.

​​Teaching (for example, CPD, recruitment and retention)

Budget cost for the below: £17,450

Activity

Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

Cost

Purchase of standardised diagnostic assessments (GL and associated products). Training will be provided for staff to ensure assessments are interpreted correctly.

Standardised tests can provide reliable insights into the specific strengths and weaknesses of each pupil to help ensure they receive the correct additional support through interventions or teacher instruction. Click here for more details.

1, 2

£1,720

(30% of £5,730 

£285

(30% x 10 days Admin Assistant

£950)

The employment of additional maths teaching hours, that is then deployed for those who are significantly behind their peers within normal curriculum time. 

This allows for very small class sizes for those students (disproportionately PP) who are most at need of specialist and tailored maths support. The very small class sizes (approx 4 or 5) allows the teacher to deliver maths in a different way. This approach is recommended by the EEF.

1

£15,445

(50% of £30,889)

Pastoral and Behavioural Support

Budgeted cost: £63,511

Activity

Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

Cost

Additional employment of a PSL to support students academic and pastoral progress and wellbeing.

Click here for supporting evidence.

3, 4, 5

£24,575

OnCall and a centralised behaviour system.

Click here for supporting evidence.

3, 4, 5

£17,500

50% of FT teacher.  OnCall staffed SLT and PSLs.  Average £35,000

Literacy learning package (Lexia)

Robust evidence can be seen here.

2

£1,586

Uniform support.  £50 support on new uniform for all Y7 FSM

Meeting basic needs of students.

 

£2,300

50% contribution towards music tuition for PP 

Example of evidence here.

1, 2, 3

£2,550

Contingency fund for acute issues.

Based on our experiences and those of similar schools to ours, we have identified a need to set a small amount of funding aside to respond quickly to needs that have not yet been identified. Areas of consideration include trip funding and study hall. To be reviewed termly.

All

£20,000

 

Total budgeted cost: £85,961

 

Part B: Review of Outcomes in the Previous Academic Year

Pupil premium strategy outcomes

The disruption to education in the academic year 2020/21, as a result of Covid-19 and associated lockdowns, was significant and was felt acutely by our more disadvantaged students. They were not able to benefit from our pupil premium funded improvements to teaching and targeted interventions to the degree that we intended. The impact was mitigated by our resolution to maintain a high quality curriculum, including during periods of partial or full closure, which was aided by use of online resources, the lending out of electronic devices, live remote teaching and regular contact with home. There are strong signs that our strategy is bearing fruit and students from poorer backgrounds are academically thriving. Our internal assessments for Year 8s (then the oldest in the school) towards the end of 2020/21 suggested that a similar number (around 76%) were making expected or above expected progress across subjects. Supporting this, our most recent internal assessments (December 2021) across all years also show a similar pattern – and some evidence that those children eligible for free school meals systematically progressing more than their more affluent peers. Externally benchmarked tests in English and maths also support the conclusion that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are both keeping pace with their peers and academically thriving:

The school is yet to experience a year without Covid-19. This makes any analysis of attendance figures – where full and partial closures have occurred and where students are advised to remain home in certain circumstances – problematic. It also makes it difficult to judge the impact of our pastoral support as we continue to see an increase in pandemic-related anxiety and mental health generally.