National research shows that many PP children face increased difficulties or barriers to educational achievement.
Pupil Premium funding is spent in school, as the school feel best supports both the academic attainment and well-being of Pupil Premium children.
The table details the main barriers faced by some PP children within our community.
PP Barriers and How Greasley Beauvale Primary School are Working to Overcome Them:
Mental Health and Well-Being
It has been widely publicised that the Covid19 pandemic, and its resulting school closures and lack of social interaction, had a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of many children.
It is clear that ensuring and maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing of children and their families is key to ensuring children thrive socially, emotionally and academically. School are mindful that some social emotional and mental health needs may need long term support and may be an indicator of SEND. Having an up to date working understanding of children’s mental health and wellbeing can inform responses to recovery, implemented at school policy level and by those working directly with the children.
Limited Life Experiences
A small minority of children have limited general knowledge and limited knowledge of the wider world and its issues. Some children have a lack of first-hand cultural experiences (e.g. visits to galleries, theatres, museums etc). A small minority of children come from families with low aspirations, often because of a lack of financial acumen and very challenging family circumstances (poor mental health, dependency on alcohol or drugs, domestic violence, poverty).
We aim to provide an enriching and challenging curriculum, which exposes children to wider world issues and experiences. We believe that to do this, our curriculum should develop skills and knowledge; it should encourage the principles set out in our rainbow values; produce collaborators, innovators, leaders and, above all, it should help our children to understand what it means to be part of a society in modern day Britain.
Our curriculum places an importance on giving the children as many first-hand experiences as possible. These include carefully planned visits outside of school into the local community and beyond, and welcoming visitors and workshops into school to enhance their understanding of the wider world. As a result of COVID, we have had to explore virtual events and increase opportunities for the children (e.g. Pantomime, evolution workshops from museums, animal experiences from zoos) We believe that it essential that our children develop an understanding of issues affecting the wider world and the role they can play as active citizens to make a change. Our curriculum is specifically designed around concepts, which will support the understanding of key concepts such as a fairness, justice and democracy.
Arriving at School Being Ready to Learn
A very small minority of children come to school not ready to learn because of issues at home. The ongoing pandemic has seen the lives of all within the school community significantly changed. GBPS provides stability and structure in a safe environment for children. For some children, school closures due to the pandemic has meant a lack of routine and stability over a prolonged period of time. For some families the pandemic has led to greater uncertainty and anxiety with regards to financial security and health. These changes impact on jobs, family support and network systems, as well as access to many provisions families rely upon. Ultimately, this negatively impacts upon the protective factors in place for some children in school and well-being across the school community.
For a small number of children who are not ready to learn we provide breakfast and morning ‘meet and greet’ sessions in our Rainbow Den. For children who do not access nurture, members of staff are made available in the mornings (in the entrance area) to support transition into classes. For children who lack routine, or struggle with change, staff provide support in the way of clear early communication of changes and regular communication with parents. We understand that children need to be ready for the day ahead. The school has a mental health lead and well-being team and firmly believe in creating ‘champions’ for children, especially where behaviours are extreme and attachment and trauma are issues or causes for concern. Excellent Early Help and safeguarding practices are in place to support children and their families.
Poor Social Skills
Social etiquette is low for a small minority of children (e.g. dining, manners). A minority/average amount of children do not know how to handle conflict and resolution. A small minority of children are unable to articulate their experiences, emotion, feeling and things that they have learnt.
Lunchtime and snack time are used as an opportunity to introduce the children to the etiquette of eating and communicating appropriately. We ensure that lunchtimes are as calm as possible and see this period as a very important part of children’s wider development. The school is proactive in trying to engage parents with their children’s education and the school’s values recognising that some of our parents do not have a positive view of education. We have increased parental engagement over time and invite parents and grandparents into school regularly throughout the calendar year. Social skills are addressed through nurture provision, ELSA, counselling, PSHE curriculum and the relationships that staff build with children.
Attendance and Punctuality (small group of PP children identified)
Whilst attendance for PP is not currently a specific barrier to learning for the majority of our PP children, a small group of disadvantaged children have persistent lower attendance than non-disadvantaged children.
The school’s attendance policy aims to maintain and bring about further increase in attendance figures. Attendance and punctuality continues to be monitored closely. Families with poorer attendance are challenged and supported in-line with policy – including referral to Early Help for attendance monitoring and enforcement.
Special Educational Needs and Disability
22% of GBPS’ PP children are also on the SEND register, which adds to the complexity of support and provision required by these children.
It is important that provision for PP children, who are also on the SEND register, addresses all barriers specific to the child, including the use of a range of effective specific, measurable strategies and interventions. Regular communication between all parties involved in supporting the child’s needs is crucial. Consistency and a common approach, will be most effective in increasing progress rate and raising attainment. Systematic reviews of strategies in place to ensure of most effective practice for child. SEND accountability documents are updated and shared at least termly with parents.
Attainment in Reading, Writing and Maths
Poor speech, language and impoverished vocabulary impacts on children’s attainment. A small minority of children have limited vocabulary, poor grammatical knowledge and poor listening skills. Some children have limited familiarity of good quality texts (i.e. a lack of shared reading taking place at home of high quality texts). A small minority of children have weak communication skills. Many PP children’s progress and attainment has been adversely affected by school closures to most children. This is particularly true of disadvantaged children.
Quality teaching and learning in all classrooms, understanding of children’s gaps and timely interventions are utilised to address this challenge. An emphasis on strong subject leadership supports the strategic development of the curriculum. Our curriculum is designed with a high emphasis on vocabulary acquisition and in particular the Tier 1-3 words and subject-specific vocabulary. We increase day-to-day vocabulary by using high quality, age-appropriate yet challenging texts. We develop subject specific vocabulary so that children can access the wider curriculum.