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Challenges that can be faced by PP children

National research shows that many PP children face increased difficulties or challenges with 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 challenges faced by some PP children within our community.


PP Challenges and How Greasley Beauvale Primary School are Working to Overcome Them:


Mental Health and Wellbeing

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 and parents/carers. This was then followed by a period of recovery. The challenges have since been further exacerbated for many due to the rising cost of living crisis.

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 well-being can inform responses implemented at school policy level and by those working directly with the children. We pride ourselves on being proactive and resourceful in developing ways to identify need and offer support.

At our school we:

  • help children to understand their emotions and feelings better                            
  • ensure children feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries
  • help children socially to form and maintain relationships
  • promote self-esteem and ensure children know that they count
  • encourage children to be confident and to ‘paint their own rainbow’

help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks


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 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 the wider world. 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. We believe that it essential that our children develop an understanding of issues affecting the world and the role they can play as active citizens to make a change.


Arriving at School Ready to Learn

A small minority of children come to school not ready to learn because of issues at home. School provides stability and structure in a safe environment for children The pandemic saw the lives of all within the school community significantly changed, this is having a lasting impact for some. Now with the current economic crisis this 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. This allows children to be supported with the transition into class from home. 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. We 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.


Social Skills

Some children are unable to articulate their experiences, emotions, feelings and things that they have learnt. Lunchtime and snack time are used as an opportunity to develop children’s understanding of dining etiquette and communicating appropriately. The school offers a lunch club in our Rainbow Den provision for a small group of children to provide additional social support. 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, talking and drawing sessions, positive play, counselling, dog therapy, PSHE curriculum and importantly the relationships that staff build with children.


Attendance and Punctuality 

Historically PP has not been a specific barrier for the school’s PP cohort. However, there are a distinct group of children where persistent lower attendance is becoming higher profile.


The school’s attendance policy aims to maintain and bring about further increase in attendance figures. Attendance and punctuality continue 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. As a school we are also trialling the ATTEND Framework as an early intervention to support families with school attendance.


Special Educational Needs and Disability

15% of GBPS’ PP children are also on the SEND register, which can add 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

Under-developed speech, language and vocabulary impacts on children’s attainment. A small minority of PP children have limited vocabulary, grammatical knowledge and 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.

Quality teaching and learning in all classrooms, understanding of children’s gaps and timely interventions are utilised to address barriers in reading, writing and maths. 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.