In common with all schools, Shilbottle Primary receives a Pupil Premium Grant for each child who is entitled to receive Free School Meals or who has been entitled to over the last six years. The grant also includes funding for children classed as ‘Looked After Children’. On our website we publish online information about how we have used the premium to support children and their families.
At present our school has 28% of children entitled to this funding, in line with the national average. We aim for every single one of our pupil premium funded children to make at least expected progress in all areas, and for there to be no gap between them and their non-disadvantaged peers in terms of academic progress and attainment. We also strive to ensure that our disadvantaged children are giving equal opportunities to their peers in terms of access to life experiences and opportunities. We achieve this consistently, identifying and intervening swiftly whenever any gaps begin to emerge. A key factor to support pupils’ progress is quality first teaching, thus investing in the development of high-quality teaching and support through continuing professional development has been a whole school priority over the last few years: for example, focusing on and encouraging independent learning and developing long term memory skills. The impact of this is evident in the increased levels of pupil engagement and resilience in their learning, as well as in their progress.
We recognise the range of opportunities our Pupil Premium children and families are able to access independently and therefore promote opportunities to access socially enriching experiences through our curriculum offer. We achieve this by engaging with families with the aim of ensuring their children develop into ambitious and aspirational citizens through maximising their potential.
Staff are fully committed to the identification of, and overcoming of, any barriers faced by individual children within their class groups, as well as leaders implementing measures to overcome any wider barriers. For example, all children eligible for Pupil Premium funding were provided with resources to our remote learning offer during Covid-19 lockdowns. This meant that staff were swiftly able to provide the relevant materials and technologies to support children in remote learning if they were not in school.
We work closely with the local community to support Pupil Premium children and their families. During the Covid-19 lockdowns we arranged for the local artisan bakery, The Running Fox, to deliver freshly prepared packed lunches every day to homes. These also included special themed days, for example, VE Day with copies of old newspapers. We have also worked with The Shilbottle and Hampeth Community Project to form and run a weekly ‘food bank’ in the village during the pandemic which continues to serve the community.
At a whole school level, children are able to access outsourced extra-curricular activities free of charge and funded educational visits. Our curriculum offers children access to a wide range of cultural and physical activities beyond school. The impact of this can be measured in ongoing high levels of parental engagement, as well as the confidence displayed by parents in asking school for help whenever required, and their trust that school will respond appropriately to overcome the challenges they may be facing: this has included requests to access additional funding to support their children or family home via local or national initiatives, including charity funding.
Another measure of impact is that we have been successful in achieving our ambition that the attendance of our pupil premium funded children in 2020/21 was at least in-line with or exceeds the attendance of all non-disadvantaged pupils nationally.
We have largely targeted our additional pupil premium funding on:
- Ensuring we provide Quality First Teaching
- Targeted intervention where necessary.
- Further development of educational resources
- Other strategies, including, supporting families and their children with any wellbeing or mental health issues they may be facing.