Above: Pupil Premium is used to fund specialist interventions that promote the students' access to learning and their academic engagement.
At Route 39 Academy we believe that every student deserves the opportunity to thrive both in their academic and non-academic endeavours.
The strategy that is most effective in bridging the gap between advantage and disadvantage is good teaching. A study carried out by the Sutton Trust found that students from a disadvantaged background gained 1.5 years’ worth of learning when educated by a high-quality teacher, compared to only 0.5 years with poorly performing teachers. For this reason, teachers at Route 39 Academy are expected to consistently teach at a good to outstanding Ofsted level and support strategies are put in place to achieve this.
“The effects of high-quality teaching are especially large for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, who gain an extra year’s worth of learning under very effective teachers compared to poorly performing teachers” - Hanushek, 1992
The Barriers to Learning
The main barriers faced by disadvantaged students at Route 39 Academy are:
- accessing Route 39 Academy as a choice for their education.
- being fully equipped for sessions.
- gaps in understanding due to low attendance.
- low parental engagement.
Identification of Barriers
Barriers are identified in the following ways:
- Pen portraits when students enter the school.
- Baseline assessments are sat by all students when they enter the school regardless of year of entry.
- Regular assessments throughout the year in all subjects.
- In depth monitoring of students and their needs, in sessions and around school.
Overcoming the Barriers
If a student is entitled to free school meals they receive funding towards their transport.
Staff start by addressing historical gaps in a student's knowledge. This helps the students gain confidence and gives them the ability to access more of the work in sessions. Staff include classroom based interventions, as well as regular specialist intervention sessions for subjects including Science, English and Maths.
Literacy, Thrive and Handwriting interventions are also provided for both individuals and small groups.
When parental engagement is considered low the school offers many alternatives ways of increasing this, such as home visits, non educational events and alternative methods of communication.
The Academy ethos of “Engage, Respect, Aspire” develops a culture of students wanting to learn and having a thirst for knowledge and development. Creating a supportive learning environment means that where attendance has been a problem in the past, it becomes less so, helping bridge the gaps in the students' knowledge and engagement.
What is Pupil Premium?
Pupil Premium is additional funding, provided by the government, for children who:
- receive - or have received in any of the last six years - Free School Meals.
- have been ‘looked after’ continuously for six months during the year and are aged between five and fifteen.
- are the children of service personnel.
Why is it Important?
Research shows that nationally students in these groups do significantly less well than other students. We use the Pupil Premium funding to continually improve the quality of teaching and learning, as well as investing in opportunities that may not otherwise be open to the children. We are enhancing their educational experience and also providing them with lifelong learning experiences.
Last year, Route 39 Academy received £34,323 extra funding for Pupil Premium Students.
Please click here to see a breakdown of how last years and this years Pupil Premium funds were spent
The impact of Pupil Premium spending is judged by whether students recieving the funding perform at least in line with other students and achieve at least the same expected levels of progress as their peers. This is measured through regular formal assessments, twice-a-term teacher-based assessments, and both self and peer assessment.
Applying for Free School Meals
If your child is eligible for Free School Meals they will get over £400 of free meals alongside a range of other benefits, including Pupil Premium. To find out if your child is eligible, telephone the Local Authority on 0845 155 1019 for Devon children, or fill out the online form at the Cornwall Council Education and Learning website. We are not allowed to telephone on your behalf but can certainly help if you have any questions about this process.