Above: Pupil Premium is used to fund specialist interventions that promote the students' access to learning and their academic 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. The Pupil Premium funding should be used to raise the attainment of these students so they achieve at least in-line with their non-Pupil Premium peers.
Objectives of Pupil Premium Spending at Route 39 Academy
- To narrow the gap to national expectation for those receiving Pupil Premium funding.
- To ensure that all pupils who are in receipt of Pupil Premium make at least 2 whole levels of progress between KS3 and KS4.
The impact of Pupil Premium spending is measured by the means of regular formal assessments, twice termly teacher-based assessment and both self and peer assessment. Students are able to set their own targets and work towards these in a stepped approach, ensuring recognition of each stage of achievement.
If the spending is successful, Pupil Premium students will perform in-line with their non-Pupil Premium counterparts.
Route 39 are held accountable for the impact of Pupil Premium funding in the following ways:
- Performance tables – these should show that Pupil premium students are achieving in line with their peers in the subjects offered at the Academy.
- Details published annually online to show how we are using Pupil Premium and the impact it has and is having on pupil achievement.
- The Ofsted inspection framework, where inspectors focus on the attainment of pupil groups, with a particular focus on those students who attract pupil premium funding.
The Barriers to Learning
The main barriers faced by disadvantaged students at Route 39 Academy are:
- not being fully equipped for sessions.
- gaps in understanding due to low attendance.
- low attendance
- low parental engagement.
Identification of Barriers
Barriers are identified in the following ways:
- Pen portraits when students enter the school.
- Parent-coach meetings from before the students start the school onwards. Attendance at school events and parents evenings is reviewed.
- 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, through coaching, in sessions and around school.
This helps guide where funding is spent.
Our Approach to Overcoming the Barriers
We ensure that Pupil Premium students are provided with the necessary equipment, text books and revision guides to allow them to engage fully with their academic work.
Longer School Day
This is a very important aspect of the Route 39 approach. The school day at Route 39 Academy is two hours longer than the majority of schools - 8.30am-5pm. This helps to bridge the gap by giving all students access to an extended curriculum of enrichment activities and clubs, as well as daily Independent Study Sessions (ISS). This means that 'homework' is not done at home - where there is inequality in the support and encouragement students receive - but instead is done in school time, where there is access to teacher support, guidance. The longer school day also offers the opportunity for tailored interventions.
Staff start by addressing historical gaps in a student's knowledge with targetted intervention sessions. This helps the students gain confidence and gives them the ability to access more of the work in sessions. Staff include classroom based interventions to promote inclusivity, as well as regular specialist intervention sessions for subjects including Science, English and Maths, based on data obtained from regualr assessment.
Literacy, Thrive and Handwriting interventions are also provided for both individuals and small groups. This helps bridge any gaps and gives students the confidence and support they may need to access education positively.
When parental engagement is considered low the school offers many alternative 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.
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
Pupil Premium Provision 2015 – 2016
Total Pupil Premium funding for Academic year 2015 – 2016 = £34, 323
Pupil Premium Provision 2016 – 2017
Total Pupil Premium funding for Academic year 2016 – 2017 = £38, 634
Route 39 Academy received £935 per student who is eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years. In addition Route 39 will receive £1,900 for each looked after child who has been looked after for one day or more or was adopted on or after 30th December 2005 or left care under a special guardianship order or a residence order.
Our objectives and strategy for this year remain as above. We will continue the targeted data-led interventions put in place for English and Maths, for groups and individual students eligible for Pupil Premium funding whilst promoting a whole school change for improvement, implementing training from South Dartmoor College.
There will also be subject specialist lead interventions, offered to groups of students to promote improvement in all subjects at the Academy.
The date of the next Pupil Premium Strategy Review is 28th March 2018