Winning the 2017 Pupil Premium Award has been an affirming experience for all the staff who work so hard to ensure that every pupil at Springfield achieves very well, and also experiences a wide range of sporting and cultural opportunities.
We are keen to share good practice in many ways. We offer thorough Pupil Premium Reviews, led by myself. I am an accredited Pupil Premium Reviewer under the National College for Teaching and Leadership. We host visits for leaders from other Education Authorities and work with other Teaching School Alliances and Research Schools. In addition, we are establishing a half termly pupil premium forum attended by local leaders in this area to share good practice and ideas. We understand that the dynamics of the groups of children we encounter change yearly; what works for one cohort doesn’t always necessarily fit for another. But armed with the best research, and case studies from across different schools, we should have the tools to adapt our practice to fit specific needs.
What works for us:
Our strategy broadly cover 3 areas:
- High quality teaching with targeted support
- Pastoral provision
- Enrichment and experiences
A Relentless Focus Quality Teaching
As a teaching school we have put on over 50 courses attended by delegates from 88 schools, which our staff have access to - these aim to share the best in local practice, and expertise from carefully chosen educational consultants. PD continues as staff implement changes and regularly review together as a team. In school, we release teaching staff simultaneously to meet for one afternoon monthly. Our monitoring of provision for disadvantaged pupils is robust and takes into account attendance, data and engagement with wider opportunities.
We use research to identify solutions to challenges, trial them within our school and then share our practice. Recent examples include using the ‘Bar Method’ in maths and using ‘Loops of Learning’ to improve curriculum learning.
Building Effective Staff-Pupil Relationships/Dialogue
Regularly over the course of the year, pupils and teachers have 10 minute mentoring meetings. This has multiple benefits: it builds relationships and creates time to explore individual barriers to learning and promote resilience. It also enables teachers to introduce (and explain) precise learning targets.
High adult pupil ratios across the school provide the capacity for numerous pre-planned intervention groups (and also ad-hoc interventions according to need). There is an absence of ‘intervention culture’ as groupings are fluid and cater for different abilities and subjects. These interventions take place before, during and after school - but are planned to minimise pupils removal from other curriculum sessions.
To improve reading we have a competition each week (across the school) between classes designed to ensure that each pupil reads 4 times at home per week. For pupils who cannot do this (often our disadvantaged pupils) we have a reading buddies system so that pupils can read aloud at school.
We ensure that pupils who join the school in year 3 have a successful transition with a programme which begins at the start of year 2. We have been committed over recent years to increasing the number of classes from 3 to 4, and ensuring there is a range of abilities in classes conducive to mixed ability learning. Disadvantaged pupils access more teacher time, and this reduces dips in attainment during year 3 - especially those that are often prevalent in Junior schools.
Our fully funded daily breakfast club ensures pupils have a good breakfast, and are ready to learn. It improves attendance/punctuality and is an opportunity for extra reading/maths games and intervention groups.
Our Family Support Worker builds relationships with parents, attends meetings, maintains records which are shared (as appropriate) with relevant school staff so that class provision can be adapted. She supports 24% of our disadvantaged pupils and a further 12% have social service involvement.
Each month pupils partake in a mixed aged ‘apprenticeships’ afternoon, led by local experts and instructors from a range of disciplines and focused on different countries and cultures.
Clubs that are offered to the pupils offer a wide range of unique experiences drawing on the skills of our multi-talented staff and visitors. They offer pupils opportunities to experience success and develop self-confidence in other areas. These include fishing, circus skills, card making and musical theatre - to name but a few!
We put on an extensive range of trips so pupils are acquainted firstly with their local area and, secondly, places of national interest (such as London). In this way, pupils experience more culture, history and geography.
Daniel Jones, September 2017