Viewley Hill is an average sized primary school in Hemlington, Middlesbrough. We have a high school deprivation indicator: 0.53 compared to a national average of 0.24. The percentage of pupils known to be eligible for Free School meals (FSM) is also significantly above the national average: 64.4 compared to 26.0 (RAISE 2015)
We are an inclusive school with high aspirations and ambitions for our children. We believe that no child should be left behind. We are committed to ensuring that any challenges we face in our context are mitigated so that all pupils can reach their full potential.
Objectives of Pupil Premium Spending
The Pupil Premium Grant is aimed at addressing the underlying inequalities which exist between children who are or have been eligible for free school meals and those who are not. There is a national trend of lower attainment for FSM which is why the government is committed to support schools financially to close this gap.
Our key objective in using the Pupil Premium Grant is to close the gap between pupil groups. We want all children to achieve well and attain high standards. We recognise that for some children there are significant barriers to learning such as weak language and communication skills, lack of confidence, behaviour difficulties and sometimes complex family situations. All of these can impact on a child’s ability to make good progress.
However, we absolutely recognise that eligibility for free school meals is not a direct link to lower ability or challenging home circumstances. As our proportion of FSM is so high (about two thirds of the school community) our Pupil Premium grant supports children right across the ability range in school to ensure that every child meets their potential.
Diminishing the difference at Viewley Hill
Many of our children start school with low attainment on entry and our aim is to make sure they make accelerated progress in order to reach age-related expectations (+) as they move through school.
End of KS2 outcomes are generally very good for Pupil Premium children. This group at times outperforms non-Pupil Premium children in some or all measures. This is obviously influenced by the particular makeup of the cohort which can contain different percentages of higher achieving Pupil Premium pupils.
How do we decide how to allocate the funding?
We use recognised research into the effective use of the Pupil Premium Grant to support our decision making into how we allocate funds. The Sutton Trust – Education Endowment Foundation, Teaching and Learning Toolkit is used to analyse our provision. Findings from this research are considered within our school context to inform well-considered decisions to meet the needs of our pupils. The toolkit clearly promotes the understanding that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to effective use of Pupil Premium Funding.
We have identified the following key areas for development. Some of these have clear cost implications such as additional teachers and teaching assistants to facilitate smaller group tutoring but others are relatively cost-free except for time to develop and implement. We have developed 6 key strategies to underpin pupil premium gran allocation. These are: a Pupil Premium Champion, Quality Teaching and Learning, Early Intervention, Targeted Teaching, Attendance, The Whole Child. In practical terms these strategies encompass a range of the following:
- Small group tutoring
- One to one tuition
- Improving attendance
- Behaviour support
- Enriching opportunities and enhancing the curriculum
In addition to these, school continues to have a sharp focus on quality feedback to children through developmental marking.