In 20-21 the government provided £80 funding per child to support children to catch up lost learning time following the COVID19 related school closures. In this academic year, the Recovery Premium provides £145 extra per pupil premium pupil along with a ring fenced £5700 School Lead Tutoring Grant (SLTG) to fund 75% of tutoring with school subsidising the rest. The Recovery Premium is able to be used to access the already subsidised National Tutoring Programme (NTP).
Schools were and continue to be able to choose how best to use their funding; to support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation published support guides for schools, providing evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students.
The most recent 2021 EEF Guide to Supporting School Planning aims to support schools and proposes a tiered model that focuses upon high quality teaching, targeted academic support and wider strategies to aid recovery, building on their tiered EEF Pupil Premium Guide (2019), with appropriate adaptations for catch up. Our whole school improvement plan follows this model.
The EEF guide to Supporting School Planning shares the best available evidence, referring to existing EEF guidance reports along with school case studies, to aid school leaders in choosing the most appropriate strategies to address issues caused by the pandemic and allow pupils to catch up at the quickest possible rate.
When deciding how best to use the funding we received at Buxton Junior School, we considered evidence from the EEF, our understanding of individual levels of engagement with remote learning, our school context data and our observations and assessments of the children once they had settled back into school life. We identified a number of barriers to learning caused by school closure due to Covid-19, which can be seen below:
How do we spend the premium?
Following the guidance mentioned above, we structure our approach around quality first teaching (underpinned by detailed assessment) targeted academic support (for those pupils who are not making good progress across the spectrum of achievement), and wider strategies relating to the most significant non-academic barriers to success in school (including attendance, behaviour and social and emotional support).
The following table shows an overview of strategies put into place for each of the tiers, further detail about which can be found in the Pupil Premium Strategy and School Improvement Plan.
Quality First Teaching
Targeted Academic Support
Training on metacognition, scaffolding and modelling, feedback and questioning to enhance quality first teaching
Reading comprehension and fluency strategies training
Wider experiences built into the whole school curriculum to address the cultural capital deficit and foster use of wider range of vocabulary
Access to high quality texts with book for every child
Engaging with the National Tutoring Programme to fund tutors for 1:3 sessions for disadvantaged children requiring the most support, at a heavily discounted rate
These sessions will be led by our school staff and will take place in the afternoons
Tutoring via the School Lead Tutoring Grant
Additional adult support in some year groups allows for small group work with teachers and TAs
Purchase of whole school handwriting intervention
Extra phonics sessions in the afternoons for some children to close gaps
Funding TA supporting delivery of pre-teaching, overlearning and quality first teaching
Funding for a range of interventions across the curriculum
Providing an Advocate for all our Pupil Premium children
Forest School Nurture
Increased Family Resource Worker hours
A range of parental engagement projects across the curriculum
Attachment aware training
Outdoor Learning Extension programme to boost self-esteem and school engagement
Purchase of new Chromebooks to support access to IT in school and at home
How do we judge the impact of our strategies?
Teaching and learning in the school is always observed as of very high quality and incorporates the range of strategies implemented to support the delivery of quality first teaching.
Robust baselines in reading, writing, maths, spelling (and phonics in Y3) were gathered in each year group following the full return to school in September 2020. Since then, the school assessment cycle (including teacher assessment) has provided information to inform our priorities with an increased focus on phonics in in LKS2.
School’s target is that all pupils should make accelerated progress from this baseline, and we continue to work to, as a minimum expectation, meet targets set in formal KS1 SATS assessments (where available). Teachers, tutors and teaching assistants supporting pupils with targeted academic support regularly provide feedback to class teachers about progress made.
Class teachers monitor the well-being of the children via the strategies implemented. Where involved in specific interventions relating to wider strategies, family resource workers and Pupil Premium Advocates monitor and report to the class teachers about progress; the children should also be able to demonstrate and explain their progress confidently across the curriculum. Furthermore, school happiness surveys and pupil voice reports that pupils at Buxton Junior School are happy and thriving.