Pupil Premium

An update, reflecting on COVID and school closures

We know that the barriers to learning faced by disadvantaged students at The Hemel Hempstead School often go beyond our school gates. In addition to the barriers to learning we see in school like lower levels of aspiration and lower literacy levels they could also include unstable or chaotic home lives, low levels of family income, low attendance, negative peer group influences and low levels of parental education and engagement. The barriers to learning faced by our disadvantaged cohort can be categorised in 3 ways:

  • Attendance – attendance of disadvantaged students is typically 4% lower than non-disadvantaged attendance at The Hemel Hempstead School. Disadvantaged students are less likely to be resilient in their attendance to school and as a result miss out on valuable teaching time and opportunities. 
  • Low Aspiration – Disadvantaged students typically have lower aspirations with regard to 6th form and further education and have lower expectations and sense of achievement compared to their non-disadvantaged peers. 
  • Academic – Disadvantaged students form a significant number of those requiring catch up Literacy and Numeracy support at The Hemel Hempstead School on their arrival in Year 7. Literacy skills and range of vocabulary affects disadvantaged students ability to access a wide range of subject areas. 

The effect of school closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will impact on a wide range of our students here at The Hemel Hempstead School, not just those classed as disadvantaged. School closure will have impacted on students from different groups causing gaps in knowledge and skills across the curriculum; 

  • Those identified for catch up in year seven 2019/2020; as the full programme was not completed
  • Disadvantaged students; as access to resources, parental capacity for support, motivation and work ethic may be a barrier
  • SEND students; as access to resources and support may be a barrier
  • Academically vulnerable; as the lack of school structure, parental capacity for support, motivation and work ethic may be a barrier. 
  • Those identified for catch up in year seven 2020/2021

Our Restart Programme (Catch up) for the academic year 2020/2021 outlines the way we will specifically support those students in years seven and eight who are in need of Literacy and Numeracy support. This work started in July 2020 by supporting the most vulnerable Year 6 students with specific Literacy and Numeracy bridging work. Students in Year 8 (into 9) and Year 9 (into 10) have been engaged with bridging work in English utilising SAM Learning and GCSEPod capitalising on the remote learning that has been the staple diet for our students over the last three months. The Pupil Premium Plan also outlines how we will support all disadvantaged students at The Hemel Hempstead School, not just those within the traditional definition. We will continue to ensure that disadvantaged students at The Hemel Hempstead School get access to the same opportunities in terms of academic support and cultural capital as their peers and our Pupil Premium Plan will ensure that all students can keep up and not have to catch up later on in the key stages. 

The Pupil Premium Plan seeks to invest in resources that support our disadvantaged students within the areas of greatest need and effect. Having reviewed previous Pupil Premium Plans and spending alongside research from the Education Endowment Fund and examples of best practice from Achievement for All, we have invested funding in 3 key areas:

  • Tuition – The Education Endowment Fund states that small group tuition is “effective”, with evidence demonstrating an increase of 4 months progress. The Pupil Premium Plan will fund targeted, small group tuition on a half termly basis. The Restart Programme also funds small group tuition in Numeracy and Literacy intervention. 
  • Supporting Parents – Analysis from previous plans and work with parents has shown that a degree of flexibility and ownership is needed for parents to be able to work with us to target funding to support their children effectively. Furthermore, we need to ensure that monies allocated to support individual students are distributed equitably. The menu available for parents to allocate their own funding on resources and opportunities that they need will be key to supporting vulnerable families and engaging them in a discussion about academic support and cultural capital.
  • Online Learning – Students and staff alike have developed a wealth of new skills having changed the way they have been working during lockdown. Ensuring that we continue to support and develop remote learning will be key to providing high quality intervention for a wide range of students across all key stages. 

The Hemel Hempstead School has also undertaken to invest a further £125,000 from its reserves to fund 2 additional members of staff (Progress Champions) to work with those cohorts most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Progress Champions will be integral in working alongside the Raising Standards Leader, Academic Learning Mentor, staff and students to not only coordinate high quality intervention for targeted groups of students but also to continue to support and develop high quality teaching and learning in the classroom.

Pupil Premium Funding Report

The Pupil Premium is allocated to local authorities and schools for students registered on roll in January who are known to have been eligible for free school meals (FSM) at any time in the last six years. The funding is used  to support the raising of attainment for the most vulnerable students – this sum is in addition to the underlying school’s budget.

This report explains how we used our Pupil Premium funding last year, and how we will use it this year.

Year 7 Literacy and Numeracy Catch-up funding

Literacy and numeracy catch-up funding is used to support those students who join us in Year 7 having not reach the expected standard at the end of key stage two.  The funding is used to get these students up to (and beyond) the expected standard in their first year at secondary school.

This report explains how we use our Year 7 Numeracy and Literacy Catch-up funding last year, and how we will use it this year.

 

If you have any questions about how Pupil Premium or Catch-up funding is used, please contact our Raising Standards Leader, Assistant Headteacher Eleanor Bevan on 01442 390 100.