Barriers to future attainment (for pupils eligible for PP)
The main barriers to educational achievement faced by students eligible for the Pupil Premium are myriad and diverse. Some of the most common barriers include poor attendance, behavioural difficulties, low-levels of literacy and pastoral issues such as low self-esteem. It must be noted that some, all or none of these issues may be experienced by eligible Pupil Premium students in the Academy. It is also important to note that a few disadvantaged students are categorised as Higher Ability and have been high-achievers at primary school. Indeed, the students who are both Pupil Premium and Higher Ability are a key focus group and their attainment is closely monitored.
How Pupil Premium funding will be spent and rationale
At The Co-operative Academy of Leeds we pride ourselves on utilising the Pupil Premium money to support our students with a specific focus on attendance, literacy, numeracy, raising standards of English and mathematics, engagement of students with emotional and social issues, improved communication with the Czech community, improving employability skills and maximising the life opportunities for all students.
Attendance for Pupil Premium students is also one of the key focuses of our Attendance and Administration Assistants(AAAs) and Attendance improvement officers (AIOs). They track attendance carefully making home contact and following up periods of absence. They work with groups of students to encourage and motivate them to improve their attendance.
Over the past 5 years the gaps between PP and non-PP have closed in a climate of improved attainment for all students. Some of the pupil premium money is spent on both teacher staffing and other adults that work with our students. Work is done to ensure quality first teaching and the interventions that the other adults undertake are targeted effectively and they have a positive impact on the students that they work with.
We have a cohort of students who are Pupil Premium students and come from the Czech Republic. Until now communication with the parents of these students has been an issue. We have now appointed a Czech interpreter who is already making a big difference in, for instance, getting the message across that attendance is important.
We need to raise the literacy levels of Pupil Premium students. We have made a big investment in programmes like Accelerated Reader and Lexia to improve reading. Many of our pupil premium children have limited access to books at home and so another investment has been the re-organisation of the library and the purchase of a greater selection of books. We have also invested in the appointment of a literacy co-ordinator within English to keep the focus on our literacy goals.
We need to close the gap further for our Pupil Premium children in Maths. In order to increase capacity to do this we have appointed a lead teacher. Their responsibility is to analyse data and determine interventions in communication with the school raising achievement group, we now use symphony maths and an intervention tool kit to help raise the standard of numeracy. We have extended our staffing in both Maths and English to facilitate interventions, additional classes and one to one support.
Many of our Pupil Premium students are faced with emotional issues and if they are not supported then this can distract them from their focus on learning. In order to provide that support we have invested in a school counsellor. We have also trained staff in delivering Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning as part of their curriculum delivery. We have grouped our students into ‘houses’ or ‘Guilds’ and each of these have a guild director and a student support manager who work closely with families and support, mentor and nurture the students in their guild.
Some of our Pupil Premium students find traditional, mainstream education very challenging. As a result, we have developed an offsite teaching unit where we ensure that these students continue to be delivered English, Maths and Science as well as other courses to support them in successfully continuing their education.
We are introducing a scholarship award in for year 9 students excelling in the creative subjects, this will provide a focus on the successes in the creative subjects so that students are praised for their work and they are encouraged to take the subjects that they excel in, therefore students will be well placed to perform better in the KS4 curriculum.
We aim to improve the aspirations and skills for employment of our pupil premium students by providing career advice, supporting students with interview practice and mentoring students so that they have a better understanding of the careers that are available to them.
Finally, many of our Pupil Premium students have English as an additional language. For these students we provide withdrawal lessons so that they can have additional literacy teaching and EAL support within the classroom. The EAL team support EAL students to gain qualifications in their home language.