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Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds will be among those hardest hit. The impact of lost time in education will be substantial, and the scale of our response must match the scale of the challenge. Schools’ allocations will be calculated on a per pupil basis, providing each mainstream school with a total of £80 for each pupil in Reception to Year 6.
At Crowlands Primary School, we believe that all children are entitled to an education which allows every child to achieve their potential regardless of their starting point in life or personal circumstances.
What are the main barriers to educational achievement faced by pupils at Crowlands Primary School?
We regularly identify and review the barriers to learning for our disadvantaged pupils as well as our wider school community. It is anticipated that the barriers to learning identified below will be experienced by more of our pupils than ever before, and made worse for many of our pupils, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have identified 5 key aspects of child poverty and disadvantage which affect our pupils:
• Material poverty;
• Emotional poverty;
• Poverty of experience;
• Poverty of language; and
• Poverty of aspiration
We have also identified main barriers to learning for some our pupils:
- Poor attendance and punctuality – many of our disadvantaged pupils have poor attendance and punctuality, caused by a range of factors including attitude towards education and issues at home.
- Poverty of language (poor spoken English & limited vocabulary knowledge), alongside poverty of experience and aspiration in relation to experiences which can be drawn upon in their writing and lack of exposure to high quality stories and texts at home.
- Disadvantaged pupils with particular areas of weakness in reading, writing and/or maths; gaps in their learning or misconceptions which prevent further progress.
- Poor emotional wellbeing and mental health due to a range of factors including chaotic home life & traumatic life experiences. There is an acceptance that the overwhelming majority, if not all pupils, will have been negatively affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have identified the following ‘COVID-19 specific’ issues affecting our pupils:
- Significant gaps in pupils’ skills and knowledge due to lack of daily teaching and daily practice
- Pupils have missed significant experiences affecting their cultural capital and ability to make connections in their learning.
- Widening attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils due to lack of daily teaching and appropriate intervention.
- Lack of engagement with home learning during school closure/self-isolation.
- Poor speech and language; lack of opportunity for regular, sustained dialogue with range of peers/adults and appropriate modelling of vocabulary from adults.
- Home environments lacking structure, routines and appropriate boundaries during school closure - affecting pupils’ behaviour for learning and mental health.
- Mental health/wellbeing issues affecting our pupils’ wellbeing and academic performance.
How is Catch Up Funding used at Crowlands Primary School?
At Crowlands, we believe that quality first teaching is crucial to ensuring our pupils catch up academically, are successful learners and are well prepared for the next stage in their education. That’s why, alongside the use of catch up funding for specific strategies and interventions, our school development plan and pupil premium strategy consider a tiered approach, with a focus on
a) Improving the quality of teaching and learning;
b) Providing targeted academic support for disadvantaged pupils;
c) Removing non-academic barriers to disadvantaged pupil’s learning.
- In making decisions on the use of the premium, we will focus on approaches that:
- Use evidence based research on proven strategies which work to narrow the attainment gaps and adapt these as necessary to meet the needs of our pupils.
- Ensure there is robust monitoring and evaluation in place to account for the use and impact of the Premium, by the school and governing body.
- Are focused on clear short-term goals providing opportunities for pupils to experience success.
- Recognise the fact that pupils who have fallen behind are not a homogeneous group and cover a wide range of needs. As such the strategies we use to raise attainment will take these group and individual needs fully into account.
- Use high quality teaching and learning as the preferred way to narrow the gaps in attainment in the first instance.
- Raise aspirations through access to high-quality educational experiences
- Promote pupil’s awareness and understanding of their own thought process (metacognition) and help them to develop problem-solving strategies.
- Ensure children emotional health and wellbeing are supported to the highest levels, enabling them to best access academic learning are for all year groups not just those in key end points.
- Ensuring there is support for the more able, not just those falling behind their peers.