St. Thomas More is an average sized primary school in Easterside, Middlesbrough. We have a high school deprivation indicator: 0.4 compared to a national average of 0.2. The percentage of pupils known to be eligible for Free School meals (FSM) is also significantly above the national average: 46 compared to the national average of 24 (2017, IDSR).
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 (FSM) and those who are not. There is a national trend of lower attainment for FSM pupils which is why the government is committed to support schools financially to close this gap and ensure that no child is disadvantaged.
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 high, our Pupil Premium grant supports children right across the ability range in school to ensure that every child meets their potential.
Closing the Gap at St Thomas More
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.
We aim to ensure that end of KS2 outcomes are strong for Pupil Premium children. This group, at times has outperformed 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.
Outcomes 2018 – provisional based on unvalidated data (September First Release)
Early Years (29 pupils – 8 Pupil Premium):
The percentage of Pupil Premium pupils achieving a Good Level of Development (GLD) was 63% (5/8 pupils) which was below the national average for all pupils.
Pupil Premium pupils did not attain in line with other pupils by 8% (63% v 71%). This was due to 3 pupils having SEND.
Year 1 Phonics (29 pupils – 10 Pupil Premium):
The percentage of Pupil Premium pupils achieving the expected standard was 70% (7/10 pupils) which was below the national average of 84%. Pupil Premium pupils did not perform as well as other pupils (79% -15/19).
Key Stage 1 (29 pupils – 11 Pupil Premium):
Reading – Pupil Premium pupils performed less well than the national 55% v 72% (6/11).
Pupil Premium pupils did not perform as well as other pupils 55% v 83% (15/18).
Writing – Pupil Premium pupils performed less well than the national 63% v 72% (7/11).
Pupil Premium pupils performed better than other pupils 63% v 83% (15/18).
Maths – Pupil Premium pupils performed less well than the national 55% v 72% (6/11).
Pupil Premium pupils performed better than other pupils 55% v 72% (13/18).
Key Stage 2 (24 pupils – 11 Pupil Premium):
Reading Progress was below national at -1.4.
Pupil Premium pupils performed less well than the national 55% v 77% (6/11).
Pupil Premium pupils performed less than other pupils 55% v 77% (10/13).
Writing Progress was below the national at -1.9. Pupil Premium pupils performed less well than the national 55% v 81% (6/11).
Pupil Premium pupils performed less well than other pupils 55% v 85% (11/13).
Maths Progress was below the national at -2.8. Pupil Premium pupils performed less well than the national 45% v 80% (5/11).
Pupil Premium pupils performed less well than other pupils 45% v 77% (10/13).
Combined RWM was 45% (5/11) which was below the national figure of 67%.
We have used 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 was used to analyse our provision. Findings from this research were 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 identified the following key areas for development. Some of these have clear cost implications such as additional staff to facilitate smaller group tutoring but others are relatively cost free except for time to develop and implement. Strategies to underpin pupil premium grant allocation include staff champion/link governor, attendance intervention, pastoral/early intervention, quality teaching and learning, targeted teaching and nurture groups. In practical terms these strategies encompass a range of the following:
- Improving attendance
- Behaviour support
- Small group teaching (based on personalised learning checklists)
- One to one tuition
- Enrichment opportunities to enhance the curriculum and engage all
- The Edge – programme to develop pupils’ independence and resilience