Park Junior School
Diminishing the Difference Strategy
At Park Junior School, we are passionate about ensuring that our most disadvantaged children have the same opportunities as their peers and are able to achieve their full potential in a broad and balanced curriculum. Therefore, the Pupil Premium funding we receive from the Government is used to remove some of these children’s barriers to learning so, regardless of the challenges they encounter in life, they can have the same success, hopes and ambitions as their class mates.
2020 has been an unprecedented year and there is no doubt that the disruption caused by partial school closures, due to Covid 19, will have had a negative impact on the learning and wellbeing of many children. Even with the best efforts of the school and parents, during this time, it is likely that the children from disadvantaged backgrounds have been affected particularly severely by school closures and may, therefore, need more support to return to school, to settle back into school life and to achieve academic success in line with their peers.
Total grant: £110,000
What are our children’s barriers?
Our most disadvantaged children can often experience difficulties reaching the Expected Standard (EXS) in reading, writing and maths by the end of the Key Stage. It is, therefore, our responsibility to ensure they receive the targeted support they need to reach this expectation and so start them on the right foot as they enter secondary school. Due to the impact of COVID 19 this is going to be a greater challenge than ever.
A Broad and Balanced Curriculum
Some of our families struggle to fund the wide range of experiences that we have to offer our children e.g. school educational visits, residential trips, peripatetic activities (i.e. music tuition) and so need financial assistance in order for their children to take part. Although providing these experiences may be more difficult this year, if Government guidance allows us we will still strive to fund these opportunities for our disadvantaged children.
Partnerships with Families
We understand that the partnership between ourselves and our parents is key to the success of our children and so we also target our resources towards supporting and developing this too. If our children are to be successful they need there to be a strong bond between life at home and at school so that we are all driving for the same things.
Ready to Learn
This year, more than any, it is important that we are ready to address the possible psychological impact of COVID 19 on our children. The sense of loss they will have experienced could be profound i.e. the loss of people in their life through illness, the loss of routines and the freedom to move freely around their community, as well as the loss of a full time school education alongside their peers. It is, therefore, important that we target our resources to support their mental health and well-being and ensure that they attend school to receive this help.
What are our priorities?
Our aim is to remove barriers to learning that will prevent our children from reaching their full potential. Therefore, our key priorities are to provide:
- Additional adult support within the classroom (especially for maths and English) but also beyond the core subjects to enable all our children to access a broad and balanced curriculum) so that we can quickly address any gaps in their education i.e. those gaps that have formed due to their early childhood experiences and may well have widened further as a result of lockdown.
- Extra, targeted interventions, for children where a need has been identified in order to accelerate their progress thus closing the gap between their attainment and their peers. This will be especially crucial this year as children will have had various different experiences of ‘home education’.
- Disadvantaged children with emotional support so that they are ready to learn in school. Support to be provided by key members of school staff.
- Purposeful opportunities to build relationships with parents/carers so that we have a shared vision of how to best meet the needs of our children both academically and emotionally.
- Funding to ensure that disadvantaged children are able to take part in all educational trips (including residential ones) and extra-curricular activities that carry a cost e.g. musical instrument tuition, Fizz Pop Science.
- To have a strong relationship with our local infant school so that the children have a smooth transition from year 2 to year 3.