As a school where children are central to all we do, we strive to provide 'rich opportunities and memorable experiences', so that all pupils develop a thirst for knowledge and become enthusiastic, independent learners. The performance gap between pupils from more and less advantaged backgrounds in England is one of the largest among OECD countries (OECD, 2014). Our ultimate aim is that no child is left behind socially, or academically because of disadvantage.
We have high aspirations for all of our pupils to attain academic excellence, and to become highly literate, numerate and articulate. We provide the children with opportunities to build self-discipline, and a sense of pride and respect for themselves and others. Our curriculum is designed to support the children’s development so that they are highly adaptable to change and equipped for life in a vastly sophisticated and technological society.
We address barriers to success by ensuring that the Pupil Premium funding is strategically and effectively targeted. We prioritise quality teaching for all, ensuring both teachers and TAs have the necessary training and expertise to deliver highly effective teaching, interventions, provide feedback and monitor progress. Rigorous tracking, careful planning and targeted intervention are used to identify and support pupils. Barriers to learning are identified through regular consultation with all stakeholders. Where common barriers are identified, whole school strategies are planned, deployed and reviewed.
We consider the impact of previous experience within our school context, as well as applying knowledge gained from external research including the Educational Endowment Foundation and the Sutton Trust. To address the specific barriers our children face, and thus provide all children the access and opportunities to enjoy academic and personal success, every effort is made to understand every pupil as an individual so that provision can be tailored accordingly. Early identification of Pupil Premium eligibility is achieved through annually planned events, communications and positive relationships with parents and external agencies. In order to safeguard pupils’ access to pupil premium funds, relevant information is shared at transition points.
We measure the impact of our Pupil Premium Strategy through the following methods: pupil discussions and interviews about their learning; assessment of standards and evidence of pupils’ work; quality assurance processes involving external agencies, such as the Virtual School; emotional and behavioural screening questionnaires; individual data tracking of progress through the curriculum and projected flight paths; pupil and parent questionnaires. This is an ongoing process throughout each academic year.
By the time children leave Birchwood, they are confident, enthusiastic and independent learners. Pupils from more and less advantaged backgrounds become highly literate, numerate and articulate. They have developed the skills of self-discipline, and a sense of pride and respect for themselves and others. All children will have experienced rich opportunities and memorable experiences which have developed within them a thirst for learning, thus preparing them for the next stage of their education and providing them with the skills needed to be highly adaptable to the changes they may face in life.