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Pupil Premium: Improve Achievement With Learnanywhere

By Admin | Published:

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Around one in five children leave primary school without having reached a sufficient standard in reading and writing. This means they are at a big disadvantage when they enter the secondary curriculum, and risk falling further behind. It is therefore essential for those struggling at primary education to gain extra tuition so that every child reaches the basic standard expected when starting secondary school.

 

It has been found that those children who come from disadvantaged homes struggle more to attain the national average. There is a 16% difference between disadvantaged pupils and others at the age of 11. This has resulted in the introduction of the Pupil Premium, which aims to address this disparity. It provides schools with around £600 extra per student who is on free school meals.

This money should then be spent targeting those students who need support. Targeted support for pupils who are failing to reach a sufficient standard of literacy is particularly effective way of reducing the achievement gap.

Recently a survey was conducted by Ofsted regarding some of the schools who receive Pupil Premium. This was to see how successfully these schools were using the money they were getting to reduce the attainment gap. They found the following:

 

Successful Funding

Where schools spent the Pupil Premium funding successfully to improve achievement, they shared many of the following characteristics. They:



carefully ringfenced the funding so that they always spent it on the target group of pupils



thoroughly analysed which pupils were underachieving, particularly in English and Mathematics, and why



understood the importance of ensuring that all day-to-day teaching meets the needs of each learner, rather than relying on interventions to compensate after pupils have fallen behind



made sure that support staff, particularly teaching assistants, were highly trained and understood their role in helping pupils achieve



systematically focused on giving pupils clear, useful feedback about their work, and ways that they could improve it



had a clear policy on spending the Pupil Premium, agreed by governors and publicised on the school website



 

Less Successful Funding

Where schools were less successful in spending the funding, they tended to have at least some of the following characteristics. They:



had a lack of clarity about the intended impact of the spending



spent the funding indiscriminately on teaching assistants, with little impact



did not monitor the quality and impact of interventions well enough, even where other monitoring was effective



did not have a good performance management system for teaching assistants and other support staff



planned their Pupil Premium spending in isolation to their other planning, for example, it was not part of the school development plan



 

One Option

It is important for teachers to be able to track students progress and keep records of how each child is performing. Not only that, but a system that can be individualised to each student or a group of students is extremely important, so that you target to their needs.

A learning platform such as Learnanywhere would be perfect, for not only tracking students work – via self-marking quizzes, but by allowing you to focus on one set of pupils. Learnanywhere allows you to add specific courses to a child’s account, therefore those who need extra support could have additional, tailored courses to complete. These could be completed as homework or during special sessions during the school day.

Learnanywhere’s avatar feature, part of the rewards function, learning is made more fun. Children who have completed good work or who have shown great enthusiasm can be rewarded with points that they can then spend on clothes and accessories for their own personal avatar. Improving engagement is the first step in raising attainment.

No matter how you use your Pupil Premium, make sure that you include all staff members so that they are on board and ensure that you can measure the results, allowing you to see if you’re doing the right thing.

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