Pupil Premium & Year 7 Catch Up

Information About Pupil Premium Students and How They Are Supported

The pupil premium (PP) refers to a funding stream provided to schools based upon the number of students on its roll who are or have been in foster care or who receive, or have received in the last six years, free school meals. In The Downs School we are committed to working closely with students and parents to ensure the pupil premium has a positive impact on the progress of the students it exists to benefit.

The service pupil premium (SPP) refers to a funding stream provided to schools based upon the number of students on its roll who have one of their parent’s  serving in the regular armed forces. Eligible schools receive the SPP so that they can offer mainly pastoral support during challenging times and to help mitigate the negative impact on service children of family mobility or parental deployment.

Catch-Up Seven funding is provided to support Year 7 students who did not meet age related expectations in numeracy and literacy.

How do we spend our Catch-Up Seven funding and what is the impact of our spending?

What are some of the common barriers experienced by pupil premium students?

  • Many pupil premium students come from families that are not able to afford all necessary books and equipment and school trips
  • Some pupil premium students are not able to remain after school to take part in extra-curricular school activities and revision sessions
  • Some pupil premium students are conscious of their less affluent backgrounds when compared to many of the other students in the school
  • A small number of pupil premium students have parents who are less comfortable with the school setting

What is our plan to overcome these barriers and improve the progress of pupil premium students?

The Downs School Ethos

  • Our philosophy is ‘Learning Together, Learning For Life.’
  • Our students understand that effective learning can only happen when all members of the school community participate with enthusiasm in all that the school has to offer.
  • Student Leadership and participation in extra-curricular activities is a key part of this ethos. Heads of Year have been working with pupil premium students, supporting them to engage more fully with these opportunities. Heads of House have been further developing the students’ sense of community through a wide range of House activities, such as House charity days.
  • Funding is also used to provide pupil premium students with resources to support their learning and engagement, including participation in school trips.

Outstanding Teaching and Learning

  • This is the key priority in improving outcomes for pupil premium students.
  • Pupil premium funding has been invested in providing teaching staff with the time to complete class analysis, reflecting on their own teaching and what interventions are needed to ensure that all students make the progress they are capable of. Class analysis has also increased staff accountability.
  • The quality of support provided by teaching assistants has also been developed through extensive training and changes in the way teaching assistants are deployed.
  • The pastoral system provides outstanding care, support and guidance to ensure that students are focused on their learning.
  • The implementation of an effective whole school approach to literacy and feedback is a key focus.

Effective Progress Monitoring

  • Heads of Year complete Achievement and Engagement monitoring documents for their Year Groups three times each year.
  • These documents compare each protected group of students with the rest of the cohort, measuring average levels of progress made in the core subjects, as well as their engagement, which is measured by analysis of attitude, organisation and attendance data.
  • Shared with Heads of Faculty in student progress meetings, the Achievement and Engagement monitoring documents allow underperforming groups of students to be identified and whole school strategies to be put in place to support them.

Effective Individual Support

  • The support provided to our students is co-ordinated through fortnightly student progress meetings, attended by Heads of Year and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.
  • All students who fail to make expected progress are placed on Challenge and Support plans.
  • The C+S plans are created by Heads of Year, form tutors or by the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (for students with Special Educational Needs), in collaboration with the student, their parents and the staff who work closely with them.
  • They outline the issues preventing the student from making progress and provide guidance on the strategies that work most effectively with them, improving how the student is supported in the classroom
  • C+S plans are reviewed following each new release of data, with the relevant member of staff meeting with the student and their parents to have a structured conversation about their progress.
  • The pastoral system provides individual support through mentors, who work closely with students and their families over sustained periods. The mentors are Heads of Year, form tutors, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator or the Pupil Premium Progress Manager.
  • Attendance analysis focuses on the attendance of protected groups of students, and the Pupil Premium Progress Manager works with students and their families if attendance becomes a concern.
  • The Pupil Premium Progress Manager works proactively to establish good relationships with the students and their parents, developing mutual trust

Targeted Provisions

  • Pupil premium students have their books, revision materials and equipment provided by the school, which also funds places on educational trips and provides free places on the late bus, enabling them to access after school support, including an after school study club.
  • Provisions are targeted at the students who need them the most. For example, pupil premium students are prioritised to receive 1-1 tuition or access to counselling services.
  • A services group has been created to provide our services students with a supportive, understanding community within the school.
  • Each Key Stage has a Student Manager to provide students with comprehensive pastoral support
  • The Pupil Premium Progress Manager, overseen by the Deputy Headteacher (Ethos & Achievement), provides a range of provisions designed to support Pupil Premium students in overcoming their barriers to learning to make excellent progress.
  • Such provisions vary according to the needs of the cohort, but include after school mathematics tuition
  • The impact of all key provisions on student achievement and engagement is evaluated three times each year, to ensure that funding is invested in the provisions that are most effective.

How are we measuring the impact of the pupil premium?

The impact of the pupil premium on the students for whom the school receives the funding is measured in several different ways.

A key measure is achievement, which is the progress students make from the point when they join the school at the start of Year Seven. Using data from Key Stage Two received by the school from its primary feeders, the progress of all students is carefully tracked. For the purposes of this impact evaluation, we focus on English and Mathematics and look at the percentages of students belonging to each group who achieve expected levels of progress (LOPs) from the end of Key Stage Two. The results of the pupil premium students in each Year Group are compared with the combined results of all the students in the Year Group.

The other measure is engagement, which is determined by the levels of attendance achieved by individual students, as well as looking at other outcomes, such as participation in extra-curricular activities, behaviour points and rates of exclusion.

What provisions are offered to support students?

The pupil premium is spent in a number of ways, the impact of which is carefully evaluated. As well as looking at the overall impact of the pupil premium funding on the pupil premium students, we also measure the effectiveness of provisions put in place to support our students. The impact of each key provision funded by the pupil premium is evaluated by analysing the achievement and engagement of the students receiving the provision. This evaluation takes place after each new cycle of progress report data is analysed. Over time this will enable the long term impact of each provision to be tracked.



Page Downloads Date  
The Downs School's Pupil Premium Strategy 14th May 2021 Download
Pupil Premium Funding 10th Jun 2021 Download
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