Horton Park Primary School
‘We Learn To Succeed’
Case study by Salma Rahman.
Tell us about your school
Horton Park Primary is part of the Exceed Academies Trust and has been nationally acknowledged as a very successful school located within an area of multiple deprivation. Approximately 48% of our pupils are in receipt of the pupil premium funding and the school is in one of the most deprived wards in one of the most deprived cities in the UK. We are therefore very proud of the outcomes we achieve for our pupils. We spend our additional pupil premium grant on strategies that work and are effective in making a positive difference to our disadvantaged children, helping to combat their many barriers to learning and close any gaps in achievement so they do just as well as the other children.
We never take a child’s background as an excuse for underachievement and always strive to diminish any gaps, between groups in school and also in comparison to other pupils nationally. The school continues to be outward facing and is highly regarded in the locality as a result of our excellent reputation. In 2017, we received a letter from the Secretary of State stating that we are amongst the top 3% of schools nationally in terms of the progress our pupils make between Key Stage 1 and the end of Key Stage 2. Attendance continues to be another successful area and results have continued to improve over time, exceeding national averages in Key Stage 2. However, benchmarking still confirms that attainment on entry is well below the national average in particular in Reading, Writing, Maths and Communication.
We are confident that the progress our pupils make from their various starting points is outstanding and reflects not only the partnerships we have with our families, but also the highly effective systems we have put in place to meet their diverse needs.
What did you do to create such notable success with the pupil premium?
Ensuring children attend school on a daily basis is key to outcomes. The school manages attendance exceptionally well and has invested in many strategies to ensure high attendance, which in turn, will lead to improved outcomes. We make daily phone calls and home visits in an attempt to bring in any child possible to school. This approach is extremely successful and effective.
Rigorous assessment procedures and half termly pupil progress meetings (sometimes more frequently for key groups), enables the close monitoring and tracking of all pupils, including the progress of disadvantaged pupils. Swift action is taken to ensure identified children have effective interventions to diminish the gap further. The Community Team work with the families of these disadvantaged pupils and facilitate targeted interventions to ensure parental engagement. The team also focuses closely on engaging families of disadvantaged children through workshops to equip them with skills to be able to support their child at home with their learning.
Our specially trained Every Child a Reader (ECaR) teacher supports disadvantaged children who are struggling to reach the expected level for Reading in Key Stage One. The teacher works specifically with these children and ensures they are well placed to access the Key Stage Two curriculum. She also carefully tracks the children who left the programme upon entering KS2 to ensure progression.
The school subsidises the costs of visits to ensure children do not miss out on opportunities and are able to explore and experience as well as developing their general knowledge. A total of eight residentials take place over the academic year from Year 3 upwards. This has a direct impact on outcomes. To support this, the school has also invested in minibuses to keep costs down to a minimum and to provide regular opportunities for the children to broaden their horizons and make positive life choices.
A number of the disadvantaged children have social, emotional and mental health needs. In order to meet their needs and to remove barriers to learning, we now have two learning mentors who are able to put together carefully tailored programmes as well as supporting with outdoor learning and other activities to develop social interaction skills. A number of our disadvantaged pupils, given the high area of deprivation they live in, often suffer the loss of loved ones and struggle to cope with this loss. Our specially trained mentors are able to quickly intervene and provide bereavement support to meet the needs of these children using sensitive and personalised approach.
The school offers free breakfast due to the fact that many of our disadvantaged children come to school having had no breakfast or very little to eat. We also provide free holiday provision to our pupils. This is to enable children to come into school during the holidays and participate in engaging focused activities leading to a final performance to their families. Our monitoring has shown that the children are focused when they return to school having attended these clubs.
Our highly experienced HLTAs have contracts which include before and after school clubs for key disadvantaged children to accelerate progress. Our Y6 teaching team provide additional sessions, including Saturdays, to all the children (many of whom are in receipt of PP).
The pupil premium strategy positively impacts on the school in many ways, some of which are listed below:
Progress from starting points to exit demonstrates outstanding progress overall as well as high attainment. Our disadvantaged pupils achieve very highly, similar and sometimes higher than our non-disadvantaged pupils (see data sheet below – unvalidated outcomes 2016-2017). Our Raise Online documents for the past three years have provided some very positive messages and information around the progress and attainment of all our pupils, including our disadvantaged pupils.
Interventions e.g. additional Speech and Language, Reading intervention (ECaR), Y6 interventions and additional interventions (across school) etc. take place regularly before, during and after school. Monitoring the impact of these interventions demonstrates that gaps are being diminished and that our disadvantaged children are not only achieving in line with their peers locally and nationally. In some cases, more recently, they have exceeded non-disadvantaged pupils nationally.
Punctuality and attendance has improved for our disadvantaged children. Through the interventions and the Breakfast Club provision, a large number of our children are able to begin their day and access their learning in a positive way.
Our excellent pastoral support package increases confidence and self-esteem for many of our pupils which means pupils are confident within themselves and develop resilience, courage and problem solving skills. They are able to access their learning independently as well as being able to work in collaboration with others.
Behaviour reports for key disadvantaged children, receiving mentoring support, reflects how children’s attitudes to learning and school life overall have improved. This is celebrated with the children, staff and their parents.
The ongoing development of our broad, balanced and engaging curriculum includes outdoor education and other hands on learning opportunities. We feel confident that this bespoke curriculum provides our disadvantaged pupils an opportunity to broaden their horizons and further develop their imagination and experiences. This also increases engagement, participation and improves outcomes overall.
What next for your pupil premium strategy?
Horton Park’s ultimate priority will always be to continue to make the slight and subtle changes to our strategy in an attempt to sustain the positive outcomes for all our pupils, diminishing the gaps for our disadvantaged pupils in comparison to other pupils throughout school and also nationally. We will continue to remove barriers to learning through our bespoke, personalised and enhanced Horton Park’s ‘offer’ available within school; through the early identification of needs and last but not least, through continuously developing parental engagement in learning to maximise learning opportunities.
Sharing good practice
Promoting and celebrating successes via school website and social media. Leading on workshops for local authorities on effectiveness of pupil premium grant, meeting fellow headteachers to discuss strategies for raising standards for disadvantaged pupils.
Winning the Award
The achievement has been celebrated with all stakeholders including: governors, pupils, parents and staff. The visual displaying of the award in the school entrance area, celebrates our achievement and gives out a strong message of pride and recognition for all that we do to meet the needs of our pupils on a day-to-day basis. Such an achievement has had a positive impact on the school moral and the school reputation.
Horton Park Primary is the preferred school for many families, not only in the local area, but also more widely across the country. Families wishing to move closer to the school often hear about our school’s successes from their friends and families or visit the school’s website/ social media accounts to appreciate the high quality provision provided to all pupils, in particular, our disadvantaged pupils.
Get in touch
Contact with the headteacher can be made via the school office on 01274 574544 or by emailing on the school’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org