Lyndhurst Infant School

 Leading with innovative and personalised provision.

Case study by Jo Halley

Tell us about your school

Lyndhurst Infant school is a large, urban coastal school located in an area of high deprivation in West Sussex. This is one of the lowest funded counties in the country – with £4,196 per pupil. Approximately 18% of the school qualify for Pupil Premium funding.

Historically, high percentages of pupils arrive at Lyndhurst scoring below typical on their entry level baseline, and data analysis from 3 years ago demonstrated a wide gap between the attainment of pupil premium and non-pupil premium children. We knew that our first action needed to be the provision of appropriate and effective interventions in Early Years that would be monitored closely for impact and prevent the gap from widening in the first year of education. Highly skilled UPS teachers and HLTA’s have dedicated time to work with PP children and run specific programmes of support in Literacy and Maths. All interventions are time limited, monitored closely and provision reviewed and replaced if there is little impact. In order to avoid children being removed from their lessons, and missing their quality first teaching, we decided to run some of these interventions before school, providing breakfast alongside for those that required it. Teachers meet half termly with their Year Leaders, or weekly in Early Years, to discuss attainment, progress, barriers to learning and provision for the children in their class. Pupil premium children are a priority of these discussions and matters arising inform decisions regarding interventions and emotional support. 

What did you do to create such notable success with the pupil premium?

In addition to the Gap Analysis issues, at Lyndhurst we are experiencing an increasing number of children who live in a home where there are mental health problems and who require the support of outside agencies. We realised that these children also need support in school to discuss their feelings, emotions and worries to remove their barriers to learning. We decided to employ our own Family Engagement and Support Officer (FESO) who works with ‘hard to reach’ parents, many of which are pupil premium families. Part of her role is to engage and support families in attendance and punctuality issues. She builds stronger relationships between school and home, provides support for the family (e.g. emotional support, transport, food) and runs individual and group sessions. The FESO also runs Feelings groups, Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation sessions and 1:1 talk time for pupils. In addition to our FESO, we organised locality training for teachers, TA’s and parents on Mental Health issues. Our FESO supports staff on daily issues that arise and Mindfulness and Growth Mindset training was provided to staff to support pupils in having positive aspirations for their learning and their future.

Many other challenges were identified across the school that were affecting the attainment and well-being of our pupil premium children, such as poor attendance and punctuality, poor communication and language skills, mobility, low aspirations and behaviour issues. A range of other strategies were put in place for our pupil premium children to address these issues;

  • We set up a Pupil Premium Working Group, consisting of the Deputy Heads, three Governors and the bursar. We meet half termly, discussing pupil premium provision, allocation of funding, attendance issues and possible incentives and strategies to implement. We also look at data and the impact of strategies employed on individuals.
  • Funding of after school clubs as an attendance incentive for all PP children. This also ensures that these children have opportunities to engage in additional activities such as karate, dance, art and music lessons.
  • Funding of breakfast clubs for some pupils to address punctuality and attendance issues, as well as for their well-being and readiness to learn.
  • Early Bird Writers, Every Child Counts, Reading Recovery and Talking Boxes intervention programmes
  • We collaborated with locality schools on Attendance projects.
  • Play therapists and Learning mentor time provided to support the emotional needs of our pupils.
  • On entry forms are completed by staff within 2 weeks of a new child arriving in school. This ensures that parents are met and any additional educational and emotional needs are addressed swiftly and acted upon to provide the correct support.
  • Additional sessions for Beach and Forest Schools are provided for pupil premium children to promote well-being and build self-esteem.
  • Male sports coaches read with pupil premium boys as a positive role model.
  • School trips and experiences are funded for pupil premium children and school staff work alongside them to ensure that they develop the appropriate vocabulary and knowledge from the experiences.
  • The school has a ’50 Things To Do Before You Are 8’ list that is shared with parents and available on our website. This is to encourage families to provide a range of basic but fun experiences for their children, that don’t necessarily cost a lot of money. We try to incorporate as many of these activities as possible into our curriculum so that when pupils leave us at the end of KS1 they have experienced as many as possible.
  • Secured staff ambition for pupil premium children through CPD, by creating 10 strategies to support pupil premium children in the classroom and by celebrating staff who have been successful in narrowing the gaps.

Impact

The impact of these interventions and strategies has been significant on not only the attainment academically of our pupil premium children, but also on the social and emotional well-being of the children and some of their families. Many of our pupil premium children belong to multi-groups such as PP+ EAL or PP + SEN and our half termly data analysis includes tables where pupil premium attainment is compared to non-pupil premium attainment, including looking at which multi-groups these pupil premium children belong to. This has ensured that the focus on diminishing the difference between groups of learners has remained high profile to all stake holders and has resulted in gaps reducing considerably, and in some cases the pupil premium children out-performing their peers. The role of our FESO has dramatically increased engagement with our ‘hard to reach’ families and this in turn this has had a positive impact on attendance and punctuality of certain children.

What next for your pupil premium strategy?

At Lyndhurst the children will always come first in the decisions that we make, and we will continue to ensure that the opportunities that we provide and the provision for all individuals remains at the forefront of our minds. Each new cohort brings its own new challenges and by equipping our staff with the knowledge, skills and resources to deal with these challenges we are able to act swiftly in providing the most appropriate and effective strategies for every individual. Our half termly Working Group meetings continue to rigorously check provision, use of funding and discuss new ideas that could increase opportunities for our pupil premium children.

Winning the Award

Winning the Pupil Premium Regional Award has been a great source of pride for everyone in the school community. Staff have worked diligently to monitor and provide the best opportunities for our pupil premium children and this award has been a huge recognition of all the hard work and effort that has been put in.

Get in touch

Please contact the school office: office@lyndhurst-school.co.uk