Yew Tree Community School


Policy and Strategy for Pupil Premium


School Vision


Yew Tree Community School: A place for everyone to succeed and thrive. Every child is special!


The targeted and strategic use of pupil premium will support us in achieving our vision:


Yew Tree Community School is committed to the promotion of excellence and personal growth by enhancing self esteem and providing educational and life opportunities for our children.


Education Secretary Michael Gove said in a Press Notice (Updated 26 April 2012):


Schools should be engines of social mobility. They should provide the knowledge, and the tools, to enable talented young people to overcome accidents of birth and an inheritance of disadvantage in order to enjoy greater opportunities.


Children from poorer backgrounds, who are currently doing less well at school, are falling further and further behind in the qualifications race every year – and that in turn means that they are effectively condemned to ever poorer employment prospects, narrower social and cultural horizons, less by way of resources to invest in their own children – and thus a cycle of disadvantage and inequality is made worse with every year that passes…..


This is not good enough and addressing this disparity is a top priority of the coalition government. It is for this reason that we are implementing a pupil premium, to ensure that extra funding is targeted at those deprived pupils that most need it…..


The proposed pupil premium would provide additional per pupil funding on top of the existing funding provided to schools. Schools will be free to spend the additional funding as they choose to raise the achievement of disadvantage pupils.


Notes for editors

The additional pupil premium funding will not be ring fenced at school level allowing schools to decide how this extra funding should be best spent to benefit the individual pupils it is targeted at. Schools will get help and advice from Government on how best they can use the money to raise pupil attainment, by publishing information and evidence about what works, including about the impact of new and innovative practice. The Government will monitor the achievements of disadvantaged children who are likely to benefit from the premium.




·         At Yew Tree Community School we ensure that teaching and learning opportunities meet the needs of all pupils


·         We ensure that appropriate provision is made for pupils who belong to vulnerable groups, this includes ensuring that the needs of socially disadvantaged pupils are adequately assessed and addressed


·         In making provision for socially disadvantaged pupils, we recognise that not all pupils who receive free school meals will be socially disadvantaged or of low ability


·         We also recognise that not all pupils who are socially disadvantaged are registered or qualify for free school meals


·         Pupil premium funding will be allocated following a needs analysis which will identify priority classes, groups or individuals




Governors have considered, based on research (e.g. The Sutton Trust Report) and the school’s own evaluation of which strategies have the most impact for disadvantaged children. On this basis, the range of provision governors have decided for this group are:


·         Employing additional teachers to reduce class sizes (through focused targeted teaching groups) thus improving opportunities for effective feedback* and accelerating progress of pupil premium children


·         Employing additional teachers to provide small group work with highly skilled teachers focused on overcoming gaps in learning *  (see effective feedback appendix)


·         Additional teaching and learning opportunities provided through trained teaching assistants e.g. phonics and reading


·         All our work through the pupil premium will be aimed at accelerating children’s progress in English and maths to ensure that they are equipped with the basic skills needed to fulfil their potential and given every chance to succeed in life


·         Ensure good attendance, punctuality and readiness for learning of disadvantaged pupils through the breakfast club provision.




It will be the responsibility of the Head Teacher, or a delegated member of staff, to produce regular reports for the Governing Body on:


·         the progress made towards narrowing the gap for socially disadvantaged pupils


·         an outline of the provision that was made since the last meeting


·         an evaluation of the cost effectiveness, in terms of the progress made by the pupils receiving a particular provision, when compared with other forms of support


·         The Governors of the school will ensure that there is an annual statement to parents on how the Pupil Premium funding has been used to address the issue of ‘narrowing the gap’, for socially disadvantaged pupils. This task will be carried out within the requirements published by the Department for Education




Any appeals against this policy will be through the school’s complaints procedure.


This policy should be read in conjunction with the Yew Tree Community School’s Equal Opportunities Policy, Inclusion Policy and Teaching and Learning Policy.


Policy to Full Governing Body for approval on 22nd January 2013


Implementation from: immediate effect


To be reviewed:  September 2014 (will be reviewed earlier in local or national policies change)


*Refer to next section on effective feedback from the Department for Education Website.




Effective and regular feedback

This is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement. However, the type of feedback and the way it is given also has a considerable effect on outcomes

What works for raising the attainment of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds?


What is the intervention and what does it involve? Feedback

·      Feedback is information provided by the teacher about aspects of the learner’s performance or understanding relative to the learning goals.


·      Feedback should redirect or refocus either the teacher’s or the learner’s actions to achieve the learning goal.


·      Evidence indicates that feedback about the processes (procedures, strategies, etc.) needed to understand and perform the task and about the student’s self-regulation (goal-setting, monitoring, and adaption) with respect to the task are more effective in promoting learning than feedback focused on task performance or on the learner as a person.


·      Effective feedback should: focus on challenging tasks or goals, be given sparingly, be about what is right rather than what is wrong, be as specific as possible; and encourage the learner, and not threaten their self-esteem.


·      To be effective, feedback needs to be given within a learning context in which it is relevant.


·      Feedback is part of the wider teaching process and is that which happens second—after a student has responded to initial instruction— when information is provided regarding some aspect(s) of the student’s task performance. It is most powerful when it addresses faulty interpretations, not a total lack of understanding.


Who has it been used for?

·      Feedback can be used in both primary and secondary schools.


·      Feedback has effects on all types of learning. Evidence in schools has focussed particularly on English, mathematics and to a lesser extent science.


·      Feedback is given by teachers, but also by students and peers. It can also be sought by, and detected by, a learner without it being intentionally sought.


What impact does it have?

·      Meta-analysis of feedback studies tends to show very high effects on learning and achievement. The type of feedback and the way it is given can be differentially effective.

·      Feedback can keep teachers and pupils focused on learning goals and does not require significant resources, but the way it is done appears to be important. Evidence suggests it should focus on clarifying what is ‘right’ rather than what is ‘wrong’, and needs to be timely and specific.

·      The evidence suggests that giving constructive feedback benefits low attainers.

·      Feedback can have powerful negative as well as positive effects on the regulation of learning, resulting in learned helplessness and the fear of failure. Since feedback about the learner as a person can have negative consequences, precautions need to be taken in the way information from assessment is communicated to students.