10 commitments to disadvantaged students both during and after lockdown
As a school community, we were, and continue to be, aware of the extensive impact and ongoing pressures lockdown and the developing Covid-19 situation has had on our disadvantaged students. Our aim, throughout this year, has been to ensure school is central in all students’ lives and every child, despite the challenges of the present circumstances, have the capacity to “have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
From the start of lockdown we ensured we stayed in regular contact with all our disadvantaged students. All disadvantaged students received at least a weekly phone call from their Head of Year, Pastoral Support Worker and Form Tutor. Further to this, Mr Daly wrote to families each day to maintain contact and provide specific school, local and national updates.
2 Devices and IT Support
As a MAT, we rapidly collated resources from across our schools to ensure we could provide every student with an appropriate device to access the full curriculum provided on Google Classroom. This has continued post-lockdown and we are now in the process of ensuring every single disadvantaged student in KS4 and KS5 has access to an electronic device and internet access.
3 A Full and Engaging Online Curriculum
We swiftly developed an accessible online curriculum which utilised Google Classroom. As lockdown developed, these progressed into more ambitious interactive lessons, narrated presentations, lessons and interactive quizzes. Where students were still faced with considerable barriers to online learning we ensure students could access alternative resources and lessons. Google Classroom has become a central part of our provision post-lockdown and we are working with individual disadvantaged families to engage with this.
4 Online Communities
We ensured students continued to feel part of the school community through online Head of Year video messages, staff messages and active form groups on Google Classroom to allow students to chat and interact despite being isolated from one another. In time, we were able to provide many of the important form time activities, such as quizzes, “The News” and “Thoughts for the Day” which bring the forms and year groups together when normally in school.
5 Unity Fund
The Unity Fund provided a vital life line for families who had nowhere else to turn. A dedicated team worked to identify what individual families needed most. This ranged from food hampers, sanitary products, Sunday lunches and general financial support whenever needed. This continues to be accessed by several families post-lockdown.
6 Food Vouchers and External Support
The school worked with individual families to ensure they were able to access all the external support and guidance available. Families were guided through the process of applying for food vouchers, applying for universal credit and helping families apply for Free School Meals and Universal Credit. The school also continued to provide a vital signposting service, recommending several mental health and wellbeing services for individual students and families as needed.
7 Personal Development and Wellbeing Opportunities
All students were provided with weekly AHS Journey challenges, signposting enriching and engaging activities which could take place at home. These were designed to offer alternative activities, personal reflection and development and positive wellbeing activities through a sustained period of isolation. As students have returned to school, we have introduced a new daily focus where students spend 15 minutes each morning exploring their personal wellbeing.
8 Bespoke Year 10 Disadvantage Students’ Summer Curriculum
Further to all Year 10 students returning for key subjects, we were able to provide an additional programme of taught lessons for Year 10 disadvantaged students, offering vital support in EBAC subjects and individual mentoring sessions.
9 Return to School Meetings
Every disadvantaged student was given the opportunity for a return to school meeting before the summer. This was to intended to ease the return to school, familiarise themselves with the changed environment of school and maintain relationships with key staff.
10 Key Worker and Vulnerable Students
Throughout both term time and the holidays, we provided a safe and stimulating environment for students in school. We actively reached out to vulnerable students and families and offered them safe places within school to access google Classroom and daily recreational activities. This provided vital structure for students during lockdown.
Progress 8 Score
At AHS, we believe there should be no barrier to success. Each child is supported, as an individual, to achieve their personal and academic potential. Our students, even if they face a disadvantage in their life, perform better than all other students nationally. This is due to a personalised approach which places the individual student at the centre of everything we do.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ John 10:10
‘Your present circumstances don’t where you can go; they merely determine where you start.’
10 steps to success for disadvantaged students
1 Excellent Teaching
Teaching and learning is central to success, regardless of circumstances. Students access outstanding teaching daily from subject experts skilled in getting the very best from an individual.
2 The Individual
At AHS, we care for each student as an individual. A dedicated pastoral team for each year will identify and support each student, regardless of their circumstances. We understand the challenges families living in York might face and create individual plans to overcome these.
3 Barriers to learning
Uniform and resources should never be a limit to a student’s success. Pupil premium students will receive support with the uniform, school equipment and revision materials. If a student is struggling to get into school, we can always help and get them back into school.
4 Cultural Experiences
We will ensure all our students, despite their background, have the opportunity to explore a wide range of culture in the UK as part of their wider curriculum, including a two day residential to London and a programme of cultural enrichment city trips.
5 Character and culture
Throughout students’ time in school, we ensure they understand their own potential and how they can contribute to an ever changing world. We aim to show them the choices which are theirs to make. We dedicate extensive time to this in our Year 9 “Character and culture” lessons.
We believe reading is central to success in all aspects of life and is essential in every subject. Students will be supported to read and enjoy challenging texts through the “Reading Ready” programme, including the accelerated reading programme, whole school DEAR time and whole school reading strategies.
7 Careers and next steps
It is sometimes hard to know what you need to do next. Our careers team supports all disadvantaged students with a bespoke package to ensure they have ambitious and rigorous plans throughout their time in school.
8 A challenging and relevant curriculum
Our curriculum is designed to support all students and ensures they access a broad range of subjects which fully prepares them for the future job markets, both locally and nationally.
9 Curriculum support and intervention
We closely monitor and support all our students. If a student is struggling in a particular area, we will offer bespoke, focused intervention as early as possible.
10 Subject Champions
Each department in the EBAC subjects has a designated member of staff who will provide individualised support materials, revision opportunities and intervention for disadvantaged students within their subjects. This offers an extra layer of support for students beyond their classroom teachers.
Pupil Premium was introduced in 2011 to break down barriers to achievement for students from lower income families and those from less stable backgrounds. It is hoped that this funding will level the playing field in education and close the gap between the achievement of the richest and poorest.
At Archbishop Holgate’s School we believe that every student should have every opportunity to succeed and to maximise their potential, regardless of circumstances outside of school. Our ethos of ‘Care, Values and Achievement’ underpin all our systems and structures that are designed to support all our students. Pupil Premium students are supported within the whole school structures but have access to extra resources available to ensure their inclusion into the everyday life of the school and to maximise their academic success. We believe that each student is an individual and that by targeting support we can ensure that any gaps that exist can be closed.
We aim to remove any barriers to learning for our students and ensure every student has the opportunity to maximise their potential. This can take the form of academic intervention; financial support for uniform and equipment; mentoring and bespoke curriculum plans. Further information is outlined in our Pupil Premium Plan.
The school develops positive working relationships with students and parents, in order to ensure that the student is supported and resources are targeted to maximise their academic achievement.
The Pupil Premium strategy will be reviewed in October 2020.
If you think your child may be entitled to Free School Meals please visit City of York Council’s website for more information and how to apply: www.york.gov.uk/info/20071/free_school_meals
If you wish to discuss any aspect of Pupil Premium, please contact Mr Mike Williams, Assistant Head by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01904 411341.