Pupil Premium – are you experiencing mixed messages about this at the moment?
Over the past few weeks I’ve been attending conferences up and down the country where eminent folk have been delivering messages about what Pupil Premium can or cannot be spent on.
Some say it should only buy more teaching time; that teachers are the best (and only?) solution to narrowing the gap.
That’s like saying to someone with a shovel - ‘Keep digging your hole there' - even though it is getting you nowhere and not producing the ‘treasure’ you hope to find. The ‘treasure’ in this case being a child who is a happy successful learner.
Others take a more holistic view and say schools should be looking for thoughtful, creative solutions; looking at a range of resources and strategies that will remove the barriers to learning and help individual children achieve.
This approach would advocate digging your hole(s) somewhere else as it is more likely to produce the results you are looking for.
I would certainly endorse the more creative ‘digging’. If children are not achieving their potential, (more likely to be FSM but not always) then is it a good idea to keep doing ‘more of the same’?
A thoughtful approach is not to keep asking a child to ‘try harder’ at the things they are currently failing at – that way they can only fail again and again - and probably more spectacularly than the first time: very demoralising.
Some schools are currently ‘digging a hole’ with our Literacy and Numeracy Boxes (using PP funding in many cases). The activity cards are designed to be fun and motivational whilst underpinned by literacy/numeracy learning objectives.
They offer a fresh and flexible approach to involving parents in children’s learning which is proven to make a difference to children’s achievement, attitudes and motivation.
So, if you have a shovel in your hand at the moment and are wondering whether to keep excavating the same hole or to look for another place to start digging, why not have a look at the sample activities from The Literacy Box before you decide?