Pupil Premium at Holy Cross

Holy Cross Catholic Primary School Pupil Premium Strategy Statement 2020-21


“I was disadvantaged as a child, yet I had the advantage of being in the company of great teachers.”

(A.P.J. Abdul Khan, 11th President of India)


“Every one of our children is carrying something the world is waiting for – it’s just the world hasn’t got it yet,” Sister Judith Russi


The ‘Pupil Premium’ is a government initiative that provides extra funding aimed at pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Research shows that pupils from deprived backgrounds underachieve compared to their peers and that there is a strong link between eligibility for free school meals and underachievement. The Pupil Premium is designed to help each school boost the attainment of disadvantaged children and reduce the gap between the highest and the lowest achievers. The government has used pupils’ entitlement to free school meals (FSM) and children looked after by the local authority (CLA) as an indicator for deprivation. The funding is allocated according to the number of pupils on roll who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years (known as ‘Ever6 FSM’), an allocation for each pupil who has been ‘Looked After’ (in care) and a smaller amount for the children of service families.




  • To ensure that teaching and learning opportunities meet the needs of all pupils.
  • To 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.
  • We also recognise that not all pupils who are socially disadvantaged are registered for free school meals. We reserve the right to allocate the Pupil Premium funding to support any pupil, or groups of pupils the schools have legitimately identified as being socially disadvantaged.
  • Pupil Premium funding will be allocated following a needs analysis which will identify priority groups or individuals. Limited funding and resources means that not all children receiving free school meals will be in receipt of pupil premium interventions at one time.



Holy Cross Catholic Primary School Pupil Premium Spending 2016-2017

"A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table, but above all to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness and respect for every human being." (Pope Francis, June 13)

"The English education system must become one in which a disadvantaged background ceases to be a barrier to a young person’s attainment and future participation in a competitive workplace." (DfES Feb 2013)

At Holy Cross, we are committed to raising attainment and closing the achievement gap by investing in best practices that mean this can be realised for all our children. We research best practice in order to ensure our disadvantaged children are able to achieve, in line with or better, than any other pupil in our school.

What are the barriers that Pupil Premium children face at Holy Cross?

The barriers to learning that disadvantaged children face are varied and complex. Disadvantaged children may not have much aspiration to learn and achieve, whilst others may not have support for learning at home, for a multitude of reasons. Some pupil premium children are also children with English as an additional language (13) so may have weaker language and communication skills as well as cultural issues. Some have special educational needs (9 SEN Support, 6 Monitoring) with low attainment on entry. Some find themselves in difficult family situations that prevent sustained progress. The following table shows the breakdown of pupil premium children this year:

We have analysed the attendance figures for the whole school and compared them to our pupil premium children and the data shows attendance is not a barrier to learning at Holy Cross. Pupil premium children at our school attend the same high percentage of school time as non-disadvantaged children.

High quality teaching is proven to be the most effective strategy for improving the needs of different groups of children. At Holy Cross, we summarise and analyse the progress of all children, particularly pupil premium children, every half term. In this way, we identify children at risk of not achieving their potential and ensure that effective interventions are put in place, regardless of whether they are at age expectations or national averages. This is then monitored to ensure any actions have a positive impact on our disadvantaged children.

Our pupil premium expenditure and actions are having a marked effect on outcomes for our disadvantaged children, with gaps in progress and attainment closing year on year. (Please refer to the table at the bottom of this document).

The following best practices have been shown to raise standards for all, so we ensure that we provide extra opportunities targeted directly at our most disadvantaged children.

What makes a difference to Pupil Premium children? What did we put in place 2015-2016

What can we do further in 2016- 2017

Effective feedback on learning

We continued to insist on quality first teaching – monitored by scrutinising feedback through books, lesson observations and pupil conversations.

We provided additional time so that teaching assistants can provide daily interventions for our pupil premium children in the afternoon to ensure their progress remains on track.

Did it make a difference?

Gaps in attainment continue to close across the school (see table below); pupil conversations show children know what they have done well and what they need to do next; book scrutinies show effective assessment for learning and the gradings of lesson observations has been 100% good or better for the last 2 terms.

This year we have begun to review our marking policy in line with the governments Marking Policy Review group to ensure that feedback is a regular and embedded feature of teaching minute to minute, hour to hour and across days and weeks.

We continue to capitalise on findings from research (Hattie 2016; Sutton Trust) to develop teaching tailored to the growth of every child: feedback is crucial for effective learning.

 Meta- cognition and self- regulation

We have continued to embed ‘learning to learn’ practices to help children ‘own’ their learning journey, which helps to increase motivation and outcomes.

The introduction of the 5 Rs (see information on our website) has given the children and teachers a shared language to talk about how learning builds.

To support self-regulation, we employed a drama therapist to work with individuals and groups of children who needed support.

Did it make a difference?

In addition to data, children talk naturally about their learning and progress as evidenced in lesson observations, and the parent and child questionnaire. Comments regarding home learning have been positive and have also supported the development of home/school partnerships.

Continue to embed and raise the importance of emotional literacy alongside practices that encourage peer and self assessment and challenge.

Work with a student to embed therapeutic play for individuals.

Purchase Thrive materials and release a Thrive trained teacher to work with individuals, groups and advise teachers on supporting others.

COST: £4574

Use these initiatives to fully support our Looked After children and families.

COST: TA all morning £8500

 Peer tutoring

This continues to be part of our drive towards High Quality Teaching. Staff training has looked at how this approach can be embedded in classroom practice and it was also made part of the quality grading guidance used to judge lesson observations and teacher performance.

Did it make a difference?

In addition to improvement in data, book scrutinies and lesson observations show that peer marking and tutoring is becoming embedded in classroom practice.

We believe giving a voice to our children develops an understanding of self-worth and value.

Observed lessons remain 100% good or better.

This will continue to be a feature of

our teaching.

CPD will enable teachers to facilitate the curriculum so that less time is spent teaching and more time is spent learning: this inevitably involves a collaborative approach with a focus on effective feedback for learning.

COST: Peer release £2000

 Early intervention

We continue to assess the children’s progress and attainment each half term and meet with the Head of Learning and SENCO teacher to ensure that children are, not only keeping up, but continuing to make progress, regardless of how much they are achieving. The staff have then worked together to ensure that effective interventions are quickly put in place.

Continue to support teachers in analysing the needs of their own class. These will be summarised at the end of each half term so that children how are falling behind can be quickly identified and interventions arranged.