Pupil Premium

Pupil Premium Funding

Pupil premium is a grant given to the academy by the Department for Education (DfE) to provide extra support for those children who receive free school meals, along with children in care and those who have parents in the armed forces.

At Don Valley Academy we have a relentless desire that every student, irrespective of background or prior attainment, should make outstanding progress academically and gain a wealth of cultural capital and personal development experiences throughout their academic journey here.

We understand that many students face barriers to their learning and as a learning community we work hard to overcome them. Some of these barriers can include:

Additional BarriersAcademic Barriers
Home Learning A higher percentage of disadvantaged students complete no home learning than non-disadvantaged students.Lower KS2 Attainment There are disproportionate number of lower prior attainment students which are disadvantaged than non-disadvantaged. This negatively impacts on the number of disadvantaged students achieving English and Mathematics (at grades 5-9).
Opportunity to Access Extra-Curricular Activities Fewer disadvantaged students access extra-curricular activities that non-disadvantaged students.Progress Gap There is a progress gap of +0.22 between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students nationally.
Attendance to Parents Evenings The attendance of disadvantaged students at parents evening and other events where parental participation is requested is lower than non-disadvantaged students.Higher Rates of Persistent Absentees There is a higher percentage of disadvantaged students who are persistent absent (absent for 10% or more sessions from school) than non-disadvantaged students.
Personal Development Many of our pupils eligible for the pupil premium funding do not have a wealth of cultural capital and personal development experiences.Lower EBacc Entry There is a 26% gap between the current Ebacc entries for disadvantaged students compared to non-disadvantaged students nationally.

At Don Valley Academy we have demonstrated how great teaching and careful planning can make a huge impact on the outcomes of disadvantaged children. Through evidence-informed planning, teachers and leaders at Don Valley Academy have combined findings from research with professional expertise to make informed decisions. We have taken an evidence-informed approach to pupil premium spending by comparing how similar challenges have been tackled in other schools within the Trust and other schools locally and nationally, understanding the strength of evidence behind alternative approaches, and considering the likely cost-effectiveness of a range of approaches.

Quality First Teaching

Don Valley Academy’s spending on improving teaching and implementing a knowledge rich curriculum has included professional development, training, and support for early career teachers, combined with recruitment and retention of outstanding teachers. Ensuring an effective teacher is in front of every class, and that every teacher is supported to keep improving through quality continued professional development, is the key ingredient of our successful academy and is the top priority for our pupil premium spending.

Targeted Academic Support

Evidence consistently shows the positive impact that targeted academic support can have, including on those who are not making good progress across the spectrum of achievement. Don Valley Academy uses teachers, tutors, and teaching assistants to provide targeted academic support, in the form of structured one-to-one or small group intervention, as a key component of our effective pupil premium strategy. Reading is at the heart of everything we do, and our interventions ensure that students are given the best opportunity to access our curriculum.

Wider Strategies

At Don Valley Academy, wider strategies relate to our local community’s significant non-academic barriers to success in school, including attendance, post-16 progression, aspirations, behaviour, and social and emotional support. These barriers are being addressed through our ambitious plan.

Our aim is to ensure, at the heart of everything we do:

  • The gap in attainment between pupil premium and non-pupil premium students is closed.
  • All pupil premium students have access to the same knowledge and cultural capital as their peers and that levels of engagement in all aspects of school life are high.
  • All pupil premium students have access to an extensive range of personal development opportunities, in which they have access to a wide and rich set of experiences.
  • All our students to leave us as happy, well-qualified, confident young adults who go on to excel in local sixth forms, colleges, higher level apprenticeships, universities, and the wider world.

Finally, the academy has a relentless desire to ensure that pupil premium students have the same access to remote learning and distance learning during times of isolation because of COVID-19.