Robert Brooks

Associate Assistant Headteacher

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Raising Achievement for Pupil Premium Students

On Monday 14th November 2016, I presented a teaching and learning item at staff briefing at my school on the topic of:

Raising Achievement for Pupil Premium Students.

Here is a case study below of two similar students, one is pupil premium and one is not:


As you can see, the third progress report of the pupil premium student is the same as the second progress report for the non-pupil premium student.

We need to explore the reasons for this gap. One potential scenario could be that the pupil premium student’s parents have taken on an extra job in the evenings so they are not available for support and guidance. The pupil premium student may have no desk, pen or paper at home and the family may have missed the last WiFi payment so they currently have no internet access. The pupil premium student is not completing their homework or revision and is worried about speaking about this to their teachers.

Kyle Schwartz, a third-grade teacher from America, gave her students a slip of paper and asked them to fill in ‘I wish my teacher knew’:


Are we aware of our pupil premium students’ struggles, needs and what we may be able to do to help them succeed in our subjects?

Effective feedback and other successful teaching and learning strategies can be used to narrow the gap for the pupil premium students. Make sure that the specific task for improvement is sufficiently detailed for the students to make enough progress to close the gap compared to the non-pupil premium students, for instance:



Here are some key strategies to help improve the progress of your pupil premium students:

1.Know your pupil premium students and mark their books last to ‘measure’ the gap.

2.‘Measure’ the gap and give specific DIRT tasks (click on the DIRT link, which is a blog post by Amjad Ali) that help them meet the standards that non-pupil premium students are achieving.

3.Carefully plan your homework tasks, do they have access to computers, online resources, printers, paper, pens at home?

4.Systematic approach to pupil premium students’ absence. Keep a file with resources in from each lesson to hand to them when they return.

5.Measure the impact of any initiatives used and share all initiatives, regardless of whether they work or not. John Tomsett suggests this as it stops staff from wasting time on initiatives that had no impact. Staff should not be afraid of sharing ideas that have not worked in order to move teaching, learning and progress forward.