On this page you will find details of our Pupil Premium Strategy. The strategy aims to help scholars to overcome the barriers to education achievement we have identified. The effectiveness of this strategy will be continually evaluated, and a report of the effectiveness of the previous year’s spending will also be published here.

Our Mission Statement:

‘Our strategy is focused on achieving equity and excellence. We identify and combat the barriers to success faced by our disadvantaged scholars, with a no excuses approach. We strive for social justice and social mobility, so as our disadvantaged scholars are indistinguishable in their outcomes relative to their peers.’

The Pupil Premium Strategy of Castle Mead Academy is underpinned by our four underlying assumptions:

  • Everyone is capable of excellence
  • We develop the whole self
  • We make no excuses
  • Feedback is a gift

The premise of Castle Mead Academy is that ‘everyone is capable of excellence’ regardless of their socio-economic background, prior attainment or the challenges they face. We believe that by overcoming challenges identified on behalf of our scholars who are disadvantaged will allow them to benefit from the excellent teaching and learning, curriculum and experiences we have on offer at Castle Mead Academy.

Our strategy is very much centred around expert teaching, with many facets of our school organisation meaning that this is consistently the highest priority, as this is proven to have the greatest impact on closing the disadvantage attainment gap and at the same time will benefit the non-disadvantaged pupils in our school.

As much as this strategy is written with scholars who are disadvantaged in mind, some approaches described will of course support scholars who are not disadvantaged too. However, there are two key distinctions:

  • Scholars who are disadvantaged will take priority for some interventions, if resources/capacity are restricted.
  • Interventions which benefit all scholars, will arguably have a greater impact on scholars who are disadvantaged.

What is the Pupil Premium?

The pupil premium is additional funding for schools in England. It is designed to help disadvantaged pupils of all abilities perform better and to close the gap between them and their peers.

What barriers do disadvantaged scholars face?

The barriers and challenges disadvantaged scholars face are complex and varied – there is no single difficulty faced by all. However, through discussions with scholars and staff, we have identified broad areas that we feel often affect the progress of disadvantaged scholars. These include: vocabulary gap, working memory, homework completion and attendance.

To support disadvantaged scholars, we aim to:

  • Draw on research, best practice in and evidence from our own experience to direct funding to a school offer that is most likely to maximise achievement.
  • Never confuse eligibility for the Pupil Premium with low ability and focus on supporting our disadvantaged scholars to achieve the highest grades.
  • All scholars receive high quality classroom teaching, to maximise all scholars’ progress across the curriculum in particular our disadvantaged scholars.
  • To ensure scholars have an understanding about how their memory works and our disadvantaged scholars are able to memorise and recall powerful knowledge.
  • Ensure parents are aware of how to apply for free school meals and encourage parents to do so. Please see here.
  • Have a deep understanding of the individual needs of disadvantaged scholars, through year 7 interviews.
  • Ensure all disadvantaged scholars make excellent progress and achieve their full potential.
  • Ensure we recognise that not all scholars who are socially disadvantaged are registered or qualify for free school meals and reserve the right to allocate the pupil premium funding to support any scholars or groups of scholars the school has legitimately identified as being socially disadvantaged.
  • Regularly bring key staff, including pastoral and attendance teams, together to discuss and monitor the progress of disadvantaged scholars.

How much is the Pupil Premium worth?

Secondary schools receive £1,035 funding for each pupil registered as eligible for free school meals (FSM) at any point in the last 6 years.

Pupil Premium Review

Our Pupil Premium Strategy was externally reviewed in January 2022, by an accredited Pupil Premium Reviewer. Following this review, an Action Plan has been written, which was again followed up during the 2022-23 academic year. Please use the following link to read the write-up of the school visit from the Pupil Premium Review:

Pupil Premium Review January 2022

Our scholars

At Castle Mead, 38.7% of our scholars are considered Disadvantaged and eligible for the Pupil Premium. Therefore our funding for this academic year is £345,690. However, considering the Recovery Premium and the Pupil Premium carried forward from previous years, the total budget for this academic year is £437,874.

Castle Mead Pupil Premium Statement 2023-24
Pupil Premium Strategy Statement, 2022-23
Review of Pupil Premium Expenditure, 2022-23
Review of Pupil Premium Expenditure, 2021-22

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