Axe Valley Academy

Pupil Premium

Pupil premium strategy statement 2021-22

This statement details Axe Valley Academy’s use of pupil premium (and recovery premium for the 2021 to 2022 academic year) funding to help improve the attainment of our disadvantaged pupils.

It outlines our pupil premium strategy, how we intend to spend the funding in this academic year and the effect that last year’s spending of pupil premium had within our school.

School overview



School name

Axe Valley Academy

Number of pupils in school


Proportion (%) of pupil premium eligible pupils


Academic year/years that our current pupil premium strategy plan covers (3 year plans are recommended)

2020 – 2023 (3-year plan)

Date this statement was published

October 2021

Date on which it will be reviewed

September 2022

Statement authorised by

Laura Jenkins

Pupil premium lead

Jon Scott

Governor / Trustee lead

Mark Lees

Funding overview



Pupil premium funding allocation this academic year

£ 160,600.

Recovery premium funding allocation this academic year

£ 25,810

Pupil premium funding carried forward from previous years (enter £0 if not applicable)

£ 0

Total budget for this academic year

If your school is an academy in a trust that pools this funding, state the amount available to your school this academic year

£ 186,410

Part A: Pupil premium strategy plan

Statement of intent

We have high aspirations for all the children in our school community and believe that all children should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential. We seek, as a school community, to provide personalised learning opportunities and targeted support to allow every child to flourish.

As we recognise that not all pupils who are academically or socially disadvantaged are registered for free school meals, we reserve the right to allocate Pupil Premium funding to support any pupil, or group of pupils, identified by the school as being at a significant disadvantage.

In order to meet the above requirements, the Governing Body of Axe Valley Academy will ensure that provision is made which secures the teaching and learning opportunities that meet the needs of all pupils.


·         To ensure that progress measures for PP students are in line with or better than that of the cohort;

·         To accelerate the progress of PP students so that the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students is narrowed;

·         To improve the literacy levels of all PP students;

·         To increase the quantity and quality of reading for all PP students;

·         To ensure that PP students participate fully in the rewards system and take full advantage of the opportunities for student leadership across the school;

·         To ensure that staff have a high level of awareness of the needs of disadvantaged pupils in their classrooms;

·         To target disadvantaged pupils who require catch-up through the school intervention programme;

·         To increase the number of PP students participating in extra-curricular activities and in particular trips and visits activities;

·         To improve the mental wellbeing of all PP students

In order to be highly successful in meeting the objectives for improvement, we will:

·         Never confuse eligibility for the Pupil Premium with low ability and focus on supporting our disadvantaged pupils to achieve the highest levels.

·         Thoroughly analyse which pupils are underachieving, particularly in English and Mathematics, and why.

·         Draw on research evidence (such as the EEF) and evidence from our own and others’ experiences to allocate the funding to the activities that were most likely to have significant impact on improving achievement.

·         Be clear about the importance of ensuring that all day-to-day teaching meets the needs of each learner, rather than relying on interventions to compensate for teaching that is less than good. Quality First Teaching is paramount.

·         Allocate their best teachers to teach intervention groups to improve Mathematics and English.

·         Use achievement data frequently to check whether interventions or strategies are working and make adjustments accordingly, rather than using the data retrospectively to see if something has worked.

·         Make sure that support staff, particularly teaching assistants, are highly trained and understand their role in helping pupils to achieve.

·         Systematically focus on giving pupils clear, useful feedback about their work, and ways that they could improve it.

·         Ensure that the Senior Leadership Team has a clear overview of how the funding is being allocated and the difference it is making to the outcomes for pupils.

·         Ensure that class and subject teachers know which pupils are eligible for the Pupil Premium so that they can take responsibility for accelerating their progress. This also applies to teaching assistants.

·         Provide well-targeted support to improve attendance, behaviour or links with families where these were barriers to a pupil’s learning.

The key principles of the strategy plan are based around the EEF’s PP guidance, with regards to:

·         Axe Valley really can make a difference to all disadvantaged students at the school.

·         Using evidence to help meet the targets of the plan

·         Quality first teaching being the most important leaver in improving the outcomes of disadvantaged students

·         Supporting all types of disadvantaged learners (e.g. SEND, high attainers, middle attainers, and low attainers).

·         Using the three tiered approach

1.    Teaching – Professional development, support for ECTs, recruitment & retention, effective teachers being in front of the right students and teachers being supported to keep improving.

2.    Targeted academic support – teachers and TAs identifying who needs support, why they need it and how it will be delivered.

3.    Wider strategies – improving attendance, behaviour, wellbeing and a student’s cultural capital.


This details the key challenges to achievement that we have identified among our disadvantaged pupils.

Challenge number

Detail of challenge


Some disadvantaged pupils have poorer social, emotional and developmental skills leading to poor executive functioning from early trauma or attachment which could lead to social, emotional and mental health issues if unsupported in school.


Some disadvantaged children have less well-established behaviour for learning and there is an increasing proportion of children with poor learning dispositions, low self-esteem and self -belief, motivation and resilience across the school.


Attendance rates for pupils eligible for PP are below the target for all children which will impact on slower rates of progress and lower overall attainment. Perceptions of the importance of high and consistent attendance is of concern amongst some disadvantaged parents/carers.


Fluctuating levels of parental support of and engagement with the school and their children’s home learning can lead to disadvantaged children making less progress academically and socially leading to reduced life chances


Pupil and community lack of aspiration in some of the disadvantaged families could lead to low expectation of self, attainment, progress and lead to reduced life chances


Some disadvantaged children have less opportunity to engage with enrichment activities outside of school and wider learning opportunities are limited – therefore their Cultural Capital is lower.


Language skills are lower for disadvantaged children compared to non-disadvantaged children hindering literacy progress and social communication.

Intended outcomes

This explains the outcomes we are aiming for by the end of our current strategy plan (2023), and how we will measure whether they have been achieved.

Intended outcome

Success criteria

Progress 8

Achieve top quartile for progress made by disadvantaged pupils.

Achieve a P8 score of at least -0.02.

Attainment 8

Achieve national average for attainment for all pupils

Achieve a Att8 average score of at least 46.5

% of Grade 5+ in English and maths.

Achieve average English and maths 5+ scores

At least 25% of PP students will achieve a Grade 5+ in English and maths

% of grade 4+ in English and maths

Achieve average English and maths 4+ scores

At least 65% of PP students will achieve a Grade 4+ in English and maths


Improve attendance to national average

Increase the attendance to 92.5% and decrease the PA rate to 22.4% of PP students in line with national averages. 

Ebacc entry

Better national average EBacc Entry for all pupils

At least 40% of PP students will have Ebacc entry.

Behaviour (Exclusions)

Continually reduce Exclusion rates

Less than 7% of PP students will receive a FTE.




Activity in this academic year

This details how we intend to spend our pupil premium (and recovery premium funding) this academic year to address the challenges listed above.

Teaching (for example, CPD, recruitment and retention)

“Good teaching is the most important lever schools have to improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. Using the Pupil Premium to improve teaching quality benefits all students and has a particularly positive effect on children eligible for the Pupil Premium.” Education Endowment Foundation 2019

Budgeted cost: £ 70,000


Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

Develop excellence in classroom practice  so that lessons optimise students’ learning

Coaching all teachers fortnightly.

Personalised CPD for teachers

Subject based professional learning

Pedagogical and curriculum reading expanded. CPD library created and developed

Oracy standards established.

Evidence (EEF)

Overall, studies of oral language interventions consistently show positive impact on learning, including on oral language skills and reading comprehension. On average, pupils who participate in oral language interventions make approximately five months’ additional progress over the course of a year.



Embed reading as an integral part of every subject, of homework and of tutor time.

Daily reading as part of homework

Class reading in tutor time

Support teachers to source and incorporate authentic texts to deliver the curriculum.

More whole class reading books sourced.

Anthologies made

Knowledge organisers made

Evidence (EEF)

On average, reading comprehension approaches deliver an additional six months’ progress. Successful reading comprehension approaches allow activities to be carefully tailored to pupils’ reading capabilities, and involve activities and texts that provide an effective, but not overwhelming, challenge.

In the UK, recent evaluations of programmes that have included a focus on teaching reading comprehension strategies have not found an extensive impact, though there is evidence that children from disadvantaged backgrounds may benefit more.

The evidence shows that the impact of homework, on average, is five months’ additional progress. 




Targeted academic support (for example, tutoring, one-to-one support structured interventions)

“Considering how classroom teachers and teaching assistants can provide targeted academic support, including how to link structured one-to-one or small group intervention to classroom teaching, is likely to be a key component of an effective Pupil Premium strategy.” EEF 2019

Budgeted cost: £ 70,000


Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

To develop a better understanding of each PP student, identifying barriers to learning, areas of need and targeted intervention for future progression

Every PP student to be mentored termly.

Pen Portrait for every PP student to include views, strengths, areas for development and barriers to learning.

SEND PP learners to have key information built into their learning passports

Termly monitoring of PP progress through attainment, attitude to learning, attendance and behaviour.

Targeted intervention identified from data analysis and mentor meetings, to include attendance, behaviour, academic and SEMH focused support. This will include the additional staff employed as part of the recovery premium.

Evidence (EEF)

Evidence suggests that, on average, behaviour interventions can produce moderate improvements in academic performance along with a decrease in problematic behaviours. Impacts are larger for targeted interventions matched to specific students with particular needs or behavioural issues.






In class intervention activities designed to close the gap for all students below expected progress and disadvantaged students only making expected progress.


Reading and literacy interventions ran by the SEND dept (e.g. Lexia and fresh start phonics.

All class reading during tutor time

Homework club

Hegarty maths to develop numeracy

Levelled and pre planned in class questioning.

Maths small group and one to one tuition

Where possible, teaching assistant intervention.

Evidence (EEF)

Overall, studies of oral language interventions consistently show positive impact on learning, including on oral language skills and reading comprehension. On average, pupils who participate in oral language interventions make approximately five months’ additional progress over the course of a year.

Evidence indicates that one to one tuition can be effective, delivering approximately five additional months’ progress on average.

Programmes involving Teaching assistants or volunteers can have a valuable impact, but tend to be less effective than those using experienced and specifically trained teachers, which have nearly twice the effect on average





Wider strategies (for example, related to attendance, behaviour, wellbeing)

“Wider strategies relate to the most significant non-academic barriers to success in school, including attendance, behaviour and social and emotional support.” EEF 2019

Budgeted cost: £ 46,410


Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

Increasing attendance and decrease PA rates through targeted mental health intervention, including agreed strategies from the Timpson Project.

Embed a whole school mental health strategy, that focuses on both student and staff wellbeing.

Embed a whole school project around the Timpson project focusing on attachment and trauma.

Develop an engaging enrichment programme that includes a captivating House system.

Use additional staff (recovery premium) to support targeted mental health and wellbeing.

Evidence (Timpson Project)

There is a significant amount of evidence from the Timpson project around the impact attachment and trauma have on young people. Attainment, attendance, behaviour and mental health are all affected.

Evidence (EEF)

In addition to providing academic support, some school programmes aim to provide stimulating environments and activities or develop additional personal and social skills. These programmes are more likely to have an impact on attainment than those that are solely academic in focus. 




Embed a rich diet of opportunities for students to develop their cultural capital

Embed a House system within the school

House Ties and badges given to students.

Develop the schools DofE programme

Coordinate an increased whole school trips and visits calendar.

Increase PP participation rates in clubs, activities, trips and visits.

Develop the leadership programme at the school to provide more opportunities for PP students.

Develop the careers strategy to help prepare PP students for post 16 and beyond.

Celebration assemblies to include rewards for students – participation and performance in enrichment.

Evidence (EEF)

The overall impact of sports participation on academic achievement tends to be positive but low (about two additional months’ progress). However, there is recent evidence from the UK that sports participation can have a larger effect on, for example, mathematics learning when combined with a structured numeracy programme (with one study showing an impact of up to ten months’ additional progress).

Overall, the impact of arts participation on academic learning appears to be positive but low. Improved outcomes have been identified in English, mathematics and science.

Overall, studies of adventure learning interventions consistently show positive benefits on academic learning. On average, pupils who participate in adventure learning interventions make approximately four additional months’ progress. There is also evidence of an impact on non-cognitive outcomes such as self-confidence.

Finally, pupils make two additional months’ progress per year from extended school time and in particular through the targeted use of before and after school programmes. There is some evidence that disadvantaged pupils benefit more, making closer to three months’ additional progress. There are also often wider benefits for low-income students, such as increased attendance at school, improved behaviour, and better relationships with peers.




Total budgeted cost: £ 186,410.

Part B: Review of outcomes in the previous academic year

Pupil premium strategy outcomes

This details the impact that our pupil premium activity had on pupils in the 2020 to 2021 academic year.




Progress 8 Score

Attainment 8 Score

% 9 – 7 English

% 9 – 5 (strong pass) English

% 9 – 4 (standard pass) English

% 9 – 7 Maths

% 9 – 5 (strong pass) Maths

% 9 – 4 (standard pass) Maths

% 9 – 5 (strong pass) Basics

% 9 – 4 (standard pass) Basics

% Entered for EBACC

% Achieving EBACC Grade 9-5

% Achieving EBACC Grade 9-4

EBACC Average Point Score

Year 11
















































SEN Support
















































Curriculum impact statement: The extension of KS3 into Year 9 has allowed planning for greater breadth and depth of knowledge across subjects, further development of subject-specific skills, and improvements in disciplinary literacy. More generally, departments have become more focused on development of substantive knowledge and disciplinary skills in a coherent sequence, with attendant removal of inauthentic content or lesson activities.

Ebacc: Uptake has increased, driven by increase in numbers selecting MFL options – there are currently three MFL groups in Year 10 compared to only two in Year 11.

Hegarty/TTRS: All Key Stage 3 students engage weekly with Hegarty maths as part of their homework, with a clear structure of rewards and sanctions in place in the maths department to promote maximum effective engagement. By end September, although all Key Stage 3 students have been issued Times Tables Rock Stars log on details, only around 70% are regularly participating. The maths department has concrete plans, such as termly competitions, to increase this proportion and celebrate students’ efforts and achievements.

Intervention: Maths intervention in small groups for targeted students took place with the specialist teaching assistant, along with some withdrawal from tutor time for intervention with the head of maths. English interventions with a newly appointed English Intervention Coordinator took place in summer term last academic year, and has been broadened this academic year. This academic year, these maths and English interventions continue and are strengthened with data supporting student selection. Furthermore, English intervention with the head of English, along with science intervention with a specialist teacher, will be re-established during tutor time withdrawal for targeted students.


Funding was also used to provide revision resources and workbooks for students completing additional English/mathematics learning in the Hub, which allowed a greater focus on basics for these students.

Evidence from cognitive science: Implementation of the best available evidence from cognitive science across the curriculum took place and it will continue this year. All departments have been reviewed with qualitative feedback provided to subject leads and the leadership team. This has enabled planning for future improvements to the curriculum in most subject areas. This evidence is helping to further improve QFT.   

Staff CPD: Regular staff CPD sessions to practise and develop aspects of pedagogy. CPD has been frequent across the year (even in lockdown). Drop ins and subject reviews have allowed for reflection. These have shown that teachers across the school are using the principles of the training. This has improved the quality of teaching and learning.  

Reading and literacy interventions: Lexia and Fresh Start Phonics are used regularly with identified learners. These interventions have been reviewed and refined across the year. Members of the leadership team have also led on literacy interventions after school.

In class intervention activities designed to close the gap for all students below expected progress and disadvantaged students only making expected progress: Drop ins and reviews have shown that this is being used. Due to a lack of reporting (due to COVID) it has been difficult to see if the gaps are being closed. Period 6 attendance for Year 11s (85% – attended once per week) and Year 10s (80% attended the English literature intervention) has been positive. Maths extraction has benefited many students. TA support in some classes has also benefitted the students. 

All learners to read a lot more: e.g. reading short stories with their tutors twice a week, increased library use and increased reading across the curriculum. CPD around this has increased the need for reading across the curriculum. Subject leads have mapped reading in their curriculum. Tutors are reading three times (for 20 minutes at a time) per week. Access to the library has increased and book borrowing has increased by 600%.  

Increasing attendance and decrease PA rates through targeted mental health intervention. Attendance and PA rates have been hindered because of Covid. However, targeted mental health support has increased. PASCOs all level 3 trained in safeguarding and up to speed with signs and indicators. Increased number of TAF meetings. Assemblies and PSHE themes have increased awareness of themes and coping strategies. Targeted return to school plans put in place to support anxious learners. 

Exclusions: Exclusions have been on the decline for PP students. Early intervention, developing relationships and clear communications have been key in these improvements. It is proving to be highly impactful as it is reducing the number of PP students being excluded. 7.9% of all PP students have received a FTE. 18.5% of all PP students have received one RTL isolation. 11.2% of all PP learners have received more than one RTL isolation.   

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