Use of Pupil Premium to support students at Notre Dame High School
Every school has a duty to ensure that every individual child is given the best possible chance of achieving their potential.
This duty is central to our existence as a Catholic School which follows the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame. We are founded on the belief that every person is uniquely created in the image and likeness of God. We understand that Christ set us an example of love for all people with a particular challenge to first serve those who are most in need. These beliefs are clear in our Mission Statement and the Hallmarks of the Sisters of Notre Dame.
As a result, we seek to meet the individual needs of every child, in order for them to develop fully their God given potential. The ‘Pupil Premium’, along with all forms of school funding are carefully managed to enable us to offer personalised support for children in a range of ways. The following examples outline just some of these ways:
• Teams of specialist teachers who deliver lessons planned to meet individual needs
• Provision of daily contact with form tutors who build relationship with the members of their form
• Heads of Year who lead their year groups as ‘mini’ schools
• The support of Pastoral Managers, who are not teachers, and who are therefore are more available to support individuals as they do not have a teaching timetable
• A specialist SEN department who provide support for students with particular educational needs
• Support for individual growth and development through our Chaplaincy Coordinator and vibrant chaplaincy programme
• An innovative approach to the use of new technologies as a way to support individual learning needs
• A curriculum, under constant review, which is designed to offer maximum flexibility to meet the needs of individuals. This is supported by a programme of support and guidance for children as they make choices, including one to one support for children and families where this is needed.
• A broad and varied extra-curricular programme to offer experience outside of the classroom to all children and to help build a supportive community
• Constant staff development and training to ensure that all staff in school are able to provide for each individual child.
• An emphasis on ‘the quality of relationships’ between all members of the school community as it is ultimately through individual relationships that we can understand and meet the needs of individuals.
• Programmes such as Rainbows to support children who have experienced bereavement or loss of any kind
• Individual mentoring and support programmes designed by tutors, heads of year and pastoral managers
• Programmes to involve our 6th form students in the support of students in main school
• Engagement with the wider community and other professional services to help meet the needs of students beyond school
• Financial support to ensure that students do not miss educational opportunities due to financial hardship. This is organised always in a way which is sensitive to the dignity of the individuals and is based on our relationship with and knowledge of individual students and their families
How can we be sure that the needs of individuals are being met?
It is clearly important that we can be confident that the ‘Pupil Premium’ and all other types of school funding are having the intended effect of providing for the educational needs of every student. To this end, we have a culture of continuous review and improvement in school. We constantly look for the impact that every action has on the progress and development of individual children. While we firmly believe that we can always improve, the following points outline some of the evidence that individual needs are being catered for and that we are paying particular attention to those most in need:
• Exceptionally high levels of attendance, along with response to student surveys, tells us that children enjoy coming to school and feel safe and supported.
• High standards of behaviour shown by children and low exclusion rates. We believe this is evidence that our approach helps children to behave well in the first place and because we offer effective support for individuals who most need it, before they find themselves in a position where they are not able to engage with school life.
• National examination information, produced by the government on all schools, show that excellent progress is made at Notre Dame by students of all ability, boys and girls, of every different ethnic background and social background
• We are particularly proud that year on year, our SEN students are always amongst those making the best progress from Y7 to Y11 (or Y13). This is compared with other students in our school who are themselves making progress which is well above the national average.
• We have a very low number of children in any year who do not progress from Notre Dame to some form of education, employment or training. We believe this is evidence of an education that has prepared all students for life. It is also evidence of a guidance and support programme which ensures that those students most in need are provided with the support they need.
• We have very high levels of participation in our extra-curricular events, be they lunch time clubs, involvement with sport or performing arts, local or national competition or school trips. We believe this is evidence of a lively and inclusive community in which all children feel able to and do fully play an active part