Service Pupil Premium
What is it and how do we spend it here at Linton on Ouse Primary School and Nursery?
We are a small school and every child counts; we’re family. The Service Pupil Premium is a really important grant made to schools to support children and young people with parents in the armed forces. We are approximately 50% military families and 50% local families; we also have quite a high number of children who choose to attend our school from out of catchment. Our school spends the allocated grant in a number of ways and we choose very carefully how to spend the money; we always invest more than our allocation because we know our actions have a big impact on our pupils’ ability to settle quickly and learn. The impact is measured carefully and we keep all our actions under close scrutiny and review.
We use some of the Service Pupil Premium to set up a number of our initiatives, and for 2021 this will include our Settling In programme and packs. The pack includes information about our school for the children and dedicated time with a member of staff to enable the children to feel confident they know where the toilets are, how we serve snack, what the options are for lunch, how playtimes are organised etc. We find having this information really helps them to settle; they can be very concerned about the logistics but having this extra support helps them to settle quickly and turn attention to making friends and learning with more confidence. So, for 2021, we are making this even better. We have also created playtime packs to help children structure their play, which is particularly helpful when a child is new to the school and the local area.
When a family starts to plan for moving on, we are also here to support. It’s reassuring to know that when the time has come for a family to leave, we make sure those children are supported. We find the playground packs help with activities, affirming friendships and learning how to move on with positivity is very important. We not only support those going but also those left behind. It can be a really mixed time for children and their families; we have strong interventions in place to ensure everyone is helped to focus on being positive and resilient. It’s ok to feel both sad and excited; our staff and school family are also here to support parents and carers. We help the children to understand how to say goodbye, keep learning as best they can and also prepare for the next adventure. Our children know they matter from the first time they connect with us to when it’s time to move on. Our link continues beyond their time here and we make sure they arrive safely at their next school too. In fact, many families stay in touch for many weeks, months and years after they have left. We love receiving emails, cards and photos from those families!
The Service Pupil Premium is mainly used for providing teaching assistant hours to address when children join and leave us, time to put in place support for pupils with SEND and time to help pupils with their learning in the classroom. We move quickly and know that having this support really makes the difference. Children might be with us for months or years, we generally do not know so we make sure they get the best experience possible.
Our military footprint is ever-changing. In July 2018, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced the closure of RAF Linton on Ouse. Many people think we are a part of the RAF base but we are actually a community school where all children, both local and service children come together and learn together. We are the genuine example of a school where community cohesion is at its best and we will be here long after the RAF base has evolved into the next phase of the plans being made by the MOD and Defence Services, continuing to welcome both local and service children. Not only do we have service families from RAF Linton on Ouse, we are actually tri-service. Our local area houses service families who are based all over York and North Yorkshire, and even further afield in some cases. This is a beautiful part of the world and we really enjoy living here. In fact a number of service families choose to continue living in our locality rather than moving on again.
Having extra-curricular opportunities is a really important part of our offer here at Linton on Ouse Primary School and Nursery. We have special clubs in which we invest some of the Service Pupil Premium for resources and we are also involved in a number of projects and support groups. Our Military Kids’ Club is really popular and well-received. We run ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) and Mrs Lister is our lead assistant. This programme is really popular with our service families; they find it reassuring that we are committed to supporting their child and we ‘get it’. Mrs Lister is also the York and District Area Coordinator for Service Leads in schools, working with both primary and secondary schools to ensure service children are supported and matter.
In truth, we spend more than the allocated amount given to our school and that’s because we know our projects make the difference. What’s really important to understand is that it’s not only our service children who benefit, but ALL of our children here at Linton on Ouse Primary School and Nursery. We provide the right support when it is needed to help our pupils both socially and academically.
Please read our Service Pupil Premium action plan to find out more about how much is spent on projects and the impact it’s had.