Pupil Premium

The Government introduced Pupil Premium with the aim of reducing the attainment gap between the highest and lowest achieving pupils nationally. The Pupil Premium is an additional grant allocated to schools based on the number of Looked After Children on roll and also the number of students entitled to Free School meals.

The school spends the Pupil Premium in a number of ways designed to support and accelerate the learning of disadvantaged students, in order that they meet or exceed expected progress. School leaders and governors decide how the funds can best be spent using advice from professional sources and training, analysis of the effectiveness of spending in previous years and knowledge of the particular students receiving funding and their needs.

The last review of the use of the Pupil Premium Grant was 14th March 2018, the next Governor review date is scheduled for the summer term.

Plans for spending of PPG (Pupil Premium Grant) 2017-2018

At Meridian school there is a relatively low number of disadvantaged students in comparison to national figures, for 2016-2017 the number of students in year 11 eligible for free school meals at any time over the past 6 years was 16.5% (13 students) in comparison to a national average of 28.9%.

We carefully plan the use of these funds to support the needs of the individual students that join us, dependent on their needs.

The Pupil Premium is used to provide additional support for our disadvantaged students and will be spent in key strategic areas:

Raising achievement and attainment:

  • Class-based interventions
  • The use of accelerated reader to promote and increase literacy
  • Small group work and 1:1 work to support reading
  • Homework support
  • Support for in class activities where additional resources are required e.g. cooking materials and art equipment
  • Developing best practice in all teaching staff, along with awareness of using evidence-informed practice to have an impact on educational outcomes.

Extra-curricular events which promote confidence and build, maintain or increase aspirations

  • Opportunities to learn beyond the classroom to promote independence and confidence and to acquire new (transferable) skills
  • Access to educational visits and enrichment events (including specialist educational trips and motivational interventions e.g. Challenger group, D of E)
  • Access to after school clubs and sporting events e.g. funding for equipment and resources

Pastoral care and student well-being:

  • Nessie counselling, Music and Drama therapy for those referred
  • Daily support as needed from the form tutor, tutor group weekly activities including support for literacy.
  • PSHE activities to extend personal skills and self-esteem. Encouraging good attendance.
  • Homework support opportunities.
  • Uniform and learning equipment support.
  • Developing positive relationships with others which, for example, promotes confidence in team work
  • Developing positive and constructive relationships with parents/carers.
  • Careers and post 16 advice and guidance from our IAG officer and form tutors so that aspirations and ambitions are supported and encouraged.

Achievement, attainment and attendance are monitored and evaluated regularly by the team of Tutors, Heads of Year, HoDs and SLT. The Assistant Headteacher is assigned as lead on use of PPG, with support from a designated PP Governor.

Plans for PPG 2017-2018

Spending Plans for 2016-17

Student Profile 2016-2017 based on KS2 (Year 6) Prior Attainment
Plans for PPG 2016-2017

Progress of disadvantaged students at Meridian 2016 and evaluation for future planning

The 2016 data for student progress shown above highlights how students with different prior attainment then progress at Meridian at Key Stage 4.

The distribution of blue/yellow data points indicates that the majority of disadvantaged students achieve in line with their non-disadvantaged peers.

However, there is one anomaly in the data, a blue data point around 4.1 for Key stage 2 prior attainment that is and not surrounded by other data points. This one student did not sit any of their GCSE exams due to medical grounds.

It is clear from the table of progress that those students who attained a level 4 at Key Stage 2, progressed significantly less well that those who attained level 3 or 5. The data shows that the disadvantaged students who attained level 3 or 5 progressed significantly more than their non-disadvantaged peers. As a school with a relatively small cohort of disadvantaged students we will use this analysis to help us look at the planning of groups and allocation of teachers to the groups which contain the students with middle PA (L4) to try and close the gaps and increase the progress made by these students.

Accelerated Reader

Mid-Year AR analysis 2016-2017

The results are based on the difference in results between the first test in October and the latest testing at the end of January. (A 3.5-month period including half-term & Christmas break).

Gap (Disadvantaged to non-disadvantaged students) October 2016: 1 year 2 months

Gap (Disadvantaged to non-disadvantaged students) January 2017: 1 year 1 month

Average increase over 3.5 months by disadvantaged students: 5 months

Average increase over 3.5 months by non-disadvantaged students: 4 months

71% of disadvantaged students made an improvement. 59% of advantaged students made an improvement or maintained the highest possible reading age.


The school appointed an internal Attendance Officer (from January 2016) to support attendance, particularly of Disadvantaged Students. As seen in the data below, the school attendance for PP was raised in 2016 and we strive to maintain this improvement. A key focus for the Year 2017 will now be to improve the attendance of those identified as FSM.


Details and analysis of the impact of Pupil Premium (Disadvantaged Student) Spend 2015 - 2016

Student Profile based on KS2 (Y6) Prior Attainment

Teaching Assistant Interventions

TA interventions focused on improving Core Skills in English and maths, using a mix of 1:1, small group and class interventions across Years 9 - 11. These were aimed at students working below target, in order to maximise progress.

Y9: 75% of interventions resulted in students making progress from starting points, in 65% of interventions, increasing by a fine score (e.g. -2 to 2 or D- to D+).

Y10: 79% of interventions resulted in students making progress from starting points. 38% of interventions increased by a fine score.

Y11: 65% of interventions resulted in students making progress from starting points. 33% of interventions increased by a fine score.

Accelerated Reader stats 2015-2016

Average reading age data

Note - the mid-year reading test was changed by the provider and likely, therefore, to explain the reduced level of progress this year compared to previous years.

The gap in reading ages between Disadvantaged and non-Disadvantaged students closed in Y10 by 2 months, with an average increase in reading age of 11 months for Disadvantaged students over a 9 month period of the programme.

In Y9, the gap in reading ages between Disadvantaged and non-Disadvantaged students widened by 3 months. This was due to non-Disadvantaged students improving at a faster rate than Disadvantaged students over the 9 month period of the programme. Disadvantaged students improved by an average of 11 months (over 9 months) and Disadvantaged by an average of 8 months (over 9 months).

Pet-xi Tutorial Days

Disadvantaged students attended 4 full days of maths (and 1 English) intervention with external education specialists. Progress was measured on each day by assessing confidence levels in attaining a C grade in each intervention theme/area at the start and the end of each day. Students improved confidence levels on all 5 days.

Some examples of student feedback:

‘Helps me understand’.

‘Helps me remember maths techniques’.

‘Some of the methods were ones I will use in exams’.

Pet-xi Data 2015-2016


The school appointed an internal Attendance Officer (from January 2016) to support attendance, particularly of Disadvantaged Students. Students continued to be monitored in allocated Tutor groups with targeted, regular contact regarding attendance. Y9 students were a key focus. Of the 12 students in Y9 specifically monitored, 9 improved attendance.

January 2016 - end May 2016

  • overall improvement with Y9 group of 12: 12.36%
  • improvement with Y9 group of 11 (removing 1 student with specific medical issue): 19.05%

Overall, attendance for Disadvantaged Students increased from 89.19% (2014-15) to 90.20% (2015-16).

Drama Therapy/Mentoring

13 students have been supported through a significant number of drama therapy/counselling sessions which have significantly reduced barriers to learning for these students.

37 students were supported with additional mentoring based around motivating them as learners throughout the year. A total of 351 additional mentoring sessions took place. The focus was on individual student need; some students met with the mentor once whilst others met with her up to 20 times.

In the summer term, students completed a survey to check how useful the mentoring had been. In the majority of cases, students felt it had kept them on track and helped to motivate them. They also fed back that they may have been less focused if they had not had additional mentoring.

Subject resources/trips

77 separate resources were provided in either Art, maths, science or Food Technology (or BTec) to support learning.

Y9 students were offered an opportunity to take part in a Cirdan sailing trip. Of the 21 students offered a place, 7 participated in the trip, building many skills such as determination, commitment, working as part of a team and resilience, all skills that can be used to increase motivation and confidence with attitudes to learning in the coming year.

Pupil Premium Spending 2015/16

Total Pupil Premium (PP) allocation available to spend in the school in 2015/16 is £46,555. The spending will be allocated as follows:

Pupil Premium Spending 2015-2016

Pupil Premium Spending 2014/15

Total Pupil Premium (PP) allocation in the school year 2014/15 will be £39270. The spending will be allocated as follows:

Pupil Premium spending 2014-2015

Details and analysis of the impact of pupil premium spend:

Teaching Assistant Support

Following our research in 2013-14, we focused on TA interventions in English and Maths, using one-to-one, small group and in-class interventions across years 9-11. These were aimed at students working below target, in order to improve progress.

  • In Year 9, 112 interventions took place, 72% of which were successful (students made progress). When an intervention was not initially successful, a further intervention may have then taken place leading to the student making progress.
  • In Year 10, 98 interventions took place, 88% of which were successful.
  • In Year 11, 121 interventions took place, 74% of which were successful.

Accelerated Reader

Average reading age Data

Accelerated Reader Stats 2014-2015

The Gap in reading ages between PP and non-PP students has closed in both year groups in the 9 months of the programme: in year 10 the gap closed by 4 months, in year 9 the gap closed by one month with PP students improving their reading ages by 1 year 1 month. This should lead to improved access to the curriculum in all subjects.

Subject-specific resourcing

Jamie Oliver BTec:

This course is ideal for some PP students and funding is needed to provide equipment and resources (including food). Four cooking techniques and skills are taught and assessed on a scale of 0-10. The first group to follow the course finished in this year 11. All six PP students achieved a level 2 pass. The one PP student following the course in year 10 has made good progress. A new group, including some PP students, will start the course in 2015/16.

Staff Training

The school’s Pupil Premium champion attended a one-day course this year in order to be aware of the latest advice and ideas for supporting disadvantaged students.

A new teaching assistant was funded to study for NVQ level 3 to improve quality of provision.

Drama Therapy

Many PP students have been supported through a total of 41 sessions of drama therapy / counselling. These sessions significantly reduce the barriers to learning for these students.

The Meridian School • Garden Walk • Royston • Hertfordshire • SG8 7JH

tel: 01763 242236 email: office.meridian@rsat.org.uk