Pakeman Primary School

1. Introduction

Pakeman Primary was the national primary winner in the Pupil Premium Awards 2013 for raising the attainment of its disadvantaged pupils.

The school is a one and a half form entry school in Islington, in an area of high social deprivation. In 2012-13, 85% of the pupils attracted the pupil premium and the school received £145,000 in pupil premium funding. By 2013 Pakeman had significantly narrowed the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.

2. What did they do?

Pakeman found the challenges for improving outcomes for disadvantaged pupils are varied and there is no “one size fits all”. So they took a multi-strand approach together with rigorous tracking and assessment procedures so any gaps in pupils’ learning are quickly identified and addressed.

Building Belief: a culture in which staff believe that ALL children can succeed – no excuses for underperformance and no “artificial ceilings”. They used Carol Dweck’s research on Mindsets to support children in developing ‘growth mindsets’ towards their learning.

Data and Identification of pupils: all staff have been involved in analysing data and identifying pupils underachieving at any level, these children have then been targeted – not just lower attainers.

Improving Day to Day Teaching: the Sutton Trust research shows that poor teaching has a disproportionately large impact on disadvantaged children, so Pakeman established a Team Leader Model (which places non-class based team leaders across each phase) to address any within-school variances and to increase the percentage of outstanding teaching. The impact of team leaders is carefully monitored.

Increasing learning time: maximising children’s learning time by improving attendance and punctuality, providing earlier intervention (KS1 and EYFS) and extending learning out of school hours.

Improving the effectiveness of interventions: using the Sutton Trust Teaching and Learning Toolkit for guidance on the cost and effectiveness of a range of interventions focusing on improving the quality of interventions. In addition to this, carefully monitoring the impact of existing interventions through half termly observations and assessment data.

Increasing parental engagement: researching best practice in parental engagement, working towards achieving the Leading Parent Partnership Award and setting up targeted termly individual meetings for parents of underachieving children. As part of this work, extensive support was put in place to support parents in building knowledge and skills and to help reduce life stresses for parents.

3. What next?

The school intends to use future pupil premium money to improve feedback to pupils by providing termly individual mentoring sessions for every pupil, extending one-to-one tuition to provide earlier intervention and extending the development of talk across the school with a particular focus on digital literacy, which includes the purchase of a school radio station.

Lynne Gavin, Head of Pakeman Primary School says:
“We were absolutely delighted and incredibly proud to be named the ‘National Primary School of the Year’ in the Pupil Premium Awards 2013. Winning this award has been absolutely fantastic for us at Pakeman. It reflects and recognises the hard work and dedication of our amazing and dedicated staff who are determined to provide our children with the best possible education to improve their life chances. We invested the prize money in a new stage and sound system from which the whole school community has benefited by transforming our assemblies, choir performances and productions. In addition, we have been inundated with requests from other schools for support and not only are we sharing our good practice with schools across the country but we are also learning from them, which is helping us to become better still!”