Now that the DfE will be allocating £2.5 bn a year to schools to raise achievement of disadvantaged pupils, schools will be looking how to make the best use of these funds. We know that the need is there. Now that funds are available, is it important that they reach the target pupils and – however a school uses the funds – these pupils make clear and measurable progress. Here are some ideas of how to best use the Pupil Premium
Invest in teachers and teacher assistants
Fund a specialist teacher or teaching assistant to help these children with literacy working 1:1 or in small groups with catch-up pupils.
Invest in training
Train specialist teachers or teaching assistants in a systematic synthetic phonics programme to work 1:1 or in small groups with catch-up pupils. The children who need most support should be taught by a highly trained member or staff.
Invest in resources
Purchase reading resources, workbooks and games which are designed to fill in missing gaps and accelerate learning to read for catch-up pupils.
Invest in a homework club where staff are trained in systematic synthetic phonics so that children get support which is consistent to what is being taught in the classroom. This offers the disadvantaged pupils the same support other pupils are getting at home when they do their homework.
How can you use our books to support disadvantaged pupils?
Dandelion Launchers and Dandelion Readers series are an ideal resource as catch-up readers in KS1 because they offer step-by step progression and at the same time lots of reading practice and games at each stage. Teachers are often saying that the progression of the mainstream class lessons is too fast for some pupils. Dandelion Launchers and Readers help to consolidate the phonics lesson in the classroom. With 7 books at each of the 10 first levels of reading, children gain confidence as they see themselves succeed in learning to read. This confidence and achievement is vital for disadvantaged pupils.
The earlier children can read and are able to read extensively, the more likely they are to expand their vocabulary and learn language they do not come across in their everyday lives. This brings about higher levels of comprehension and greater ability in expressive language.
Dandelion Launchers workbooks include story-telling cards which encourage the children to re-tell the story using the vocabulary in the story. This is particularly useful for children with poor expressive language and children for whom English is a second language.
Dandelion Readers Levels 1, 2 and 3 include comprehension and vocabulary which develops expressive and receptive language as well as comprehension.
Totem and Talisman series are aimed at older catch-up readers from ages 8 and above. They fill in the missing gaps which some pupils may not have taken on board in KS1. The exciting illustrations and the quest-like stories are highly motivating and age appropriate. Children find they are reading texts that their peers are interested in. This brings about a change of attitude to reading, reading success and a leap in self-esteem; again, a key element with disadvantaged pupils who are falling behind.
All our books are ideal for small group or 1:1 teaching. They include vocabulary pages to extend the pupil’s vocabulary. These series are complemented by comprehensive workbooks which are easy for teachers and teaching assistants to use. They include a variety of activities which teach the underlying skills and knowledge needed for learning to read and spell.