Page 2 of 11
Aston Manor Academy in Birmingham is an 11 to 18 school with 730 pupils. In 2011 to 12 the school received £190,000 of Pupil Premium funding.
The school serves an area of high deprivation in the centre of the city. Pupils come from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and the proportion who have English as an additional language is well above average.
At least 60% of the school’s population is registered for free school meals (FSM) but the number who are eligible is estimated to be much higher.
Aston Manor focuses on raising achievement in English and maths, with English being a particular strength. The progress of pupils is closely monitored and expectations are high for everyone. Support and interventions are targeted to the needs of underachievers.
The Pupil Premium supports high staffing levels to reduce class sizes and create an extra group in each half-year. Staff get five hours no-contact time a week to plan lessons and mark students’ work. Teachers know their pupils well and have good relationships with them. All staff run extra teaching sessions. These are open to all pupils, but they are compulsory for students who are underachieving and part of a focus group.
Focus groups are reviewed regularly through tracking and monitoring of pupil progress, and parents are updated regularly.
‘Early bird’ and Saturday morning sessions target important subjects, particularly English and maths. In Year 11 a focus group of 25 students attends Saturday sessions, 19 of whom are registered for free school meals.
As an extra incentive, the sessions take place at a local hotel where the children are given breakfast. Students who find it difficult to attend are collected in the school minibus.
Other sessions provide enrichment, particularly for more able students. For example, gifted and talented students get help towards achieving an A* in maths, and are encouraged to continue with maths post-16.
The Pupil Premium funding has been vital in maintaining a high number of staff, to give the high level of support that students need. Exam results have been rising steadily, and more students are opting to stay on in the sixth form. Students are keen to attend the additional sessions, and enjoy collecting extra stamps for the school’s system of rewards.
Each year the school holds a ‘Moving Forwards’ day where staff, governors and pupils review the year and plan for the following year. The activities that the Pupil Premium has funded will be evaluated and refined but no major changes are envisaged, as the additional teaching sessions are already proving so successful.
Page 2 of 11