Shortly after completing our mid-year review of Pupil premium expenditure in February 2020, schools in England were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout the period of closure Falmouth Primary Academy and Kernow Learning Trust continued to provide care and support for the children of key workers and our most vulnerable pupils.
We know from research that disadvantaged pupils’ learning is likely to be adversely affected by school closure and have worked hard to mitigate this. We have provided home learning activities and resources for all pupils, both online and in paper-based format. We are aware that internet access has been problematic for some families and have endeavoured to provide support where this is the case, e.g. delivery of learning packs to pupils’ addresses.
Since the beginning of June, following Trust guidance, children in some year groups have begun to return to school. We are working very hard to ensure that these returning pupils are safe and happy in their bubbles. Our top priority has been to address their social and emotional needs and to ensure that any anxiety about returning to school is minimised. With this in place, we are now turning our attention to beginning to identify any learning gaps which have come about during the lockdown period, particularly so for disadvantaged children. We have, of course, continued to provide home learning opportunities for those children who will not be re-joining us until September.
We are now thinking ahead to the new academic year and to what a recovery curriculum needs to look like for our children, including our disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils. This will clearly inform the planning of our 3-year strategy for raising the attainment of disadvantaged children at this school. We will focus on:
-Developing the mental health, well-being and happiness of our pupils
-Improving pupils’ capacity to regulate their own behaviour and learning
-Identifying learning gaps and putting high impact strategies in place to address them
-Ensuring the curriculum is exciting, rigorous, relevant and fit for purpose in the changed world in which we all now find ourselves
Our Raising Attainment Strategy for 2020-23 will be scrutinised by our Local Area Board members and Trust leaders prior to its publication in early October 2020. We are confident that this move to a longer-term plan will enable us over time to implement carefully chosen evidence-informed strategies that result in a closing of existing attainment gaps. The new 3-year plan will be regularly reviewed in each year of its cycle.
Claire Smith – Head teacher