Dudley primary school shares how they made effective use of the Pupil Premium

Jan 2018
Representatives from Kumon and the Ham Dingle Primary School presented at a Pupil Premium Conference in Manchester.

Representatives from Kumon and the Ham Dingle Primary School attended and presented at a Pupil Premium Conference in Manchester on Thursday 14 December 2017.

Lisa Sheldon, Instructor at the Kumon Stourbridge Study Centre co-presented with Headteacher Jacqui Grace and Deputy Head, Debra Hunt from the Ham Dingle Primary School in Stourbridge, Dudley, about their experiences of working together to develop the potential of their Pupil Premium children.

In January 2017, five pupils from their Pupil Premium cohort, four from Year 4 and one from Year 3, began attending the Stourbridge Study centre, studying on either the Kumon maths or English programme.

Initially like all Kumon students, they started at a level which was academically comfortable for them, so that there could be a real focus on developing their concentration, independent learning and mental agility. In just under 12 months the children have made fantastic progress, and both the school and their parents are immensely proud. The school is so impressed with their growth they're looking to include Year 2 students in the project next year.

Jacqui shared with the conference audience: "As the children are coming up to the end of their first year, we are starting to see them better access the curriculum and achieve high levels in English and maths as they move further up the (Kumon) programme. And although Kumon has an English and maths focus, we've noticed that their confidence and resilience in all curriculum areas has improved.

"On top of this, the structure and routine of the Kumon programme is providing the children with a more self-disciplined approach, which is particularly beneficial as they are now completing home learning projects set by the school, whereas previously they may have been reluctant to do so, or not at all."

The star of the show however, was nine-year-old Deakan, who confidently shared with the 70-strong audience of senior educational stakeholders, his experience studying with Kumon in collaboration with his school.

Deakan said: "Before I joined Kumon I was not really into reading, so I didn't read things thoroughly and missed the details and facts I needed.

"I am now much better at reading and get better marks at Kumon and in the assessments we do at school. Now I read every day.

"I am now better at using all the correct grammar like capital letters, full stops and using adjectives.

"I like going to the Kumon centre - the tutors are very helpful and friendly. It is very peaceful there not busy like it is in school so I get to concentrate more.

"I do need reminding to do it (Kumon) sometimes, but I feel I have achieved something when it is done, and I know I am improving as I used to have to ask for help a lot but now I don't need help so often and I try to work things out for myself more.

"I am more confident in my work and answering questions and sharing my ideas with the class. When the teacher asks questions, I feel confident to answer.

"Before I would never have believed I would stand here talking to all of you. I am proud I can now do this."

From the outset of the project Lisa, Jacqui and Deb's aim has been to use the pupil premium grant to not just close the gaps but to help children better access the curriculum and achieve their full potential at school.

Jacqui concluded: "We feel this partnership has been a great success. We realise that the ultimate outcomes for children take time, but we are already seeing great progress in our children selected for the project."