Disadvantaged Students

At BRS, we believe there should be no barrier to success.

Each child is supported, as an individual, to achieve their personal and academic potential.

We have in place a personalised approach which places the individual student at the centre of everything we do.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

10 steps to success for disadvantaged students

1. Excellent Teaching

Teaching and learning is central to success, regardless of circumstances. Students access outstanding teaching daily from subject experts skilled in getting the very best from an individual. We focus on Pupil Premium First with many strategies.

2. The Individual

At BRS, we care for each student as an individual. A dedicated pastoral team for each year will identify and support each student, regardless of their circumstances. We understand the challenges families living in Burton might face and create individual plans to overcome these. Pupil wellbeing is discussed weekly at all meetings and weekly ‘Pupil Spotlight’ meetings take place to ensure that strategies continue to make an impact.

3. Barriers to learning

Uniform and resources should never be a limit to a student’s success. Pupil premium students will receive support with the uniform, school equipment such as PE kit and scientific calculators and revision materials. If a student is struggling to get into school, we can always help and get them back into school.

4. Cultural Experiences

We will ensure all our students, despite their background, have the opportunity to explore a wide range of culture in the UK as part of their wider curriculum, including a residential to Mt Cook and a programme of cultural enrichment trips.

5. Character and culture

Throughout students’ time in school, we ensure they understand their own potential and how they can contribute to an ever changing world. We aim to show them the choices which are theirs to make. We dedicate extensive time to this in our “Character” lessons.

6. Reading

We believe reading is central to success in all aspects of life and is essential in every subject. Students will be supported to read and enjoy challenging texts through the “Reading to Succeed” programme, including the use of Apps including Lexia core, whole school reading time and whole school reading strategies.

7. Careers and next steps

It is sometimes hard to know what you need to do next. Our careers team supports all disadvantaged students with a bespoke package to ensure they have ambitious and rigorous plans throughout their time in school.

8. A challenging and relevant curriculum

Our curriculum is designed to support all students and ensures they access a broad range of subjects which fully prepares them for the future job markets, both locally and nationally.

9. Curriculum support and intervention

We closely monitor and support all our students. If a student is struggling in a particular area, we will offer bespoke, focused intervention as early as possible.

10. Year Group Champions

Each Year Leader is a designated PP Champion who will provide individualised support materials, revision opportunities and intervention for disadvantaged students within their year group. This offers an extra layer of support for students beyond their classroom teachers.

10 commitments to disadvantaged students both during and after lockdown

As a school community, we were, and continue to be, aware of the extensive impact and ongoing pressures lockdown and the developing Covid-19 situation has had on our disadvantaged students. Our aim, throughout this year, has been to ensure school is central in all students’ lives and every child, despite the challenges of the present circumstances, have the capacity to “have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

1. Communication

From the start of lockdown we ensured we stayed in regular contact with all our disadvantaged students. All students attended a twice daily virtual roll call and all disadvantaged students received at least a weekly phone call from their Head of Year, Pastoral Support Worker and Form Tutor. Further to this, Miss O’Leary wrote to families each day to maintain contact and provide specific school, local and national updates.

2. Devices and IT Support

As a MAT, we rapidly collated resources from across our schools to ensure we could provide every student with an appropriate device to access the full curriculum provided on MS Teams. This has continued post-lockdown and every single disadvantaged student has access to an electronic device and internet access.

3. A Full and Engaging Online Curriculum

We swiftly developed an accessible online curriculum which utilised MS Teams and Firefly. As lockdown developed, these progressed into more ambitious interactive lessons, narrated presentations, lessons and interactive quizzes. Where students were still faced with considerable barriers to online learning we ensure students could access alternative resources and lessons.

4. Online Communities

We ensured students continued to feel part of the school community through online Year Leader video messages, staff messages and active form groups on MS Teams to allow students to chat and interact despite being isolated from one another. In time, we were able to provide many of the important form time and social activities, such as quizzes, a running club and debate club which bring the forms and year groups together when normally in school.

5. St Ralph Sherwin Family Support Fund

The Family Support Fund provided a vital life line for families who had nowhere else to turn. A dedicated team worked to identify what individual families needed most. This ranged from food hampers, sanitary products, lunches and general financial support whenever needed. This continues to be accessed by several families post-lockdown.

6. Food Vouchers and External Support

The school worked with individual families to ensure they were able to access all the external support and guidance available. Families were guided through the process of applying for food vouchers, applying for universal credit and helping families apply for Free School Meals and Universal Credit. The school also continued to provide a vital signposting service, recommending several mental health and wellbeing services for individual students and families as needed.

7. Personal Development and Wellbeing Opportunities

All students were provided with weekly BRS challenges, signposting enriching and engaging activities which could take place at home. These were designed to offer alternative activities, personal reflection and development and positive wellbeing activities through a sustained period of isolation. As students have returned to school, we have introduced a new daily focus where students spend 20 minutes each day exploring their personal wellbeing through our Form Time Programme.

8. Bespoke Year 10 Disadvantage Students’ Summer Curriculum

Further to all Year 10 students returning for key subjects, we were able to provide an additional programme of taught lessons for Year 10 disadvantaged students, offering vital support in all subjects and individual mentoring sessions.

9. Return to School Meetings

Every disadvantaged student was given the opportunity for a return to school meeting before the summer. This was to intended to ease the return to school, familiarise themselves with the changed environment of school and maintain relationships with key staff.

10. Key Worker and Vulnerable Students

Throughout both term time and the holidays, we provided a safe and stimulating environment for students in school. We actively reached out to vulnerable students and families and offered them safe places within school to access MS Teams lessons and daily recreational activities. This provided vital structure for students during lockdown.