How We Spend Our Pupil Premium
What is the pupil premium?
Early Years Pupil Premium is a funding stream that gives the school approximately £300 for a child who qualifies for free school meals. On average, this gives the school around £5,400 per year. We have decided to use this money to contribute to the costs of providing the Forest School experience for all children who attend Kate Greenaway Nursery School before they leave us and transition to primary school.The funding doesn’t cover the entire cost of Forest School but it helps us to be able to continue to provide it with quality teaching and consistency.
What Are The Benefits?
Research by the New Economics Foundation (A Marvellous Opportunity to Learn 2006) identified some of the following benefits for children in accessing a Forest School Programme:
Increased confidence to learn
As a result of the freedom, encouragement, time and space offered during Forest School, children learn at their own pace and level. Exploring repeated activities and making decisions about how they might complete their task enables deep learning and develops a positive attitude to the learning process. These attitudes and skills are the building blocks for future learning.
At Forest School children work together, sharing tools and ideas. Children learn about team work and the consequences of their actions on others.
Language development is a key to future learning in young children. The experience Forest School offers encourages communication for all children. Forest School takes place off site in Camley Street Nature Reserve and offers children the opportunity to experience the outdoors and to interact with nature. Many children in inner city schools may not have this opportunity. Our experience of taking young children to Forest School has shown us that even the most reluctant communicators have engaged well and been very keen to relay their learning to others through talk, role play or drawings. Increased communication skills builds confidence in children and lessens the chances of unacceptable behaviour, as children can then communicate their needs and feel less frustrated by their lack of language.
Motivation and Concentration
When children are interested in what they are doing, they are motivated to learn and this leads to increased concentration. When a child is concentrating, the neural pathways strengthen in the young brain. The more the pathways are used, the stronger they become.
Many inner-London children do not have easy access to open, green spaces. Forest School is an excellent opportunity to provide them with this resource. As a result of being and exploring outdoors children develop stamina, strength and fine and gross motor skills, which in turn, help them access many other areas of learning.
Knowledge and Understanding
Encouraging and supporting children to develop an interest in nature and a respect for the environment is an investment that will protect the natural world for future generations. Children in inner cities particularly benefit from the opportunity to experience this connection.
Our culture has become more and more risk averse. When children are not offered appropriate opportunities to take risks and learn about the consequences of them, they become either fearful of risk and avoid it altogether or fail to recognise it when it needs to be managed. Managing your own exposure to risk is a life skill.
Forest School is a way of offering children risk-taking experiences in a supported learning environment.
How will we measure the impact of the Forest School experience on children’s learning?
Our nursery class teacher is our lead on Forest School. She tracks each eligible child’s development in the learning areas that have been identified as requiring early intervention. These developments are recorded and taken into consideration in the child’s overall progress. Examples of this are:
- Developing independence
- Developing a willingness to take risks
- Developing the ability to follow instructions
- Engaging in unfamiliar activities
- Developing language and interaction skills
How and when do we review the use of our Pupil Premium?
This matter is discussed on an annual basis in the spring term in the finance committee of the Governing Body.