Pupil Premium Grant / Recovery premium funding 2021-24

COVID-19 Catch up Funding
View the Pupil Premium Strategy Statement 2021-24 in a new tab

This page outlines the pupil premium funding for the academic year 2022-23. The total budgeted for this year is £284,986.

School overview

School name

Wilmington Academy

Number of pupils in school


Proportion (%) of pupil premium eligible pupils

269 (19%)

Academic year/years that our current pupil premium strategy plan covers (3 year plans are recommended)


Date this statement was published

October 2022

Date on which it will be reviewed

October 2023

Statement authorised by


Pupil premium lead


Governor / Trustee lead


Funding Overview

Pupil premium funding allocation this academic year


Recovery premium funding allocation this academic year


Pupil premium funding carried forward from previous years (enter £0 if not applicable)


Total budget for this academic year


Statement of intent

Quality of education

  • To further develop our curriculum overview, enhancing our IB philosophy and providing all students with a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • To enhance UDL through approaches to assessment by ensuring every member of staff is at least effective and developing towards being a highly effective practitioner.

Behaviour and attitudes

  • To continue to raise the profile of excellent attendance and reduce the Persistent Absence of all students, in particular disadvantaged students.

Personal Development

  • To sustain the international ethos within the curriculum and develop further opportunities for enhancement of students’ cultural capital.

Leadership and Management 

  • To continue the upward trajectory of student outcomes. MYP grades are targeted at 4.5, with KS4 and KS5 outcomes to show positive value added.


This details the key challenges to achievement that we have identified among our disadvantaged pupils

Challenge 1

The literacy skills of DA pupils are much lower compared to their non-DA peers, preventing DA pupils from making progress.

Challenge 2

DA pupils (including DHAPs) make less progress compared to their non-DA peers in most subjects and this includes English and maths.

Challenge 3

Low aspirations and self-esteem. To raise the aspirations of DA pupils, they need to experience a wide range of enrichment opportunities to broaden their horizons. This includes trips and visits.

Challenge 4

Attendance of DA pupils is much lower compared to their non-DA peers. As a result there is a loss of learning, which has a negative impact on their levels of progress.

Challenge 5

Many DA students do not have access to the materials needed to support their learning. This may include: IT/internet access at home, revision books and basic equipment.

Challenge 6

Some DA pupils have social, emotional and mental health needs that have a negative impact on their well-being and academic progress.  They also face difficult challenges in their lives due to lack of stability, role models and access to necessities.

Challenge 7

Parental engagement has always been a challenge, especially attendance to parents’ evenings. Parents of DA pupils can have a positive impact on their child’s progress if support and workshops are provided.

Intended Outcomes

This explains the outcomes we are aiming for by the end of our current strategy plan, and how we will measure whether they have been achieved.

Intended outcome

Success criteria

To improve student attainment for disadvantaged students through
high quality teaching and learning.

  • The quality assurance of lessons will show effective teaching and learning with evidence of highly effective teaching over time. This will be monitored through
    observations, learning walks, Record of Progress folders and student voice.
  • The attainment gap diminishes between DA and others.  The 2023 attainment score will show an improvement from 2022 and inline with national average (non-selective schools in Kent).
  • Higher expectations of DA students will show that DA students are making equivalent or better progress compared to their non-DA peers and have improved ATL scores over time.

To effectively use data tracking points to identify disadvantaged
students for interventions.

Effective data analysis will result in interventions being allocated to DA students that need it the most. The quality assurance and tracking of interventions will show progress of DA students.

To improve the literacy, oracy and reading scores of disadvantaged students so that the gap diminishes between DA and their non-DA

  • Years 7 and 8 DA students will show improved reading scores. The gap diminishes between DA and their non-DA peers.
  • Observations, learning walks and students’ work illustrate that all teachers consistently model and promote high standards of literacy.
  • There is a consistent approach to the teaching and marking of literacy across the curriculum.

To increase the number of disadvantaged students accessing extracurricular activities, trips and experiences.

  • Enrichment activities will develop cultural capital within students and increase well-being.
  • Opportunities for DA students to visit higher education establishments will increase the number of students at KS5 and numbers attending university.

To reduce attendance gap for DA students.

  • Improved attendance of DA pupils across all year groups.
  • Persistent absence is in line with non-DA peers.

To improve resilience and engagement of DA students.

Behaviour log shows a reduction in the number of behaviour incidents for DA students and an increase in the number of merits.

To increase parental engagement.

  • Increase in parental satisfaction in parents’ evening survey.
  • Increase in parental attendance to parents’ evenings across all year groups.

To improve metacognitive, self-regulatory and study skills of
disadvantaged students.

  • Observations and learning walks show that all teachers are effectively modelling metacognitive and self-regulatory strategies.
  • Improved rates of independent learning.
  • Reduction in the attainment gap between DA and their non-DA peers.

Activity in this academic year

This details how we intend to spend our pupil premium (and recovery premium funding) this academic year to address the challenges listed above.

Teaching (for example, CPD, recruitment and retention)

Budgeted cost: £85,000

To improve student attainment for disadvantaged students through high quality teaching and learning.  To effectively use data tracking points to identify disadvantaged students for interventions. To improve metacognitive, self-regulatory and study skills of disadvantaged students.

More information

  • To continue to improve the consistency of Quality First Teaching and to implement UDL strategies to ensure that all students are provided with appropriate challenge to enable them to think more deeply and accelerate progress.
  • Through quality assurance processes, lessons need to be accessible so that students are challenged and supported in their learning.
  • To develop the pedagogy of Blended Learning with the use of Google Classroom and Knowledge Organisers (set as Home Learning) to provide the highest quality first teaching and learning opportunities for all students.
  • To ensure teachers acquire the professional understanding and skills to develop pupils’ metacognitive knowledge and explicitly teach pupils
    metacognitive strategies in ‘learning to learn’ or ‘thinking skills’.
  • Ensure high quality feedback through effective teacher/student dialogue so that all students make accelerated progress.
  • Staff to use seating plans effectively and ensure DA students are highlighted.
  • Ensure all faculties have in place quality assessments that result in accurate data tracking and provide information regarding gaps in
    knowledge for DA pupils.
  • DA are prioritised for revision sessions and intervention targets underperforming DA students.
  • To carry out Year 7 students baseline testing to identify students that require additional targeted support in a timely manner.
  • Deploy highly effective tutors to catch up DA students due to lost curriculum time.

Evidence that supports this approach

Leaders from schools that have raised the attainment of disadvantaged pupils (as shown in their academic performance data) have emphasised the importance of Quality First Teaching.

Research from John Hattie’s Visible Learning and the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) shows that high quality teaching and learning can make a whole year’s difference. Recent evidence from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) shows that it is important to develop effective use of pedagogies such as collaborative learning. Through collaboration, pupils may develop explanation, demonstration, problem-solving and metacognitive skills which have a positive impact in raising their attainment.

To consolidate and extend pupils’ learning at home, the Academy has implemented the Blended Learning approach which aims to develop independence, resilience and self-regulatory skills.  Studies carried out by the EEF show that digital technology is associated with moderate learning gains if used effectively as a supplement to teaching and learning. The use of Knowledge Organisers (set as Home Learning) is essential for retrieval practice, explicit teaching of vocabulary instruction and metacognitive learning. The EEF shows that Home Learning has a positive impact on raising attainment (on average +5 months) particularly with pupils in secondary schools.

Evidence suggests that the use of ‘metacognitive strategies’ which gets students to think about their own learning is an effective way to improve pupil outcomes. The EEF toolkit has shown that metacognition and self-regulation have an impact of +7 months to progress when used well.

Providing feedback is well-evidenced and has a high impact on learning outcomes (+6 months as highlighted in the EEF). Feedback is most effective/ has the greatest impact when coupled with metacognitive and self-regulatory approaches.

A classroom to support teaching and learning. The classroom seating arrangements have an effect on student participation as outlined by Professor Robert Sommer ‘The teacher’s educational philosophy will be reflected in the layout of the classroom. The teacher should be able to justify the arrangement of desks and chairs on the basis of certain educational goals.  There is no ideal classroom layout for all activities’. (Sommer, 1977).

Effective data analysis and targeted intervention can promote progress (National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)).

To ensure high attainment and progress, extra support will be required. Small group intervention with highly qualified staff is most effective. The interventions will be targeted to ensure gaps in learning have been closed and that DA students are prioritised. The baseline testing of Year 7 will identify gaps in knowledge (as a result of the pandemic) and inform future teaching and planning of appropriate interventions. Intervention for students may include literacy and numeracy catch up, holiday sessions and sessions delivered by external agencies such as the National Tutoring Programme. EEF toolkit has shown that small group tuition can greatly accelerate the progress of disadvantaged students. Other support may take the form of additional resources such as revision guides, workbooks, reading books and access to the Chromebook Scheme.

Challenge number(s) addressed

2 and 5

To improve the literacy, oracy and reading scores of disadvantaged students so that the gap diminishes between DA and their non-DA peers.

More information

  • To embed whole-school literacy initiative (Keys to Success) with particular focus on key vocabulary (‘Word-Rich Classrooms’).
  • To STAR test students in Years 7 -9 and track progress each term.
  • MYON and AR – To regularly monitor the data through the online reporting system.
  • Developing staff in their delivery of Oracy in the classroom.
  • To build on our success with ‘Marking for Literacy’ and ensure that it is highlighted more effectively in all R.o.P. folders.
  • To implement Bedrock Learning (research-based curriculum that teaches students the language they need to succeed at school).
  • To implement a Year 6 Transition Summer Programme.

Evidence that supports this approach

Accelerated Reader has shown to have a positive impact on both national and school data.

Research shows that there is a direct correlation between a pupil’s vocabulary size and their academic progress. Bedrock Learning is an online literacy and English curriculum which utilises adaptive technology to improve literacy outcomes. Research from the EEF suggests that students benefit from a broad and balanced range of literacy approaches. A vocabulary rich learning environment will accelerate progress with all students including DA.

Improved oracy leads to improved written responses and progress (+6 months EEF). Some studies have reported an improved classroom climate and fewer behavioural issues following work on oracy. Research shows that DA students typically have weaker oracy skills therefore, this needs to be a key priority to drive progress for DA students.

Research from the EEF shows that students that attend summer school make additional progress with the greatest impact seen when the programme is extensive, well-resourced and involves small groups or one to one teaching by trained and experienced teachers.

Challenge number(s) addressed

1 and 2

Targeted academic support (for example, tutoring, one-to-one support structured interventions)

Budgeted cost: £189,986

To focus on developing resilience in pupils by creating a positive classroom culture so that students feel confident in undertaking challenging tasks/facing obstacles and are better equipped to learn from failure and adapt to change.

More information

  • To ensure robust well-being support/behaviour interventions are available to students to help them manage their self-regulation, social or emotional
  • To ensure all staff implement the new behaviour policy and procedures consistently.

Evidence that supports this approach

It is essential that resilience is developed in pupils so that they can be successful and be the best version of themselves as highlighted in the EEF – Improving Behaviour in Schools.

Due to the pandemic, we have seen an increase in the number of students requiring support over the last academic year. Staff are also more aware of some of the main challenges facing students which might impact on their academic progress. Therefore, it is important for students to develop greater emotional resilience which will support them in school. Students will have access to well-being and pastoral support and external agencies.

Research from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) shows that successful schools have effective behaviour strategies but some pupils need extra support to develop positive attitudes to learning and resilience when the lesson is challenging. The EEF toolkit suggests that targeted interventions matched to specific students with particular needs can be very effective at promoting well-being and improving attainment. (https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/news/new-eef-report-6-recommendations-for-improving-behaviour-in-schools).

Challenge number(s) addressed


To increase the number of disadvantaged students accessing extracurricular activities, trips and experiences.

More information

  • To ensure DA students have the same opportunities as their non-DA peers have so they can experience the same activities and take part in life-changing experiences.
  • To ensure DA pupils are making informed choices about their futures through use of My Career Options.
  • To implement a Post 16 Mentoring Programme to ensure DA students have the life skills and the strategies to succeed academically at school and

Evidence that supports this approach

Research suggests that having access to extracurricular activities, trips and experiences will promote high aspirations in students (especially DA students) which will lead to higher academic progress.

All students deserve the chance to experience higher education. Wilmington Academy aims to encourage students to strive for academic excellence through raising aspirations. One of the biggest barriers to raising the aspirations of DA students is the student not knowing their future career path. Providing good quality careers guidance (such as use of My Career Options and UniFrog) will remove that barrier and enable students to make direct links between subject content and career opportunities. The Gatsby Benchmarks will be used as a framework to implement an effective Careers Programme.

Studies have found that mentoring can have positive impacts for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds such as attitudes to school, attendance and behaviour.

Challenge number(s) addressed


Wider strategies (for example, related to attendance, behaviour, wellbeing)

Budgeted cost: £10,000

To reduce attendance gap for DA students.

More information

  • College Teams and Attendance Leads prioritise DA absence. To focus on tracking and monitoring pupils ensuring any absences are followed up quickly.
  • Leadership, teachers and tutors prioritise their focus on DA absence.
  • A designated Attendance Champion with clear assigned responsibilities has been employed to ensure attendance systems are deployed effectively.
  • LAT Attendance Officer, Attendance Leads and external agencies to work with hard to reach pupils especially with pupils and families that have been affected by the pandemic.
  • To implement a comprehensive reward system/incentive especially for DA students to raise the profile of the importance of attending school.
  • Ensure that all staff are following the Blended Learning protocols (lessons posted on Google Classroom) so that students that are having to
    self-isolate are provided with the learning opportunities.

Evidence that supports this approach

Attainment of pupils cannot be improved unless they are attending school. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) identifies addressing attendance as a key factor especially with students having to self-isolate for extensive periods of time as a result of Covid-19.  Research shows that attendance is key to improving the attainment of pupils and that increased absences can lead to gaps in learning which can accumulate over time. Students need to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to be successful.

Research suggests that rewards and incentives, used wisely (to celebrate outstanding and improved attendance) can be useful in breaking persistent resistance to good attendance. School attendance schemes have been successful in improving pupils’ motivation and their attitudes to school.

Challenge number(s) addressed

2 and 4

To increase parental engagement

More information

  • To continue to develop effective communication with parents, carers and the wider community.
  • To develop effective relationships with the parents/carers by involving parents/carers in supporting their child’s academic learning. To use a range of approaches and programmes such as delivering workshops.

Evidence that supports this approach

According to the EEF, parental engagement through improved communication and regularly reviewing how well the school is working with parents has shown to make moderate impact for low to moderate cost. This has shown to have a higher impact for pupils with low prior attainment.

Challenge number(s) addressed


Review of activity from the last academic year

This details how we spent our pupil premium (and recovery premium funding) last academic year to address the challenges from the year 2021/22. The total allocated was £175,858.

Quality of Teaching & Learning

To improve student attainment for disadvantaged students through high quality teaching and learning and interventions.

  • The data shows that 98% of teaching across the academy is effective/highly effective. This is an increase from the previous academic year (88%). We have also seen an increase in the number of highly effective practitioners.
  • The academy has received very positive feedback from the Curriculum Development Reviews (CDRs) in Maths, Science, Geography and SEND. All reviews highlight best practice of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies. This framework has been embedded and used by all stakeholders. It provides all students with an equal opportunity to succeed by enhancing student engagement and accessibility to content.
  • Our most recent Ofsted Report (Feb 2022) highlights the quality of education at Wilmington Academy.
    ‘The quality of education is likely to be better than good.’ ‘Pupils are often encouraged to be ‘risk takers’ in lessons when answering questions. They develop confidence and resilience. During the inspection, pupils showed that they are inquirers, thinkers and communicators.’ ‘This leads to confident teachers who deliver engaging lessons that are well matched to the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). ‘Leaders have developed a way of checking pupils’ learning that is highly consistent across the school. Pupils find the feedback they receive from teachers useful. Teachers use the information they collect about pupils’ learning to personalise lessons so that every pupil can progress as quickly as possible. The subtle yet effective use of technology in the classroom is having a positive impact.’ Ofsted, February 2022
  • The Tutoring Programme with MyTutor was implemented in Module 3. Impact shows an average increase of +0.5 grade after 15 hours of tuition.
  • The 2022 GCSE results show an upward trend in the number of students achieving grades 4-9 in both English and maths (50% in 2022 compared with 33% in 2019). The Progress 8 score shows a significant improvement (-0.36 in 2022 compared with -0.58 in 2019). The average grade for each disadvantaged student was 4.08 (over a pass) with 50% of DA students obtaining a pass (grade 4) in English & maths. The gap between DA and ‘Other’ students for English & maths (G4+ and G5+) from 2019 outcomes has decreased. The overall DA Attainment 8 has increased by 1.28 in 2022 compared to 2019 with estimated progress for DA students increasing by +0.22 in 2022 compared to 2019.


To effectively use data tracking points to identify disadvantaged students for interventions.

  • Line management meetings were held between senior and middle leaders to discuss the progress of students, scrutinise the data at each data drop, discuss any barriers to learning and plan strategies to support disadvantaged pupils. Middle leaders were held accountable to ensure that targeted interventions are in place to support pupils that have not made the expected progress. The line management meeting cycle has been successful in holding middle leaders to account and promoting the progress of disadvantaged students.

Literacy & Oracy

To improve the literacy, oracy and reading scores of disadvantaged students so that the gap diminishes between DA and their non-DA peers.

  • Word of the Week (Tier 2) has been embedded into lessons and the tutor time programme. Students have embraced their speaking and listening tasks in a variety of lessons and also in the manner in which they have communicated as student ambassadors across many events (Ofsted, UDL Showcase).
  • The MYON online reading platform has continued to be successful (1,390 students have logged into MYON and over 10,000 books read on MYON).
  • Accelerated Reader Lessons for KS3 – The STAR testing programme reveals that all year groups across the academy increased their average reading ages. The results for the STAR testing are summarised in the presentation which includes progress of DA pupils STAR Testing Results 2021-22
  • In Modules 1-6, our students completed 14,363 quizzes (total of 31270.4 points).
  • In the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) a high number of books have been borrowed and read in the 6 modules: 10,500 books.
  • Extra Curricular – Book Club is held on a weekly basis and is regularly attended by a group of KS3 and sixth form students.

Extra-Curricular Activities & Careers

To increase the number of disadvantaged students accessing extracurricular activities, trips and experiences (cultural capital).

  • We have a well-established, proactive programme of careers education which is in-line with the Gatsby Benchmarks. This has been enhanced through the provision of Unifrog to enable student access to independent high-quality careers-based resources. In June 2022, students took part in the Great Dartford Schools litter pick, improving the environment for the local community. We are also embedding the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme and have an extensive range of extra-curricular opportunities to enhance enjoyment of the curriculum, develop key employability skills, and cultural capital.
  • Since Covid restrictions have been lifted, a variety of weekly clubs have been offered throughout the academic year (on average 24 each week, including sports, creative activities and STEM).
  • The number of disadvantaged students from KS3, 4 and 5, participating in day trips and events has increased steadily as a result of the provision.
  • Residential visits, including international trips to Spain, France and Poland have promoted international mindedness and developed students’ understanding and appreciation of different cultures.
  • Our most recent Ofsted Report (Feb 2022) highlights the impact of extra-curricular activities.
    ‘A range of extra-curricular activities and experiences encourage pupils to believe in themselves and see that anything is possible. Consequently, pupils are not afraid to take a risk and participate in something new.’ Ofsted, February 2022

Feedback from students:
‘It gave us a chance to do something that we probably would not be able to do with our family or by ourselves. It is the first time that I have been to the theatre in London so it was a great experience for me’ (Year 10).
‘I do drama club. It is really fun and I can interact with other students from other year groups. I think drama club helps you learn a lot about yourself and it gives you more confidence. I got to go to the theatre to see Lion King and I loved the performance. The show is quite expensive because of the special effects so I am happy that I got the chance to see it’ (Year 8).

  • The Unifrog Careers Programme was launched in Module 3. Overall, we had 100% engagement with all students in Years 7-11.
  • DA students in Years 9, 11 and 13 have received careers advice from an independent careers advisor. This programme has supported students with their next steps in further education, apprenticeships and employment. As a result there were 0% NEETS in 2021/22. In Post 16, 85.4% of our 2021/22 cohort went onto higher education or employment with 2 students attending Russell Group Universities.

From September, the academy will utilise the School Calendar, Co-curricular, Music and Sports Communication Systems (SOCS) to further inform and develop our co-curricular programme.

Attendance Gap

To reduce attendance gap for DA students.

  • The attendance of disadvantaged students is rigorously monitored by the Persistent Absence Champion and College attendance leads, who work tirelessly on this issue and are very well supported by the Trust attendance and welfare officers alongside external agencies. The academy achieved 92.75% attendance for all students and 89.20% attendance for disadvantaged students (higher than National Average for all students in state funded schools 2022).
  • Due to key strategies, persistent absence has reduced in 2021/22 from 341 students in Module 1 to 131 students in Module 6. For disadvantaged students we achieved in-year improvements for persistent absence from 98 students to 89 students. The strategies implemented this academic year include the H.E.R.O (Here, Every day, Ready, On time), W.o.W (Wilmington on Wheels) attendance awards and most recently the Persistent Absence (PA) Improvement Strategy which targets disadvantaged PA students.

The persistent absence of our disadvantaged students will continue to be a top priority for the academy this academic year.

Resilience & Engagement

To improve resilience and engagement of DA students.

  • We have seen an increase in the number of merits achieved across the academic year:
    • Module 1 – 28401 merits
    • Module 2 – 18113 (Reach for the Stars was launched)
    • Module 3 – 17912
    • Module 4 – 18384
    • Module 5 – 12892
    • Module 6 – 10133
    • Total – 105835 (79699 20/21)
  • The behaviour log shows that the number of suspensions for DA have reduced from Module 1 to Module 6.

Parental Engagement

To increase parental engagement.

  • There has been an increase in parental engagement since the launch of SchoolCloud. SchoolCloud is an online platform which allows teachers and parents to meet remotely through video call (Parents’ Evening).
  • The launch of the system has generated much positive feedback with 92% of parents rating their overall experience of SchoolCloud as good or better.

Metacognitive, Self-regulatory & Study Skills

To improve metacognitive, self-regulatory and study skills of disadvantaged students.

  • All disadvantaged students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have had access to a Mentoring Scheme.
  • Year 7 students (DA and SEND) received mentoring from KS5 students (programme launched in Module 3 2022). Years 8 and 9 (DA and SEND) received mentoring from their Head of Year where they were assigned metacognition focused tasks. From the Mentoring Programme, we have seen an improvement in students’ confidence, social skills and ability to reflect on their daily, short/long term goals.