Redmoor Academy wins National Award for success in ‘Closing the Gap’
Redmoor Academy has won Downing Street approval in a national competition to improve disadvantaged pupils’ learning.
Redmoor Academy, on Wykin Road, has been chosen as one of only four mainstream infant and secondary school (Key Stage 3) finalists in the 2015 Pupil Premium Awards and will now go to the UK finals on 25 March in London.
The overall winner will be announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at a special ceremony in London (next March). David Laws, Minister of State for schools wrote; to Redmoor Academy Principal Mr Andrew Coombs with the good news, saying: “This is an extraordinary achievement.” (he said) “It is clear that you, your staff and governors are equipping your disadvantaged pupils with the skills for future success.”
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The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011 and paid to schools to provide additional educationa support to those pupils who need it most, narrowing the achievement gap between them and their peers.
Mr Coombs said that everyone at Redmoor Academy was delighted with the news.
“Our vision is to ensure that every student, regardless of their ability, makes exceptional progress” he said. “Not only are we stretching our high achieving and ‘average’ pupils, we are able to demonstrate that we have effectively used our pupil premium funding to ensure that students who benefit from this money have outperformed the rest of the cohort. ….. We do not simply concentrate on improving academic achievement but also on raising student self-esteem and improving their attitude to learning.”
“Through careful and innovative use of the money in 2014, we did not only completely close the gap in attainment at the end of Key Stage 3, but the ‘value added’ scores for all show the overwhelming number of students made “significant progress”. It is especially gratifying to have this confirmed by the national experts who assess student achievement in all schools.”
The school looked at the needs of each student including:
- Improved the self-esteem of students by providing them with opportunities and resources to be successful in school and at home.
- Developed bespoke reading programmes and invested in quality high-interest books, both paperbacks and kindles, which were chosen to engage individual pupils and improve their comprehension and language development leading to greater success in every subject.
- Invested in partnership schemes with local primary schools designed to aid transition de-mystify secondary school and improve attitude to learning well before the actual move to secondary.
Mr Coombs added: “The results of all this investment are there for everyone to see. The students believe in themselves, achieve and enjoy their learning. It makes us feel that at Redmoor Academy every last penny spent has been worth it.
“We are planning even more initiatives, funded by the pupil premium, for the next school year to ensure that our students continue to get the best possible education, regardless of their background or family circumstances.”
The national winners will be awarded an additional £8,000 in recognition of, and to further develop the work they do to boost the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
Councillor Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council’s cabinet lead member for children and young people, said: “I would like to congratulate Mr Coombs and his staff for this excellent achievement, and wish them success in the national final.”