The Minster Juniors is a larger than average sized Church of England junior school in the heart of Croydon. The demographic of students places us in the top quintile of percentage Pupil Premium, with this number ever-growing as a result of Covid-19.
Although our school’s deprivation indicator is 0.25, placing it in the bottom 35 per cent of schools nationally, soft data would indicate that deprivation was a greater factor in the lives of the children than the statistics suggest. As well as this we have an above national average proportion of pupils who have English as an Additional Language (EAL), with SEND, have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), and who are eligible for pupil premium funding.
The school has been on a journey of rapid improvement over the last five years. Our pupils’ progress and achievement has risen over the last three years, and the teacher predictions for 2020 were in line with the schools’ attainment in 2019, demonstrating a continued improving trend for a fourth year. Pupils made strong progress from their KS1 results in Reading, Writing and Mathematics putting the school in the top three per cent of schools in the country.
The extended periods of school closures have resulted in ever-widening gaps in our children’s learning. It was essential that these gaps were identified quickly so as a school we could support our children. This was different for each lockdown:
- During the summer lockdown, like most schools in the country – we spent it working out how to adjust to a new way of delivering education to our children remotely. Much of our work was delivered through work-packs and books.
- In the autumn term, we closely worked with our children to gauge the effects of lockdown. We ran initial assessments to determine and identify gaps. We then closely looked at the curriculum and put in place a recovery curriculum which we continually reviewed in line with how the children responded to the work and the progress they made.
- During the current lockdown, we moved to online learning. This has involved live lessons in the morning and projects set for the afternoon. Pupil engagement has been incredible with attendance averaging 93%, with a number of classes regularly having 100% attendance.
Currently, our children are benefitting from excellent learning opportunities, with lessons delivered by their class teachers, breakout intervention groups led by teaching assistants and in-school learning mirroring the remote learning. The children love still seeing their teachers and classmates online each day, and it has been a great way to keep in regular contact with parents, and carers so we can support families as well.