Barriers to Learning

Barriers for learning are identified for each child in our school, with a specific focus on our disadvantaged children.  Barriers to learning and individual data is used to identify the specific needs of each pupil.

Issues are seen as barriers to be overcome - not excuses for poor attainment or lack of progress. Barriers to learning are identified for all of our children, including our disadvantaged pupils. Barriers to learning are identified from rigorous data analysis (as well as an understanding of our school’s context) and are addressed as priorities in both our development plan and separate ‘Pupil Premium’ action plan. All staff are made aware of ‘barriers for learning’ for individual pupils. Risk factors for underperformance for our school have been identified.

 Risk Factors 
As a school we have identified our own risk of underperformance so that we can respond appropriately. We have identified some of our pupils have lower results on entry. Therefore early identification and intervention is vital to help our disadvantage pupils achieve.

 Barriers to learning
We identify and address barriers to learning faced by individual pupils through:

  • everyday teaching practice; trawling records;
  • discussions with pupils;
  • parents and agencies involved;
  • rigorous regular tracking of pupil attainment and progress, especially in our dedicated, solution-focused “narrowing the gap” progress meetings in which all disadvantaged children (including higher ability PP children) are discussed in detail with senior leaders, including our Inclusion Manager, the effectiveness of strategies to overcome their barriers to learning evaluated, and a new tailored programme put in place.                                                       

Our school’s typical barriers are as follows:

  • Socio-economic disadvantage  i.e poverty
  • Broken family structures – family stress and low resilience
  • Poor health and diet and/or high level of medical needs
  • Parents with stressful occupations who work long hours or away from home for long periods of time.
  • The behaviours of other children in the class.
  • Unsupported learning habits at home e.g. the home may lack resources for learning and pupils may not have had reading modelled to them. The children may not have adequate support for homework.
  • Pupils may have family circumstances or expectations that impact negatively upon their learning and ability to take up extra-curricular opportunities.
  • Social and emotional issues resulting in low confidence and self-esteem.
  • Attendance: Some children’s attendance is low which will impact on their learning.
  • Language delay or difficulties as identified by a Speech and Language therapist. This leads to social communication difficulties, and issues with reading and writing
  • Low parental engagement/parenting skills
  • Safeguarding and welfare issues which may lead to Social Services involvement
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Trauma and other mental health issues in the family and/or child
  • Special educational needs and disabilities

We aim to ensure our additional Pupil Premium Grant is spent on things that work and are effective in making a positive difference to our disadvantaged children, helping to combat their many barriers to learning and close the gaps in achievement so they do just as well as the other children. Our Pupil Premium information can be found on the Pupil Premium page.