Pupil Premium and Widening Access

One of our key long-term goals is to widen access to the School to students from communities in Gloucestershire with higher than average levels of deprivation.

We aim to achieve this by working closely with primary schools, offering activities and learning opportunities and funding summer school programmes for Pupil Premium students before they sit the Grammar School Admissions Test in Year 6.

Sir Thomas Rich’s School receives a sum of money from the government called the Pupil Premium Grant. The purpose of the Pupil Premium Grant is to help address the inequalities between those pupils in receipt of free school meals, looked after children, service personnel and their peers.

We use the funding gained from the Pupil Premium Grant to support a range of students. The funding allocated to Sir Thomas Rich’s focuses on supporting pupils to raise their academic achievement and improve pupil participation in extra-curricular activities.

We are required to publish how much Pupil Premium Grant we receive and its allocation within our school. Please find below the School’s Pupil Premium Policy, the impact of the Pupil Premium Grant for previous years and the planned Pupil Premium expenditure for 2021/22.

  • Pupil Premium Lead: Miss E F Howell
  • Governor Link: Mr Tim Connole

Sir Thomas Rich's School received £985 per Pupil Premium pupil, or £320 per Service Premium Pupil, for the academic year 2022/23.

The breakdown of the funding is as follows:

  • Number of Pupils on Role: Year 7-Year 13 = 1226. Year 7-Year 11 = 785
  • % of Pupils eligible for PPG: 5.48% (43 pupils)
  • Amount of PPG received per pupil: £985 (x 43 pupils = £42,355)
  • Total amount of SPG received per pupil - £320 (x 6 pupils = £1,920)

At Sir Thomas Rich’s School, we work hard to contribute more widely to education in our local area. We learn best with, and from, other schools. We are part of the Grammar School Heads Association (GSHA) working on developing provision in the selective sector. We are committed to widening access to the school and support GSHA in doing this work with the Department for Education.

We currently collaborate with 16 primary schools across Gloucestershire, with the aim of improving our local links, to encourage more local students to access the opportunities on their doorstep.

Part of our initiative to widen access to the school is to visit our local primary schools to deliver an information session on the local grammar schools for Year 4 and 5 parents. This session includes information on the admissions process, such as how to register for the test, and a focus on additional admissions support in place for students with additional needs and students in receipt of the Pupil Premium Grant (link to PP information). The sessions are being led by our Pupil Premium Lead, Ellen Howell, and a team of sixth form students who help to answer questions from students and parents about what life is like attending a grammar school.

Links to the presentation and information sheet can be found below:

To widen access to the school for academically able students who may have additional needs, Year 5 students with additional needs who register to sit the test at Sir Thomas Rich’s school are invited in with their parents during the July or August before they take the entrance test to view the space where they will be taking the test and for their parents to ask any questions.

Additionally, any student in receipt of the Pupil Premium Grant who registers to sit the entrance exam at Sir Thomas Rich’s School is automatically invited to several days of free tuition and support during the summer holidays, where Mathematics and English teachers are on hand to support the students as they work through familiarisation tasks on the FROG platform. Students are also given logins to the FROG platform, which has videos explaining the different test elements, so they can use the platform as much as they wish before sitting the test.

We have a long-established relationship with local primary school science leads, and our most recent work has included inviting students and staff in to take part in scientific experiment workshops at Rich’s. Seven of our local primary schools have benefitted from bringing Year 5 students to the School on a Wednesday afternoon, where students have had the opportunity to enjoy one of the following sessions of their choice, supported by our Science Department and Sixth Form mentors studying A Level Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The workshops have included the following topics:

Separating Salt from Rock Salt

Crushing rock salt, dissolving, filtering, and evaporating using Bunsen burners.

Reversible and Irreversible Changes

Various demos and a burning investigation for students using Bunsen burners.

Levers, Pulleys and Gears

A variety of hands-on activities to investigate smaller forces having a greater effect.

Pond Dipping and Bug Hunting

Using the wildlife area in the School grounds and pond to investigate biodiversity and various life cycles.

A team of 12 of our Year 9 Modern Foreign Language students, who are keen linguists, have been working as Language Ambassadors by visiting local primary schools to support students with their French and German studies. Below is an excerpt from Elmbridge Primary School’s newsletter regarding the work our Language Ambassadors have done with their Year 3 and 4 students:

“In the last few weeks, Year 3 and 4 have been incredibly lucky to continue our links with Sir Thomas Rich’s School (STRS) with visits from their Year 9 Language Ambassadors to inspire our children to enjoy learning other language. The STRS Language Ambassadors taught French and German in both year groups. Special thanks to Mrs Khokher, Mrs Testoni-Ranken and Mrs Ferguson from STRS for encouraging the STRS boys to support language teaching in local schools. We now look forward to our French language play from Onatti Theatre on Tuesday 28th February.”

Last July we welcomed 120 Year 4 students from local primary schools to compete in a Football Tournament day hosted at Rich’s. The students enjoyed a great day, with the Longlevens Junior School A Team emerging victorious. Our PE Department set up an excellent day for the local primaries, helped by students in Year 9 who will be taking GCSE PE next year. All the primary schools took part in several matches, with everyone receiving a certificate at the end, and of course Longlevens also had a trophy to take away with them for their efforts. Well done to all the students and schools who took part, we hope to welcome them back (and any other primaries who wish to take part) next year.