Early Years Pupil Premium

Early Years Pupil Premium

Mary Patterson Nursery School & Dorothy Gardner Nursery School

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) Strategy and current report

Pupil Premium Strategy 2019 - 20

What is the pupil premium?

The Early Years Pupil Premium [EYPP] is additional funding that is allocated to nurseries to support children from low-income families. This includes families of looked- after children, families whose children are eligible for free school meals and children from service families.

 The current funding is £302 per child for those who qualify.

How much funding do both schools receive?

  • Dorothy Gardner School currently has 30 pupils who qualify (36%) of the roll. EYPP funds will be £9,060

  • Mary Patterson School currently has 15 pupils who qualify (21%) of the roll. EYPP funds will be £4,530


This gives the schools £13,590 per year. Both schools have decided to work together to use this money to contribute to the costs of providing ‘Forest School’ experience for our children who qualify for the EYFF before they leave us and transition to primary school. The funding doesn’t cover the entire cost of Forest School but it helps us to be able to continue to provide it with consistently high quality teaching delivered by fully trained staff who have been trained by an accredited ‘Forest School’ training provider.

What Are The Benefits of Forest School?

L. O’Brien, Surrey, UK ‘Learning outdoors: the Forest School approach – A marvellous way to learn’ (2008), identifies the following benefits to pupils.


1 -   Increased confidence to learn

As a result of the freedom, encouragement, time and space offered during Forest School, children learn at their own pace and level. Exploring repeated activities and making decisions about how they might complete their task enables deep learning and develops a positive attitude to the learning process. These attitudes and skills are the building blocks for future learning.


2 -   Social skills Development

At Forest School children work together, sharing tools and ideas. Children learn about team work and the consequences of their actions on others.



Language development is a key to future learning in young children. The experience Forest School offers encourages communication for all children. Forest School takes place off site on Hampstead Heath and offers children the opportunity to experience the outdoors and to interact with nature. Many children in inner city schools may not have this opportunity (particularly if their families are financially challenged). Our experience of taking young children to Forest School has shown us that even the most reluctant communicators have engaged well and been very keen to relay their learning to others through talk, role play or drawings. Increased communication skills builds confidence in children and lessens the chances of unacceptable behaviour, as children can then communicate their needs and feel less frustrated by their lack of language.


Motivation and Concentration


When children are interested in what they are doing, they are motivated to learn and this leads to increased concentration. When a child is concentrating, the neural pathways strengthen in the young brain. The more the pathways are used, the stronger they become.


Physical benefits


Many inner-London children do not have easy access to open, green spaces. Forest School is an excellent opportunity to provide them with this resource. As a result of being and exploring outdoors children develop stamina, strength and fine and gross motor skills, which in turn, help them access many other areas of learning.


Knowledge and Understanding


Encouraging and supporting children to develop an interest in nature and a respect for the environment is an investment that will protect the natural world for future generations. Children in inner cities particularly benefit from the opportunity to experience this connection.


Taking Risks


Our culture has become more and more risk averse. When children are not offered appropriate opportunities to take risks and learn about the consequences of them, they become either fearful of risk and avoid it altogether or fail to recognise it when it needs to be managed. Managing your own exposure to risk is a life skill.


Forest School is a way of offering children risk-taking experiences in a supported learning environment.


What do children learn?


• How to keep safe and respect boundaries

• How to be part of a team (sharing snacks, working collaboratively and listening to each other

• Learn about the environment, respect nature and enjoy being outdoors- develop a sense of awe and wonder

• Take considered risks, try new things and know their abilities and limitations.

• Further develop their Gross and Fine Motor Skills ( walking long distances, climbing trees, developing upper body strength, tying knots, whittling sticks, sawing, mark making…)

• Solve problems and use maths in a practical context (measuring, making patterns, counting, constructing shelters, building dens and swings.)

• Use technology to explore the environment – camera, Go-Pro cameras, and iPads.

• Extend their role-play and imagination using the natural surrounding and available artefacts

• Feel secure and confident to explore and investigate


 SEN and Forest Schools


The SENDco and the Early Intervention team have worked towards children with SEND attending Forest School through ‘SEND Forest School’. This has enabled children with SEND to attend Big Forest School as they have the same passion for being outdoors and the right to play.


How will we measure the impact of the Forest School experience on children’s learning?


Our Forest School Teachers keep a careful record of the Forest School experience and liaise with the Key worker for each eligible child. The Forest School Experience is a key part of each pupil’s portfolio.  Photos, conversations and key learning moments for each child are recorded and progress noted for consideration at our termly progress meetings and nursery data collection. 


In the academic year 2018 –19, the Forest School experience benefited our EYPP pupils in all the 7 areas of the EYFS – particularly: Physical Development, Communication and Language and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.


Impact during 2018 – 19


On both sites, our EYPP pupils made good progress or more in the 7 areas of learning) in the EYFS, from their respective starting points.


How and when do we review the use of our Pupil Premium?


Summer Term review

We look at the progress of Forest School EYPP pupils and consider the impact of the experience at the end of the Summer Term in each year.  This is also discussed on an annual basis at the finance committee of QPEYF.