Raising the university aspirations of high potential Pupil Premium students is a specific challenge for some schools. Holly Henderson discusses her approach to raising students’ goals and aspirations

Working with students from disadvantaged backgrounds can be challenging – particularly when you are encouraging them to pursue high aspirations and goals. Our Pupil Premium students make up 41.9 per cent of our cohort and many of these also fall into the category of “high attainers”.

Research, such as that by Nabil Khattab (2015), suggests that students with low expectations of themselves, and low aspirations, will achieve less in their educational lives. This is exactly what we want to avoid happening to our learners.

In an environment where they may never have seen anyone go on to university or certain careers, we needed to create an atmosphere of encouragement and lots of opportunities for success. In my role, I was tasked with developing higher aspirations and opportunities for our “high potential” learners.

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