Bodringallt Primary School – Improving Attendance

Context and background to Case Study

Bodringallt Primary School serves the Ystrad Rhondda area of RCT. There are currently 86 mainstream pupils on roll (including pupils under statutory school age), with an additional 8 pupils attending the learning support unit (SEBD), making a total of 94 NOR. 50% of pupils are entitled to free school meals (47 pupils).


Bodringallt Primary School’s attendance for the 2013/2014 academic year was 91.1%. At this point the school were implementing a number of in-school initiatives including:

  • Whole school attendance assembly held each Monday, whereby the class with the highest attendance would win ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ (cuddly toy). Results were presented on an Attendance display board in the main foyer.
  • End of year certificates were given to individual pupils with over 95% attendance for the academic year, a certificate and a book for over 97% and a certificate, book and £10 Asda voucher for 100%.
  • The school participated in ‘The Lion Challenge’, run by a local family pub whereby pupils whose attendance was over 98%, would win a ‘Golden Ticket’ entitling them to a goody bag of prizes from the pub. Those pupils were also entered into a cluster draw and one pupil in Bodringallt Primary School won a Kindle for achieving over 98% attendance.
  • The school participated in the Treorchy cluster PLC, whereby attendance was discussed by all schools and a cluster approach to attendance was adopted.
The school also had a number of robust monitoring processes to track attendance including:
  • Daily monitoring by teachers and clerk. Telephone calls made to those pupils who fail to inform school of a reason for absence.
  • Weekly monitoring by clerk and headteacher.
  • Monthly meeting between clerk and headteacher – book kept of any pupils with attendance concerns. Formal process set by LA followed e.g. First letters, referrals etc.
  • Small certificates sent home every half term detailing attendance percentage.
Attendance and Wellbeing Service (AWS) intervention included:
  • AWS register checks on a half termly basis.
  • ‘Meet and Greet’ sessions carried out as and when needed to address punctuality.
  • Super Attender’ assemblies delivered twice per year.

Nature of strategy or activity:

The school was set an attendance target for the 2014/2015 academic year of 92.5% - the school had to improve attendance by 1.4%.

The Attendance and Wellbeing Officer met with the Headteacher and school clerk to discuss further developing the in-school initiatives. Bodringallt Primary School then added the following initiatives to improve the school’s attendance:

  • During the weekly attendance assembly, those pupils with 100% attendance the previous week are entered into a prize draw to win a book (one winner per class). The school obtain their books through Scholastic book fairs and book clubs, and of the total books sold, the school receive 100% back in books, which means there is no cost to the school for this initiative.
  • Parents and governors informed by the school’s text service of the class with the highest attendance. Plus the names of the weekly book winners.
  • An attendance challenge week takes place every half term, whereby those pupils who achieve 100% attendance for that particular week, all receive a prize which can include, books, stationery, etc.
  • Certificates are sent out each half term in the corresponding colour to reflect the level of attendance achieved that half term.
  • A red, amber, green, white monitoring system developed:
    • Red – pupils with <90% attendance
    • Amber – pupils with 90-95% attendance
    • Green – pupils with 95-99% attendance
    • White – pupils with 100% attendance – this contains a 100% Attendance sticker, containing the school name.
  • School Council wrote a pupil-friendly attendance policy and also made a song. This was presented to the Governing body and this year it will be developed further by including the song onto the school website.
  • FPNs have been applied for where appropriate since January 2015.

Impact on provision, learning and teaching and/or leadership:

Bodringallt Primary School’s attendance target for the 2015-16 academic year was 94.6%. By maintaining the practices outlined in this case study, the school succeeded to achieve this target.

bodringallt - the lion challenge