What is the Catch-up Premium?
The literacy and numeracy catch-up premium gives schools additional funding to support year 7 pupils who did not achieve the expected standard in reading or maths at the end of key stage 2 (KS2).
All state-funded schools with year 7 pupils receive this funding. The money is to be used by schools to deliver additional tuition or intensive support in small groups, giving pupils valuable support to bring them up to speed so that they are more likely to succeed at secondary school.
The funding will not be ring-fenced for catch-up activities. It is used for additional literacy and numeracy catch-up during Year 7 given that this can make a profound difference to pupils at this important stage.
In 2017 to 2018, funding was allocated to schools on the basis that they receive the same overall amount of year 7 catch-up premium funding received in 2016 to 2017. It will be adjusted to reflect the percentage change in the size of their year 7 cohort, based on the October 2017 census.
The DfE have stated that the catch-up premium will continue in 2018/19. It will be releasing more information relating to 2018/19 “in due course”.
In 2017-18 we received £9,245
In 2018-19 we will receive £8,850
We have decided our main focus should be literacy because low levels of literacy also inhibit students ability to progress in Maths. Therefore we have invested our Catch up Premium in literacy strategies.
To help students catch-up literacy we ran 2 DEAR groups consisting of 17 Year 7 students with the weakest literacy skills students in Year 7. DEAR is an initiative across the school which develops literacy through providing a time each week when all students ‘Drop Everything And Read’. We were aware some students would not be able to do this independently due to their low literacy levels, so we created groups that were staffed by Teaching Assistants where the students took part in group reads and comprehension questions. To enable us to do this effectively we purchased Barrington Stokes low reading age, high interest books along with the accompanying resources. In December 2017, 20% of these students had made 6 months progress in the space of 3 months.
Also we provided 8 lessons per fortnight for additional literacy to students in Year 7 who were withdrawn from languages. These groups are run by an HLTA. In these lessons students revise their phonic knowledge and basic literacy skills. This aims to support cross curricular progress and access to all subject areas.
43% of these students met or exceeded their current target grades in English whilst 29% were on track to reach their target grades.
54% of the students in the groups saw a rise in their spelling age whilst 39% saw a rise in their reading age.
This year we will continue to provide additional Literacy lessons for our Year 7 students who are withdrawn from languages. As with last year we aim to support cross curricular progress.
In addition to this our English HLTA works in the least able group in English for 6 lessons a fortnight. This enables the class teacher time with students to help them catch up or fill in any chunks of learning they have missed during their time at school.
We have continued to use DEAR as way of helping our less able readers to catch up and a number of them have 1:1 sessions to help them with their reading and comprehension.
One of key priorities this year is to develop literate learners. All teachers have read the Closing the Vocabulary Gap by Alex Quigley and have had training on ways to develop the students’ vocabulary. These strategies have begun to be used in lessons. Although this is for all students it will inevitably support our least able students in year 7.
In late November (28th/29th) 6 staff will be trained in ‘Thinking Reading’. This is a programme which has proven success in improving reading at rapid pace. This programme will be used in year 10 initially so none of the Catch-up Premium has been spent on it, but as we roll it out to all year groups it will be a key part of our strategy for enabling Year 7 to catch up.