The literacy and numeracy catch-up premium gives schools additional funding to support year 7 pupils who did not achieve a scaled score of at least 100 in reading/writing and/or maths at the end of key stage 2 (KS2). In 2019/20  there are currently 24 students in Maths and 27 students in English who did not met the accepted threshold of 100 in their KS2 SATs (English reflects the average of their 2 assessments – there are 47 who did not meet the threshold in one or the other and are therefore on our target list).

Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Engineering College received additional funding £5,355 in April 2019 to support literacy and numeracy catch up in the academic year 2019/20. This additional grant has been primarily used to target support in small groups and for individualised provision.

How are we using our allocation in 2019/20?

Catch up funding has been used to contribute to a number of strategies to support literacy and numeracy, the majority of which are solely focused on this cohort of children:

  • Purchase of the literacy support software Lexia
  • Purchase of the literacy support software ActiveLearn
  • Purchase of Rapid Plus reading program
  • Purchase of the numeracy support software Passport Maths
  • Allocation of Teaching Assistants to small group/1:1 interventions, using Sounds Write software and resources for speech and language intervention.
  • Additional Study Support after school, staffed by trained TAs, to conduct small group interventions
  • Appointment of a numeracy and literacy coordinator from within Maths and English
  • Allocation of English staffing to reading intervention, 5 lessons per fortnight
  • Appointment of school librarian, to oversee the purchase of appropriate materials and conduct reading interventions

Targeted support

The majority of our pupils who require additional support to ‘catch-up’ in both English & Maths have been allocated to our Nurture Group. This small class spends the majority of their curriculum time with a primary trained teacher who is a specialist in providing for lower ability students, supported by a Teaching Assistant. In keeping with the primary model, they have a specific classroom with a range of differentiated resources. Group teaching and primary teaching techniques helps build up a strong skill base, giving pupils a toolkit of skills that allows them to access the mainstream curriculum more effectively. Once students have made adequate progress, they are able to move into a more typical secondary environment, albeit with additional support available.

Pupils with specific SpLD are seen by our specialist Teaching Assistant on a one to one basis to provide individualised support.

Literacy support

Our school librarian provides targeted reading intervention with pupils in small groups, using reading age data alongside KS2 information to ensure students are supported to make progress in the appropriate reading skills. Additionally, English staff have been allocated a number of lessons to focus on Reading Intervention, withdrawing students from non-core lessons to complete reading and follow up activities and assessments from the Rapid Plus program. This is in small groups, and reading capability is re-tested after 4 weeks to ascertain progress towards chronological reading age and therefore ability to access the secondary curriculum. Students are selected based on prioritisation of need; there are levels of intervention dependent upon scaled score and reading age.

Some pupils are also given extra lesson time in Literacy support classes. This is in place of some Modern Foreign Language lessons. These lessons are delivered and organised by our SEND specialist.

Teaching Assistants run and deliver intervention sessions after school on a rota basis using web based software purchased to both engage students and to accelerate progress, with assessments built in to monitor progress in order to establish when students have sufficiently improved to be considered ‘secondary ready’. The specific activities are organised and allocated by Subject Leaders, using Question Level Analysis materials from the KS2 SATs so that they are targeting the most appropriate areas of need.

Student leaders from KS4 are being selected and trained to become peer tutors to a number of Year 7 students, using the same electronic software twice per week, in line with the most recent findings from research indicating that peer tutoring has a significantly positive impact on the progress made by younger students.

Pupils with a reading age of below 8.6 years are provided with paired reading and Lexia support. Reading age tests are conducted twice per year for students who are cause for concern (below age 10.5 in reading tests) to monitor progress and arrange interventions based on prioritisation of need.

Numeracy support

Nurture group students are taught by a Maths specialist, alongside other low ability students, in order to ensure they have quality first teaching by a specialist teacher. Pupils identified as needing specific numeracy support have been started on a programme of intervention after school led by a Maths Teaching Assistant, using a piece of software specifically purchased for this reason called ‘Passport Maths’, which is co-ordinated by a Maths specialist based on Question Level Analysis from the KS2 SATs to ensure targeting of specific areas of need. It builds on the basics that these pupils are struggling with and allows them to develop their confidence and ability in Mathematics. Additionally, some of these students have been allocated a Maths Mentor from students at KS4 who are particularly strong at Maths.

Impact of the Year 7 Catch-up funding 2018/19

The impact of year seven catch-up funding will be tracked using reading age tests, the three summative assessment cycles in the school calendar and the in-built assessments in the software that is being used for both Maths and Literacy interventions. Comparisons will be made to students who arrived in school at the standard expected to determine progress being made towards Minimum Expected Grades, to establish whether we can consider the students to have reached the standard expected.

Progress from 2018/19 NSR Cohort

15 out of 31 students made strong progress in Year 7 in English, achieving at least 1 grade above their Minimum Expected Grade (derived from FFT50) and progressing at each assessment point. 12/22 students that accessed after school intervention demonstrated strong literacy capability. 16 students demonstrated very positive attitudes to learning, with teachers evaluating them as ‘Highly Motivated’.

11/18 students made good progress in Maths, accessing their target grade in the end of year assessments. 14 students accessed after school study support with 10 students making good progress.

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