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Catch-Up Premium - 2021-22

‘Catch-Up Funding' at St Gerard's Catholic Primary & Nursery School:

 

Here at St Gerard’s we pride ourselves on our bespoke learning and the curriculum experiences we provide all of our children. With this in mind we recognise that during this period of ‘reconnection’ with education our children will need additional support to settle back into the formalities of school life. Therefore we assess the impact this has had on all cohorts and use the additional premium received to increase attainment in line with the guidance on curriculum expectations for the next academic year.

For many of our pupils, compensating for the negative impact of school closure will require a sustained response. Therefore, our approach to ‘catch up’ will align similarly with Pupil Premium spending and broader school improvement priorities.

 

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Key Focus: Teaching and Whole-School Strategies

 

  • Great teaching is the most important lever schools have to improve outcomes for their pupils.
  • Ensuring every teacher is supported and prepared for the New Year is essential to achieving the best outcomes for pupils.
  • Providing opportunities for professional development—for example, to support curriculum planning or focused training on the effective use of technology—is likely to be valuable.
  • Almost all schools will also have made significant adjustments to organisational and logistical aspects of school life. Ensuring teachers have training and support to adjust to these changes is likely to improve the quality of teaching as all pupils return to school.
  • Early career teachers, who may have had opportunities to develop their practice curtailed by school closures, are particularly likely to benefit from additional mentoring and support.

 

Key Focus: Pupil Assessment and Feedback

 

  • Assessment can help teachers determine how to most effectively support their pupils. Every pupil will have been affected differently by Covid-19.
  • Setting aside time to enable teachers to assess pupils’ wellbeing and learning needs is likely to make it easier for teachers and other school staff to provide effective support.
  • For example, subject-specific assessments might be used to identify particular areas where pupils have forgotten or misunderstood key concepts, to ensure that new material being covered builds on secure foundations. Standardised
  • Assessments in literacy or numeracy might be used to identify pupils who would benefit from additional catch-up support.
  • Providing pupils with high-quality feedback, building on accurate assessment, is likely to be a particularly promising approach.

 

Key Focus: Transition and Support

 

  • All pupils will need support to transition back to school. However, there are particular challenges for pupils starting a new school after the disruptions caused by Covid-19.
  • Planning and providing transition support, such as running dedicated transition events—either online or face-to-face, as restrictions allow—is likely to be an effective way to ensure pupils start the new year ready to learn.
  • Transition events might focus on sharing information about school with children and their families or running activities designed to make pupils feel comfortable in their new school, for example by introducing pupils to their new teachers and classmates.
  • Additional transition support might include using assessment to identify areas where pupils are likely to require additional support or creating opportunities for teachers to share information about pupils’ strengths and areas for development with colleagues, including between primary and secondary schools where possible.

 

Key Focus: Targeted Support – One to One and Small Group Tuition

 

  • There is extensive evidence supporting the impact of high quality one to one and small group tuition as a catch-up strategy.
  • To be most effective, creating a three-way relationship between tutor, teacher and pupils is essential, ensuring that tuition is guided by the school, linked to the curriculum and focused on the areas where pupils would most benefit from additional practice or feedback.
  • As a rule of thumb, the smaller the group the better. However, both small group and one to one tuition can be effective catchup approaches.
  • Tuition delivered by qualified teachers is likely to have the highest impact. However, tuition delivered by tutors, teaching assistants, or trained volunteers can also be effective. Where tuition is delivered by teaching assistants or volunteers, providing training linked to specific content and approaches is beneficial.

 

Key Focus: Targeted Support – Intervention Programmes

 

  • In order to support pupils who have fallen behind furthest, structured interventions, which may also be delivered one to one or in small groups, are likely to be necessary.
  • A particular focus for interventions is likely to be on literacy and numeracy. For example, there is extensive evidence showing the long-term negative impact of beginning secondary school without secure literacy skills. Programmes are likely to have the greatest impact where they meet a specific need, such as oral language skills or aspects of reading, include regular sessions maintained over a sustained period and are carefully timetabled to enable consistent delivery.
  • Interventions might focus on other aspects of learning, such as behaviour or pupils’ social and emotional needs, or focus on particular groups of pupils with identified special educational needs or disabilities.
  • Effective intervention follows assessment, which can be used to ensure that support is well-targeted and to monitor pupil progress.

 

Key Focus: Targeted Support – Extended School Time

 

In some cases, schools may consider extending the length of the school day; for example, to provide additional academic or pastoral support to particular pupils after school. There is some evidence that extending school time can have a small positive impact on learning as well as improving other outcomes, such as attendance and behaviour. However, to be successful, any increases in school time should be supported by both parents and staff.

 

Key Focus: Wider Strategies – Supporting Parents & Carers

 

  • Parents have played a key role in supporting children to learn at home and it will be essential that schools and families continue to work together as pupils return to school.
  • Schools have provided extensive pastoral support to pupils and families throughout the pandemic. Additional support in the new school year could focus on providing regular and supportive communications with parents, especially to increase attendance and engagement with learning. There is a risk that high levels of absence after the summer pose a particular risk for disadvantaged pupils.
  • Providing additional books and educational resources to families over the summer holidays, with support and guidance, may also be helpful—for example, offering advice about effective strategies for reading with children.

 

Key Focus: Wider Strategies – Access to Technology

 

  • Pupils’ access to technology has been an important factor affecting the extent to which they can learn effectively at home.
  • In particular, lack of access to technology has been a barrier for many disadvantaged children.
  • As all pupils return to schools, technology could also be valuable; for example, by facilitating access to online tuition or support. Some schools might find it helpful to invest in additional technology, either by providing pupils with devices or improving the facilities available in school. To support learning, how technology is used matters most.
  • Ensuring the elements of effective teaching are present—for example, clear explanations, scaffolding, practice and feedback— is more important than which form of technology is used.
  • In addition, providing support and guidance on how to use technology effectively is essential, particularly if new forms of technology are being introduced.

 

Further Reading:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/catch-up-premium-coronavirus-covid-19/catch-up-premium

https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/projects-and-evaluation/projects/nuffield-early-language-intervention

 

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Contact Us

St Gerard's Catholic Primary and Nursery School

Lugsdale Road, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 6DD

Office Manager: Mrs M Roach

0151 424 2879

Sec2.StGerards@halton.gov.uk

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