Literacy and Numeracy Catch-up 17/18 Evaluation

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). The catch up funding is designed to ensure that students who have not achieved their potential at KS2 are not disadvantaged by this and are provided with the opportunity to ensure they have the same equality of opportunity as their peers by the time they leave compulsory education. The wider aims of the catch up funding include:-

  • To enable students from disadvantaged backgrounds to get to the top universities
  • To ensure that students from all backgrounds have an equal opportunity to be successful
  • To reduce the attainment gap between the highest and lowest achieving pupils nationally

Overview of the school and funding 2017/18

Total amount of funding received: £12,500

Strategies used and evaluation

The following strategies have been employed this year:

In English

  • Accelerated Reader – The school uses the Accelerated Reader programme to support the improvement of students’ reading age supporting their basic literacy skills. Students have a timetabled 1 hour a week lesson on this and continue with their reading as part of their independent learning.
  • Small group literacy intervention – Small groups of students are withdrawn from lessons to work on basic English skills with an experienced member of staff. The students follow the ‘Lit’ Programme.

Students who received small group intervention using ‘The Lit Programme’ are in blue on the list below.
The skills covered within the programme are:

    • Reading and understanding a range of fiction and non-fiction texts
    • Retrieval of information
    • Summarising information to demonstrate understanding
    • Asking questions to extend deeper understanding of a text – making inferences
    • Looking at the type of language used by the writer and explaining its effect
    • Examining the structure of different texts
    • Exploring the presentational features of a text, including rhetorical devices used to influence the reader/audience
    • Presenting their understanding to one another
    • Writing in different styles and forms, for example writing a letter from an agony aunt after looking at writing to inform or advise
    • Development of confidence in Reading and discussing literary texts.
  • Teacher intervention strategies in the classroom – all teachers employ these strategies with all students.  These key students, amongst other groups, were selected for priority interventions.  The types of teacher interventions included:
  • Carefully chosen seating plans
  • ‘Home’ & ‘Away’ group work
  • Regular/extra 1:1 support from the teacher
  • Classroom resources, such as the ‘Wonderwall’ (in every classroom), ‘live’ displays, modelled work and live modelling
  • Priority marking in books and assessments
  • P4C approaches to teaching, including ‘talk to write’ strategies
  • Careful and regular tracking of progress

Impact:

The progress for these students, with the extra interventions that they have received, has been ‘Good’.

Key students whose KS2 Reading Scores were below national requirement at the end of Year 6:

Student Band Maths Reading English
1 LA 88 87 On
2 LA 97 91 On
3 LA 104 85 On
4 LA 100 84 On
5 LA 85 87 Above
6 LA 93 86 On
7 LA 89 88  On
8 LA 88 89 On
9 LA 101 88 Above
10 LA 90 80 On
11 LA 95 91 On
12 LA 96 91 On
13 MA 111 88  On
14 LA 94 92 On
15 LA 91 91 Above

All of these students are currently either ‘On’ or ‘Above’ target for at least expected progress in English.

In Mathematics

  • At ALNS we believe the best way to support students and ensure they ‘catch up’ quickly is to experience quality first teaching. Quality first teaching has the strongest impact on pupil achievement and we believe this is critical to supporting student progress. However, to speed up the ‘catch up’ process we operated targeted, withdrawal intervention based on feedback from areas identified as weaknesses during year 7 baseline tests. These intervention sessions were aimed at 20 students identified as being in need of ‘catching up’ in maths and ran for 6 weeks; students were assessed for progress throughout this time. These sessions proved invaluable for filling in gaps in students basic understanding and the short term nature meant students still had a wide and varied curriculum in year 7.
  • Furthermore, to ensure those students identified as needing to ‘catch up’ made the best possible start to year 7 we invited the head teacher and maths leader from Copnor Primary School, our main feeder school to ensure we were getting transition right. Feedback from our primary colleagues was overwhelmingly positive in terms of how well teachers differentiate to support the progress of students with lower prior attainment.
  • Catch up funding was then made available to help us continue to build links and improve our practice even further with teachers from ALNS attending lessons at Copnor Primary school to observe ‘cut away modelling’. This experience developed teaching and learning by ensuring class teachers promote more independence for low attaining students while also ensuring those students who need support receive it during more detailed small group feedback in lessons.

IMPACT: Of the 20 students identified as in need of ‘catching up’ in maths 16 are ‘On’ track to achieve their expected target grade and therefore have made good progress so far in Year 7 in maths. The remaining four students who are currently still below target are receiving more targeted support in lessons. Year 11 gain time has been used to ensure two teachers are supporting 10 out of 16 classes which have year 7 students from the ‘catch up’ list, with the priority being supporting those students identified as below target.

Next year we will continue to run the ‘catch up’ up booster sessions which successfully helped fill gaps identified during the year 7 baselines.  Extra teacher interventions during maths lessons have been well received by students as they feel they still get to attend all the lesson they really enjoy and we will prioritise this strategy using staff who are available to assist during year 7 lessons.