Catch Up Funding
Following the lockdown on March 28th due to COVID 19 the pupils of Thurston CE Primary Academy had to adapt as learners and rely on home schooling, remote teacher support and a reduced amount of face to face teaching from their class teacher. This inevitably meant that many children have gaps in their knowledge from the previous year group when they returned in September.
At Thurston CE Primary Academy, we have constructed a ‘catch-up’ plan to ensure children catch up on any lost learning time and potential gaps in knowledge. This plan will focus on quality first teaching, empowering our team to deliver quality intervention; specific year group ‘gap’ filling, classroom intervention and small group targeted support with the child’s health and well-being at the centre of all we do.
In addition, we know that the Educational Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) Teaching and Learning Toolkit ranks strategies by the “extra months” of pupil progress they secure and topping their chart is metacognition, which has “consistently high levels of impact, with pupils making an average of eight months’ additional progress” each year.
What is metacognition?
Metacognition is not simply “thinking about thinking, it is much more complex than this. Metacognition is actively monitoring one’s own learning and, based on this monitoring, making changes to one’s own learning behaviours and strategies. We know that the teacher is integral to the development of younger pupils’ metacognitive skills which is one of the main reasons for including metacognition on our School Improvement Plan using the Lesson Study tool as the vehicle to role this out as a whole school initiative. We see this running alongside the catch-up programme.
What is the ‘catch-up’ premium funding?
The government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up. This includes a one-off universal £650 million catch-up premium for the 2020 to 2021 academic year to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time. Schools should use this funding for specific activities to support their pupils to catch up for lost teaching over the previous months and have the flexibility to spend their funding in the best way for their children and circumstances.
Thurston CE Primary Academy has been allocated £16,000 + additional ‘catch-up’ funding to support interventions designed to close gaps in attainment for this academic year.
How will spending decisions about interventions be made?
Since September, leaders in school have been following best practice guidance documents and approaches published by the DfE (Department for Education) and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to ensure the additional funding is directed in the most effective way. Approaches taken by the school will be driven by our detailed knowledge of children’s current attainment and will draw upon approaches that are evidence-based that are proven to have a positive impact on closing gaps. During January 2020, Governors in school scrutinised the ‘catch-up’ premium strategy to ensure all strategies chosen will have a positive impact on children’s attainment. The catch-up programme will link closely to the school improvement plans and Pupil Premium Strategy. Leaders must be able to account for how money is being used to achieve the goal of ‘catch-up’ Lesson plans will evaluate learning and identify gaps; assessment will be used regularly to assess progress against targets.
Quality First Teaching
From September 2020 the curriculum has been adapted to address the key skills and knowledge that children need in order to access the wider curriculum. Teachers are aware that there is no quick fix to filling gaps in the education missed in the summer term 2020 and therefore the gaps in knowledge and understanding will be addresses within an adapted curriculum over time.
All teaching has taken into account the children’s ability on return from the summer term 2020 and planning has been tailored to their needs. There have been no formal assessments until the end of the autumn term as we believe it was important to focus on pupil’s wellbeing and gain a good understanding of the impact that Covid 19 had had to individuals. The teaching will be monitored by the SLT each half term to ensure high quality of teaching across the school.
Focused in-class support for specific year groups
When schools are fully open once more, targeted support will be given to pupils in Year 2 upwards. Pupils in these year groups will receive specific targeted supported within the school day by their class teacher focusing on a range of different skills and knowledge. Classroom intervention
There will be a Teaching Assistant in each class bubble to support the children at most risk of falling behind or further behind. These children will be planned for by the teacher and then work with the support of the TA in the class to allow for smaller ratios and more targeted intervention. Intervention records will be kept and monitored by the SLT.
Targeted Group Support
Targeted individuals will be invited to Breakfast Club where extra intervention will take place. Using newly purchased resources, HLTA’s and experienced knowledgeable TA’s will be overseen by class teachers in delivering high quality intervention informed by the most recent assessments - autumn 2020. The impact of the intervention sessions will be monitored by SLT. As this is an investment in the child selected, this will be closely monitored by SLT and any lack of engagement from parents may result in the place being offered to another child. Impact of this intervention will be presented to the Governing Body through the Headteachers Report on a termly basis.
Health, Fitness and Wellbeing
We have planned for all our extra curricular clubs to take place in designated bubbles.
We believe that the pace of school life needs to be slower in order to support our children in embedding key skills and knowledge to become good learners and in turn widen their curriculum knowledge. We also believe that with this approach these children won’t have suffered during the lockdown period but will have actually grown in many ways and have more determination to succeed in all that they do reaching their full potential.
Who will benefit from the funding?
During the autumn term 2020, all children across the school have undertaken high-quality assessments in reading, writing, phonics / spelling and maths. Through careful analysis of this assessment data, teachers have identified groups of children that will benefit from ‘catch-up’ support or other interventions to enable them to close gaps in understanding and attainment.
Please refer to the Catch Up Action Plan to see how the funding will be spent.