The Catch-Up Premium was introduced by the Department for Education in January 2013. The department provided schools with an additional £500 for each student in Year 7 who arrived at the school with a Key Stage 2 level below 4 in English or Maths. This has changed slightly and schools are now allocated money based not on specific student numbers but on previous allocation of funds. We use this funding to improve levels of literacy and numeracy for those students who require most support; from September this will mean students identified as Low Attaining Pupils based on KS2 data.
In Culcheth High School the Y7 Catch Up premium has been spent in a number of ways, all designed to accelerate and enrich students’ learning. From 2013 to 2015, we had a dedicated literacy support coordinator who produced a comprehensive scheme of work, spanning three years, and who oversaw the progress of all students. These schemes of work and resources continue to be used. Quality, individualised teaching and robust programmes of assessment mean that students’ needs are met far more effectively. A wide range of teaching and learning resources (both paper- and ICT- based have been purchased and used with intervention classes, small groups and individual students. Students’ learning is supported by these specialist classroom resources designed to target specific areas of learning. In January 2017 a Pupil Premium/Literacy Achievement Mentor was appointed to provide further individualised support and intervention, as well as monitoring and tracking students’ progress.
Since receiving this money the school has:
- introduced an enhanced programme of literacy support, including an additional two hours of teaching per week, in Years 7, 8 and 9 (Y7 and 8 from September 2017);
- purchased the Accelerated Reader programme to develop the reading skills of students, in Years 7, 8 and 9, more quickly and more effectively;
- purchased the Star Reader programme to test and track students’ reading ages;
- purchased a set of ten ipads to support literacy in the classroom;
- used an online literacy support programme;
- purchased a range of targeted literacy and numeracy resources to support rapid learning;
- significantly increased the stock of books in the school library, specifically with the aim of meeting the requirements of students of all reading ages and interests;
- improved assessment, tracking and monitoring of students by introducing more frequent, targeted activities that are scrutinised to evaluate students’ progress
- purchased text book packages supported by comprehensive assessment packages to support students learning and track their progress in even greater detail and depth
- purchased a three year contract with for an online mathematics teaching and assessment package, along with 40 logins for the students who are entitled to, and need, additional support with maths
Impacts of spending:
- students are reading more, and are more enthusiastic about their reading
- Students reading and writing levels are improving
- Students reading ages are improving
- Students are more engaged with reading and writing
- Students are receiving more individual support
- Students have access to higher quality resources that are more targeted to their needs
- Students are being supported more comprehensively with their maths
- Students on the literacy intervention programme are making more rapid progress in KS3 (measured by average point score and levels of progress) than the general body of students
2012 - 2013 Outline of Spending
In 2012 – 13 the additional literacy support lessons were not in place. Spending focused on out-of-class support in the form of online literacy support, and in-class support in the form of iPads to support learning (these were also purchased in anticipation of the Accelerated Reader programme).
2013 - 2014 Outline of Spending
In the financial year 2013-2014, spending focused on setting up and resourcing the literacy support programme, which started in September 2013. Some funding was directed towards numeracy. A range of reading books and non-fiction books aimed specifically at particular reading ages were purchased. A range of textbooks and other teaching materials were purchased. A range of specifically targeted classroom resources were purchased.
2014 - 2015 Outline of Spending
In the 2014-15 financial year spending focused primarily on maintaining and expanding the Accelerated Reader programme and increasing the breadth and depth of resources available to students to improve levels of engagement and create a richer, more inspiring experience for students.
2015 - 2016 Outline of Spending
In the financial year 2015-2016, Y7 Catch Up funding was primarily spent on two fundamental areas of literacy and numeracy provision: renewing the Accelerated Reading subscription, including Star Reading tests and online book quizzes; and subscribing to a comprehensive package designed to rapidly improve numeracy, from Whizz Education.
2016 - 2017 Outline of Spending
2016-17 opening balance (including ‘carry-over’ from previous years): £22,400
In the financial year 2016-17, Y7 Catch Up funding was spent predominantly on literacy. A comprehensive set of paper and web-based resources were purchased for use with individual students or small groups during literacy intervention sessions. The stock of books aimed at students with lower reading ages was significantly increased to support the Accelerated Reader programme, and licences for the Accelerated reader programme were renewed. Most significantly, a Pupil Premium / Literacy Achievement Mentor was appointed; she will work with individual students and small groups of students to target specific areas of literacy. She will also track students’ progress across the curriculum and support teachers throughout the school in meeting the needs of students who struggle with aspects of literacy. The online maths package (MathsWhizz) was maintained for no cost because the three-year subscription was paid in full last year.
Students on the literacy intervention programme have performed well, overall, compared with other students. In Y7, literacy intervention students have progressed (on average, across all subject areas) two sub-levels, compared with non-literacy intervention students, who have progressed one. Though this trend is reversed in Y8, literacy intervention students in Y9 have improved their average point score in core subjects at a more rapid rate than their peers, up 1.31, on average, compared to 0.83 for their peers. Analysis of Accelerated Reader data demonstrates increased and regular reading is taking place amongst this cohort of students, and the increased spending on books means that a more diverse range of reading is taking place. The new resources that have been bought for literacy intervention and, in particular, the employment of the Achievement Mentor have led to specific improvements for individual students in key areas. MathsWhizz has had a significant impact on progress this year, particularly in Y7. Six students receiving maths intervention have reached a Level 5 and three have been moved up into the set above.
2017 - 2018 Spending Projection
2017-18 opening balance (including ‘carry-over’ from previous years):
Current Spending Projections:
- Staffing (9,000, possibly rising to 12,000)
- Literacy Planet £450
- Maths Software £0
- Accelerated Reader £110
- Further Spending TBC