COVID Catchup Funding
Birchwood Junior School COVID Catch-Up Funding:
Following the lockdown on March 28th due to COVID 19 the children of Birchwood Junior School 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 Birchwood Junior School, 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 of tutors by providing high quality training, 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 the ‘catch-up’ premium funding?
How will spending decisions about interventions be made?
Since July, 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 (see Appendix 1). 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.
CATCH UP PREMIUM for this school
Our school has been allocated a total of £24, 720 for this academic year and this is financial split £12, 360 paid within this financial year and £12,360 paid in the next financial year.
The DFE guidance on catch-up premium references the two school planning documents so we as a school have decided to use the tiers to support our decision-making with respect to how we spend our catch-up premium. The decisions are also guided by the school’s vision and our determination to ensure all our children “catch-up” and we do not allow this pandemic to adversely effect any of our children’s academic or emotion development.
The steps so far:
1.) Quality First Teaching
The curriculum will be adapted to focus on the key skills and knowledge that children need in order to access the wider curriculum. Teachers will focus on embedding these key facts in the first two terms for all core subjects whilst still teaching a smaller percentage of non-core subjects. This will be picked up in the summer term. All teaching will take into account the children’s ability on return from the summer term 2020 and planning will be tailored to their needs. The first week of the term will concentrate on wellbeing and sharing the plans for the term. The second week will see the completion of a range of formal and informal tests to support the teachers planning. 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
During November and December, Year 3 and Year 6 will receive specific targeted supported within the school day by their class teacher focusing on a range of different skills and knowledge.
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. Interventions records will be kept and each child below expectations will have a detailed provision map in place. These can be found in the Record of Monitoring for each class. These interventions will be monitored half termly by the SLT.
2.) Targeted Group Support (Third Space Tutoring)
This is an area where we are investing the school’s catch up grant as we strongly believe it will have the most impact. We will select children at most risk of falling behind to partake in small group targeted intervention which will begin in November 2020. This will follow a period of time during Autumn 2 which will see specific training for these targeted interventions. These sessions will be run by Third Space Learning (Tutors) and EEF approved. The accountability for the success of these sessions will lie with them and the class teacher in order to have the most impact. The sessions will be fast paced and initially work on lost learning from the prior year group in order to give children the best possible chance of progressing in their current year group.
The children selected will enter a contract to ensure all stakeholders sign up to the commitment of this additional focused teaching. As this is an investment in the child selected, this will be closely monitored by SLT and
any lack of engagement from the children may result in the place being offered to another child. The teacher undertaking this role will liaise with class teacher and SLT and will present impact to HT and the Standards Committee.
3.) Health, Fitness and Wellbeing
We are also using a Sports Apprentice to encourage positive play and physical exercise across the school day.
We have planned for all our wrap-around clubs to take place in Year Group 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.
4.) SEN Personalised Provison:
From September 2020, Two Teachers allocated to support children with their individual needs supported by the school’s SENDCo. The aim is to focus on skills needed to catch up in reading and Maths.
5.) Two Expereinced SLEs to support specific Year Groups
Two experienced SLEs are being utilised across the school to support staff with gaps in the curriculum and support staff with planning/assessment. The two staff will work with groups of children in early reading and maths skills. The accountability lies with the SLEs and class teachers in order to have the most impact.
Who will benefit from the funding?
During September 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. Strategy aims for disadvantaged pupils.