Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). The aggregate impact of lost time in education will be substantial, and we know that the scale of our response must match the scale of the challenge. We know that we have the professional knowledge and expertise in the school and wider education system to ensure that children and young people recover and get back on track.
Returning to normal educational routines as quickly as possible will be critical to our recovery. The government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up. Although all children have had their education disrupted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we know that it is likely that disadvantaged and vulnerable groups will have been affected most.
Alongside the universal catch-up premium, the government are launching a £350 million National Tutoring Programme to provide additional, targeted support for those children and young people who need it. Schools’ allocations will be calculated on a per pupil basis, providing each mainstream school with a total of £80 for each pupil in years reception through to 11. This will be based on the previous year’s census and will not include Nursery numbers, meaning Woodheys will be in receipt of £19,881.
As the catch-up grant has been designed to mitigate the effects of the unique disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), the grant will only be available for the 2020 to 2021 academic year.
At Woodheys we will use this funding for specific activities to support our pupils to catch up for lost teaching over the previous months, in line with the guidance on curriculum expectations for the next academic year.
We know that we have the flexibility to spend their funding in the best way for their cohort and circumstances. In order to make the best use of this funding, we have used the information and guidance from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) a coronavirus (COVID-19) support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all pupils. We have used this document to help spend the funding in the most effective way.
At Woodheys, this money will be used in order to:
- Purchase curriculum resources and materials that support pupils to get “back on track”.
- Pay the top up fee to access tutoring support for disadvantaged pupils and others who are identified as needing “catch up” in their learning.
- Fund additional support staff to develop the outcomes of children who have been identified as needing “catch up” in their learning.
The broad aims for “catch-up”:
- The mental health needs of pupils that have arisen as a result of the pandemic are met and supported by the school.
- Attainment outcomes at end of 2020-21 for all year groups will be at least in line with those at the point of lockdown in March 2020. This means that if a child was working at an age-related expectation/greater depth in a subject prior to March they are working at least to an age-related expectation/greater depth in that same subject by the end of 2021.
- Those Year 2 (2020/21) children who do not meet the expected standard in phonics will be supported to achieve the standard by the end of 2020/21 academic year.
“Catch up” will mean that:
Teachers and Subject Leaders will work collaboratively to identify gaps in learning and adapt teaching accordingly. This ‘Curriculum Audit’ will be the starting point from which teaching will be adapted to ensure lost learning is emphasised in existing planned learning or revisited. Working through well sequenced, purposeful learning schemes.
(For all children)
- Focus on consolidation of basic skills. The core skills which enable successful learning will require increased curriculum time across all year groups. These include: handwriting, spelling of high frequency words, basic sentence punctuation, times tables recall, basic addition & subtraction fact recall, formal mathematics strategies and reading skills relevant to age.
- Particular focus on early reading and phonics. This is always a focus in the school and will continue to be so in order to develop children’s reading ability and vocabulary.
- Assessment of learning and of basic skills to identify major gaps. Teachers will work to identify gaps in learning and adapt teaching accordingly.
- Time spent on mental health, wellbeing and social skills development. This will be at the core of all catch up work as many children will have not been in formal school setting for a number of months.
Additional lesson time on core teaching. Reading, writing and maths teaching will require increased teaching time in order to cover missed learning – particularly in the autumn term.
(For some children)
- Additional support and focus on basic core skills. Supported by additional staffing utilising catch up premium – dependent on need as identified through ongoing assessment.
- Additional time to practice basic skills. This again will be dependent on need of children in order to re-establish good progress in the essentials (phonics and reading, increasing vocabulary, writing and mathematics) and there will be flexibility on timetables to allow this.
Catch up at Woodheys IS NOT:
- Cramming missed learning
- Pressuring children and families into rapid learning
- Teachers time spent highlighting missed objectives
- Teachers time spent ticking off assessment points and extra tracking