Covid-19 ‘Catch up’
In June, a £1 billion fund for education was announced by the government. Further guidance has since been released (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-catch-up-premium), showing that the money is split between a catch-up premium and a national tutoring scheme. The catch-up premium is funded on a per pupil basis at £80 per pupil. This will be based on the previous year’s census and will not include Nursery numbers, meaning Ellen Wilkinson will be in receipt of £32,240. The spending of this money will be down to schools to allocate as they see best. In order to make the best use of the funding, we have used the recommendations outlined in the Education Endowment Foundation’s support guide for schools, which contains evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students. It is important to point out that our approach will align with Pupil Premium spending and the priorities set out in our school development plan.
The broad aims of the ‘catch-up’ curriculum at Ellen Wilkinson:
- Ensure that attainment outcomes at the end of 2020-21 for all year groups will be at least in line with those at the point of lockdown in March. For example, if a pupil was working at age related expectations in a subject area in March, they will be working at least to age related expectations in that subject by the end of the year.
- Ensure that by the end of the 2021-22 academic year, attainment outcomes for all year groups continue to be at least in line with those at the end of the 2019-20 year.
- Continue to work to reduce the attainment gap between our disadvantaged pupils and their peers, particularly as, “Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are likely to have been more affected. The consequences of the pandemic will be far reaching—for all children, but particularly for those from socially disadvantaged families. There have been wide disparities in engagement.”
- The mental health needs of pupils that have arisen as a result of the pandemic are met and supported by the school through a multi-agency approach.
Core approaches that we will implement:
For all pupils at Ellen Wilkinson:
‘Great teaching is the most important lever schools have to improve outcomes for their pupils’ (EEF). This will include ensuring that teachers, particularly our early career teachers, are supported and prepared for the new academic year through continued professional development and planning support with senior and middle leaders.
- 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 and reading skills relevant to age. A bridging curriculum will be in place for the first two quarters so that any core learning that has been lost can be repeated and reinforced.
- Additional lesson time on core teaching
English and Maths will require increased teaching time in order to cover missed learning – particularly in the Autumn term. To ensure we keep a broad and balanced curriculum, we will return to our full curriculum coverage by Quarter 3/4.
- Particular focus on Reading (including Early Reading and Phonics) and Writing
Reading, particularly Early reading and phonics will have a continued focus. Writing is becoming increasingly the focus as children return to onsite provision. This covers stamina for writing as well as quality.
- Pupil assessment and feedback to identify gaps in learning
Teachers will work to identify what the gaps in learning are and this will be used to determine how they adapt their teaching and support pupils. Standardised assessments will be used in Maths and English, again to identify which pupils will benefit from additional support.
- Additional time spent on mental health, wellbeing and social skills
This will be at the centre of all catch up work as many children will have not been in the formal school setting for a number of months and the pandemic. Also, an increased pupil wellbeing focus (through PSHE, Art and PE) particularly in Autumn term, will help pupils explore and not ignore their experiences of Covid-19.
For some pupils at Ellen Wilkinson:
- Additional targeted learning time
Targeted learning time (TLT) is where teachers are released for an additional hour per week to support pupils progress. Additional TLT will be given to support individuals and small groups of pupils identified as needing further support to close gaps in their learning due to Covid-19.
- Individual and small group tuition
Using the national programme a target group of disadvantaged pupils are receiving additional tuition both in and beyond the school day.