Pupil Catch-up

The Department for Education (DfE) has provided additional funding for all students in Year 7 from 2012 onwards, who achieved below their age related expectations at the end of KS2. This additional funding is to be used by schools to provide literacy and numeracy catch-up support for Year 7 students. It is designed to help students catch up to their peers as quickly as possible.

School context:

There are twenty-eight pupils in Year 7 who did not meet the minimum expected standard at the end of Key Stage 2.

  • 11 of these did not meet the expected standard in reading or in maths;
  • 7 of these did not meet the expected standard in maths, but did in reading;
  • 10 of these did not meet the expected standard in reading, but did in maths.

Assuming that we receive £500 per pupil as in the 2015/16 academic year, our catch-up funding allocation for the 2016-2017 academic year will be £14,000.

Aims of our catch-up funding allocation:

  • To raise reading age attainment
  • To support progress in mathematics and overcome any barriers to learning girls may have in this subject

How we plan to spend our funding:

Contribute to the employment of a specialist reading intervention coordinator who will implement the following strategies on a case-by-case basis:

  • Providing Mobile Library services to pupils and their families
  • Withdrawing pupils from lessons to work on reading comprehension on a 1:2:1 basis
  • Using Bedrock Vocabulary, an online programme students can access from home, to boost the learning of higher-order vocabulary
  • Working with pupils on a 1:2:1 basis after school to develop their understanding of phonics
  • Supporting students in English classes, where they may experience particular difficulty

Contribute to the employment of a primary specialist mathematics teacher to teach the majority of the pupils who failed to meet the expected standard in maths in a small-group setting.


Implementing additional intervention after the first round of Year 7 exams in December. This may include small group intervention or 1:2:1 tuition and will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Additional ways in which we support these pupils

  • The majority of these pupils are taught in a single class which is smaller than other Year 7 groups, meaning that they will receive more attention from the teacher. This smaller set also has additional learning support assistants in the classroom at times.
  • Some pupils may have been placed in a larger group based on their higher ability in either reading or maths. Where this has been the case, the teacher of the weaker subject has been notified that there will be gaps in their learning and they will be closely monitored.
  • The 2i/cs in the English and Maths departments will be responsible for monitoring the progress of these students generally, working with the SEND department to devise and evaluate intervention on a needs basis.

Evaluation of Catch-Up Funding 2015-16

In 2015-16, St. Ursula’s Convent School received £6,000 of catch-up funding. This funding was used to raise the reading attainment of pupils who had entered school at below the expected standard.

Literacy Support for Year 7 catch-up pupils 2015 – 2016

Number of pupils in catch-up group: 6 who received 1-to-1 literacy support


  • Reading comprehension and Catch-up Literacy programme during 1-to-1sessions.
  • CFE in English class 2 x week to support 6 pupils. Teaching new vocabulary which was assessed by a weekly quiz.
  • Monitoring reading log books during Library lesson, to check if there was daily reading as well as amount of reading; parents were asked to sign each day.
  • Guided reading sessions with Year 9 reading mentors once a week during Form Time.

Assessing the Impact of Literacy Support

Two types of reading tests were carried out:

o    NGRT Reading comprehension - results are highlighted in green.  Pupils seemed to have shown some progress in reading comprehension over a period of  9 months, from 9 months to 2 yrs. 7mths.

o    WRAT test which tests ability to decode words, is highlighted in blue.   The results appear to remain the same as previous result (Feb 16) for 3 pupils, regressed for 2 pupils and improved for 2 pupils.

Of the two pupils who achieved a lower score than the February test:

PUPIL 1 is on the SEN register for speech and language disorder.  Through her efforts, she has been able to participate in class, volunteer answers and offers to read out her writing to the rest of the class.  Evidence that her confidence in class has improved.

PUPIL 2 required minimal literacy support as she showed ability to understand texts in class, participated with confidence and showed good writing skills.   The WRAT result does not fully reflect TS's ability.

As a comparison, a sample group of pupils who were not in the catch-up group were tested. In this sample group, range of progress was from 0 improvement to 2 years. The range of progress in catch-up group was 0.9 to 2.7 years.

Based on results, the following pupils should continue with literacy support:

PUPIL 3: although her comprehension skills are good, her reading ability needs to develop and be supported. Pupil 3 to continue on Catch-up programme.

PUPIL 4: although Pupil 4 has increased her reading age, she requires continued support in developing her comprehension skills and confidence in being able to participate in class.

PUPIL 5: (language disorder and comprehension delay) - small group literacy support

PUPIL 6: although achieving a good reading comprehension result in which MS did not seek help in understanding instructions /text/questions, Pupil 6 will need help with improving her spelling.

PUPIL 1: (speech and language disorder)  - small group literacy support

PUPIL 7:  Although not in the catch-up group, due to poor results in English exam, Pupil 7 was referred for literacy support.  Pupil 7 to continue after school literacy support in September.

What worked well during 2015-2016

  • The focus on the importance of reading was maintained, specifically with pupils who were not reading regularly at home (with the use of reading logs and requiring parents to sign).
  • It was helpful for CFE to attend English lessons to see content of work and level of difficulty.
  • Actively teaching vocabulary and then assessing whether pupils remembered new vocabulary by way of a quiz at the end of the week. Pupils were able to view results instantly and print off certificates. There was evidence of new vocabulary in their writing.
  • Engaging parents with the Mobile Library. The focus was on struggling readers, some of whom were DA pupils.  This project has had a positive impact. For example, one EAL pupil who enjoyed a book from the Mobile Library, recommended it to another struggling reader (in the Catch-up group). This student has now requested to read more books by the same author .
  • Writing literacy guidance notes for the school website - Under Learning and Curriculum – Supporting Literacy.


To view further information regarding our Catch-Up pupils please click on the links below:

Spelling Ages of Catch-Up Pupils in Year 8 July 2016