COVID CATCH UP PREMIUM
Since returning to school in June 2020, in September 2020 and again in March 2021, we have made sure that all of our children have come back to school happy and we have focused on their mental health and wellbeing. We have also spent time on basic skills and finding out where the gaps are in learning. We have had discussions across the school so that the senior leadership team know the whole school picture. We have identified the gaps in learning as a result of lockdown and have planned ways in which those gaps can be filled for all year groups. Curriculum leaders have offered support for class teachers about how best to plug the gaps in learning. Each year group and curriculum leaders have produced a ‘Covid Action Plan’ document outlining not only the gaps, but how they are looking to continue to build on our curriculum.
For most of our children being back at school, receiving high quality targeted first teaching will be enough for them to close the gaps in learning as many of our families did well with our online learning package during lockdown. However, there are a group of children that need a little more. In the Autumn Term of 2020 we started intervention programmes for our children in key stage 2 who would benefit either from more intensive work or a different approach to learning. In some instances it is a different person to the class teacher delivering the programme (in a Covid secure environment) which may give learners a different perspective. Interventions in key stage one and foundation are currently done within the school day but we may extend this as the year progresses.
One group of children who we need to pay particular attention to are the disadvantaged children. The Education Endowment Foundation’s ‘Rapid Evidence Review’ suggests that school closures will have reversed the progress made to narrow the gap in the last decade. Their projections suggest that school closures will have widened the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers, likely reversing progress made to narrow the gap since 2011. The median estimate indicates that the gap would widen by 36%. The Pupil Premium leaders in the school are aware of the potential impact and have an action plan in place to monitor the impact of the closure on this group of children.
It is important to note that the children were assessed prior to starting their intervention programme and the progress of all individuals is being closely tracked using the plan, do, review format. They will then be assessed again at the end of the intervention to assess how effective the work has been and what the next steps are for each individual child.
Below, the box on the left hand side gives information on how we are currently spending our ‘Covid Catch-Up Premium’. The box on the right is an overview of the intervention package we are currently offering including an example of a year group SMART Plan.
Within this academic year (20/21) we will spend more than has been allocated to us, therefore we will use some pupil premium funding and money from the main school budget to cover these essential costs. Our approach is fluid and flexible as we are taking the lead from the children with their needs and requirements.
'The government announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up lost time after school closure. This is especially important for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds.'
'Having listened to senior leaders speak so passionately about providing the very best possible education for the children following the period of lockdown, I know that the school will work tirelessly and relentlessly to ensure that the catch up programme is successful.'