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Year 7 Catch-Up Fund

Background

In 2013, the Government introduced the Year 7 Catch-Up Fund. The original purpose of this was to enable secondary schools to help support all students who did not achieve at least level 4 in the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum (SATS) tests in reading and/or mathematics. During 2015-16, schools received £500 for each Year 7 student who had not attained at least level 4 in reading and/or mathematics (maximum £500 per pupil) at Key Stage 2 National Curriculum tests. 

It is anticipated that the funding for schools for 2016-17 will be at the same level as for 2015-16.

Strategy

Lady Manners School strives to attain the highest standards and we ensure that all students have equal access to learning and activities. We provide a wide range of ways to learn, to enable all students to take part fully in learning and to do their best.

In deciding how we spend the Year 7 Catch-Up Fund, we recognise that not all students took the Key Stage 2 tests and there will be cases where some students currently in Year 7 are not yet working at the expected end of Key Stage 2 level and we do not directly receive funding for these students from this fund. As such the school will sometimes involve any students or groups of students the school has identified as needing additional support in reading and/or mathematics to achieve the best results in all subjects.

In allocating this fund consideration will be given to those students who:

  • have not attained at the expected level in reading and/or mathematics at Key Stage 2 as identified by the national curriculum tests
  • are currently working below the expected level in lessons
  • have a below average reading age from National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) tests
  • achieve below the expected level in the October Year 7 mathematics test

How we allocate the Year 7 Catch-Up Fund

Current academic year: 2016-17

It is anticipated that the school will receive Year 7 Catch-Up funding of £15,000 for the current academic year. The additional funding will be used to provide a variety of strategies, which will enable us to tailor our approach depending on individual student needs:

  • Targeted one-to-two sessions (8-10 hours):
    • Sessions to run in reading and mathematics over the course of Year 7: one session in the spring term, and one in the summer term
    • Students withdrawn from one single or double lesson (not English or mathematics) once a week; the lesson will be from a specific subject for the duration of a particular topic
    • The sessions involve experienced teachers based in the library, with appropriate resources, e.g. books for reluctant readers, e-readers, maths puzzles/problems
  • The use of Year 12 Buddy Readers during form time
    • Currently over 35 Year 12 students are regularly reading with current Year 7
    • In addition, over 25 Year 12 students will continue to read with both Year 8 and Year 9 students, following on from students identified for intervention from previous Year 7 Catch-Up cohorts
  • The use of the Conquer Maths online resource during form-time
    • Supervised and supported by the Learning Support Department
    • Students will be able to access the resource at home
  • Further development of the Lexia reading course
    • Students will be withdrawn from form periods appropriate to work on this resource with the Learning Support Department
  • Year 7 Catch-Up Parents' Evening/Days
    • Mathematics: parents invited to see how mathematics is taught; resources will be available and they will leave with strategies they can use to support their child. Ran successfully in 2015-16 as Adds for Dads and Sums for Mums
  • Enhanced in-class support in English and mathematics lessons from the Learning Support Department
    • One double lesson supported by an experienced SEN teacher; a single and double lesson supported by a Teaching Assistant

Previous academic year: 2015-16

In March 2016 the school received a Year 7 Catch-Up funding of £15,000 for 2015-16. The additional funding was used to provide the following range of activities:

  • Targeted one-to-two sessions (8-10 hours)
  • The use of Year 12 Buddy Readers during form time
  • The use of the Conquer Maths online resource during form-time
  • Further development of the Lexia reading course
  • Year 7 Catch-Up Parents' Evening/Days
  • Enhanced in-class support in English and mathematics lessons from the Learning Support Department

Measuring the impact of the Year 7 Catch-Up Fund

What evaluation measures do we use?
  • Although there is no longer a system for assessing with levels nationally, we will continue to use the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum test scores to give an expected GCSE grade.  Students’ progress towards this grade will be reported at regular stages throughout the school year and this will form one aspect of our analysis of the impact the intervention has made.
  • NFER (reading tests) are taken at the start of Year 7 to establish an initial reading age, then students are re-tested at the end of Year 7, measured against the same NFER.
  • Attendance at form-time intervention sessions.
  • Student voice: students are interviewed at the end of the year.
Impact of the expenditure on students

In 2015-16 there were 38 Year 7 students identified for intervention.  They were paired up with Sixth Form students for weekly reading sessions in the library, to complement the one reading session per week in tutorial time.  All 38 students were re-tested using the NFER tests in the Summer Term:

  • 25 students had improved their reading age by more than a year
  • 4 had improved in line with expectation, improving their reading age by one year
  • It should be noted that there was less than a calendar year between the first and second test being administered, so an increase of a year in reading age can be considered above expected progress

We also identified 27 Year 9 students from lower ability groups for intervention, from the initial Year 7 cohort in 2013-14, and paired them up for reading intervention.  We were able to take 8 off the scheme by the end of the first term, as they had made sufficient progress when judged against NFER tests.

There were 26 students who received mathematics Catch-Up sessions. Of these, 5 had no prior Key Stage 2 data, but were tested internally at the end of the first half term, 10 had a Key Stage 2 mathematics test level 3 and 11 had a low level 4. Based on the Year 7 reported levels:

  • 17 out of 21 (81%) had made at least expected progress against aspirational targets
  • 2 out of the 5 with no prior attainment (40%) had made above expected progress, based on initial tests in school

The attendance at sessions, at all levels has been very high, particularly for those using the Year 12 students for Buddy reading. The Adds for Dads and Sums for Mums session was well received, despite some initial trepidation from parents.

We believe that the strategy of withdrawing students from tutorial and some lessons for intervention, although not ideal, provides students with the skills they require to improve their learning in all other areas of the curriculum. As such, this will continue to be a focus for the use of the Catch-Up fund in 2016-17.

The next review of the school's Year 7 Catch-Up Strategy will happen in June 2017.