Literacy and Numeracy
Year 7 English and Literacy Catch-up
Several strategies were used in 2019-20 to intervene and support the effective progress of those pupils with low starting points in English at the beginning of Year 7. The Literacy Coordinator supported by the English department oversees this work.
Literacy and Interventions
Using KS2 data, reading age and information collected during primary school visits, two groups of students were identified during the first half term to be part of small literacy groups. Unlike in previous years, these students were not withdrawn from Spanish lessons for additional literacy sessions, following a skills focused curriculum. Students’ reading ages improved significantly and those with specific learning needs were able to have targeted support.
Part of the catch up premium was used to deliver 1-1 tuition for students identified as having low starting points in English. This was delivered by Sixth Form tutors and overseen by teachers who supported with planning and delivery. Students who regularly attended the additional tuition sessions increased their reading age.
Sixth Form Literacy support
Students in these literacy groups also had a lesson a week working one-to-one with a Sixth Form Literacy Mentor. This has proved a popular Enrichment option for the Sixth Form and feedback from the Literacy Mentors was extremely positive across the year with many students opting to continue with the option for the whole year. This year, students were screened using a new model to identify specific literacy difficulties, and a personalised programme of reading and spelling was created for each student and delivered by the Literacy Mentor with the support of the Enrichment team. Students were screened again towards the end of the year and all had made significant progress. These sessions had a huge impact on student self-esteem and confidence. Pupil Voice research was, again, incredibly positive with all Year 7 students finding it a positive experience and all felt it was supporting their reading and writing. This model remains an extremely successful and cost-effective way of delivering a personalised programme of learning to students with the weakest literacy skills.
Parental support evening
Identified students and their parents were invited to an evening delivered by a reading specialist and shows strategies that could be used to support students with their reading. Resources were provided.
Provision for students in receipt of catch-up funding for Mathematics
We were delighted to offer a range of support opportunities to our year 7 students who entered our school below age related expectations in Mathematics. The students benefitted from the following provisions:
We believe that nothing can replace high quality teaching and for the majority of pupils this will be enough for them to make progress. As such our pupils who most struggle with mathematics are taught in two small groups for all their maths lessons (this year the groups are a maximum of 12) as opposed to withdrawing them from other lessons, they focus on the core skills and informal teacher assessment as well as close working with TA’s allows the teacher to work on filling any gaps these pupils may have in their knowledge. We have found in previous years that this has allowed these pupils to make accelerated progress in order for them to re-join their peers at various points through year 7.
Those pupils who we feel still needed extra intervention but did not fall in to our support groups are offered intervention once a week during registration. These pupils work with a teacher on numeracy skills but also to support the content they are covering in class. These groups change regularly throughout the year.
We have continued to support last year’s cohort into year 8 and similarly the previous year’s cohort into Year 9. Year 8 students are offered an after school club to work with the support of some of our A Level students. This is to ensure that these students benefit long term and that their progress does not slow. Registration Numeracy sessions are offered to all year groups with years 10 and 11 having a focus on exam questions for those we feel are at risk of not securing their grade 4.