Find out more

Sign up for our brochure

Request a full Catch Up® information brochure and details of our free information webinars

Find out more


4th December 2020 - Any advice on delivering Catch Up® sessions with Covid restrictions?

This is a question that we have been asked several times over the past few months!

As you might expect, our usual advice is to follow and keep to the protocols set by your school or Local Authority – and that still remains the case. However, we really wanted to expand on this, as we are aware that there are many schools who are engaging with Catch Up® for the first time. We felt it may be useful to offer some guidance that is a little more specific, so decided to draw on the expertise of experienced Catch Up® deliverers – and who better to ask for their advice and top tips than some of our school-based colleagues?

Here are their thoughts; we hope you will find their suggestions helpful for your own situation!

Colleague A – a SENCO – told us:

"The reality is, Catch Up® lends itself to Covid-safe practice with very few adult, one child, one progress booklet, one book, one session at a time!

Specific advice:

Take time to prepare.....set up a poly pocket for each learner containing several weeks of session record sheets, a pencil, and stickers of course!

In terms of books (for Catch Up® Literacy), restrict yourself to one book per pupil, rather than using the same book for a number of learners at the same level, OR – if you have limited books to use – have an identified place/system to quarantine books in between uses.

Use the online booklist to identify more books to use – it's quick, easy and online......ideal for tracking down and allocating a Catch Up® Literacy level to random books we all have tucked away in our classrooms.

Don't forget to carry out a standardised reading or number/maths test, to baseline and provide evidence of impact – the 'normal' tracking systems in our schools may be a little unreliable for a while.

Remember to keep a log of the sessions delivered – we will have learners and adults self-isolating, missing their Catch Up® sessions, so we will need to keep an eye on how much support the learners are actually receiving.

Finally, don't rush, don't worry! It may take a little longer to get set up because of Covid restrictions/risk assessment, but it's worth it, on so many levels. The one-to-one session encourages pupil well-being by giving an opportunity for the supporting adult to 'check in' with the learner, and the learner and adult both appreciate the security of routine and structure – and success!”

Colleague B – an Intervention Teacher – added her thoughts:

“I would agree that Catch Up® does lend itself perfectly to suit Covid restrictions.

Some points to consider:

  • as we are only with the learner for 15-minute sessions, this complies with our risk assessments

  • you can deliver at a suitable distance / side by side, avoiding face-on interactions

  • taking learners from different ‘bubbles’ is possible, if you consider timetabling carefully – if there are learners from the same year group bubble, aim to timetable these in blocks

Using shared resources between learners in Catch Up® Numeracy and Literacy:

  • we have laminated items in the past and these can easily be wiped down with antibacterial wipes

  • if learners are from the same bubble, resources can be shared without the need for wiping down between different learners

  • if resources allow, packs can be made up of ‘stock’ items which can be used for each bubble and can be stored in plastic zip wallets, again, avoiding the need to wipe down between learners

  • each individual in our setting has their own pack / wallet with their progress booklet and several session sheets – this can now also include their individual pencils / writing equipment, stickers etc

Limiting movement of learners to different locations is preferred, so taking learners from different bubbles to the intervention room is not possible – finding alternative spaces near the learner’s class is the best option.

Having initial group information sessions with parents / carers can be done via Zoom (or whichever platform your setting is currently using). This way of communicating can also be suitable for progress meetings, as you can show progress booklets quite effectively.”

News archive