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60 people met in the historic committee rooms of Glamorgan Building, University of Cardiff for the annual ‘Catching up with Catch Up®’ conference, Wales. And there was a lot of catching up to do!
The more observant amongst the audience quickly noticed that the Director of Catch Up®, Julie Lawes and the Deputy Director, Graham Sigley were not present. But we had to wait till the end of the conference for an explanation of their absence!
Claire Rowlands, Deputy Director of the Curriculum Division of the Welsh Government got the conference underway with a whistle-stop tour of the changes that have been going on in education in Wales over the past year (and there have been quite a few!). Claire explained that as the first years of change are settling down and the new Literacy and Numeracy Framework, and National Tests are becoming familiar to teachers, the Welsh Government is focussing on providing more support for schools to meet the ambitious new targets.
Always a popular feature at the ‘Catching up with Catch Up®’ conference are the case studies presented by schools who have taken part in the Catch Up® Excellence Awards. This year, Gold Excellence Award holders Victoria Primary School in Penarth, with over 300 pupils on roll, told us about the excellent work they are doing with Catch Up® Literacy and Catch Up® Numeracy.
Ysgol Clocaenog, in Denbighshire, with only 44 pupils on roll, achieved a well-deserved Bronze Excellence Award for Catch Up® Literacy. This was achieved despite dramatic changes, as Ysgol Clocaenog actually closed in July to re-open this academic year as a combined school!
We then heard from two Consortia about how they are embedding Catch Up® in their strategic plans. Firstly, Siwan Meirion from the North Wales Consortium (who have been working with Catch Up since the launch of the Consortia) outlined the impressive systems that are in place to ensure that a cycle of Catch Up® training, Catch Up® delivery and Catch Up® monitoring (in English and Welsh) are fully integrated into the consortium plans.
Next, Alan Edwards and his team from the South West and Mid Wales Consortium talked about their vision for the future with ambitious plans for ensuring that all pupils who could benefit from either Catch Up Literacy (Llythrennedd Dyfal Donc) or Catch Up Numeracy (Rhifedd Dyfal Donc) are able to access it.
Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for – where were Julie and Graham? It turns out they had been invited to a Dragon’s Den type meeting with captains of industry who manage charitable funding, to bid for consultancy support and money that would enable Catch Up® to make a huge step change in its capacity. The aim is that within 5 years, Catch Up® Literacy and/or Catch Up® Numeracy will be in 40% of schools in England and Wales! This will mean reaching out to 25,000 new trainees!!
An announcement will be made next month about the results of the bidding process…..so watch this space!
Download presentations from the day on our conferences page.
Dee Reid, Catch Up® Co-creator and Accredited Trainer
Catch Up® is the working name of The Caxton Trust, a not-for-profit charity registered in England and Wales (1072425) and Scotland (SC047557) as well as a company limited by guarantee (03476510). Catch Up is a registered trademark.