Excellence Awards

24th March 2014 - Catch Up® Excellence Awards: Newbridge School, Caerphilly - BRONZE award winner (Catch Up® Literacy)

Organisation: Newbridge School
Intervention: Catch Up® Literacy
Submitted by: Zoe Heath and Julie Morgan

Newbridge School is a mixed sex, 11-16 school based in the South East valleys of Wales. The school currently educates approximately 930 pupils. Newbridge School strives to provide maximum opportunity for all pupils to achieve their potential.

Catch Up® Literacy was introduced to Newbridge School as an intervention to support struggling readers. The aim was to close the gap between these learners’ chronological ages and their reading ages.

The school recognised the success that the intervention was having in their feeder primary schools and saw implementing the intervention as consolidating the sound learning process that it embeds.
The intervention has been used successfully with year 7 pupils, identified by the schools, since December 2010.

In September each year, all year 7 pupils sit the GRTII Reading Test. The results are collated and, from these, pupils are selected to attend Catch Up® Literacy sessions. The criteria used to identify pupils is for them to have a reading age between 12-18 months below their chronological age.

The school has devised a letter to parents to explain the intervention and gain parental consent for their child to participate. Each pupil attending Catch Up® will attend 2 x 15 minute sessions per week and it is essential that these sessions do not impact too heavily on any one subject. Therefore, each session is timetabled so that a child does not miss the same subject more than once over a two week rota.

The teachers at school are informed as to when the sessions are and which pupils it affects. Pupils are reminded that they must copy up any work missed from lessons.

To monitor progress the pupils are re-tested in February and June using the GRTII. The results can be compared and scrutinised. The staff who deliver the intervention have attended Catch Up® training and have achieved the OCN Level 2 qualification for Delivering Catch Up® Literacy.

Regular support meetings take place with the Catch Up® deliverers and the Literacy Coordinator within the school. This gives the opportunity to discuss how the intervention is working and to ensure that the sessions delivered are of a high standard and are faithful to the intervention process.

Case Study 1 - Catch Up® Literacy
Child A was a year 7 pupil who had a reading age of 9 years when he began the Catch Up® Literacy intervention in September 2012. The gap between his reading age and chronological age was 25 months at this time. He was a reluctant reader who lacked confidence in his own ability. At initial interview, he reported that he would score himself 5/10 for how easy he found reading. He also said he felt “a bit nervous” about reading in front of people.

Child A attended 28 sessions and reported an increase in his confidence – scoring himself 7/10 in June 2012. He now stated he felt “more confident” when asked to read aloud, “depending on who was there”. He felt much more comfortable to read to his parents and within his class, where he is familiar with everyone.

Child A’s reading age had increased to 10 years and 4 months by the end of his time on the intervention.

Child A states that, “ Catch Up® has helped me with my reading and my confidence. I think it will help me with my other subjects at school too!”

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