Excellence Awards

10th December 2014 - Catch Up® Excellence Awards: Callington Community College - BRONZE award winner (Catch Up® Literacy)

Organisation: Callington Community College
Intervention: Catch Up® Literacy
Submitted by: Sam Jones

Callington Community College is a mixed Comprehensive secondary school for ages 11 - 19. We became an Academy Trust in April 2011. There are approximately 1450 on roll, with 5.5% on the SEN register and 9.6% of pupils eligible for free school meals. At Callington Community College, we want each of our students to achieve their very best and to develop the skills, attributes and knowledge to reach their dreams. We strive to create and sustain an outstanding College where all staff and students thrive. High quality learning and teaching, an engaging and motivating curriculum experience, and emotional health and well-being enable everything else to flourish. In order to achieve our aim, we prioritise three Core Principles: high expectations, excellent teaching: outstanding learning, and exemplary behaviour and positive relationships.

As a school, we decided to take part in the Catch Up® Literacy Project, as we were looking for an intervention which would engage students and, hopefully, encourage them to be more independent learners, preparing them for the future. The project context gave rigour to the introduction of Catch Up® to our college and brought literacy to the forefront again.

We have now had over 20 staff trained, from admin staff to our Vice Principal, and are developing a slim-lined system for communicating key literacy information to and from class teachers.

The success of the project enabled us to secure funding to continue and expand the scheme within our college for 2014-15. Our aim is to make this a truly cross-phase initiative in the summer of 2015.

Catch Up® Literacy has made a huge difference to Callington and is now a strong strand of our nurturing and intervention for year 7 students. The children really enjoy the one-to-one contact and many of them have commented that it has been the first time that they have completed reading a book! We have had a number of students approaching us wanting to get involved!

Case Study 1 - Catch Up® Literacy
Child A began Catch Up® sessions in year 7 and was a very shy and quiet student. She did not want to read in class for fear that she made a mistake. She would often guess at words and would rush through the text. She would also ignore punctuation, which caused a lack of fluency, expression and comprehension. We worked on increasing the volume when she read out loud and made a pact to 'never leave a difficult word behind'.

She now has a go at decoding words and frequently surprises herself when she gets it right. After 6 months, she is more comfortable and confident with reading. Her spelling and punctuation have also dramatically approved.

She then began to bring in short stories she had written at home. She volunteered to read aloud a piece that she had written, in front of a class of year 7, 8 and 9 students, and even entered the BBC 500 word short story competition all because her confidence had increased.

She has successfully made her way up three Catch Up® Literacy levels and we are about to embark on the fourth. Catch Up® has had a positive impact on Child A's self-esteem and she is a happier and more confident student in the classroom.

Case Study 2 - Catch Up® Literacy
Child B's opinion of himself and reading was very negative. He did not read at home and would actively avoid reading at school, as he was embarrassed. At first, he would read the text far too quickly, which caused him to stumble over words he could read when we went back to them. By stumbling over the words, he would then lose the meaning behind the text. We focused on slowing down his reading and he soon became more fluent.

He has now moved up three Catch Up® Literacy levels and his self-esteem has improved greatly. He knew there were benefits to reading and now comes into school and talks about books he has read at home. He also goes to the library and selects books at an appropriate level for him and he is happy to discuss the texts. He will read out loud in class confidently and his whole opinion of himself has risen.

His spelling has also improved. When Child B was first assessed, he got 7 words right on Catch Up® word list 3. Remarkably, by Easter, he managed to spell 45 words correctly. Child B has made a massive improvement, can read better and is a lot happier.

"to ensure that each individual is educated and supported to succeed in the world today - as an individual, as a partner, as a member of a team and as a citizen."