Excellence Awards

18th October 2013 - Catch Up® Excellence Awards: St Helen's R.C. Infant&Nursery School, Barry - SILVER award winner

Organisation: St Helen's R.C. Infant & Nursery School
Intervention: Catch Up® Literacy, Catch Up® Numeracy
Submitted by: Clare Power

Our school is situated in the seaside town of Barry, in the Vale of Glamorgan. It was built in 1892, next door to the Parish church of St Helen's, which is in the town centre. We provide a Catholic education for pupils from the age of three to seven who live in Barry and the rural Vale.

Approximately 90% of our pupils live locally, with 10% travelling by school bus. We are one of only two infant schools in the Vale, all the others are primary schools.

There are 136 pupils in the infant school, with 26 in nursery. These are divided into two reception (age 4-5), one Year 1 (age 5-6) and one Year 2 (age 6-7) classes, and a mixed Year 1/2 (age 5-7) class. Currently, 48 (26%) of our pupils are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Catch Up® Literacy was first introduced into our school in 2005, and has been used every year since with rewarding results.

LSAs are chosen for their enthusiasm, professionalism and availability to work with Year 2 children targeted for the intervention. The Catch Up® co-ordinator observes sessions on a regular basis and shares ideas and suggestions gained from local Catch Up® Co-ordinators meetings.

Learners are selected according to YARC results along with the professional judgement of both teaching and support staff. Children are targeted and assessed during the Summer term of Year 1, ready to begin sessions in the Autumn term.

Case Study 1 - Catch Up® Literacy
Reading age at start of intervention - 6.8 (Catch Up® Literacy level 4)
Reading age at end of intervention - 9.5 (Catch Up® Literacy level 7)

Child C is an EAL learner who began Catch Up® Literacy in Year 2. His deliverer chose books, where possible, that would engage his interest and promote conversation. His progression with conversation continued as did his reading progress. He really enjoyed putting expression into his reading and this developed into full volume fire engine siren noises!!

His class teacher commented on his increasing confidence to speak in class and answer questions. Also, when working in small groups, his contributions were increasing and his handwriting showed constant signs of improvement. By June of 2013, his reading age had increased by 33 months. As he transfers to Junior school, he does so with much more confidence in his own ability to read, write and converse with adults and his peers.

Case Study 2 - Catch Up® Numeracy
Chronological age - 6 years 4 months
NFER Maths Age June 2012 - 6 years 1 month (Catch Up® Numeracy level 2)
NFER Maths Age May 2013 - 7 years 10 months (Catch Up® Numeracy level 6)

Child B is extremely chatty and keen to learn new things but cannot remain on task independently. As soon as Catch Up® Numeracy sessions began, he seemed to switch on to numbers! He enjoyed the 1:1 sessions and grasped new concepts quickly. He really enjoyed colouring the learner profile as he could see the progress he was making.

His father commented on his sudden interest in numbers at home, saying that he adds the numbers on car number plates and divides sweets into equal piles between him and his sister. His class teacher noticed an improvement in his attention span during class numeracy activities and less disruptive behaviour, which was an added bonus. A definite success story!

To continue to successfully implement Catch Up®, ensuring quality of delivery is maintained by arranging regular ‘Sharing of good practice’ meetings with our school.