Excellence Awards

10th April 2015 - Catch Up® Excellence Awards: Llanhari Primary School, Pontyclun - BRONZE award winner (Catch Up® Literacy)

Organisation: Llanhari Primary School
Intervention: Catch Up® Literacy
Submitted by: Mrs Emma Coates

Llanhari Primary School is a village school in Rhondda Cynon Taf. The school has an average of 33% free school meals and children come from a mixed background. Catch Up® was introduced to the school as a Local Authority-wide project in 2006. The coordinator of the project for the Local Authority at the time is now our Head teacher (Emma Coates), so Catch Up® continues to have a high priority in our school. Staff were trained by Emma Coates and, originally, the project was delivered by our school staff and a member of the Local Authority central team. This partnership ensured that Catch Up® sessions were delivered correctly and that school-based staff could be supported. This partnership provision has since ended but, as Catch Up® is fully embedded into the school, it continues nevertheless. We have had excellent gains every year from our children receiving Catch Up® intervention. The one-to-one sessions suit our children and we have built up a comprehensive range of reading material.

Catch Up® Literacy has been embedded in Llanhari Primary since 2006, when the RAISE funding enabled us to employ a LSA specifically to deliver Catch Up® sessions. The fantastic results over subsequent years ensured that the intervention kept its place, and even grew, throughout the school. We now have 5 LSAs who have received Catch Up® training, with 3 of them delivering sessions on a regular basis to pupils from Year 2 through to Year 6. Pupils are selected using the results from the Salford Sentence Reading Test (conducted twice a year) and by working closely with class teachers to meet pupils’ individual needs. Pupils taken onto the scheme do not always fit in to the -6 to -18 month bracket, (as was the original LA project criteria). Over the years, Catch Up® has proven to be an effective intervention for pupils with Reading Age gaps as large as -48mths, and we have been fortunate to be able to facilitate such pupils where an individual one-to-one session had been deemed to be the most appropriate method of support based on their history, personality or specific needs.

Parents are always informed in writing when their child has been allocated a place and are invited to informal meetings if they would like more information. However, Catch Up® is now so well established, that parents are more than happy for their child to be included.

Each LSA creates their own timetable to accommodate the two sessions per pupil, per week. Whilst timetables are adhered to, and the importance of Catch Up® is recognised throughout the school, there is an element of flexibility and good communication between the LSAs and class teachers to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Our chosen LSAs have a love of reading which they endeavour to pass on to the pupils. They attempt to make every session fun and stress free. They have a fantastic rapport with the children and truly care about their progress. The scheme is well resourced with a huge selection of books and any concerns can be discussed with class teachers or the SEN teacher. Catch Up® observations are conducted annually by the Head, using the Catch Up® monitoring forms.

Case Study 1 - Catch Up® Literacy
Child A joined Llanhari Primary in September 2013, with a reading age of 5y 07m – 26 months behind her chronological age of 7y 09m. Although Child A had fairly good phonic knowledge, and was able to recognise a high proportion of the sight words on Catch Up® Word Lists 1 & 2, she did not appear to have the techniques to decode any unfamiliar words. As a new pupil to the school, Child A was extremely timid and lacking in confidence. It was decided that Catch Up® was the best intervention to suit her needs.

Child A truly flourished during her Catch Up® sessions and quickly learned a variety of techniques to help her with any new or tricky words. She really enjoys reading now and is always keen to discuss the stories.

In her last Salford Test (June 14), Child A achieved a Reading Age of 8y 00m – just 7 months behind her chronological age – an overall gain of 29 months.

1. To develop a warm caring secure environment which encourages each pupil to recognise their value both as an individual and a member of the school community.
2. Each child is encouraged to develop his / her fullest potential in a happy, caring, stimulating atmosphere.
3. We aim to ensure pupils acquire the necessary basic skills for life and consequently the curriculum will enable the child to:
Read, write and speak effectively
Use number and other mathematical concepts effectively
Understand the world in which we live, groups and nations and appreciate human achievement.
Be aware of the national heritage of Wales
Develop respect for religion and cultures.