Excellence Awards

15th October 2013 - Catch Up® Excellence Awards: Caerphilly Catch Up® Team - BRONZE award winner (Catch Up® Literacy)

Organisation: Caerphilly Catch Up® Team
Intervention: Catch Up® Literacy
Submitted by: Keri Ellis

The Caerphilly Catch Up® Team targets pupils who are identified through Authority screening as under attaining in literacy. The team is funded through a grant and currently employs 8.5 full time accredited Catch Up® Literacy equivalent deliverers. All schools within the Authority have been offered the accredited training, for which there has been a 97% take up through all phases.

The Team was formed in 2005, and initially only Yrs 2 & 3 were taught but, building on its success, this was expanded into Yrs 5-7 to include an underachievement of boys project.

In December 2010, 14 secondary schools were invited to implement the Catch Up® programme in their schools; 12 of them accepted and the Caerphilly Catch Up® Team helped to set it up. Books were ordered and levelled for them, and monitoring and observations undertaken.

The Catch Up® Team form part of a graduated response within Caerphilly, with regard to the provision of appropriate learning opportunities for under attaining/achieving pupils.


The Catch Up® Co-ordinator keeps schools up-to-date with any relevant developments including training, as well as sending out progress charts for the

Catch Up® learners, via email. There is a strong link between each team member and their designated schools, and much feedback is given to class teachers, SENCos and Head teacher on an individual informal basis.

The Team has devised a leaflet to inform parents of the intervention and their child’s involvement in it. Progress material is readily available and is often shared by the class teachers during parents’ evening.


Once the learners across the county have been screened and the most appropriate children are selected, then the times can be allocated to schools. This year, all Year 3 settings within Caerphilly have received support from the Central Team.

Schools are required to carry out the second session, and other peripatetic services visit schools, so it is important to set up the times for the Caerphilly’s Team as early as possible at the beginning of the school year, in consultation with the schools.

Pupil attainment is measured by a standardised test at 3 points per academic year, alongside the
Catch Up® diagnostic tests

Results are reported back to schools and any concerns are raised.

Each member of the Catch Up® Team was selected after interview for the position. All have attended the Catch Up® Training and have pursued the OCN accreditation. New team members are allocated with a mentor and have the opportunity to shadow more experienced deliverers. The Catch Up® Team is observed and their booklets monitored every term to ensure that they deliver high quality sessions, which are faithful to the intervention process. The team have been offered a range of training opportunities to enhance their skills.

The Catch Up® Team meets regularly to share good practice. The team has a strong work ethic and excellent communication.

Case Study 1 - Catch Up® Literacy
Child A was in Year 5 when he started Catch Up®. At that time, he said ‘I don’t really like reading and don’t read at all at home’. In 9 months, he has made a total gain of 48 months.

He improved so much whilst undertaking the Catch Up® intervention year, his school put him forward for the ‘most improved reader’ competition. Child A became a finalist and was delighted to receive an award from Welsh rugby international Scott Quinell. His mum said she is amazed with his progress during the year and he is now showing more of an interest in reading at home.

Child A has now totally changed his perception to reading, he said ‘I used to read very little and now I read a lot, now I'm reading lots I'm loads better!’

Case Study 2 - Catch Up® Literacy
Child B’s age in Sept 2011 was 7 years and 5 months with a reading age of 4 years 3 months. His confidence was low and he was hindered by a speech impediment. He never read at home, only in school during group reading sessions or teacher/pupil reading time. He seldom participated in classroom discussions due to his low self-esteem.

Before Catch Up® sessions, he “found reading very hard,” but now “enjoys reading at home most nights”. He found retaining of what he read quite difficult, which hindered his ability to respond and understand literal comprehension.

In February 2012, his reading age had increased to 6.0 years and there was a difference in his outlook. He began improving in his ability to use strategies within his reading, breaking down words and using blends, rather than guessing from the initial phonemes.

When the standardised reading test was re-administered in June 2012, Child B attained a reading age of 7 years 10 months, giving him an increase of 43 months progress.

He is still a very shy child, but his whole attitude to reading has changed. He still has some way to go but the biggest step has been cleared for him.

To support the development of Literacy skills and self-confidence for struggling learners shaped around individual needs.