Excellence Awards

29th October 2014 - Catch Up® Excellence Awards: Ysgol Caer Drewyn, Denbighshire - GOLD award winner

Organisation: Ysgol Caer Drewyn
Intervention: Catch Up® Literacy, Catch Up® Numeracy
Submitted by: Emma Vaughan-Evans

Ysgol Caer Drewyn is situated in the Clawdd Poncen area of the small rural town of Corwen. The vast majority of pupils come from the immediate vicinity of the school and the surrounding area. Presently there are 83 pupils on roll, including 9 part-time nursery. The pupils are organised into four mixed-ability and mixed-ages classes and are taught by four full-time teachers.

The area the school serves is neither prosperous nor economically disadvantaged. Approximately 24% of pupils are registered as being entitled to receive free school meals, which is slightly higher than the County and national averages.
English is the language spoken at home by almost all the pupils, although a good number of the pupils’ parents understand spoken Welsh. The school teaches Welsh second language programmes of study. There are 6% of children who have English as an additional language (EAL). Around a third of pupils (37%) are identified as having Additional Learning needs (ALN), which is substantially higher than the national average. 2 pupils have a statement of ALN.

Catch Up® Numeracy and Catch Up® Literacy are now well established in Ysgol Caer Drewyn. Both the Catch Up® Numeracy and Literacy coordinators have attended the Catch Up® Coordinator course and work closely on monitoring procedures, progress and the intervention. Several staff are trained to deliver both Catch Up® Literacy and Numeracy.

Students are identified using their Standardised score from the National Tests. They are then allocated a member of staff to work with for the year. The target number of sessions per term is established in September, which staff aim to achieve.
Parents are informed that their child is to be placed on the Catch Up® programme and are able to come in to school to speak to the Co-ordinator regarding the intervention. The parents are given an information sheet explaining how a Catch Up® session is run and are also given the opportunity to observe their child receiving a Catch Up® session.

The Headteacher identifies staff to be trained in the intervention, based on performance management reviews and individual strengths and interests. Catch Up® delivery within our school is overseen by the coordinators and fed into staff meetings and SMT; booklets are monitored termly and staff are observed annually. The children who receive the intervention are tracked and success is discussed with class teachers and then with parents during parents’ evening. The Headteacher and school ALNCo are kept well informed throughout the year, as are Governors, on the specific results.

Case Study 1 - Catch Up® Literacy
Pupil A receives free school meals and her attendance at school is an average of 99%; she has little support at home with her reading and homework. Pupil A received 43 sessions during her eight months on the Catch Up® Literacy support programme and progressed through five Catch Up® levels. Pupil A made 17 months gain; a ratio gain of 2.1.

During Catch Up®, she was identified as having made significant progress in her decoding and blending skills, as well as comprehension and spelling skills. The class teacher identified an immense impact on her confidence, attitude and motivation towards reading in class. Pupil A’s parents attended a Catch Up® Digital Games information session. Although she has not accessed these at home, Pupil A does access them regularly at school in class time as well as the additional lunch time homework club.

Case Study 2 - Catch Up® Numeracy
Pupil B is currently in year 3. Her standardised score at the beginning of year 2 was 86, her maths age was scored at 5 years 2 months and was, therefore, 9 months behind her chronological age. She was identified to participate in the Catch Up® Numeracy programme due to her low standardised test score and concerns expressed by her class teacher that she was not achieving her full potential, and also due to the fact that she had attended a first language Welsh school during year 1. Pupil B was described as a quiet girl who lacked confidence.

During the Catch Up® Numeracy assessments, it became apparent that Pupil B was a very visual learner and would benefit from using the Numicon resources during the sessions and also during class teaching. Pupil B completed her Catch Up® sessions with a teaching assistant she was familiar with from the Foundation Phase and who was in their second year of delivering Catch Up® Numeracy.

At the end of the intervention, Pupil B’s standardised score had risen to 94. She was now only five months behind her chronological age. Her accuracy in mental calculation had improved and she was more confident completing written work in class. Her enthusiasm towards the subject had grown.

To provide a balanced education in the fullest sense and to encourage pupils to develop their individual personalities, interests and potential to the full.