Excellence Awards

23rd March 2018 - Catch Up® Excellence Awards: Redhill School, STOURBRIDGE - SILVER award winner

Organisation: Redhill School
Intervention: Catch Up® Literacy, Catch Up® Numeracy
Submitted by: Kathy Hull

Redhill School is a large, outstanding and oversubscribed secondary school (1,200) in Stourbridge. Redhill School is very academic, and achieves good attainment and progress for its students. The school has a high number of SEN pupils, often with very complex needs, largely due to the popularity of the school. Redhill School does have a varied socio-economic catchment area, and approximately 3% of our cohort each year arrive below expected standards and require intervention in either literacy, numeracy, or both.

In May 2016, in my role of SENCO, I began looking for an effective numeracy intervention. During this investigation, I came across a charity group called ‘Catch Up®’. I completed the courses in June 2016 for both Catch Up® Literacy and Catch Up® Numeracy, and began a trial of the interventions in October of that academic year. When at the training in June, I was so impressed with what I had seen that I put money by from my coming SEND budget, so I could develop the intervention work for Literacy and Numeracy that we were doing at Redhill, and then sent 2 of the Level 3 TAs on the Literacy and Numeracy courses as well. We are now in our second year of Catch Up®, with 3 deliverers of Catch Up® Literacy and 3 deliverers of Catch Up® Numeracy. Redhill School is also now a Catch Up® Partner School.

The Catch Up® Literacy and Catch Up® Numeracy interventions are implemented and monitored by the SENCO (SLT). Catch Up® Literacy and Numeracy are part of our intervention provision, primarily for our Year 7 pupils who arrive at Redhill below the expected standard. As a school, we have – this year – also used Catch Up® Literacy with 3 of our very weak Year 11 pupils, to boost their literacy skills as they head towards their final GCSEs.
Students for Catch Up® are selected based on the Key Stage 2 SATs in Year 7. Each student selected has either an Access Reading Test or Basic Number Screening Test at the outset of the intervention, to establish their baseline reading/number age. Students are tested halfway through the intervention and at the end, to both monitor and establish the progress that has been made, and the ratio gain that has been achieved.
Redhill School now has 6 members of staff able to deliver Catch Up® (3 for Numeracy and 3 for Literacy); the staff trained to deliver are our SENCO (Catch Up® Coordinator) and 5 of our Level 3 TAs. Our SENCO is an accredited deliverer of Catch Up® for both Literacy and Numeracy, and all of our Level 3 TAs are currently working towards their accreditation. All of the TAs are observed 3 times a year to ensure that sessions being delivered are of high quality, and we meet once every half term to review Catch Up sessions, review resources and discuss any issues or concerns that may arise.
Catch Up® sessions are timetabled in school time and we negotiate with teaching staff when students come out to complete the sessions. Progress is reported to parents via letter, but many of our parents we meet with face-to-face to discuss progress during the school year. Teaching staff are very supportive of the Catch Up® interventions and we also discuss progress with English and Maths teachers, to assess the impact the interventions are having in lessons.

Case Study 1 - Catch Up® Literacy
Child A joined Redhill School in September 2016. As a school, we were made aware of Child A’s literacy difficulties during the primary visits; at that point, we added Child A to our potential Catch Up® Literacy list beginning in the Autumn term. Child A was a Year 7 pupil with a very low reading age, and we recognised that she would benefit from the 1:1 Catch Up® sessions we could now offer as a school. Child A did not enjoy reading and did not like being asked to read out loud.

During the Catch Up® sessions, Child A became an enthusiastic learner and she really began to enjoy the Catch Up® sessions. Child A was very engaged during the sessions and made fantastic progress. She gained confidence and enjoyed the books chosen for her. At the end of 6 months of intervention, Child A’s reading age went from 8 years, 11 months, to 10 years,10 months; an increase of 23 months, and a ratio gain of 3.8. Child A also achieved 1 level above her end of Year 7 target in English.

Case Study 2 - Catch Up® Numeracy
When Child B joined us in Year 7 in 2015, she had only achieved a 3c in her KS2 Maths. She clearly struggled with her maths during the year and only made 1 sub-level of progress to reach a 3b by the end of Year 7. Child B was the natural choice for the Catch Up® Numeracy trial that I was starting in the Autumn Term of 2016, in order to assess the effectiveness of the intervention for our school.

Child B was in Year 8 when we began the intervention. In the initial sessions, Child B’s body language was closed and she was reluctant to have a go. As the sessions progressed, Child B became more confident and actually laughed and smiled. Child B continued to flourish as the Catch Up® sessions continued, and often commented on how much she enjoyed them. Child B’s maths teacher also commented on the changes he was beginning to see; Child B had gone from head down and not wanting to try, to hand up and trying to give answers.

During the 3-month trial of the intervention, Child B’s numeracy age increased by 11 months; a ratio gain of 3.66. Child B achieved the highest maths score in her end of Year 8 Maths test. Catch Up® Numeracy boosted Child B’s confidence, providing her with the opportunity to progress quickly through the gaps in her learning. Child B is now in Year 9 and making good progress at the start of the GCSE maths course, and is already 1 level above this year’s target.

Redhill has a history of excellence based on our core values of respect, integrity, discipline, high achievement and trust. Such high standards really matter - in both the academic sense and wider context of preparing young people for their future. I am proud of the well-deserved excellent reputation the school has achieved within the local and wider community. By selecting the school you are becoming part of a great tradition. Welcome and I hope that your son or daughter gets as much out of being here as many generations have done in the past so successfully.