Excellence Awards

23rd September 2020 - Catch Up® Excellence Awards: Tarbolton Primary School, AYRSHIRE - GOLD award winner

Organisation: Tarbolton Primary School
Intervention: Catch Up® Literacy, Catch Up® Numeracy
Submitted by: Fiona Priestnall

Tarbolton Primary is a mainstream primary school, with 180 pupils ranging in age from 3-12 years old. The school is at the heart of the village of Tarbolton, and welcomes pupils from the village and from surrounding rural areas. Catch Up® was introduced when South Ayrshire Council trained a number of Additional Support For Learning (ASFL) Teachers and School assistants; Tarbolton Primary has four trained members of staff – one teacher and three school assistants.

We have introduced both Catch Up® Literacy and Catch Up® Numeracy into the school and have seen good improvements in the skills of pupils in both areas. Catch Up® was chosen because it is a targeted one-to-one intervention which can be delivered by staff during the school day. It is especially helpful in that it identifies the areas children need help with and then enables the trained staff member to work on those specific areas of difficulty. Children’s confidence improves and they often enjoy the area of learning they have previously found too hard.

In Tarbolton Primary, we have four members of staff who are trained to deliver the Catch Up® interventions. We have allocated slots in our timetables which allow specific time for seeing each pupil twice a week. Progress is monitored by the DHT and ASFL Teacher on a termly basis, when we meet to review progress of learners and to discuss any other pupils who would benefit from these interventions. The Catch Up® Coordinator also monitors learner sheets on a regular basis, to ensure all staff are working to the same standards. Regular, informal discussions about learners, resources and teaching ensure the Catch Up® Team are well informed about progress and areas of concern with specific learners.

Staff support each other by carrying out peer observations and feeding back on what they have seen. Catch Up® trained staff have the opportunity to have an input into the resources used and ensure other members of staff understand the importance of the Catch Up® interventions and the benefits they can bring.

The Catch Up® Coordinator has run staff information sessions in order to ensure all teaching staff understand how Catch Up® runs, and which pupils are most likely to benefit from it.

A recent grant of £500 has enabled the school to purchase a set of books specifically for use with this intervention.

Case Study 1 - Catch Up® Literacy
Child A has shown an improvement of 4 years in his reading age over just 5 months.

When he began the Catch Up® Literacy intervention, Child A had a chronological age of 7 years and 3 months, and a reading age of 6 years. His reading was slow and stilted. He lacked confidence in his decoding skills and was reluctant to read either in class or at home. However, at a recent Parents’ evening, his mum told the class teacher they were struggling to keep finding Child A new reading books, as he is now such an avid reader!

Child A’s improved confidence and skills in reading have helped him to integrate into his class more. He is no longer a child who hates to read. He is keen to keep reading, to improve his skills and to share his success with others.

Child A now has a reading age of 10 years, which is 2 years and 4 months above his chronological age!

Case Study 2 - Catch Up® Numeracy
Child B was identified as falling behind his peers in numeracy. At 8 years and 10 months old, he had a Number Age of 6 years. His overall understanding of key mathematical concepts was not secure and he was not making progress, despite trying hard in lessons. It was decided to enrol him on the Catch Up® Numeracy intervention in order to assess areas of difficulty and then target those areas.

Very quickly, Child B showed he was able to grasp concepts and develop his numeracy skills when working one-to-one. The key areas of improvement overall are Child B’s confidence in tackling numeracy tasks and his willingness to use his skills to approach new areas of learning.

After three months of Catch Up® Numeracy intervention, Child B made 20 months’ progress. However, due to lots of background issues, it was decided that he should take part in the intervention for another period of time, after the summer break. Overall, Child B accessed Catch Up® Numeracy for 20 months, and has shown an improvement in Number Age of 62 months, meaning that his Number Age is now above his chronological age.

Child B says, “I have improved at dividing. I am much better at sums now when I am in class.”