St John the Baptist
Church of England Primary School


Covid-19 ‘Catch up’

In June, the government announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up.  Further guidance has now been released ( showing that the money is to be split between a catch-up premium and a national tutoring scheme. The money for the catch up premium is designed to ensure that schools have the support they need for all pupils make up for lost teaching time, and the money for the national tutoring school is designed to provide additional, targeted support for those children and young people who need the most help.

The catch-up premium is funded on a per pupil basis at £80 per pupil. This will be based on the previous year’s census, meaning we are predicting Thameside will be in receipt of £34,160 (427  x £80).  It is not expected, however, that there will be a spend of £80 on each and every pupil in schools. The government has made it clear that the spending of this money will be down to schools to allocate as they see fit. To support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students.

There are two broad aims for “catch up” at St John’s:

  • The mental health needs of pupils are well met and supported by the school.
  • Attainment outcomes at end of 2021 – 22 for all year groups will be at least in line with those at the end of 2019-20.

At St John’s, following the advice from the EEF the Covid-19 ‘Catch up’ money will be used in order to provide:

  • curriculum resources and materials that support mental health and well-being of pupils.
  • the purchase of Nessy reading and Spelling to support “catch up” with early reading.
  • the purchase of a bank of laptops to allow for regular use of the Nessy programme in KS1.
  • the purchase of the Accelerated Reader programme to support the catch up of reading in KS1 and KS2.
  • the purchase of a bank of iPads to allow for regular use of the Accelerated reader programme.

Catch Up at St John’s is

(For all children)

  • Time spent on mental health, wellbeing and social skills development. This will be at the core of all catch up work as many children will have not been in formal school setting for a number of months. We will continue to use our bespoke scheme of work to deliver our PSCHE curriculum, alongside this additional time will be spent focusing on mental health and well-being for example taking part in daily breathe activities. Children will have access to our experience Pupil Mentors for additional mental health and wellbeing support where needed.
  • Working through well sequenced, purposeful planning. For example, teachers have adapted planning in order to focus on missed objectives and to consolidate the basics.
  • Focus on consolidation of basic skills. The core skills, which enable successful learning, will require increased curriculum time across all year groups. These include: handwriting, spelling of high frequency words, basic sentence punctuation, times tables recall, basic addition & subtraction fact recall and reading skills relevant to age.
  • Particular focus on early reading and phonics. This is always a focus in the school and will continue to be so in order to develop children’s reading ability and vocabulary.
  • Assessment of learning and of basic skills to identify major gaps. Teachers will work to identify gaps in learning and adapt teaching accordingly.
  • Nessy Reading and Spelling. All children in KS1 will have access to the Nessy Reading and Spelling both in school and at home.
  • Accelerated Reader. All children, once they have completed their phonics learning, will have access to the Accelerated reader programme for the catch up of reading. They will have access to our re-designed library to ensure that children access text that are pitched at the right level for them as an individual. Providing enough challenge whilst remaining accessible.

 (For some children)

  • Additional support and focus on basic core skills. Supported by an experienced teacher utilising catch up premium – dependent on need as identified through ongoing assessment.
  • Additional time to practice basic skills. This again will be dependent on need of children in order to re-establish good progress in the essentials (phonics and reading, increasing vocabulary, writing and mathematics).
  • Additional targeted language support for Foundation children. Teachers will work to identify children who will benefit from small group and one-to-one language support.
  • Catch up at St John’s IS NOT:
  • Cramming missed learning
  • Pressuring children and families into rapid learning
  • Teachers time spent highlighting missed objectives
  • Teachers time spent ticking off assessment points and extra tracking