Catch Up

Covid-19 Recovery Curriculum

On 20th March 2020, schools closed to all children except those of key workers and vulnerable children. Only eligible children attended Bassingbourn until the 1st June when the school opened for priority groups and we were able to welcome Reception back into the building.

Whilst all children during this period had access to purpose-made home learning, which continued until the end of the summer term, concern about gaps in learning and the need to 'catch up – recovery curriculum' have formed the foundation of school plans for the 2020-21 academic year.

Much of these plans, including for curriculum adaptations are based on DfE guidance found here.

There are two broad aims for 'catch up – Recovery Curriculum' at Bassingbourn:

1. Attainment outcomes at end of 2020-21 for all groups are at least in line with those at the end of 2019-20.

2. The mental health needs of pupils are met and supported by the school.

Catch Up Recovery Curriculum at Bassingbourn

Here catch up is:

  • Working through well sequenced, purposeful learning schemes. For example, our school-created writing schemes are being adapted to focus on missed objectives and consolidate the basics. In maths, we block our curriculum, utilise Stephen Pierce and a mastery approach.

  • 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.

  • Additional lesson time on core teaching. Reading, writing and maths teaching will require increased teaching time in order to cover missed learning – particularly in the autumn term. In order to keep a broad and balanced curriculum, some subject areas may be taught as blocked days rather than weekly lessons in the autumn term.

  • 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. Teachers will use the results to focus on key children who need a targeted intervention delivered by class teachers or teaching assistants.

  • 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.

Some children may also access:

  • Additional support and focus on basic core skills. Supported by additional staffing 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) and there will be flexibility on timetables to allow this.

At Bassingbourn, catch up is not:

  • Cramming missed learning

  • Pressuring children and families into rapid learning

  • Irrespective of staff well-being and workload

Covid-19 Catch up Premium & national tutoring programme

In June, a £1 billion fund for education was announced by the government. Further guidance has now been released here showing that the money is split between a catch-up premium and a national tutoring scheme.

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 and will not include new children, meaning we are predicting Bassingbourn will be in receipt of £27,520 (344 x £80).

The spending of this money will be down to schools to allocate as they see best. To support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students.

At Bassingbourn, this money will be used in order to provide:

  • Curriculum resources and materials that support 'catch up' and mental health of pupils.

  • Additional support staff to develop the outcomes of children who have been identified as needing 'catch up' in their learning.

  • Resources required to ensure that remote or blended learning will be successful.