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Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium

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 Robert Arkenstall until the 1st June when the school opened for priority groups and we were able to additionally welcome some Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 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 Robert Arkenstall:

1. Supporting curriculum recovery post covid 19 lockdown for your pupils by accurately identifying gaps in learning, and planning / assessing to make up deficits. (e.g. a child on track to meet year 3 expectations last year will be on track to meet year 4 expectations this year) 

2. Support pupils therapeutically within a risk assessed Covid secure approach to behaviour, which reinforces resilience and good Mental Health

Catch Up Recovery Curriculum at Robert Arkenstall

Here catch up is:

  • Working through well sequenced, purposeful learning schemes. For example, our school is rolling out the use of Jane Consadine writing techniques through KS2 following on from our Powerful Words project. In maths, we utilise a mastery approach with White Rose resources.

  • 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, grammar and punctuation, times tables recall, maths fluency for fact recall and reading/phonics skills relevant to age.

  • Additional support and focussed time to practice basic core skills. Some children will be supported by additional staffing via an approved tutoring provider. Paid for by the Catch-up premium,  in addition to our class teachers and  TAs, tutoring hours will support children disadvantaged in these circumstances by school closure and remote learning. We follow a programme for diagnostic assessment and short tasks to address specific learning gaps.

  • 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, using a programme for diagnostic assessment and short tasks to address specific gaps. Teachers will use the results of assessment 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.


At Robert Arkenstall  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 is based on our Census data and we anticipate we will receive  £21,680 (271 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 Robert Arkenstall, 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 via an approved tutoring provider 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.