Warden Park Primary Academy, New England Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3JR

01444 451264

Warden Park Primary

'Reach for the Stars'

Warden Park Primary Academy ‘Catch-up’ strategy

COVID Catch Up Funding: re (COVID-19) catch-up premium grant.


To see how it is intended the grant will be spent at WPPA, please click here to view the Catch-up Action Plan.


This plan details how the effect of the expenditure on the educational attainment of those pupils at the school will be assessed.



In order to accelerate learning for pupils who've fallen behind we will:


1) Identify the pupils likely to have the biggest gaps in knowledge

Leaders have worked with staff to identify those who lost the most learning time and are likely to have the biggest gaps.

We have identified pupils who:

  • Have missed a lot of work, or didn’t engage fully with remote learning 
  • Don’t have access to the technology needed, or whose home lives make home learning difficult
  • Are vulnerable or have an EHCP, so learning from home may have been challenging
  • Have experienced difficult family circumstances, such as a bereavement, that may have got in the way of their learning

However, we cannot assume that all of these pupils will have significant gaps, or that they'll be the only ones who do. We won't know this for sure until we have been able to fully assess where the gaps are - but staff will start the term with a list of pupils to keep a close eye on.


2) Use low-stakes assessment in lessons to see if our predictions were right

We continually assess where there are gaps in the children's understanding of key concepts and knowledge. Our priority will be to make sure our pupils are emotionally settled and feel secure at school. 

While staff are looking for gaps in knowledge among all pupils, they will make sure to assess who has significant gaps. This means:

  • Pupils who have more gaps in their knowledge and skills than others (if all pupils have significant gaps, the teacher should just adjust their normal planning to account for this)
  • Pupils who are unlikely to catch up with the consolidation lessons you've planned for all pupils (trust your teacher's professional judgement on this - they'll be able to tell you)

In addition to formal assessments, teachers will carry out low-stakes quizzes and low-threat knowledge checks during lessons to find out what pupils can remember and where they have gaps. Depending on the subject, these will take the form of:

  • A quick quiz, e.g. 10 minutes to write down everything you can remember about________
  • Multiple choice questions in a Google Form
  • Discursive pair work, e.g. read the text for 10 minutes, then can you tell your partner the 10 features you read about?
  • Checking knowledge through discussion, e.g. can they explain a concept in their own words?


3) Plan effective catch-up

The following guiding principles direct our catch-up approach:

  • It should be intense and time-limited: we want pupils to fill in the gaps as quickly as possible so they can start doing the same work as their peers. Don't think of this support as long-term. Ideally, catch-up will finish by the time other pupils have finished consolidating the learning they missed
  • The role of the Inclusion manager is key and staff will be well supported: The Inclusion lead has experience of arranging this kind of catch-up and looking at how effective it's been.
  • It will focus on key knowledge and concepts: we will use knowledge organisers for catch-up teaching and quizzing, so that pupils are taught the most important things they need to know
  • Teaching will be targeted at filling pupils' specific gaps: we will adapt catch-up in light of what we learn about where pupils gaps are, and we will keep low-stakes quizzing going during the process
  • Staff will be well-trained: high-quality teaching and modelling is key - staff training will ensure that all staff have been trained to carry out these types of interventions. 
  • Pupils will experience success early on: whatever we put in place, pupils need to feel that what they're doing is making a difference - this will motivate them to continue
  • Pupils will have the opportunity to practise what they're learning and show that they understand: we know that just telling them something doesn't mean they've learnt it
  • We will avoid adding to teacher workload: the content of catch-up teaching and consolidation teaching shouldn't be wildly different as it involves teaching and modelling in more depth (unless a specific programme is being used). Teachers will not create separate schemes of work or resources (see below)
  • When pupils finish catch-up, we will provide 'pre-teaching' and 'post-teaching': if pupils have been in separate intervention groups, we will make sure they're prepared to re-enter the classroom. Staff will provide some pre-teaching on the topic a lesson is going to cover before the lesson, and post-teaching support afterwards to make sure pupils have understood.



4) Tailor-made programmes

When using a ready-made programme,  we will be confident that it's going to be effective:

  • Where a catch-up scheme of work or programme has been effective for your pupils before, we will use it.
  • We will look for programmes that focus on direct instruction to help pupils make fast, effective progress: eg, expressive writing programme 
  • We will use strategies that have a proven impact: maths programme
  • We will seek to talk to schools that have a similar intake to WPPA and ask what programmes they've found to be effective


5) Before/after school or lunchtime lessons

These lessons will be:

  • Learning-focused and well-planned
  • Aligned with learning that's going on during the rest of the day, not an add-on. Pupils will feel like it's an extension of the classroom and expectations are the same
  • Focused on an element of independent study, if age-appropriate: we will look to replicate the positive home-environment other pupils might have when parents supervise their homework 
  • Age-appropriate: pupils in EYFS/KS1 are unlikely to be able to cope with an extended day


  • If we want teachers to carry out these interventions, and it's the only time they're free to do it
  • If we have staff who are happy to run sessions at these times



6) One-on-one or small group tutoring

Evidence shows that such tutoring can effectively support pupils who have fallen behind.

From autumn 2020, the National Tutoring Programme should support with funding. Link to the government's catch-up package here.

To make sure tuition is effective it should:

  • Be one-to-one or in small groups (up to 5 pupils)
  • Be intensive: focused around key concepts, and take place over a short period of time
  • Targeted at pupils' specific needs - ‘tutors’ should know exactly where pupils have gaps, or be involved in low-stakes quizzing
  • Be carried out by tutors who are well trained and supported by teachers, with regular communication happening between teachers, tutors and parents.  It is the intention that a number of WPPA staff will fulfil this role. 
  • Aligned with learning that's happening in the classroom (as with after-school or lunchtime lessons) 

Supporting parents to support their children at home

  • Teachers/TA to meet parents before or after school to share pupil targets and current interventions - working through activities and providing materials and links to websites/online resources


How we will help disadvantaged pupils catch up


We know that school closure will widen the disadvantage gap.  The EEF predicts that school closures will widen the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers, likely wiping out progress made to narrow the gap since 2011. Estimates for the gap widening range from 11% to 75%.  However, there are 2 key things we will do:

  1. Deliver effective remote learning – the EEF suggests that this'll reduce how much the gap widens (and will benefit all pupils)
  2. Provide sustained, targeted support – this will help disadvantaged pupils catch up when they return to school. 



Effective remote learning

In the event of a period of restricted attendance or class closure due to an outbreak, we will ensure our Remote Learning Policy is as strong as it can be, to keep disadvantaged pupils learning, and to support them if WPPA closes again.   The WPPA strategy is underpinned by the 5 key findings from the EEF’s remote learning rapid evidence assessment below.

1. Access to technology and connectivity

Disadvantaged pupils are more likely to be disadvantaged in this area.

  • We will loan laptops, from our current stock of 30 devices to pupils for remote learning
  • We will consider using our own budget to provide disadvantaged pupils with devices and internet access
  • We will check with WSCC to see if we can benefit further from the DfE's programme to provide laptops, tablets and internet access for:
    • Disadvantaged children/Care leavers/Children with a social worker

2. Teaching quality

For pupils to learn well through remote teaching, we will ensure that teaching is effective. Effective, high-quality teaching involves:

  • Clear explanations: give pupils detailed, precise explanations that leave no room for misunderstanding (this can be in a live video, recording or written instructions - if pupils are all good readers). Watch a great example of clear, direct instruction for a year 2 maths activity here
  • Scaffolding: model or demonstrate how to do what you want pupils to do (e.g. solve a maths problem, complete an art activity) and then step back to allow them to try, offering support if needed (this can be a video, screen-share or audio recording).
  • Feedback: give specific and meaningful feedback to pupils on work they’ve produced, or learning you’ve seen (this can be written, video or audio feedback). This can also be feedback from peers via Seesaw/video conferencing.

3. Opportunities for peer interactions

It can be difficult to provide opportunities for pupils to interact when they're learning remotely, but it is possible.  We will:

  • Set up regular supervised class video calls for pupils. WPPA protocol for class video meet-ups
  • Utilise the Seesaw app to allow pupils to provide each other with feedback

4. Supporting pupils to work independently 

Pupils working at home need to be taught how to work independently, as this is usually how they’re going to be learning.  Disadvantaged pupils are likely to particularly benefit from explicit support to help them work independently. Parents will be supported to provide effective home learning routines


5. Remember, different approaches to remote learning suit different types of tasks and content 

Teachers will consider which approaches are best suited to the content they're teaching and use what they feel works best for their pupils. The WPPA remote strategy supports staff to be aware about the range of ways they can teach remotely, and try not to rely too heavily on one approach.


Sustained, targeted support for catch-up

See above for the school-wide approach to catch-up.

Staff will not single out disadvantaged pupils – teachers will be carrying out this kind of low-stakes assessment for all pupils anyway, so disadvantaged pupils' experiences of this will not be any different. 

The EEF has identified 18 promising projects that can be used as catch-up programmes and that have been shown to have a particularly strong impact for disadvantaged children.  When looking at these projects, we will choose ones that:

  • Are tailored to where our biggest learning gaps
  • Worked well in schools that are similar to WPPA
  • Are within our price range (look for 'How much will it cost?' at the end of the project summary)
  • Can be implemented with the number of staff we have available



The DfE state that we can use pupil premium funding to fund catch-up as long as  it is possible to demonstrate that our catch-up is supporting these 2 aims:

  1. To raise the attainment of eligible pupils
  2. To close the attainment gap between these pupils and their peers



The risks of absence

We are aware that disadvantaged pupils are at increased risk of being absent – and this absence is likely to have an even greater negative effect on them than school closure. It's easier for teachers to respond to closures (for example, by repeating key content as a class) than it is to support individual children who've been absent.  We are aware that disadvantaged pupils typically have lower rates of attendance, and disadvantaged pupils' families are substantially less likely to send their child back to school if given the choice.

We will ensure WPPA staff:

  • Understand these risks;
  • Are alert to which pupils are more likely to be absent; and
  • Inform the Safeguarding team via CPOMS as soon as they notice any worrying patterns in disadvantaged pupils' attendance

We will boost the usual procedures we have in place to tackle absence and improve attendance, by increasing the staff hours directed towards monitoring this and increasing the number of safeguarding/attendance team meetings to ensure the highest possible level of pastoral support from the Early Help Manager for disadvantaged families.