Warden Hill Primary School Cheltenham

Catch Up Premium

In June, a £1 billion fund for education was announced by the government.  Further guidance has now been released https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-catch-up-premium 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, meaning Warden Hill will be in receipt of about £35,000.  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 Warden Hill, this money will be used in order to:

  • Purchase curriculum resources, materials and any training that support pupils to get “back on track”. These include Reading Rocketeers books and virtual training, specific diagnostic tests in reading, access to various early reading resources and early maths resources.
  • We have secured a place on the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) which will start in Spring 1. NELI is a high-quality, evidence-based, 20-week intervention designed to improve the language skills of reception age pupils. It involves scripted individual and small group language teaching sessions, delivered by trained school staff, usually teaching assistants. Several EEF trials have found that NELI improves both children’s oral language and early literacy skills. A recent trial of the programme found that children made on average three months of additional progress compared to children in the comparison group. https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/neli/
  • Fund an additional Teacher, Teaching Assistant and Teaching Assistant hours to develop the outcomes of different groups of children across years 1 – 3 who have been identified as needing “catch up” in their learning.


The broad aims for “catch up” at Warden Hill:

  • The mental health needs of pupils that have arisen as a result of the pandemic are met and supported by the school. A considerable emphasis was given to curriculum time for this aim in the first term– which resulted in a slight narrowing of the curriculum.
  • Attainment outcomes at end of 2020-21 for all year groups will be in line with those at the point of lockdown in March. This means that if a child was working at an age-related expectation in a subject in March they are working at least to an age-related expectation in that same subject by the end of the year. Even though the Government have announced the relaxing of the reporting of statutory data KS1 SATs, GPS in KS2 and the Multiplication Check in Y4, we will continue with all aspects of these areas as it forms our teacher assessment of our pupils’ progress.

Catch up at Warden Hill

For all children

  • A clear focus on wellbeing, re-settling into the school routines, re-teaching our school rules linked to Covid and working through well sequenced, purposeful learning.
  • 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.
  • Focus on consolidation of basic skills. The core skills which enable successful learning will require increased curriculum time across all year groups in Autumn 1.
  • 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 every other week in the autumn terms.
  • 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. This is a considerable focus for our year one, two and three children.
  • Assessment of learning and of basic skills to identify major gaps. Teachers will work to identify gaps in learning and adapt teaching accordingly. All teachers had an additional handover session with the next year’s teacher to outline and share the objectives that had not been taught in English, Maths and Science specifically, as a result of lockdown. These will be taught before teaching this year’s curriculum objectives.

For some children

  • 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.
  • We have been accepted on the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) programme. The DfE are funding this to support the development of early language skills in Reception. Initially all Reception children will be screened to provide a baseline and to identify those children who could benefit most from the NELI. The programme will run from January to July and will include online training for staff followed by intervention sessions with small groups of children. Children also attend an additional two 15-minute individual sessions per week. All sessions focus on listening, narrative and vocabulary skills. Work on phonological awareness is introduced in the final ten weeks.
  • We have managed to increase the capacity of the hours of an additional pastoral support worker to allow for individual 1:1 sessions where needed.


Catch up at Warden Hill 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