The Year 7 Catch Up Premium targets English and Maths skills for students working below expected standards upon arrival at Abbeyfield.
The Premium makes a contribution to two areas to boost students’ skills in these areas.
1. The Building English and Maths Skills class (BEAMS)
2. The Accelerated Reader programme.
BEAMS (Building English and Maths Skills) was set up at Abbeyfield School in September 2014 in a response to the large number of students with lower than average attainment at Primary School.
BEAMS is specifically for pupils in Year 7, providing teaching of English, Maths and Humanities, taught using the mainstream curriculum , but with differentiated personalised teaching within a group of up to fifteen students. It not only provides students with the opportunity to improve their skills in subject knowledge, it promotes behaviour for learning, their ability to make the difficult transition into secondary school, and it develops their Emotional Literacy, allowing them to recognise their emotions in order to know how to behave, mature and ultimately be happy.
BEAMS has provided this and is a stepping stone to senior school. Rather than considering the label attached to a child, the difficulties being presented became the focus, such as a difficulty following complex instructions, reading the emotions of a peer, or ordering and sequencing.
Effective support is not only about differentiation techniques. Relationship is key and will have an impact on all interventions – even the most thoughtful support can be undermined by a negative teacher-student relationship.
With praise, encouragement and the right support, we believe all students can achieve. The goals of fostering aspiration and rapid progress must apply to all students according to their ability. All students deserve the opportunity to achieve.
“Mainstream lessons in year 8 are brilliant and BEAMS has given me the confidence to feel I can do it.”
“[It] is my favourite lesson.”
“It’s great because I’m learning.”
2. Accelerated Reader
Students are all signed up to Accelerated Reader on arrival at Abbeyfield School. They are given a STAR test in Term 1 which is diagnostic and allows their teachers to identify their reading ages and their ability which also relates to the AR book level they should be reading.
Students are then directed to choose a book within their ZPD (zone of proximal development) and once they read it, they take a comprehension quiz. Students who don’t quiz in the first term are monitored by their tutor and English teacher and intervention will take place for those students who need it. This will include students who have been identified as having low starting points and/or Pupil Premium.
Intervention by an English specialist last year resulted in 35 of 46 students identified, quizzing and making progress:
Students will then be STAR tested again in Term 3 and 5 to monitor their reading development – and after each report, teachers will intervene when required to assist students not making expected progress.
During tutor and parent evenings, the reports are used to discuss reading progress with parents to encourage a team approach to supporting students’ development with reading. Parents are also informed of their child’s progress by certificates of progress being sent home and updates in the school bulletin.
As part of the reward system, tutor groups are entered into a termly competition to win a reward breakfast in the school canteen and at the end of the school year, two kindles and six £10 book vouchers are raffled for students who have read 1,000,000 words and/or passed 5 or more quizzes at 100% pass rate.
The librarian monitors the progress of the tutor groups and displays the running totals on the sides of the book stacks so that students can see when they are in the competition. Tutors also give ‘Jump the Queue’ dinner passes out to students who’ve read well that week and can give Class Chart rewards for successful quizzing.
Accelerated Reader has ensured that reading stays as a top priority for all Year 7 students and continues as they move through Key Stage Three.