Literacy and Numeracy Catch Up Premium


Literacy and numeracy catch-up premium is provided to schools for Year 7 students who do not meet expected standards in reading and/or mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2 (KS2). Without additional support and intervention some of these students may experience additional challenges in accessing the curriculum in Key Stage 3 (KS3). Consequently, the catch-up premium is spent on strategies and actions to support students in making rapid progress during KS3 so that attainment gaps between these students and their peers are narrowed. 

At The Misbourne we recognise that basic skills in literacy and numeracy are critical for success across the curriculum and in wider life both in school and in the community. Any year 7 student who joins the school with a KS2 result below the expected standard (a score of 100+ in English or Maths) is entitled to additional support from the government’s catch up premium.  

The number of students in the 2019-20 cohort who were deemed to be ‘Not Secondary Ready’ are: 


No of students with KS2 score below 100 

Percentage of overall cohort 








Allocation for the financial year 2019-20  

The Misbourne received £13,321 in the academic year 2019-2020. This is based on the Year 7 catch-up premium funding received in 2016 to 2017 and is adjusted to reflect the percentage change in the size of the Year 7 cohort in the October 2019 census. 


Evaluation: 2019-20  


Accelerated Reader 

In 2019-20 the funding was primarily allocated to support the integration of the Accelerated Reader programme. This programme is now in place for all Year 7 and 8 students and ensures that students are reading texts that are appropriate to their reading age and promote challenge, encouraging students to develop their reading skills and their enjoyment of reading. The implementation of this programme through dedicated Literacy lessons has enabled us to closely focus on supporting students who were deemed as not secondary ready and whose reading age is well below their chronological age. Significant investment has been made in the range and quality of texts available for students to access in the school library, ensuring that texts are appropriate and engaging. Progress in reading is measured through STAR reading age tests as well as accelerated reader quizzes which test students’ understanding of the texts they have read. 

The intention was for students to be STAR tested a minimum of four times per year to identify progress and to support teachers, under the direction of the Whole School Literacy Coordinator, in planning classroom provision and interventions. Three tests were conducted before the Covid-19 closure in March 2020. 

The results of STAR tests were used in Literacy lessons to help support students in choosing appropriate reading material and to help inform the planned curriculum, identifying specific areas for skill development to be prioritised in class. The combination of targeted reading materials and focused classroom instruction supported significant improvements in the reading competency of students identified as being not secondary ready.  

Additionally, all students identified as being not secondary ready joined our Reading Buddies programme where they read aloud weekly with Year 12 students. Year 12 buddies were trained by a Key Stage 2 specialist teacher in how to support students in their reading fluency and in tackling challenging vocabulary. 

By the time of the Covid-19 closures in March 2020 and after 5 months participation in the AR and intervention programme: 

  • 33/38 (87%) improved their reading age
  • 23 students (61%) made one year’s worth of progress within five months (Oct-Feb) 
  • By February 2020, 5 students (13%) had reading ages that were meeting or exceeding their chronological age, demonstrating 2+ years of progress within five months (Oct-Feb) 


Development of literacy curriculum in Year 7 

Alongside targeted support for identified students, significant investment has been made in developing the literacy curriculum for Year 7 students to ensure that a consistent focus on literacy skills is embedded in the classroom for all students. The Year 7 curriculum has been developed so that the emphasis is on developing reading skills, vocabulary and speaking and listening skills. Within reading skills, students use reciprocal reading methods to become more confident at deducing and inferring from unfamiliar text. These skills are practiced using a variety of text including non-fiction, fiction and poetry. Vocabulary is the cornerstone of both reading and writing and whilst we can’t teach students all the words they need to know we can help support them with strategies to work out the meaning of unfamiliar words for example using prefixes, suffixes and the root word. We also expose them to key words that will help them to access the curriculum.  Finally, students develop their oracy skills using structured academic talk in the classroom in order to support reading and writing. 



Following STAR testing and teacher observation/assessment, 7 students from the cohort of 38 were identified as needing intensive support to improve their reading competency. These students benefitted from an additional weekly literacy lesson with a specialist teacher following the Lexia PowerUp programme where they received focused teaching on reading skills and then undertook online activities to consolidate. This was supported by liaison with families to give regular Lexia practice at home as well as ensuring students were reading aloud to their parents/carers. Subsequent testing demonstrated that 2/7 (29%) students made 2+ years of progress following participation in Lexia whilst 3/7 (43%) students made at least 1 year of progress.students made at least 1 year of progress. 


Maths Intervention

Mathematics mastery teaching techniques were developed within the department to ensure that students not only have fluency, but also depth in their understanding of mathematics. Teachers of sets with low prior attaining students focused on consolidating core skills such as the four operations of mathematics to ensure that all students have strength, confidence and fluency in these techniques, as well as an understanding of what these processes are doing. 

One teacher worked specifically with an intervention group of students who were ‘not secondary ready’ in mathematics to give them confidence and fluency in basic skills and to support their understanding in the topics being covered in class. These interventions were timetabled and took place in a small group setting with intensive staff support. Whilst the Covid-19 closure affected our capacity to measure progress, these students will continue to be supported in Year 8 and included in additional sessions where appropriate. 


Next steps: 

Whilst positive engagement was maintained with students during the period of school closure from March 2020 to July 2020, it is necessary to measure the impact of this time out of school to ensure that any learning loss is addressed and to ensure that literacy and numeracy skill development is prioritised.  

Consequently, all students who were identified as Not Secondary Ready in Year 7 in 2019-20 will be STAR tested in both Reading and Mathematics early in the 2020-21 academic year, in Year 8. The outcomes of these tests as well as teacher judgements from classroom contact with students will inform next steps. Where needed, these students will be prioritised for support from an intervention mentor or subject specialists. All students will continue to participate in the Accelerated Reader programme in Year 8. 


Summary of Expenditure (2019-20) 

Accelerated Reader and STAR reading testing programme subscription 


Library expenditure for AR books 


Lexia subscription 


Operation of the Lexia programme by trained teaching assistants (3hr p/w) 


Specialist timetabled intervention with an English teacher 


Specialist timetabled intervention with a Maths teacher