COVID-19 ‘Catch-up’ Funding
The ‘catch-up’ funding is funded on a per pupil basis at £80 per pupil. The funding is based on the previous year’s census, meaning The Hermitage School will be in receipt of £26,080 by the end of the 2020-21 academic year. The spending of the money will be down to schools to allocate as they see fit.
Many of the children returning to school this September had not been in school for several months. Home learning was provided by the school; some children engaged very well with the learning activities, some a little and some not very much at all. It is also clear from research that children learn less when they are not in school.
The pandemic has negatively affected many aspects of our lives. For many children, the disruption caused by school closures will have had a negative impact on their learning and well-being. At The Hermitage, it is our job to ensure the consequences on our children’s education and well-being are not long lasting and we do everything in our power to ensure they get back to the levels of academic success and emotional well-being they were at before the pandemic struck.
We have based our decisions for how to use the ‘catch-up’ funding using the Education Endowment Foundation’s report, ‘Covid-19 Support Guide for Schools’ which has been compiled by drawing on a wide range of evidence from educational research: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/
Every school and pupil will have been affected by Covid-19 differently. We have used the Autumn Term to reflect and assess the children to determine how to most effectively support them. We are aware that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are likely to have been affected particularly severely by school closures. While our strategy looks to support all children, we will ensure we monitor our disadvantaged children carefully to give them every opportunity to reach their full potential.
We will invest in our most precious resource – staffing. We will employ supply teachers to cover classes for teachers so they can work with individual and small groups of children from their own classes. Evidence from the EEF highlights that tuition delivered by qualified teachers is likely to have the highest impact. Class teachers know their children inside out and are best placed to know their next steps for learning.
We have also extended the working hours of some of most talented Teaching Assistants who will also be running interventions – planned and led by class teachers.
We have invested in reading assessment software which analyses the type of difficulty children are having with their reading and will assess approximately half of the children in the school - at all levels.
For attainment outcomes at the end of 2021-22, across the school, will be at least in line with children’s Key Stage 1 results.
The mental health needs of pupils that have arisen as a result of the pandemic are met and supported by the school.