What is the Catch Up Fund?

The Government has made a commitment to provide additional funding to schools for each year 7 pupil who did not achieve age related expectations (below 100) in the end of Key stage 2 (Year 6) National Curriculum tests in English and Maths. The purpose of this funding is to enable secondary schools to deliver additional support, such as individual tuition or intensive support in small groups, for those pupils who most need it.

The Year 7 Catch Up Premium has been used to employ a TA to work exclusively with the students identified as needing additional help. Prior to joining the Barlow, students took reading tests which enabled us - in conjunction with their SATs results - to identify which students needed additional support. We are specifically looking to ensure students reach their chronological reading age as quickly as possible and that they are performing at an appropriate numeracy level for their age.

Why is this important?

Reading age is crucial in terms of being able to access GCSE examination papers. These typically have a reading age of between 15 and 17. Numeracy is no longer just a part of the maths curriculum it feeds into most other curriculum areas as well, since the introduction of the new GCSE specifications the amount of maths content in subjects such as Science has dramatically increased.

How do we do this?

Students have 30 minutes of literacy or numeracy intervention every day with our designated TA for a 10 week period.


Students will use literacy intervention computer programme called ReadingWise a bespoke programme which helps to improve comprehension, phonics, decoding, vocabulary, spelling and much more. The programme is fun and engaging and students love the virtual tokens they receive when they do well. When students reach the end of a section, the software will tell us we need to retest them and input their new reading age. Students can then move on to the next part of the programme.


Students complete Passport Maths programme which is specifically designed in supporting students who did not reach age related expectations at KS2.  It provides the additional support that students need to catch up with mathematical ideas that are developed at greater depth at Key Stage 3. The program is unique in that it enables students to follow and master the mathematical fundamentals while progressing with the curriculum with the rest of their year-group.  Progress is measured through the completion of end of unit tests (focusing on 5 aspects of numeracy) and scoring 100% on each test.  Pupils further embed their knowledge by completing additional activities with the Teaching Assistant to ensure secure and embedded knowledge and understanding.