The COVID pandemic and subsequent forced academy closure, has led to significant gaps in the knowledge and skills of our students, as well as affecting students’ well-being, some rather significantly. It is the responsibility of all stakeholders to assess and address these gaps quickly, implementing a robust improvement plan that will ultimately ensure that these gaps are mitigated and then closed in line with the national average.
To ensure that these gaps are addressed accurately and effectively, it is important to identify the barriers to learning students may now face. Once identified, the COVID catch up fund will ensure that the academy is economically supported in its strategic intervention of all students, so that no student is left behind.
The table below highlights the possible implications of extended academy closure, as well as the range of interventions the academy is undertaking to support its students. Some of these interventions will make use of the COVID catch up fund grant of £61,662. This funding allocation includes; Year 7 Catch Up (£16,152), Chromebook Support (£11,126) and Academy Bespoke Intervention Support (£34, 385).
The interventions the academy applies should not be sporadic or shallow, but focussed on a core set of approaches that have substance and depth in their intervention impact. The academy will seek to target its funding allocation to address areas of disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic:
|Area of disruption||Forecasted impact||Academy Intervention and Support|
|Area of intervention||Intervention||Implementation||Cost|
|Academic||Chromebook: 1-1 Loan Device Scheme
The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the digital divide between students across all Key Stages. Access to a digital device can significantly enhance student progress and begin to address the gaps in the knowledge and skills brought on through less face to face teaching. The use of the COVID premium to support the roll out of a 1-1 loan device scheme will ensure no student is disadvantaged by a lack of a digital device.
All students in Key Stages 3 and 4 will receive a Google loan device with access to high quality resources and materials through their Google Classroom platform and operating system. These devices will be embedded into students virtual and blended lessons to ensure they are used highly effectively across the entire academic year.
|Modules 1 – 3||£11,166|
|Academic||Baseline Assessments: Years 7, 11 and 13
Baseline Assessments provide the academy with the ability to identify gaps in students learning using a valid, reliable source. This information is then interwoven in the fabric of the child’s curriculum, to ensure students access a broad, balanced curriculum that addresses gaps in learning.
Examples of these Baseline Assessments are:
Year 7 – Students completed two papers in English and two papers in maths designed by LAT Primary Directors of Improvement utilising KS2 SATs papers
Year 11 – Students completed a suite of formal papers designed explicitly on all knowledge and skills taught through Home Learning during the period of academy closure
Year 13 – Students completed a suite of formal papers designed explicitly on all knowledge and skills taught through Home Learning during the period of academy closure
|Academic||Holiday School (Autumn, Spring and Summer): Years 7, 11 and 13
The Academy understands that additional face to face teaching time is a highly effective tool to support student progress and address gaps in learning. The academy will run a variety of week long holiday ‘schools’ to provide these additional opportunities for students, these are focussed on the following target year groups:
Year 7 – Targeted English and maths tuition for all students identified via the Year 7 Baseline Assessments (KS2 SATs).
Year 11 – Targeted intervention across students’ entire option portfolio. All students were invited to a minimum of 2 hours of English, maths, science and EBacc option tuition.
Year 13: Targeted intervention across students’ targeted option portfolio.
|October Half Term
May Half Term
|Academic||Year 11 Mock Exam Breakfast Sessions
Students feeling prepared and nourished for any examination series is a vital strategy in ensuring students performance is maximised in assessments. Year 11 Breakfast Sessions are targeted to provide 30 minute intensive morning intervention sessions prior to each Mock Exam. Sessions are centered on: English, maths, science, history and Languages. All students who attend receive a free healthy breakfast.
|November Mock Exam Series
Spring Mock Exam Series
|Pastoral||Bromcom MIS Credit
The academy will significantly scale up it’s remote parental communication this academic year to ensure families are fully supported and informed as to the support offered to students. The academy has allocated finance to provide further communication credits for it’s MIS, thus ensuring all communication is provided as required.
This consultancy work will focus on creating bespoke training in literature for staff. Two training sessions will be held for staff on meeting the needs of ‘new to English’ learners including access to 25 webinars for staff CPD. This will ensure students and staff are provided with high quality, up to date information on accessing literacy based subjects, addressing any gaps in their learning.
|Academic||National Tuition Programme
Targeted small scale intervention has been shown by the EEF to provide high levels of student progress. To support this provision of additional support for targeted cohorts of students, the academy will be partnering with two virtual tutor providers to provide targeted intervention in: English, mathematics and science across Key Stages 3 and 4. This remote intervention programme will run alongside a students full timetable and be explicit in its design to address the identified gaps in the students’ learning.
|Module 3 – 6||£15,000|
|Academic and Pastoral||Online Well-Being and Academic Resources
Student online well-being and academic support is a clear focus for the academy, with all additional financial resource provided to departments to support the provision of virtual resources and texts for students to engage with remotely e.g. MyOn. This can include academic programmes and software to support virtual engagement in lesson and progress, or virtual well-being support packages that students can access to support their mental health.
The measures outlined above should ensure that students at the academy continue to access a full, broad and balanced curriculum, irrespective of the circumstances in which they find themselves learning. Student progress towards expected levels of progress and attainment will be monitored through the regular and timely intervention of staff using knowledge and skills based testing, ensuring that all students continue to succeed. Wrap around pastoral care is enhanced to support the mental health and well-being of all students. Communication with families as key stakeholders will remain of the highest quality, with resources and provision made to support students through a fully blended learning approach.
The THA: COVID catch-up fund document was ratified by The Halley Academy Board (Wednesday 15th November 2020)
- FFT Education Data lab- Staying ambitious, motivated and focused during Year 11 is worth half a grade per GCSE subject