remote learning (Covid-19)
What Funding did we get?
Thankfully, let us hope and pray that Covid-19 will not affect us like it has in the past. The £650 million of universal catch-up premium funding was available for all state-funded mainstream primary schools, although this has of course now stopped. Schools’ allocations were calculated on a per pupil basis, providing each mainstream school with a total of £80 for each pupil in years reception through to 11. So for Birdham CE Primary School, we received approximately £10,500 for academic year 2020/21. As the catch-up premium has been designed to mitigate the effects of the unique disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), this grant was only be available for the academic year 2020/21.
How did we use the funds?
At Birdham we used approximately 60% of our anticipated autumn payment on employing a qualified teacher to support afternoon interventions with very small groups of children or even 1:1 support. Most of the remaining funds were used to purchase additional appropriate resources to support phonics provision, as this was an identified need. As a result, in the delayed Y1 autumn 2020 phonics screening check, we achieved a higher than predicted outcome of 83% passing the check.
The specific activities to support these pupils were designed to catch up for some lost teaching over the previous months, in line with the guidance on the DfE website, in reading, phonics, spelling or mathematics as much as possible.
Progress was regularly monitored and reviewed at the end of each half term to determine what programmes of support were used in the following terms. As the spring term 2021 became affected by the national lockdown, we adapted our catch up programme to focus on children who, although they were in school, still required some catch up support.
what happens if there is a repeat?
At Birdham we used an online learning platform called J2E. This was an excellent resource that enabled us to immediately roll out a blended approach to learning, combining face to face, live and recorded teaching. So, although we do not want a repeat, we are confident we can roll out an effective curriculum again at very short notice if we ever needed to.