In response to the effect Coronavirus has had on the education of students across the country, the Government released Covid-19 catch up funding guidance to all schools. The guidance states that;

Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds will be among those hardest hit. The aggregate impact of lost time in education will be substantial, and the scale of our response must match the scale of the challenge.

The government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up.

Schools’ allocations will be calculated on a per pupil basis.  The William Henry Smith School will receive 4 instalments of £4,260, which is calculated on 71 on roll students.

Here at William Henry Smith School we have looked at how to best support our students and how we can respond to this challenge. We looked at several options that we felt need enhancing in the education and provision that we already have on offer.

Talk Boost are targeted interventions for children with delayed language helping to boost their language skills to narrow the gap between them and their peers.  The Talk Boost approach supports children to work in groups to develop their speech, language and communication and will boost not only those core skills, but also support their social interactions with other children. The structured, differentiated approach with an emphasis on underlying skills for learning and social emotional development can help ease children back into the school environment.  The programme will run alongside the Ruth Miskin phonics programme with the aim to improving children’s oral language skills as well as promoting longer-term progress in reading comprehension.

The sessions include activities that cover the key elements of language: Attention and Listening, Vocabulary, Building Sentences, Telling Stories and Conversations.

In addition:

We have now trained our own Talk Boost Tutor who has facilitating coaching two additional staff to become Talk Boost champions within school. 

I-pads have been purchased and are now used across school to engage students into a range of learning experiences across the curriculum areas.   The use of iPads for individual and whole class teaching has helped to increase learning opportunities for all students due to the wide variety of available learning materials including interactive books and educational apps. An iPad classroom has the ability to grab students’ attention and keep them engaged. 

A wider variety of reading books have been purchased to enhance the reading culture within school. We know children need a diverse range of texts to build their vocabulary and help them make sense of the world. Different students are engaged by different genres and topics and life chances are vastly increased if students are literate and are competent readers. Teachers will have the opportunity to purchase reading material which best supports the needs of the students in their Learning Groups.

A subscription to Wordshark has provided a fun and effective games-based solution for students learning to spell and read.  The program is especially useful for those with dyslexia and other special educational needs.  The program is easy use and incredibly flexible – it adapts to the requirements and needs of each student.  The Wordshark games and reward games offer an enjoyable and motivating way to learn spellings and improve reading skills.

A subscription to Timetables Rockstar’s has been purchased. TT Rockstars is an online program that helps a child naturally learn different times tables.