Literacy and Numeracy Catch Up Funding
For 2017-2018, TKA will receive £7500 based on providing £500 support to 15 pupils.
The recent DfE report into the use of numeracy and literacy catch-up funding* revealed that there is currently limited evidence on the efficacy of catch-up interventions specifically for low attaining Year 7 pupils, primarily because little research has been done in this area. At TKA, instead of only targeting small groups or individuals, we intend to run the Numeracy Ninjas programme to benefit not only those pupils who are below age-related expectations but all Year 7 pupils. However, we have identified a group of 5 pupils who will be monitored very closely.
Numeracy Ninjas is designed to fill gaps in pupils’ basic mental calculation strategies. It also aims to empower them with the numeracy skills and fluency required to fully access GCSE Maths concepts when they move to Key Stage 4 study. A 2016 research study by Wyvern College** ( a large comprehensive secondary school) into the impact of using Numeracy Ninjas to improve numeracy fluency of KS3 pupils showed significant results, Numeracy Ninjas increased the average pupil’s gain in fluency with mental calculation strategies by at least an additional 70% when compared to the gains made by a control cohort.
The implementation of this programme is consistent with the school’s philosophy and approach to teaching maths at all stages.
TKA Approach to Maths Teaching
In each lesson pupils complete a 5 minute skills test which includes:
- 10 questions on mental numeracy calculation strategies;
- 10 times tables questions;
- 10 questions on key topics that must be mastered before studying GCSE
The tests are marked in class by pupils who record their Ninja Score out of 30. This corresponds to a particular colour Ninja Belt and only a Ninja Score of 30 will earn pupils the coveted Black Ninja Belt. Teachers then discuss key mental numeracy strategies related to the questions with the class, before carrying on with their teaching of new learning material. The repetitive nature of this approach should be effective in establishing a strong command of basic maths skills at this crucial KS3 stage.
The intention is to implement Numeracy Ninjas in maths lessons 3 to 4 times per week from January 2018. All pupils will participate and benefit initially, even HPA pupils who may have gaps. However, pupils who struggle will be targeted for intervention during Aspire-SMART sessions by an intervention teacher. Intervention will be done in response to actual struggle rather than anticipated struggle, though we will be monitoring the progress of the identified catch-up cohort very closely.
Intervention will occur during Aspire-SMART and assembly 3 to 4 times per week, when a member of staff can be consistently available for intervention and there is no impact on learning in lessons. A pupil will not be withdrawn for intervention more than twice per week.
Access to the Numeracy Ninjas scheme is free, however, numeracy catch-up funding will be required for the photocopying of booklets since the tests do need to be done on paper, as working may need to be shown. The cost of using the intervention tutor for this purpose rather than as a form tutor will also need to be covered.
*Literacy and numeracy catch-up strategies, November 2017, Department for Education
**The impact of using Numeracy Ninjas on the numeracy fluency of KS3 Pupils in a large comprehensive secondary school, William Emeny, 10 June 2016
Using KS2 data, baseline reading and writing assessments, and NGRTs a cohort performing below age-related expectations has been identified. This cohort will then be tested in more depth by the SEND team to ascertain the specific literacy related needs of the Pupils within this cohort, using assessments underpinned by the simple view of reading* and the Dual Route Cascaded Model**. This will allow the group to be subdivided into smaller cohorts for specific and targeted literacy interventions:
- Phonics- Aimed at pupils who need to develop their phonological awareness and decoding This intervention will involve short, regular sessions during form times (2 a week) with pupils developing phonological awareness and decoding skills. The inclusion team will use the ReadWriteInc programme to support Pupil development.
- Comprehension- AImed at pupils who have good decoding skills but need to develop their language comprehension Pupils with comprehension needs (often EAL) will be involved in specific intervention sessions led by English specialists which will focus on understanding of age appropriate texts. In addition these pupils will be involved in a parental reader programme which will take place once a week in form times.
- Orthographic input development- Aimed at pupils who need the develop their lexical store and semantic schemas. Those pupils identified as having an underdeveloped lexicon will be involved in interventions based around developing their lexical store and familiarity with irregular word They will develop a bank of key vocabulary across their subjects and use memorisation and testing techniques to embed these words into their working memory.
In addition to this all pupils in the cohort will have access to the Lexia Learning programme for online learning and development at home.
The cost of these interventions is minimal in terms of the the resources required either already exist within the relevant departments or can be easily produced at a minimal cost. The only significant outlay will be a Lexia Learning subscription. The cost of using SEND and English staff to deliver interventions will have to be considered.
*The simple view of reading, Gough & Tunmer, 1986
**Nonword reading: comparing dual-route cascaded and connectionist dual-process models with human data”Pritchard SC, Coltheart M, Palethorpe S, Castles A, 2012
Numeracy and Literacy Impact Statement 2016 – 2017
You can view the Numeracy and Literacy Impact statement for 2016-17 via this link