The Year 7 Catch Up Premium targets English and Maths skills for students working below expected standards upon arrival at Abbeyfield.
The Premium makes a contribution to two areas to boost students’ skills in these areas.
1. The Building English and Maths Skills class (BEAMS)
2. Bedrock Vocabulary programme
BEAMS (Building English and Maths Skills) was set up at Abbeyfield School in September 2014 in a response to the large number of students with lower than average attainment at Primary School.
BEAMS is for specific pupils in Year 7 and 8, providing teaching of English, Maths, Science, Humanities, MFL and Computing taught using the mainstream curriculum , but with differentiated personalised teaching within a group of up to fifteen students. It not only provides students with the opportunity to improve their skills in subject knowledge, it promotes behaviour for learning, their ability to make the difficult transition into secondary school, and it develops their Emotional Literacy, allowing them to recognise their emotions in order to know how to behave, mature and ultimately be happy.
BEAMS also provides a stepping stone to senior school. Rather than considering the label attached to a child, the difficulties being presented become the focus and intensive work to support and understand the child is put in, as they join mainstream secondary school.
Effective support is not only about differentiation techniques. Relationship is key and will have an impact on all interventions. The BEAMS setting allows these close working relationships to be established very quickly in a smaller group setting.
With praise, encouragement and the right support, we believe all students can achieve. The goals of fostering aspiration and rapid progress must apply to all students according to their ability. All students deserve the opportunity to achieve. Therefore at any point in the BEAMS programme students can graduate back into mainstream classes.
“Mainstream lessons in year 8 are brilliant and BEAMS has given me the confidence to feel I can do it.”
“[It] is my favourite lesson.”
“It’s great because I’m learning.”
2. Bedrock Vocabulary
Students are all signed up to Bedrock Vocabulary on arrival at Abbeyfield School. They are given a Reading Test in Term 1 which is diagnostic and allows their teachers to identify their reading ages and their ability.
Bedrock is a vocabulary development tool, designed to help build a child’s academic and wider vocabulary and which works specifically to the pace and progress of the child. English teachers set twice weekly tutorial homework and students complete this online following the tutorials and completing the progress checks at the end. Bedrock also allows Parents to track progress and learning and this can then be discussed with teachers at parents evening to encourage a team approach to supporting students’ development with reading. Parents are also informed of their child’s progress by certificates of progress being sent home and updates in the school bulletin.
As part of the reward system, there are also Bedrock competitions run termly by the Learning Resource centre team who support English teachers in tracking progress and engagement. Students receive certificates, vouchers and other prizes based on engagement.
Bedrock Vocabulary is one of the resources used at KS3 to ensure that reading stays as a top priority for all Year 7 students and continues as they move through Key Stage Three.