Year 7 Catch-up Premium

Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium

Willow Dene receives a Department for Education funded literacy and numeracy catch up premium for Year 7 students. The purpose of this funding is to support personalised interventions in developing core skills in cognition and communication or literacy and numeracy (as appropriate) at the start of Key Stage 3. In 2016-2017 the allocated funding was a total of £6000

This was spent on part-funding a mobile magic carpet for KS3 which provides lots of engaging apps for supporting early visual and motor skills as well as more concept-based learning in literacy and numeracy. The system comes with over 500 interactive apps as well as a user-friendly app maker with more than templates, enabling teachers to create their own content to support learning. We felt that this resource would benefit all Year 7 pupils irrespective of their learning needs.

The impact of this resource will be monitored through hard and soft data analysis, Pupil Progress Meetings and the Governing Body’s Learning and Achievement Committee.


2015-16 FUNDING

In 2015-2016 the allocated funding was £500 per Year 7 student, which totalled £4000

The 2015-2016 academic year is the first time the school has received this funding, as we opened our secondary provision. We have used this year’s funding to purchase a range of software to support children’s literacy, numeracy, cognition and communication skills. These are:

  • Communicator 5 – a powerful piece of software developed by the innovators of eye-gaze technology, which can turn the eye-gaze computer into a completely customisable AAC device (fitting with one of the school’s core priorities this year). It can also be used to control infra-red toys using eye-gaze, which is an exciting project we are trialling with our Year 7 eye-gaze users.
  • The Inclusive Eye Gaze Learning Curve – a collection of 54 fun and engaging interactive activities specially created to teach early eye gaze access and develop choice making skills. It supports student’s communication and cognition skills as it takes them on the learning curve from cause and effect understanding through to using eye gaze for communication, learning and leisure.
  • Clicker 7 – the latest update of one of our favourite pieces of software to support children’s emergent and developing literacy skills and concept development has had a major facelift. It provides a wealth of accessibility which enables all children to get the thoughts that are in their head down on the page (or screen). The structure that it provides enables children to access cognitively challenging activities because they are secure about what it is they have to achieve and how wo achieve it. An added bonus is that it now supports eye-gaze which makes it an even more effective tool to support learning.



These resources are used widely to support the needs of highly diverse learners in KS3 and beyond. They make learning accessible for technology for almost all children in Year 7 and have supported learning in literacy and numeracy. For example, one child in year 7 accesses a customised word-bank which acts as a picture dictionary to support her independent writing. She has also been enabled to produce longer and more complex sentences through the use of template grids which support both her reading and writing. One mixed Year 7 and 8 class used Clicker 7 to support their literacy and PSHE to articulate what they had been doing, how they were feeling and the reasons why, using on-screen choices to support this. A Year 7 child has started to make simple choices between preferred and non-preferred stimuli using eye-gaze.  Another child in Year 7 using eye-gaze has made progress with her ‘dwell’ skills, enabling her to select and make choices. This has been supported by a wider range of motivating software on offer. A child in Year 7 with a significant visual impairment has used auditory elements within Clicker 7 to discriminate between different environmental sounds. There is much evidence of progress that has been supported by these software titles in children’s individual Learning Journeys assessments. A child in Year 7 with a significant visual impairment has used auditory elements within Clicker 7 to discriminate between different environmental sounds.