Literacy Catch Up impacts on 1,600 pupils
A literacy Catch Up programme in Rhondda Cynon Taf has been dramatically improving the reading ages of pupils in Years 2 and 3 in one of the most deprived areas of Wales. The local authority, with 16 Communities First areas and high levels of poor adults basic skills, has been supporting schools in the Catch Up initiative for the last four years. To date, Catch Up has targeted 1,600 hesitant readers from over 90 schools in the region, improving reading ages by an average of 20 months in a nine month period.
The local authority has used its Basic Skills Agency Strategic Intervention Grant to fund a team of trained Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) and a coordinator to work with schools to train their own schoolsbased LSAs. The Catch Up LSAs provide two weekly sessions with selected children, matched by time from the schoolbased LSA. Ten minute, one-on-one sessions with children are raising confidence, improving reading ages and promoting a love of reading among children who risk falling further behind. Read a full report on the Catch Up model and find out how it is being successfully embedded in the schools, which are able to support the work themselves after three years.