Catch up Literacy: Evaluation Report and Executive Summary

Simon Rutt, Kelly Kettlewell, Daniele Bernardinelli

18 February 2015

This NFER report has been produced for the Education Endowment Foundation and its evaluation of Catch Up® Literacy - a structured one-to-one intervention for pupils aged 6 to 14 who are struggling to learn to read. The intervention adopts a combination of segmenting and blending phonemes, and memorising letter names of high-frequency sight words. It is targeted to the needs of individual learners, identified through a bank of assessments for learning, and involves two individual 15-minute sessions per week. A member of staff within each school manages Catch Up Literacy® while the intervention is usually delivered by trained teaching assistants. The TAs delivering Catch Up Literacy® were supplied with detailed session plans and received three half-day training sessions led by Catch Up®.

Key Findings

  • The pupils that received Catch Up Literacy® made more progress than pupils that did not. However, this difference was not statistically significant so we cannot be confident that it was not due to chance.
  • Catch Up Literacy® did have a statistically significant impact on pupils’ attitudes to school, self-assessed ability in reading, and their confidence in and enjoyment of writing.
  • Teaching assistants reported a number of benefits for their own professional development. These include increases in confidence, knowledge of literacy support and overall job satisfaction.
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