Pupil/Service Premium and Covid Catch Up Funding

Pupil/Service Premium Funding

Pupil Premium is additional money which the school is given to support children who have been identified as disadvantaged (this can be as simple as having been in care or being in receipt of certain benefits.) Service Premium is paid to children with parents serving in the armed forces. How this is spent can be found in the attached document. 

If you believe that your child should receive Pupil or Service Premium but doesn't, then please see Mr. Hodgkiss in total confidence. 

A breakdown of how we are spending our funding is attached.

Covid Catch Up Funding

HM Government allocated funding to support the catch up of pupils following the school suspension in 2019/20.  .

Rockcliffe has been allocated the following:

Autumn term  £2,500

Spring term     £5,000

Summer term £2,500

Total funding of £80 per pupil. £80 x 125 (NoR 2019) = £10,000

Synopsis of identified issues

In the early part of the school term, we assessed all children against the end of year objectives for the previous school year.  These assessments found the following.


In reading, children had fallen behind in phonics understanding, especially for the children now entering Year One.  There was a fall in understanding for some children in Year Two but this was not as substantial.  Children in Year Three and above had kept pace with decoding skills but comprehension of texts, especially when questioned orally, had fallen.


Over the whole school the length and complexity of writing had fallen back for children who did not return in June and had been wholly remote educated.  Writing stamina was much reduced.  In the early years, pencil grip had fallen back, and basic written vocabulary was smaller than it had been in March for those children who had not returned to school.  This stamina was again reduced followig the Spring lockdown in 2021.


In general, calculation was at the expected level but reasoning had fallen behind the expected norms.


After a careful analysis of the data, The school has decided to spend our Catch-Up funding in the following ways.

Academic Year 2020/21: (From November 2020): We used the funding to reduce class sizes by approximately 30% in each year group, except Year 5 and 6.  For one year only, instead of having mixed age classes, all pupils from EYFS to Year 4 will be taught in single age classes of a smaller size.  Our premise is to build on Quality First Teaching and use teaching assistants to work with focussed groups or individuals within the lesson (when staff are available.) Teaching staff are able to give more attention to children in a smaller class and deal with specific issues by being able to rotate about fewer children.  We have also embedded focussed catch up phonics sessions in Years One and Two, now two sessions per day.  Additional guided reading in Years Three to Six has been timetabled within the week to address misunderstandings here.

The cost of switching to a single age structure for the final five half terms of the school year is approx. £41,000.  This is being supported through the first two elements of Covid catch-up funding, additional funding from Cumbria County Council and from the school's financial reserves.

The switch to smaller classes has allowed our two HLTA's to be directed to catch up activities each morning.  In particular these staff are focussed on supporting early reading, phonics and writing in Year One along with full core surriculum support in Years Five and Six.

Academic Year 2021/22: We continued with the use of smaller classes, again drawing money from school reserves. Our focus in school will switch to writing.  Although we have corrected issues with stamina and pencil grip, the whole term catch up focus will be on writing from Year 2 upwards.  Year One will continue with additional phonics sessions but an increased amount of writing will be taught.

Children in Years Three and Four will also have an additional focus on Multiplication, especially mulitplication tables.  

Children in Year Six will also have tailored booster sessions for KS2 SATs.  This is a usual feature of the term but again, these will help staff focsu on developing areas of current weakness.

Updated December 2021