Hathershaw College

COVID Recovery Strategy 2020/21

COVID Recovery Strategy 2020/21


Mission Statement 

We recognise that the two enforced closures and extensive disruption as a result of self-isolation, particularly in the autumn term, has had an impact on students that can be reversed.  The impact of this has been even more acute on the well above average number of students who are in receipt of pupil premium and the initial delay in receiving devices to distribute to those who need them most.  Whilst the term ‘catch-up’ is being used nationally to describe this agenda, we prefer to refer to this as COVID recovery.  We have not limited this to academic recovery as we recognise there are a number of strands that need to be considered, some of which concern learning and others which involve getting students back on track socially, physically and emotionally.  Equally, in terms of academic recovery, whilst we recognise the importance of provision funded through the National Tutoring Programme and Catch-up Premium, we also recognise that some of the benefits of this might be relatively short-term and want to focus on plans that are sustainable and close gaps over the longer term.  

The College also recognises its commitment to the recovery agenda for children who are currently in Year 6 at primary school and due to attend Hathershaw in September 2021.  It is recognised by ourselves that these children have received significant disruption at a critical time in their development.  Their experience in Year 5 was disrupted and their focus in the autumn term of Year 6, ahead of the most recent enforced closure, will have been on English and Maths in preparation for SATs which have subsequently been cancelled.  In addition, the transition experience for these children will not be normal as a result of measures in place to restrict mixing between children in different schools and year groups.  To this end, it is our intention to hold a summer school for Year 6 students.  Whilst the EEF reports that an intervention of this type results in a maximum of two months extra progress, we believe that this is a worthwhile activity to ensure good foundations on which to build in September. 

We are building our recovery agenda around the concepts of presence, participation and progress, getting into school and keeping them here and then providing a safe, warm and welcoming environment so that they can make progress in all areas of school life. 

There are a number of strands to our COVID recovery strategy with a separate plan for each aspect.  Within these plans is a reference to a universal offer as well as a more targeted approach for some groups of children.

To achieve our Mission Statement, we will; 

  • Close the attainment gap especially for the disadvantaged most vulnerable that is likely to have widened during lockdown

  • Ensure all students are provided with high quality, personalised teaching and learning that closes the gaps in learning

  • Offset the nationally acknowledged widening of the reading, writing and oracy Literacy gap between disadvantaged children and their peers due to lockdown

  • Support the social and emotional well-being of students and ensure they feel safe and engage.

  • Implement evidence informed intervention (EEF) to ensure support is well targeted to close the gaps created by school closures

  • Remove the digital divide including infrastructure and/or skills and secure a sustainable, innovative and creative future for our online teaching and learning

  • Develop self-regulation and metacognitive skills to maximise the gains of independent learning

  • Support the physical health of students having spent longer periods of time sedentary

  • Rekindle a ‘love of learning’ and re-focus their aspirations using CEIAG to inspire, energise and engage students 


Priority 1: Academic Recovery

Rationale: We recognise that the two enforced closures and extensive disruption as a result of self-isolation will have resulted in students experiencing lost, missed or disrupted learning. Where engagement has been high there is still the challenge to ensure that knowledge, skills and concepts are embedded and any misconceptions that may have developed are identified and addressed. The importance of revised curriculum planning, quality first teaching, timely assessment and feedback are paramount to our Covid recovery plans.


  • Curriculum Leaders to revise curriculum plans to sequence new learning and time needed for learning recovery

  • Quality first teaching, recognising that it is the classroom with teachers where students spend the majority of their time. We will provide teachers, Learning Support Assistant and Educational Communicators with the CPD they require to accelerate children’s progress and maximise gains.

  • Diagnostic assessment to identify gaps can be identified and filled.

  • Maximise the impact of low stakes testing and feedback to identify and remove misconceptions.

  • Tuition on an individual and small group basis, funded in the short term by the Catch-up Premium and NTP funding.

    o English and mathematics tuition for students in all year groups

    o Ebacc and options tuition for GCSE subjects

  • Mathematics and reading tests for our Y7, Y8 and new Y6 intake to identify and address gaps in learning

  • After school intervention in the form of an addition period for targeted groups of students.

  • Maintain the communication with parents/carers reviewing progress via virtual and future face-to-face parents’ evenings

  • Recognise and celebrate recovery learning by encouraging achievement phone calls, celebration Fridays and more effective use of e-praise in lesson to increase engagement

  • In partnership with the OSFC support summer self-study to bridge and gaps in knowledge, skills and concepts ready for college 


All faculties have approached recovery using diagnostic assessments from throughout national closures and in the Autumn Term 2021. Feedback has informed curriculum sequencing, interleaving and retrieval work. In every faculty the closing gaps in knowledge, skills and concepts has been central to recovery. NTP and School Led tutoring for all years in English and Maths and GCSE for additional subjects has aided quality first teaching. Using 2019, National Conversions outcomes our Attainment 8 was 48.2 and progress 8 calculated at +0.50. English and Maths standard and strong passes were in line with 2019 national outcomes.

Over the last three academic years attainment for disadvantaged students has remained in line with or above disadvantaged students nationally. Although the pandemic impacted schools with high proportions of disadvantaged students we are please that both they and their non-disadvantaged peers improved outcomes. In addition, the rise in disadvantaged outcomes from an attainment 8 of 40 to 44 closed the gap on national attainment 8 that remained similar in 2020 and 2021 at 55.

In assessing the impact on attainment by bucket all areas of English, mathematics, Ebacc and Open we in line with or above national disadvantaged peers however, our goal is raise attainment further and close the gap on national non-disadvantaged further remains the priority but is a national challenge as non-disadvantaged outcomes increased at a faster rate in 2021. Overall progress 8 calculated by SISRA was +0.09 for our disadvantaged students.


Priority 2: Literacy

Rationale: Literacy is essential in creating opportunities for students to develop and progress both academically and socially. By making reading, writing and oracy more accessible for all students it allows them to access a range of texts and topics, providing them with a greater understanding of the world around them and of themselves; whilst enriching, expanding and building on their knowledge and confidence. The importance of Literacy cannot be underestimated as it affords students a way to engage with everyday life, connect with the past and hone their own futures. By prioritising Literacy as part of our Covid Recovery plans, we are ensuring that the potential we want our students to reach is always growing and attainable.


  • Prioritise oracy through questioning to support social recovery and especially self-confidence

  • Increase the regularity of Fresh start and Lexia phonics to cohorts in Y7, Y8 and Y9

  • Through the Literacy Working Party Set expectations for learning recovery to include;

  • o Embedding reading recovery with a focus on reading fluency

  • o Through dense text extracts to broaden knowledge and increase the exposure to and understanding of vocabulary

  • o Focus on writing and structures to support

  • Employ an addition phonics tutor offering 25hr Fresh Start Phonics per week to Y7, Y8 and the new Y6 intake alongside providing in school Bedrock lessons

  • Promote the love of reading targeting reluctant readers, those with lower reading ages or those wanting to expand their diet of genre by Library sessions and our new Sora software

  • Class readers in form time and English lessons

  • Increase our English Intervention resources by purchasing Bedrock Literacy for the whole school cohort but specifically targeting Y7, Y8 and the new Y6 


  • Questioning and Oracy are areas that are being prioritised through whole staff CPD and further strengthened by the Literacy working Party
  • The Literacy working party consists of a Literacy Champion from every faculty and meets every half term.  They lead on the standing literacy agenda item at faculty meetings and all discussion and strategies for reading, writing, oracy and vocabulary are minuted and shared on the Literacy Working party Google Classroom
  • Lexia has not been running due to both staffing and the inability to mix year groups and removal of form time. Fresh start began in May 2021 and was delivered by Charlotte Appleby (Academic Mentor).  Charlotte worked with 4 specific groups for one lesson a day every day.  This equated to the students having 5 lessons a week for 8 weeks - 40 lessons in total.  The groups were of different sizes: Group 1 - 6 pupils (3PP), Group 2 - 6 pupils (3PP), Group 3 - 10 pupils (2PP), Group 4 - 8 pupils (4PP):

o   Group 1 began at Module 1 and finished at Module 7, however some moved significantly higher and 2 PP students moved from initial assessment of Module 1 to Module 16, another from Module 1 to Module 21 and the third from Module 6 to Module 8.  All pupils in the group were higher than their final module 7 in their second assessment.

o   Group 2 began at Module 6 and finished at Module 12, however some moved significantly higher and the 3 PP students all made significant progress - 1 went from initial assessment of Module 6 to 2nd assessment Module 21, another from Module 15 to Module 21 and the third from Module 15 to no longer needing Fresh Start. All pupils in the group were higher than their final module 12 in their second assessment, with two non-PP pupils also no longer needing Fresh Start.

o   Group 3 began at Module 15 and finished at Module 21, all pupils were higher than their final module of 21 in their second assessment with 5/10 no longer needing Fresh Start and the remaining 5/10 moving to Module 22. The two PP students both went from initial assessment Module 15 to 2nd assessment Module 22.

o   Group 4 began at Module 21 and finished at Module 27, all pupils except one were higher than in their final module of 27 with 7/8 no longer needing Fresh Start, this includes all of the 4 PP students in the group. The 1 non PP pupil who did not finish higher than their final module did make progress moving from Module 21 to Module 22.

For 2021/22 we are in the process of sourcing two academic mentors to help with the delivery of the fresh start programme to our Year 7 students.  Initial NGRT (New Group Reading Tests) will identify those who are below a functional reading age.  These students will then be further assessed to see if they need the Fresh Start programme and placed in groups with a starting module according to their need.  Training will be needed for the Academic Mentors to deliver Fresh Start, as well as allocated rooms.  It will be predominantly for Year 7, but could be extended to Year 8 if we have the staff and rooming capacity. 

  •  Library lessons for Years 7 and 8 take place within English, with each Year 7 and 8 class having an opportunity once a fornight to visit the library.  As well as choosing, renewing and returning books a selected group of students remains in the library to engage in dialogue about reading to create a talking about books and reading a natural part of conversation at Hathershaw.  The Librarian also shares and reminds students of SORA, and access to the on-line library.
  •  Reading forms have been introduced in Year 7, with an intention to roll this out across the whole of Key Stage 3.  Students are placed in forms according to their reading age and are read to from a novel that is slightly above their reading age.  In English lessons Year 7 and 8 have a dedicated reading lesson where they all engage in reading a book for pleasure.
  • Bedrock was implemented to Years 7-10 on 19th April 2021 with the vision of it being Years 7-11 from September 2021. As this is a whole school initiative the additionality has come by us ensuring PP students had access to devices and connection at home as well as providing opportunities for Students to access Bedrock through our school facilities.  According to the most recent Bedrock data report (June 2021) the average attainment percentage increase for all students was 19%. The average attainment percentage increase for PP students was 17%. The data we have is raw Reading age scores for Year 7 (2020/2021) and doesn’t really show the gaps as such.  However according to the DfE (2019) 1 in 4 students leave primary school with a reading age below their chronological age, at Hathershaw NGRT data (2020/2021) informed us 1 in 3 Year 7’s entering had a reading age below their chronological age.


Priority 3: Mental Health and well-being

Rationale: Positive mental health and wellbeing is crucial for children to be able to enjoy and actively engage with their education.  Evidence suggests that children with higher levels of emotional, behavioural and social wellbeing have higher levels of academic achievement.  Evidence also suggests that children with better mental health and wellbeing have better mental health as adults.  Students have missed a great deal of school and are concerned about the amount of learning time they have lost and the lack of social opportunities they have experienced.  By promoting positive mental health and wellbeing we will enable students to regain their self-belief and confidence in order to thrive and achieve their full potential.

  • Ensure school counselling appointments are available to those most in need by increasing to 5 days provision

  • Amend the assembly programme to include topics including accessing and supporting mental health, exercise, relationship and aspirations

  • Re-establish extra-curricular activities to provide opportunities to enable students to socialise

  • Review the citizenship curriculum to deliver in form time or through google classrooms support and guidance on anxiety, depression and physical health.

  • Maintain a high profile for rewards including e-praise and celebration Fridays for good effort and attitude.


CBT Sessions with Charlotte Jones

One day a week session were held with 5 students per half term. CBT started from HT5 2020-21.  A total of 10 students received support; 60% of them were Pupil Premium. 100% of the students said the sessions helped them. 83% said they feel more in control of their anger. 83% said they will be able to talk about their feelings more. 67% said they will be able to manage stress and anxiety better.

Wellbeing Sessions (TOG Mind)

To increase capacity, we employed two counsellors.  One for a full day and one for an afternoon. 7 students received support in 2020-21; 71% of them were Pupil Premium. 

Priority 4: Digital Strategy

   Rationale: Our digital strategy is a pedagogy first approach allowing us to achieve our core principle of teaching and learning whilst supporting the development of our teachers and students in the widest sense.  Our strategy will support teachers in delivering high quality lessons and learning experiences whilst preparing students for further study and 21st century work spaces.

  • Provide CPD to further share and improve the use of ICT for explanations, modelling, assessment and feedback

  • Revolutionise the collaboration of colleague’s resources to further develop innovative and creative teaching and learning

  • Improve communication and re-enforce the learning partnership between students, staff and parents/carers

  • Improve access to, and the understanding of, physical health, mental health and well-being

  • To further develop students as responsible digital citizens and foster self-efficacy, self-belief and motivation to use technology for learning now and into the future


Supported and driven by the College Digital Strategy both staff and students developed their ICT skills allowing them to use ICT to enhance their use of ICT within lessons, home working and self-study/CPD.   Extensive training took place to ensure that both staff and students could engage with Google Classroom alongside an increased focus within the Computing and ICT curriculums to ensure students have the necessary knowledge and understanding to keep themselves safe online.  Reducing the impact of the Digital Divide was a major focus with 374 laptops being procured from the DFE scheme, 33 from the Local Authority and further 120 laptops purchased using PP money.  The number of laptops allocated to students can be seen in the table below.

Year Group Number of laptops assigned to PP students (the number in the bracket is the total number assigned to that year group) 
7 20(44)
8 31(68)
9 27(57)
10 42(73)
11 64(127)


Priority 5: Metacognition and Self-regulation

Rationale: We recognise the crucial role that teachers and other professionals play in contributing to the learning recovery process, but equally recognise the role that students can play if they have the skills to accelerate their own progress and access learning more independently.  We will ensure that students in all year groups are more self-regulated, show greater resilience and take greater responsibility for managing their own learning and how they revise.


  • Provide further CPD including the novice/expert gradual release model, I do, we do, you do and the concept of gradual release

  • Relaunch the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) making high quality resources and online learning materials more accessible

  • Establish flipped learning into home learning expectations providing training and support for staff and students

  • Review homework planning and target knowledge, skills or concepts that will achieve the greatest gains in closing lost or disrupted learning

  • To provide revision materials for disadvantaged learners e.g revision guides and flashcards to ensure equity between all learners preparing for exams

  • Continue to use Google Classroom and technological developments to support self-regulation and self-study

  • Develop student and staff understanding about metacognition and develop self-regulation in students

  • Deliver a range of study skills lesson within subject context focusing on KS3 and KS4 including the use of external providers e.g Elevate and Made Training

  • Utilise the most effective online teaching packages to enable student access to high quality learning materials e.g Oak Academy and Seneca Learning.


Throughout the academic year a number of CPD sessions were delivered to provide teachers with the knowledge and understanding to promote metacognition and self-regulation during their online and face to face lessons. A remote education model was agreed and good practice was shared across the College to encourage and foster independence.  A Google Classroom structure was agreed to reduce extraneous cognitive load and help students manage cognitive lead, the consistent layout was a major contributor to the adoption of Google Classroom across the College. The re-design and re-structuring of the VLE was started to provide a highly organised and intuitive interface to support self-study.


Priority 6: Physical Recovery

Rationale: Students will have returned to school missing out on physical activity. Staying at home has meant less time out with friends or exercising, in addition to the closure of grassroots sport. With time spent on screens remote learning this has exacerbated the problem making home life more sedentary.  As students return to school numerous issues related to physical well-being will present themselves from anxiety to depression to low physical fitness and a lack of self-confidence.      

  • Increase opportunities in Science, PE and Food Technology to discuss healthy eating and nutrition

  • Deliver advice and guidance on the benefits of routines and especially around the importance of sleep

  • Promote participation in extra-curricular sporting activities by offering a wide variety e.g Football, Cricket, Trampolining, Dance, climbing

  • Promote and encourage the joining of local sporting grass roots sports clubs including ‘trial’ sessions in school

  • Raise the profile of links between physical and emotional well-being in lessons, assembles and tutor time

  • Use guest speakers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, local coaches and successful ex-students pursuing Sporting careers or from successful clubs to inspire and encourage students to participate in sport or any physical activity

  • Promote competitions and introduce fitness challenges to increase participation in Physical Activity e.g Couch to 5K

  • Establish outside space for supervised lunchtime sporting activities eg. Football, running club or walking for fitness

  • Develop links with parents/carers to encourage family activity sessions

  • Increase links with local community sports and develop physical activities from specialists e.g Dance, Parkour, PT

  • Develop cycling facilities, road safety awareness and the health benefits of cycling


MTP’s were planned and used within lessons which including the need for good routines in health and hygiene and sleep. A virtual assembly was delivered in January 2021 regarding diet and nutrition. Fitness exercises were tweeted out on a weekly basis continuing what had been started in the first lock down. Extra-curricular activities were promoted through lessons and the student bulletin and restarted in the summer term. Activities were limited but did include football cricket, rounders and multisports in line with NGB advice. 77 students took part (23 girls and 54 boys). 232 attendances were recorded with 112 of these being by PP students. Outside football was established during the summer term at lunch with staff who were willing to supervise. The daily mile route has been line marked in the school yard encouraging students to complete this. A further trampoline has been purchased to increase movement time in lessons. A Student wall of fame has been developed which shows students who have club, town or county success. Invitations, links to local sports coaches, guest speakers and parental engagement activities were unable to be completed due to Covid restrictions.

Priority 7: Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)

Rationale: Careers education is an integral aspect of our curriculum. It helps to inform and raise the aspirations of our students’. We recognise the importance of helping our students with their personal development and believe that through a strategic plan we can provide more opportunities to enhance their cultural capital. We will ensure that all of the students in each year group are exposed to further CEIAG opportunities that will help to both inspire and focus them on their learning.

  • Deliver the careers fair either face to face or virtually for Y10 and Y11 students

  • In partnership with OSFC arrange a series of CEIAG opportunities about post 16 education

  • Ensure virtual tours / open days are accessed by students prior to college applications

  • Revisit students’ goals and aspirations through the pledge passports and GMACS

  • Provide a comprehensive options process to help students to make informed decisions with virtual videos to complement the options booklet

  • Provide targeted career links/experiences including Construction e.g Wilmot Dixon and Journalism e.g for our Y7 and Y9 students

  • Prioritise disadvantaged students in Y10 for additional careers interviews and workshops

  • Pursue the hardest to reach students, including non-attenders, to reduce those who are potentially NEETs in Y11 by offering one to one and small group careers interviews

  • Provide an inspirational talk for our hardest to reach students to inspire and support them so they don’t go NEET

  • Provide a University virtual tour and workshop for a targeted group of Year 8 students


Throughout the academic year we aimed to combat the impact of the school closure and ensure we continued with our work of further raising the aspirations of our students. Careers meetings continued virtually throughout the school closure and we were able to offer face to face meetings when the guidance allowed us to. Guest speakers, college and university visits were utilised virtually to ensure the students had a flavour of what the institutions look like to ensure they didn’t miss out fully on these experiences. We also worked with outside agencies like the Growth Company to combat NEET figures and ensure that some of our hardest to reach students had some bespoke input to encourage them to aspire to attend college. Throughout the whole process our disadvantaged students were our main priority as well as working with other groups such as our SENd students.

Priority 8: Y6 Transition to Secondary School

     Rationale: Students transitioning to secondary education have had the impact of two national closures in both Year 5 and Year 6. Studies have shown students further behind with their reading, writing and especially mathematics with SEN children and disadvantaged struggling more to make up lost learning. In addition, although it is exciting for some students moving to secondary for many including parents/carers it can generate great anxiety and it is important to help with the social and emotional transition to get the best start at their new school.

  • Deliver summer school to Y6 students focusing on well-being, literacy and National Curriculum recovery

  • Sign-post online learning platforms to parents/carers who would like to offer summer learning at home

  • Alter the content and sequences in study for English and mathematics to counter-balance lost learning

  • Reduce the anxiety for students and parents/carers in Y6 about the transition process including virtual tours, virtual introductions, interactive maps, pre-recorded question and answers and Summer Term digital welcome events

  • Introduce the SORO library pre-summer to students and encourage summer reading

  • Purchase a book for all Y6 students to read over the Summer break

  • Introduce a ‘buddying system’ between Year 10 and New Year 7 with the most vulnerable meeting virtually in advance

  • Liaise with primary colleagues to identify students suffering longer term social or emotional difficulties and support in Y7

  • Promote extra-curricular activities and survey the Year 6 students to identify interests

  • Complete baseline testing for reading and mathematics to inform whole school planning

  • Deliver phonics catch-up to identified cohorts including the use of Fresh Start and Bedrock Literacy programmes

  • Employ an Academic mentor to add capacity to the Literacy Programmes delivery to Y7

  • Revisit the National Tutoring Programme to provide targeted support to students


The transition work which took place in the summer term has supported students settling into Hathershaw in September 2021. The usual meetings and conversations with SENCO’s, DSL’s and Year 6 teachers of all students took place to gather pastoral and academic information. More communication than ever before was put in place to support both the students joining us and their parents. Virtual events and monthly contact via post ensured that parents and students felt supported and prepared ready for September.

Visits took place by the transition team to meet the majority of students at their primary school on multiple occasions and answer their questions on the day when they should have had a transition visit to Hathershaw. SEND and vulnerable students received more support including a tour of the school prior to September so that they could familiarise themselves with the building.

All parents received an introductory phone call from the year 7 manager to ensure that lines of communication were opened prior to September. This has resulted in less anxiety from parents and students when year 7 joined us in September. All year 6 students joining us were invited to attend our summer school in August, and almost half signed up to this. The evaluations from the week-long event were overwhelmingly positive and the success of our transition work is reflected in the attendance of year 7 students in Half term 1 (95%).

The buddy system of year 10 and year 7 was not implemented prior to summer 2021 as we had intended for year 6 to meet face to face with the students during transition day. Unfortunately, the Local Authority instructed us to cancel this event.

Covid Recovery Spending

The long-term success of our Covid recovery will involve a number of strategies that will require the time and expertise of staff at the college. The National Tutoring Programme and the Catch-up funding will support a number of actions however for a truly sustainable approach the majority of our strategies will involve approaching our improvement planning at all levels of leadership, building stronger relationships with parents/carers and developing the independent learning resources and skills of our students. For a large number of actions there will be no direct cost from the funding. The table below identifies where the college has spent money to support our wider and long-term recovery planning.




1. Academic Recovery

  • Hathershaw Staff Tutoring

  • NTP Tutoring Programmes

  • Additional ‘in home’ tutoring

  • Super Learning Days

  • Exam Doctor English Intervention

  • Honorarium – Academic Tutoring Co-ordinator

  • Weekend Super Learning Days Art and BTEC Sport

  •  Barbican Box and Paint Making Art Workshops

£31, 882

2. Literacy

  • Bedrock Phonics Learning Software

  • NTP Academic Tutoring for phonic programme

  • Training staff for Fresh Start

  • Resource Booklets for Additional Catch-up Fresh Start
  • Baseline Testing for KS2/KS3 transition

  • SORO Online Library Software


3. Mental Health and Well-being

  • Evolve Extra-curricular tracking software

  • Covid On-site Testing Training

  • Covid Testing Site Staffing

4. Digital Strategy

  • G-Suite Enterprise Google Online Learning Platform

  • Salamander Soft (Remote Learning Timetable software)

  • Class Reporter Online Google Classroom use tracker

5. Metacognition and Self-regulation

  • Revision Guides, Flash Cards and Past Papers in mathematics

  • English Revision Guides for Y10 and Y11

  • Elevate and Made Study Skills Training


6. Physical Recovery

  • Guest Speakers

  • Daily Mile Yard Marking

  • Trampoline to increase active time in PE

  • Cycle Shelter


  • Guest Speakers for Y11 – Living your Dream


8. Transition to Secondary

  • Summer School


 Total Spend = £78,959


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PDF icon COVID Recovery Strategy 2021-22