Success stories

Catch Up® is now being used in over 60 schools across Australia, including the following suburbs. Read about the outcomes of our 2009 pilot study and case studies of schools having success with Catch Up® below.

Catch Up® Literacy pilot study

In 2009, Catch Up® carried out a pilot project with a mix of Primary and ‘All through’ (ages 5-19 years) schools, from a range of socioeconomic contexts in New South Wales and Tasmania.
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Across the 14 schools, 148 learners who were struggling readers were identified. They included both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. The average Chronological Age of the participating children was 10 years 9 months, their average Reading Age was 6 years 10 months — a gap of almost 4 years (the children were assessed at the beginning and end of the project with the Salford Sentence Reading Test, to give a standardised measure of progress).

The Catch Up® Literacy individual sessions were delivered to each child by trained teachers or teacher aides. Each session included a prepared reading, an opportunity for the child to read while the supporting adult noted miscues, and a linked writing activity. Two sessions per week were recommended with each session lasting 15 minutes.

After only 6 months of the intervention, the participating learners achieved average Reading Age gains of 15 months.

15 months of Reading Age gain after 6 months of intervention is a mean ratio gain (gain in RA divided by duration of intervention) of more than 2.5. Research shows that a ratio gain of at least 2 may be considered ‘good impact’ (Brooks, 2007). The outcomes were based on an average of less than one session per week, with some learners receiving the recommended two sessions while others missed some sessions. Read the full length report or printable summary of outcomes and example case studies.

"We currently have 22 students on the Catch Up® Literacy program ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 8. After testing in May and again in August we were amazed to discover an average gain of 11.1 months over the three month period! Three students have now finished on the intervention and we are currently going through the process of adding five more students. Very exciting!"
Wendy Phillips, Catch Up® Coordinator, Geeveston District High School.

Due to the success of the pilot, Catch Up® established an Australian office in 2011, enabling additional staff from the pilot schools, along with staff from almost 30 more schools, to be trained to deliver Catch Up® Literacy sessions to struggling learners.

Catch Up® success stories

Connor, Grade 1

Connor has just finished on Catch Up®Literacy because he is now reading beyond his age. His confidence has grown immensely. He started reading books at the Catch Up® level 2 and quickly progressed to Catch Up® level 10 books. It was very hard for me to tell him he has now finished because I know just how much he enjoys coming to his regular sessions. When Connor was asked how he felt about not doing Catch Up® Literacy anymore he replied, “SAD! Because I like doing Catch Up® and I wanted to read all the books”.

TIME ON INTERVENTION: 13 months
READING AGE GAIN: 36 months

Una, Grade 2

Una began Catch Up® Literacy in Grade 1, she was nervous and apprehensive at first but now she comes dancing down to do her sessions! Una has more confidence with her reading and in class. Una said: "Catch Up® is the best thing in the world because it’s awesome and you get to talk to someone and you’re not just on a computer."

TIME ON INTERVENTION: 13 months
READING AGE GAIN: 31 months

Peggie, Grade 4

"I love everything about Catch Up®, everything, the reading, writing, spelling and the stickers. I like learning to read and write with just one person because it makes it easy."

TIME ON INTERVENTION: 13 months
READING AGE GAIN: 36 months

Codie, Grade 8

"Codie lacked confidence and avoided reading whenever he could. Codie loved taking part in the regular Catch Up® Literacy sessions and after 6 months he made almost 2 years progress in his Reading Age.

His confidence has grown amazingly. He is now always willing to have a go at new words and often asks if he can read out loud in class. Codie brings his own books into school and he loves talking about them with his friends and teachers."

TIME ON INTERVENTION: 6 months
READING AGE GAIN: 24 months

Daine, Grade 9

"Daine moved to the school in Grade 7 and was very unhappy, which led to some behaviour issues. He refused to write, saying that everything was too hard. Daine looked forward to his Catch Up® Literacy sessions, asking every day: ‘Have we got that thing today?’ After 6 months of Catch Up® Literacy, he made two years progress in reading age.

He became so confident that he was willing to take part in a demonstration session for other teachers to observe, and he was happy to answer questions! His teacher commented that his participation in Catch Up® Literacy was ‘life-changing’ for him."

TIME ON INTERVENTION: 6 months
READING AGE GAIN: 24 months