We spoke to Gary Corlett, Head of English Language and Literature at Island School, one of the 22 schools in the English Schools Foundation (ESF) in Hong Kong, about how they ran a successful pilot of CENTURY for English. The pilot included around fifty students across two Year 10 classes, and the school now has over 1,000 students across 45 classes using CENTURY every day.
How was the pilot?
The pilot was really useful. Anything like this, you need to play around with it, give it a little test run through with the students and get some feedback from them. Then you start to see how that will fit within the department plan. It was really valuable. We chose two Year 10 groups as there are nuggets on the topics we were working on for GCSE, and CENTURY is linked to the Cambridge English Language syllabus, which also appealed. We did the diagnostics and set a couple of assignments that tied in with the teaching we were doing.
The two Year 10 groups had extraordinary usage across the two-week pilot. The usage reports were very interesting as they showed the amount of work done. It can be difficult to demonstrate progress over such a short period, but you could see progress here as the complexity of the nuggets that the students were working on improved dramatically. We asked for data on the nuggets specific students had done and how they had shown improvement on the specific skills they were working on. It was really useful to see that progress documented in real time.
The support from CENTURY throughout the pilot was absolutely amazing. The whole approach was very supportive, there was no pressure of being given a deadline to sign on a dotted line. CENTURY feels like a very nice and supportive atmosphere, that was a real bonus. Every question I or the department had was answered straightaway, and everything was explained very well. The timings of the sessions have been excellent, allowing us to experiment a little bit from our side.
The account manager was very helpful. There was enough contact that I really got my head around the platform as well, and I was able to answer any quick queries and questions from the department. How well I feel I know the platform is a testament to the CENTURY team. So far, it’s been very positive.