CENTURY at Cairo English School

Posted on 17th January 2022

Posted by CENTURY

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Opened in 2006, Cairo English School has established itself as one of Cairo’s leading schools, delivering high-quality British international education to over 1500 students aged 3 to 17. They are a member of the British Schools of the Middle East (BMSE) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). 

We caught up with Head of Primary Toya Are, Year 3 Leader Nora Adly and Year 5 Teacher Erik Le Roux to find out how they are using CENTURY to enhance their teaching. 

Toya Are, Head of Primary 

What are the benefits of using CENTURY in your school?

The top three benefits we’ve seen of using CENTURY are, first of all, the personalised learning element. Each child has a recommended pathway with content specific to them based on their engagement and what they do on the platform. 

The second thing is it significantly reduces teacher workload in terms of having to analyse and annotate and differentiate in a lot of different ways because the system automatically does all of that for us. 

The third biggest one, and anyone who works in education will know how important this is, is the motivation and engagement of the students, who really love it. They're very much engaged in it. They love going on it, they love using it for different things, be it academic or just kind sharing how they feel - and all of that data is collated within the programme. 

How did you implement it?

The first thing we did was to make sure that the children would engage with it. So to start with, we focussed on just getting the children to log in and have a go at whatever nuggets they wanted. We kept it within the classroom at the beginning so that it could be used in a very controlled environment, and teachers could direct the children and support them as needed.

Now that we’re at the point of having a good level of engagement because the children want to go on it, we’ve started telling them which nuggets to do. We don't go in and assign them, but we do stipulate to the children the specific nuggets they need to do within the week. So far, that's been working well for us.

In terms of when we use it, it’s part of the children’s daily homework - they’re asked to pick any nugget just to reinforce core concepts and skills. As teachers have become more comfortable with the platform, they have also been implementing it within the classroom to plug specific children’s gaps in knowledge to identify key needs in terms of assessment for learning. 

Going forward, we’re looking to start scheduling nuggets into our medium term planning as a way of introducing lessons, because the slides and videos on the platform can really support our day-to-day teaching. 

How have parents responded to the platform?

CENTURY has been really positively received by our parents, because they can see how it's being consistently used across classes and within year groups. We also got our parents on board with the software by introducing it to the children within school, then inviting them to a parent information evening, where we shared with them what the software was, what it looks like, what their child will be able to do with it and the benefits of it. 

What do you find most useful about it from a leadership perspective?

It's great that we can build up a picture of the whole school’s progress using CENTURY. We can see where our strengths lie and where our areas for development within the curriculum are, and that helps facilitate our long term planning in terms of CPD school development priorities.

Nora Adly, Year 3 Leader

The children have found CENTURY very beneficial and are able to access it easily. In Year 3, our main use of the platform is as a homework tool. The students’ recommended path is really good because it helps the children to take ownership of their learning; we want them to be aware of their targets and of what their next steps are and of what they need to do to help themselves improve, which they can see on CENTURY. 

It also allows children to push themselves. In addition to following their recommended path as expected, it really helps those children who want to challenge themselves - whether it’s in maths, say if that’s their favourite subject, or if they want to do a bit more reading.

In terms of how it’s supported my teaching, here are a few of the key things I’ve been using it for; 

  • To make differentiation easier, as the AI differentiates for the child without us having to do that manually ourselves. That enables the children to do tasks that are personalised for them without adding to our workload; 
  • To support future planning. When I see on CENTURY that there are specific topics that most of the children struggled with, or there are specific questions that most of the children weren't able to do, it then makes it easier to spot what gaps there are in the learning and how I can plan to consolidate learning and plug those gaps;
  • To plan interventions. The data that is provided by CENTURY really supports us when we want to plan interventions for the children. It tells us how long they have spent on CENTURY, and how many questions they got right in comparison to the time that they've spent. For example, you might have children who are spending hours and hours on the platform, but are not getting that many questions right. Those are the children we can look to support. So having all of the data from CENTURY has been really, really beneficial in terms of supporting the students.

Erik Le Roux, Year 5 Teacher

The best thing about it is that there’s no marking – that's all gone, and we’re using CENTURY now instead. It helps us to easily track students’ progress, and to easily assign homework. 

It makes it easy for us as class teachers to manage the students, track their homework and make sure they make progress on an individual level. There’s no hassle in terms of having to keep asking them “please go on CENTURY!” because the kids actually enjoy using it, and they want to be on it. In fact, if we don't assign CENTURY homework, they will ask us why not. 

The short burst activities are ideal for revision, or for at the end of an objective to make sure that the students know those skills and specific objectives. It can also be used to target interventions for specific students to focus on whatever they’re struggling with. For example, if I see my students struggling with fractions, I could assign a nugget specifically to one specific student, let them do it in class, or I could assign the nugget to the whole class to get the lesson started if there are a few of them struggling. 

If I do the latter, I can quickly have a look at my markbook once they’ve completed it and see ‘okay, looks like I have five students that struggle a lot with fractions’, and I can focus more during lesson time on those students. I can do that just by using the data available on CENTURY.

Book a demo to find out more about how CENTURY can help to enhance the teaching and learning at your school or college.