Yew Tree Community School is a primary school with roughly 650 pupils located in Greater Manchester. We recently caught up with Head of Maths Rheia Gresham to find out how her school is using CENTURY in the classroom, what impact it is having on teaching and learning, and what their plans are for the future.
Why did you choose CENTURY?
We particularly liked the personalised learning approach that CENTURY offers, especially as we had experienced quite low engagement with home learning since the first lockdown, so we knew that our children had large gaps in their knowledge. We thought that it would be very engaging as well, because the children love working on their iPads.
How did you implement it?
We designated a specific slot for the inset day in September to launch it with staff and allow them to test it out. The initial response was very positive. After that, the team at CENTURY provided a more in-depth training session.
From the outset, we designated CENTURY champions for each year group in Key Stage 2. Each champion is responsible for leading the training sessions within their year group and supporting new colleagues and staff with any queries. We’ve found this really helped to streamline the integration, as everyone knows who to go to if they have any questions.
The above is an example of my Year 4 timetable to show how we’ve integrated this into the school day. On a Monday morning, we usually reserve a full slot for CENTURY work after the maths lesson, with each year group having a different designated slot. By using CENTURY time to focus on SPaG and specific maths topics, we are left with more time in our other sessions to cover complicated topics that require the most teacher input and intervention.
Back in September, there was a huge buzz around the platform, and we wanted to make the most out of that by introducing an extracurricular CENTURY Club. We started by inviting certain children who we felt could benefit from a bit of additional support. We then sent them home with letters inviting them to the club, and most of them actually joined right away. Once those children were talking about it, we actually had parents ringing up asking if there were any more slots. It was so popular that we had to widen it out to all of the year groups!
So now we run at least two sessions a night on every weeknight except Fridays for children from Years 3 to 6. We also started a Lunchtime Club for those children who already attend a lot of after school clubs and aren’t able to attend in the evenings.
These are the steps we’ve taken to implement CENTURY, and it has worked really well for us.
What does CENTURY look like in the classroom?
CENTURY really is an integrated part of our lessons. The way we typically use the platform during class time is to first show a CENTURY video from a chosen nugget on the classroom’s interactive whiteboard. Teachers then use this opportunity to engage with the students on the content, to ask and answer questions about the subject material, and if appropriate, get pupils to work in pairs to discuss the topic in more depth. There is then usually an opportunity for the children to answer a practice question or two on the video content, either together as a class or individually on their whiteboards.
After that, children are asked to complete the question set in the nugget independently on their own device. Because they have had the opportunity to discuss the content in depth together first, the children typically achieve a higher score than if they had reviewed the whole nugget by themselves.
Children share their scores with the teachers once they are finished, so we can keep track of who needs extra support, and then continue to work through their personal pathways until everyone is finished. Then we repeat that process, moving from maths to SPaG and then individual study with their pathway.
What impact has CENTURY had on your pupils?
CENTURY is helping our children to develop a love of learning, and they enjoy spending time on it. They log into the platform in their spare time and explore their nuggets, and when we cover a new topic in the classroom, they often look it up themselves on CENTURY to see if it’s on there too.
They are also really motivated to receive one of the weekly CENTURY achievement certificates. Each week, we announce the student who has spent the most hours on CENTURY or who has answered the most questions (we alternate between the two each week).
We also announce a CENTURY champion each half term for each year group, who are all rewarded with a chocolate bar. This kind of simple recognition of their hard work really engages our children, whether it’s a certificate, a shiny sticker, or a chocolate bar.
Do you have any plans for how you will use CENTURY in the future?
We are going to start setting weekly homework assignments for the children to complete on CENTURY. We’ve seen that they are already choosing to spend extra time on it at home, so they are clearly engaged with it and able to access it. By making it a compulsory homework tool, we expect engagement to increase even further.
A lot of the children have also told us that they want to be given more time to explore the nuggets in their personal pathway and to complete nuggets in their own time during the school week. So we’re looking at how we might be able to adapt our current timetable to support them further with the platform.
We’ve had a really positive journey with CENTURY so far, and we’re looking forward to continuing with it through the next academic year.
Book a demo to learn how CENTURY can support your school.