How CENTURY supports independent learning at Northampton School for Girls

Posted on 17th July 2023

Posted by CENTURY

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


Northampton School for Girls is an ambitious school committed to providing a broad, enriching education. We spoke to Katie Windridge, Head of English and Film Studies, about how CENTURY helps their students independently identify their strengths and areas to improve.


When I was researching learning platforms, CENTURY was recommended from several different sources. The tutorial videos on the website were really useful, so we decided to trial it in Key Stage 3. That went really well, the members of staff really liked it and the students are very positive about it. We use CENTURY for home learning in Years 7, 8 and 9. We set a minimum of four nuggets to complete per fortnight in Years 7 and 8, and four nuggets per week for Year 9. Some staff allocate nuggets based on what they’re doing in class, others set the Recommended Path. We have a competition among the classes and celebrate those who have done all their nuggets or extra. This also encourages those who have not done enough nuggets so they don’t let their team down.

The students like and respond really well to CENTURY. Previously they were doing long, onerous writing tasks that didn’t necessarily connect with what they were studying. They certainly did not enjoy sitting down and writing long answers with pen and paper. Likewise, staff found marking those pieces of writing very time consuming. The students like moving through different types of questions on the online platform, and being able to see straightaway how they got on.

They like the AI recommendations. As we have many students, there is not that much time to have one-to-one conversations with each child to discuss their strengths and areas to improve. The minute they log in to CENTURY, they have their own personalised area with strengths and areas to improve clearly labelled for every single student. They like knowing that they are doing really well with one topic, but they need to work on another. If a parent calls in to ask what they need to work on, we can just ask their child to show them their strengths and areas to improve on the platform.

What do the staff think?

The staff love it because it's self marking, and gives us all the information we need. We currently mark classwork and exams, so marking for home learning as well would be a large outlay of time. CENTURY alleviates that pressure and does it for us, and provides more detailed, personal and tailored feedback than we would be able to give at scale. The staff in particular like that they can see the time spent on each nugget, so they can see who is putting in lots of effort and doing well, and who is skipping through it and not really trying.

The biggest impact has been during our learning walks, where SLT speak to the students. They are more confident in communicating their strengths and areas to improve. We're really keen for the students to become independent learners and move their own progress forward, as well as receive support from teachers. 

We also teach in mixed ability groups, so differentiation can be a challenge. Some students may be struggling with more basic skills, like simple spelling, punctuation and grammar. The nuggets centred around that really help those students to reduce the gap. There is not enough time to sit down one-to-one and plug every gap as much as we want to, but having CENTURY as a booster is really helpful for those who have not progressed as much.

Find out more about how CENTURY can support independent learning at your school here. Book a demo here.