We spoke to Naveed Idrees OBE, headteacher of Feversham Primary Academy, part of the Academies Enterprise Trust. He told us how using CENTURY to consolidate learning was improving results and engaging children during the holidays.
One of the biggest challenges in our catchment area is that parents don't necessarily have the academic skills to support children at home. Especially during lockdown, we found that children were not doing any new learning, nor were they consolidating old learning. One of the other schools in our trust, North Ormesby Primary Academy, was using CENTURY. We looked at what they were doing and thought that was going to be great for our pupils, because it allows them to carry on learning at home, and to solidify learning that's been happening in school.
CENTURY also takes that pressure away from parents. We've had some fantastic feedback from parents saying that before CENTURY they didn't really understand what the pupils were doing, especially in specific academic aspects. But now they can see the videos and what the pupils are doing, which has really helped them understand the curriculum. It's been a really good tool to help parents support their children at home.
We use CENTURY during the holidays for tutoring as well. Our teachers would log in then, because that's when you get dips in learning. It is a really powerful tool to do that, accessible from home. We had a really good pick up from pupils in the summer and Easter holidays for Year 6.
What has CENTURY’s impact been?
Generally, we use CENTURY to fill gaps. We did a lot of training with teachers to use nuggets and diagnostics. The diagnostics are really good because they allow teachers to see where gaps are and then to target those nuggets. Last year we set aside a specific time every day where everybody in Key Stage 2 would use CENTURY for half an hour in the morning. That made a really massive impact on retention and memory. The pupils revisit the material that they've covered in class, but at their own pace. The recommendations are really useful because they allow the pupils to go back and strengthen understanding, fill the gaps, address misconceptions, and then move on to the next part.
You can see the impact on assessments. Last year, because of COVID, the children were so far behind, and the progress they have made within one year has been phenomenal. For example, our SATs results were above the national average, in maths we achieved about 84%, which is quite phenomenal considering the starting point at the beginning of the year. A lot of that was down to CENTURY because the pupils were using it to consolidate their learning.
We don't use CENTURY for new learning, it's mainly for consolidation or going over topics that you've done to fill any gaps or misconceptions. So the teachers have used it as an intervention tool and as a homework tool. It decreases teacher workload as well - you don’t have to mark massive amounts of paper for homework. All of it is done for you, and you just have to use the data and statistics to find out where the gaps are, and you can target and inform your planning.
How are the students finding it?
The numbers tell it all. Last year, our pupils spent two months and 14 days, on average, on CENTURY for maths - this is just one subject and that's another two and a half months of additional learning. That's amazing. It's mainly in their own time at home, because they just enjoy doing it. They are covering and revisiting so much learning, and obviously that has a positive impact on our results. The pupils love it. They use it in their own time, and we don't even have to encourage them to use it, because the programme and the learning is so engaging for them.
Muhammad Hassan, Feversham’s data manager, added:
During the day, if we have other systems in place that we use, we might mention to the children “you can go on this or that”, but then the children say “can we go on to CENTURY”. If we don't offer the option of CENTURY, then the children actually actively ask for it.
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