Icknield Community College is a state secondary academy for students between 11 and 16 in Watlington, Oxfordshire. We spoke to Hazel Carvel, Head of Maths, about how their teachers and students have taken to CENTURY in a short period of time.
Why did you choose CENTURY?
We were looking for a platform that could incorporate lots of subjects. Our maths teachers have always had online platforms, but English and science had nothing apart from some free resources. As a school we were looking for a platform that several departments could use and we could monitor, especially as all of our students have access to Chromebooks. We introduced CENTURY to the subject leads and spent two months looking at it, and it did everything we needed it to do.
We wanted students to be able to work independently, and for teachers to see easily what students got right or wrong and what interventions could we put in place - were there things that all students were struggling with, or just some students. That really quick analysis as formative assessment was what we wanted.
How have teachers found CENTURY?
The teachers found it really straightforward. They can easily see what their students can do. They love that it fills gaps. The English team said especially when the students encounter things they should have known from primary school and are really struggling, they can go to the appropriate nuggets that can fill those primary gaps.
In the long run CENTURY is really going to save us time. We are investing time into it, we're developing all of our schemes of work, and looking at where each nugget fits in with our current schemes. It’s also saving us time at the moment as students are able to work independently in lessons and just get on with CENTURY, and then teachers don't have to mark individual answers.
What about the students?
They like CENTURY, and they like that they have an online platform for maths, English and science that they can just log on, having everything in one place. They can see what their strengths and their weaknesses are for development and how they can push themselves a bit further. Now the students have done more and more nuggets, the AI is really working for them. Some of the streams are using the AI more and following their recommended pathway.
Students are engaging with learning more. Looking at the data, for our summer term the pupils completed 1,025 nuggets, whereas in the next term it was 5,000. In maths we use CENTURY mainly within lessons for students who want to work independently. In English, we use it a lot within lessons, as homework and for flipped learning. They use quite a mixture, and that’s the same with science. Mostly staff set work for their classes as every class is different. We’ve got revision leading up to the Year 11 mock exams, so the English team are setting assignments for the whole year group every week ahead of the English test so they can monitor what the Year 11s are doing on the revision schedule.
What are your plans going forwards with CENTURY?
Our plans going forward are to involve parents more, and get students to use it more over the holidays. They’re really good at using it within term time, but we can encourage more independence by explaining that it’s not just for use in school and that they actually should be following their pathway over the holidays. Going forward we can really make sure it is embedded in all our schemes of work, so that students know what's coming up, and staff know what nuggets they should be using.
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