How schools plan to mitigate closures using AI

Posted on 13th March 2020

Posted by CENTURY


At CENTURY, we’re pleased to be offering free support to any school affected by the coronavirus school closures. To help spread best practice and to assist school leaders in their contingency planning, we spoke to schools to hear how their plans are taking shape.

The Keys Federation is an academy trust consisting of four primary schools in Wigan.

The trust’s schools have placed digital learning at the heart of their plans to prepare for potential upcoming school closures due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Keys’ schools will use CENTURY’s AI to allow Key Stage 2 students to continue learning in a personalised way at home. The trust is also planning to use CENTURY’s assignment feature to set work for students to complete in English, maths and science. The trust will be using CENTURY in combination with email to communicate work with parents and students.

“Providing data to inform conversations”

Laura Butcher, Principal of St John’s C. of E. Primary School, says that “Should the government decide that school closures are necessary, the staff will continue working. We already have procedures established for interacting with students and analysing their learning to see that they continue to progress. CENTURY plays an important role here by providing data to inform those conversations between students, teachers and parents.”

“For those parents who aren’t as used to or confident in supporting their child’s learning, CENTURY means they can help their children further as they will also have access to the learning materials.”

“Teachers are enabled to focus on personalised feedback”

“As CENTURY marks work automatically, teachers are enabled to focus on personalised feedback to make the most of learning time. Teachers would use this data to provide the most accurate feedback on learning. The level of detail allows staff to focus on teaching and learning activities other than functional marking.”

The trust is confident that issues around access to technology at home can be mitigated. “To the small minority of families without connectivity, we will be sending a some physical learning materials. We are also considering a range of additional approaches to support all families. Combined with the paper packs and more traditional resources for learning, we are confident we will be able to secure continued learning for our students.”

Wapping High School is a free school in East London. Director of Learning Tom Dean told us how the school plans to mitigate the disruption caused by the potential of school closure.

“Wapping will rely heavily on AI”

“Wapping plans on using both CENTURY’s learning and diagnostic assessment functions to help students to learn and to inform their teachers and parents of progress. Students are close to finishing the content for their courses, so in the case of closures the school is looking to direct them towards the diagnostics on CENTURY. Wapping will rely heavily on the AI of CENTURY to suggest the best learning for the students to follow.”

The main source of communication between Wapping’s parents and pupils will be Gmail and Google Classroom. These interactions will be underpinned by the data provided by the learning done on CENTURY.

Tom says that “teachers will be asking students questions based on their learning on CENTURY. Teachers will be able to use this data to suggest other material for them to learn, or challenge and stretch them based on their learning on the platform.”

“Assessment feedback will inform our catch-ups with pupils”

In addition to personalised learning, CENTURY automates marking, allowing teachers to focus on their interactions with students. Tom says that this “allows kids and teachers to get the feedback straight away, a vital help when the teacher can not be in the room. The data from CENTURY will inform conversations between teachers and students. Teachers will be encouraging learning independence in pupils through this period.”

“For interacting with parents, we will use Google Classroom to update parents, using data from CENTURY and their conversations with teachers. We will be in regular contact with parents about how to best use CENTURY if the school does close.”

CENTURY is offering free support to all schools closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Please get in touch if we can help.