Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Summerhill Primary Academy is a 4-form entry primary school in Tipton in the West Midlands, and is part of The Rivers C of E Academy Trust. We spoke to Benjamin Bailey, Year 5 Curriculum Lead at Summerhill, about how they use the PiXL framework to inform their teaching alongside CENTURY’s content and personalised learning pathway.
We've been a PiXL school for a little while now. In Year 6 we do a PiXL or SATs assessment every half term, and in the younger year groups we do a PiXL assessment every term. PiXL then analyses the data and gives us the implications for teaching, which inform the different year groups or classes and the teachers can adjust their lessons.
Previously where teachers would have to create a resource, we now have CENTURY resources already in place that we correlate and target for boosting groups and homework. The boosting groups don’t need to take the time of a class teacher, because CENTURY has all the explanations, videos and interventions, so it does not put a huge burden on timetables. The children would leave the lessons and be monitored by someone with a couple of questions or guidance from their Learning Support Plans (LSPs).
We use PiXL and CENTURY together: the implications of teaching come from PiXL, but the resource to support the children is CENTURY. For example, PiXL would inform what’s being taught, but once we’ve taught that throughout the week, the homework would be set through CENTURY, which follows up with the recommended pathway so it’s all interlinked.
I've known about CENTURY for a while and it's something I've been pushing, but I've had to fight for it because we also use other additional software. I like the idea of using different types of software, but with CENTURY, I wanted to look at how it would fit. We struggle as a school with getting our parents on board. We have a challenging demographic around here. There are low income families and a lot of Pupil Premium children.
My idea was to introduce CENTURY as a homework tool. We want to do a lot more work with our parents and communities over time to engage them with the learning, and try to address some of the development points of each individual child with the parents at home. This can always raise the subject knowledge of our parents, too.
When we first rolled out CENTURY, we did an assembly where we introduced what it is and how it would work. I explained exactly how the nuggets work, and talked about the individual recommended pathway, and how that is informed by AI technology. Then we used it a little bit more, and afterwards I had a brief assembly again. As we've been discovering things, we gradually build in 20 minute slots where we talk to the children, making them aware first, before we push things out to parents.
Recently we had a parent workshop for Year 6 SATs preparation, where we combined different things we could do to support children. We had good engagement with that. I went through CENTURY with them, and the children came in and worked through CENTURY with their parents. A lot of parents were absolutely mind-blown with how it works and the explanation about the AI technology and recommended path, because they didn't have that information or understanding themselves previously.
Have you seen any impact on results since embedding CENTURY?
On CENTURY, definitely. It has the AI technology, the explanations, the videos, and the questions, which fit into a very short period of time. The children only take 15 minutes to work on a particular nugget. The biggest impact is how we complete lessons. For example, we had a line graph lesson and I had about 10 children that were struggling with the questions in that lesson. So I wrote down their names and I set them an assignment of nuggets on CENTURY. Because we've got everything already set up on CENTURY, it offers us a real opportunity to target almost immediately. There’s no lack of preparation of resources, staff aren't having to go and print lots of things off. We’ve got this application that we can directly go to and address elements of children's learning that they're struggling with.
All of those children who were finding things difficult in the lesson have come through the assignment and achieved 75 per cent plus on the completion of that particular task, so we are seeing a huge impact. The feedback from the children and the parents is that what’s so good about CENTURY is that even if they’ve watched the video and they get stuck on a particular type of question, they can go back and revisit the nugget again if they need to. If they’re not happy with their overall score they can go back and do it again. It's embedded in their long term memory.
Our maths results have shot up too. For example, in Year 6, our maths scores and the data that came back from our initial PiXL result were really poor. One of our biggest issues was statistics, because we haven’t covered that for a while now. So we set assignments on CENTURY of line graphs, bar charts and pie charts. Since then, we've had more questions and nuggets completed in maths than anything else. We've been using CENTURY more to target the areas of maths and we’ve been plugging it to ensure the parents and the children are engaging with it. Our results from the next set of PiXL tests have jumped significantly, particularly in arithmetic. Having the options of arithmetic courses and different maths elements on CENTURY definitely made a huge impact.
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