The School of Research Science (SRS) is a forward-looking international all-through school in Dubai. They teach the English national curriculum to over 3,700 students from nursery through to Year 13.
In September 2022, SRS hosted a joint event with CENTURY where Michelle Thomas, Director of Education, talked about how they embedded the platform to have an impact on results in their first year using CENTURY.
Initially we came to CENTURY because we wanted information and data quickly. One of the first things that we looked at was the personalised learning pathway, which is something we could not do ourselves without a huge amount of time and energy. We want students to have an individualised independent learning journey, but without having to ask teachers to prepare 14 different plans or 22 different tasks. CENTURY has been phenomenally good at helping to reduce teacher workload for us, and it really secures the knowledge base. In fact, CENTURY has literally halved our teachers’ workload, so of course that met that initial expectation.
One of the big quick wins for us was using diagnostics so teachers know exactly where a student’s starting point is. They are then able to adapt the curriculum to provide the growth needed. We were able to integrate CENTURY quickly and seamlessly to show us students’ starting points.
With COVID, you name it, we've done it: blended learning, on site, off site, half in, half out. We went a bit over the top with platforms as most of us were still at home trying to do online teaching, so we had a plethora. In the last academic year we’ve rationalised, for example we do not use an online reading platform any more. It is important to have balance, technology is great but nothing beats a teacher in a classroom. We are big believers in research, and we chose CENTURY as it aligns with our practice and pedagogy.
One thing we all took away from having that period of online learning was that the beauty of learning can continue outside the four walls, and we have to be more flexible. I'm a massive believer in flexible learning opportunities and CENTURY was able to provide that for us. Not all of our departments have CENTURY, but one of our teachers has even created their own courses with questions all in Arabic. For us it’s been a really positive experience.
CENTURY is one of those companies that doesn't just sell your product and say “good luck, hope you do well with it”. They're actually with you on the journey. We've been really lucky to have our CENTURY implementation specialist with us who we meet regularly and who will take us through strategies, how we’ve been using the platform, some of the things we could probably do better and some of the things we are doing well.
One of the other aspects that's been very successful is intervention: the ability to know who's falling behind or who's doing really well. Using CENTURY as an intervention tool helps us target where we can stretch, or where we can provide some more support.
What has CENTURY's impact been?
There's a lot of data. We have compulsory assessments every year that we are judged on externally. Interestingly, looking at the data over the last two years, we can see the impact CENTURY has had.