Improving curriculum standards with CENTURY at GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail

Posted on 5th June 2023

Posted by CENTURY

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail is a world class international school in Dubai with pupils from the early years through primary and into secondary. Phil Waterworth, Primary Assistant Principal, spoke to us about the incredible improvements their Key Stage 2 pupils have seen in their results.

How have you found using CENTURY?

CENTURY has played a pivotal contributing factor in the upsurge of external assessment results over the past three academic years. Since its introduction to Key Stage 2 as one of our classroom formative assessment tools, our external examination results have increased annually.

In the summer of 2022, the percentage of students achieving results above curriculum standards increased:

  • in English by 15 percentage points;
  • in Maths by 7 percentage points;
  • in Science by 8 percentage points.

We conducted internal surveys earlier this academic year, which was good for quality assurance and evidence in advance of an impending inspection. When we spoke to students across Key Stage 2 we found that:

  • 91 percent enjoy using CENTURY in the classroom and for home learning;
  • 94 percent agree that CENTURY enables them to know and understand their strengths and areas for improvement across English, maths and science;
  • 92 percent agree that CENTURY has helped to improve their overall learning and subject specific understanding.

We also spoke to our Key Stage 2 staff and found that:

  • 100 percent enjoy using and engaging with CENTURY as it provides a breadth of assessment information for each student in their class, which is personalised towards student needs;
  • 94 percent agree that CENTURY diagnostics help to determine individual student starting points at the beginning of introducing units of work;
  • 100 percent agree that CENTURY supports assessment judgements on complementary products through triangulation with other forms of assessment.

How do you use CENTURY to support teaching and learning?

We started using CENTURY during lockdown. We piloted it in a couple of year groups first and foremost, and it was a huge hit. Then we rolled it out for home learning, which we still do. Each week, we set nuggets (micro-lessons) in English, maths and science from Year 3 to Year 6. We might set more nuggets in the older year groups, but we set at least one in each area of the curriculum. 

From there we evolved into what we call the “learner-to-CENTURY feedback loop”, whereby we set the diagnostic assessments prior to learning. The results of those diagnostics inform CENTURY’s AI-driven personalised pathway which recommends the right nugget for each student next to fill a gap in learning, address a misconception, or stretch and challenge. Alternatively, teachers can drive pathways by assigning nuggets. Each nugget consists of a short explainer video, slides and a series of formative assessment questions which are automatically marked. Then, we integrate all of the data from CENTURY’s automated dashboards, which analyse gaps and allow for extended learning.

We do “skills boost” lessons throughout the day to drive those pathways and at the end we do the diagnostics again to see the progress. We take into account spaced learning theory, so we wouldn’t set the diagnostic as soon as the unit is finished as the majority of students are probably going to get the questions correct straight away. We would do the diagnostic two or three weeks after the content has been taught, to see if they’ve really understood and retained it.

We update parents regularly, and the students use trackers in their books. They physically fill out their diagnostic scores throughout the year and monitor their own progress. Our teachers also have CENTURY stamps to support feedback in the classroom. They use them when they want a student to watch a video or complete a nugget to consolidate or extend learning, or to plug a misconception. Then the students write their score in their books next to the stamp.

Student agency is one of our school’s pillars. We have done several assemblies with all students in Key Stage 2 about taking ownership of their learning, and helping them articulate where their strengths and next steps are. They will have personalised targets from their teachers, and CENTURY also gives them personalised targets. We encourage the students to look at their dashboards and decide on their own what they want to work on.

Find out more about how you can use CENTURY to improve results at your international school here. Book a demo here.