Improving results with CENTURY at UTC Media City

Posted on 18th May 2023

Posted by CENTURY

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


UTC Media City is a technical and creative college for 14 to 18 year olds in Salford’s MediaCityUK, with a focus on the future employability of students in the digital media sector. It is part of Aldridge Education. Sharon Cross, Vice Principal of Curriculum, told us how CENTURY is helping their students achieve higher grades.

Why did you choose CENTURY?

Our Chief Executive was really engaged by the fact that CENTURY used AI to help close gaps. We thought this would support our ethos within our day to day lessons, helping further to close those gaps and enhance student outcomes.

At the start of the academic year, our curriculum leaders set nuggets that complement the annual and unit learning plans for their subjects. After every academic review and data drop, our use of CENTURY becomes much more targeted and bespoke as we set additional nuggets for particular students.

We monitor student usage live in the moment and have a robust system to ensure completion. We look at what percentage of the questions they get right and the common gaps. Our teachers are really adept at using the Teacher Dashboard to see where their students currently sit and how well they've cemented a concept, or if they need to go over something in class as well. 

Our basis is using CENTURY weekly, straight away. Students join us in Year 10. In week one they are given their login and that expectation is set then and there. If we get them into the habit of revising and consolidating for an hour a week right at the beginning of a GCSE course, that continues until they sit their exams. We ask them to try each nugget three times until they score 100 percent.

How do you encourage students to use CENTURY consistently?

We offer incentives, called “nuggets for nuggets”, where we award takeaway food vouchers as prizes for the completion of CENTURY nuggets. We have a top 10 and we give out certificates - it’s very high profile in the school. Because of that, about 90 to 95 percent of our students complete at least an hour on CENTURY every week. The students absolutely love it, and the winners post pictures of their takeaway spread on social media on a Friday night, which incentivises the other students more. 

CENTURY gives them confidence, and we know that the more confident they are, the better their results. In English, we achieved the highest grades in the Salford local authority for non-selective schools, so we know CENTURY is having an impact. Now that we have had external exams, we can share that impact much more widely with students, parents and local members of the public.

What impact have you seen?

We found a phenomenal impact on the results of students who accessed the platform consistently and completed 40 or more nuggets leading up to their GCSEs. Of the students who completed 40 or more nuggets:

  • 94 percent achieved a grade 4 or higher in English;
  • 86 percent achieved a grade 4 or higher in maths;
  • 84 percent achieved a grade 4 or higher in science.

These are very, very high figures that quantify the impact CENTURY is having. By using it consistently, many students achieved above their FFT Target. We shared those results with parents and our younger students, and said to them: “What grade do you want? Because if you want a 4, 5, 6 or 7, then CENTURY is going to help you move towards that.”

We have the full two years of CENTURY tracking data. We could see student usage in Year 11, but there was further impact for students who used it from the beginning of Year 10. It was that “little and often” that we instil that really helps students have a breadth of knowledge when they enter the exam.

We've had quite a few success stories. We had a student who was tracking at grade 2s and 3s all the way through Year 10. We introduced our weekly prizes for CENTURY, and because he was incredibly competitive, he wanted to win every week. When he sat his GCSEs, he came out with grade 5s and 6s all across the board. 

CENTURY did not just help him with maths, English and science, but it made him realise he could do it, and he started revising for other subjects too. He was a student who had identified SEND needs, so we were particularly delighted for him to achieve above his target grades. We have had a significant number of students who have achieved above their target grade as a result of using CENTURY. Our targets are FFT 20, so they're already aspirational. We are thrilled because it opens doors for them.

For more information on how CENTURY can help your students achieve their aspirational targets, click here. Book a demo here.