The Laidlaw Foundation sponsors eight academies in the North East of England, in Durham, Sunderland and in Newcastle, from the early years all the way up to Sixth Form. Sedgefield Hardwick Primary Academy is a single-form entry with over 250 pupils aged 3-11. Headteacher Paul Taylor spoke to us about how they use CENTURY for assessment, intervention and home learning.
One of our mission statements as a trust is to transform the lives of children through inspirational education and CENTURY is the perfect way to do that. It personalises education for all pupils, it leads to an increase in independence, and one of the critical things for us as a primary school, it helps improve parental engagement as well. We use CENTURY in three different areas: assessment, both before and after the piece of work; interventions; and home learning. It’s been really easy to use both for the children and for the teaching staff.
For assessment, teachers use the diagnostic tests and link them to our curriculum. We complete each test before starting a unit of work, which helps inform planning. The teachers know if there's a particular strength, then they will do less teaching in that particular area. We also finish by doing another diagnostic test to give the teachers an idea of how the pupils have progressed. The data tracker has been a real help that reduces teacher workload, especially marking. It also gives really clear information at a glance to how pupils are actually performing.
We use CENTURY in two different ways for intervention. Sometimes we use it as a “pre-teach” intervention, where the pupils watch the video then work through the nugget and the different questions. This supports pupils before they are taught the subject matter in the main classroom. We also use it as a “post-teach” intervention, so if a pupil has struggled during the lesson the teacher can go over and strengthen that pupil’s understanding.
The thing that is really impressive about CENTURY is that the nuggets are specifically linked to the pupil’s areas for development. Using the AI, the pupil gets that personalised learning pathway, but if the teacher feels that pupil needs more help, then they can take control over that themselves.
In one month, across 121 pupils in Key Stage 2, we had over 1,500 nuggets completed. And the beauty of that is that CENTURY marks, so thankfully our teachers have not had to mark 15,000 questions a month.
Finally, there is home learning. The pandemic has changed the systems that people use. We have found traditional homework to be nearly obsolete due to how CENTURY is personalised for each and every pupil. There is not just the one nugget for pupils to complete, there are multiple nuggets for them to use at their own pace. The videos that are linked to the nuggets are of very high quality and there is instant feedback to tell pupils how they have done after each question. Watching the videos can increase pupil independence as they progress themselves, but equally it can increase parental engagement too.
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