Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Rosemead Preparatory School is an independent co-educational day prep school for children aged 2 ½ to 11 in Dulwich. We spoke to Headteacher Graeme McCafferty about the impact CENTURY has had on 11 Plus entrance exam results and teacher workload.
CENTURY Tech is the provider of ISEB’s Common Pre Tests, a set of adaptive online admissions tests taken by pupils as part of their application to independent senior schools in the UK.
Did CENTURY help with 11 Plus preparation?
A number of senior schools in the local area have also gone down the Independent School’s Exam Board (ISEB) adaptive assessment route recently, so we wanted to make sure we gave our children the best opportunities for that. CENTURY’s verbal and non-verbal reasoning courses, which have a robust curriculum mapped out focusing on the 11 plus, have really helped us and benefited our children. CENTURY is the only online platform we use, but we supplement it with past papers and textbooks for a digital and analogue balance.
Our Year 6’s have performed incredibly well during the 11 Plus gaining over 130 offers from independent senior schools. This is a brilliant achievement resulting in an average of three offers per child. This is down to the great work from the teaching staff at Rosemead and their use of CENTURY in their lessons.
Have you seen any other impact?
There has been a big uptick in pupil engagement that we can now track compared to other platforms we’ve used in the past, which you can see from our usage numbers. The impact on the children’s independence has been quite big for our school. children can independently demonstrate their understanding and knowledge with various assessments and teaching points in the lesson that we may not always have covered.
We have also seen an impact within lessons in “learning support” where we focus on the areas of English and maths that children are struggling with. We are able to give very specific feedback for consolidation around certain topics because of CENTURY.
CENTURY has helped us fine tune our maths curriculum and assessments, but one of the biggest changes over the past few years is the focus on Spelling and Grammar (SpaG). We’ve massively relied on and used CENTURY to make sure our teacher knowledge, subject knowledge and knowledge of what’s going to be coming up in the assessment has been spot on.
Has CENTURY reduced teacher workload or saved teacher’s time?
Yes, definitely. The teachers are easily able to identify gaps which they use to inform planning. The biggest impact on saving time has been on marking and gap analysis of assessment data - we use assessment data a lot to track pupils here. Having it all just at your fingertips for a variety of subjects has been really useful. In terms of reducing teacher workload, CENTURY’s user-friendliness and ease of use really helps as well. Obviously, any technology takes a little bit of getting used to, but it’s been a very quick process of understanding CENTURY.
The Recommended Path has massively sped up our process of preparing for assessments, as it analyses what the children get right and wrong for us, which helps us focus specific teaching rather than following a linear path that just says “this is what should be taught in week three of the autumn term” for example. We are a lot more agile in our teaching, which saves teacher time and reduces workloads.
Setting homework really saves time too. There is no longer a need to look for worksheets for hours on end, it is all just there for us. The speed and ease of diagnostic assessments, nuggets, the Recommended Path, it all massively saves our teacher's time.
What feedback have you received from your Year 5 and 6 teachers?
"Just generally, the children have taken to it really well overall, and enjoy trying to get onto nugget leaderboards.”
"The success story I would have is about myself. CENTURY has allowed me as a teacher to pinpoint my teaching in a direct way that I've never been able to do before. Before, during and after teaching, I can immediately spot weaknesses and work on them straight away."
"The weaker children in my groups have enjoyed completing the nuggets, as it's allowed them to think through each question at their own pace and consolidate their learning. I also found it really beneficial for the children to be able to see their timing of nuggets and practise diagnostic assessments, which has assisted them and given them confidence in the pace of their work when it comes to external assessments."
"Some of the children enjoy seeing how their understanding has improved by the percentage scores when completing work on CENTURY. As a teacher, I feel this has provided me with another way to positively develop my teaching in class and think about how I can use nuggets in the lesson using instant results to then straight away work with individual children or small groups that need support or extension.”
This is part two of a two-part case study. See part one here. Find out more about how you can embed CENTURY at your school here. Book a demo here.