More and more tutors are using CENTURY to enhance their practice and support students. We spoke to Brendon Buchanan, a private tutor running a service called BDogg’s Maths, who told us how CENTURY was enhancing his students’ successes from ages 6 to 56.
How did you find out about CENTURY?
While I was tutoring a college student, he asked me to help him with his homework on CENTURY. At the time I was using other packages so I asked him what it was like. He said “it’s brilliant”, he really enjoys using it, and the language used in the nuggets (micro-lessons) is really easy to read and understand.
He said that the videos are really helpful. I asked to watch some, as I’m conscious that a lot of online content for maths is based on the American curriculum for example, and may not be the right fit in England. I watched several videos and thought “wow, this is really good stuff”. It was obviously made by people who know the curriculum in England really well. Straight after the lesson I contacted CENTURY.
The onboarding process was amazing. It’s as though the CENTURY staff really want me to be part of the system, and care about my feedback as well. I don’t feel like a commodity, it’s really about an experience and a journey. You have your account manager, and all the other staff in the background, helping out, they’re always there at the end of an email.
At the start I needed the CENTURY staff almost pushing me to do things, forcing me to think and be engaged. Moving back into my normal routine and schedule, I’ve not been bombarded by emails, but you’re always there if I need something. It’s a nice balance for me to work without constantly needing CENTURY support, but if I need you for anything it is sorted straight away.
Has it been a success?
The success criteria for something like this is hard to measure as a tutor because your job is to support the child to cope in a school environment when you're not there. I have so many success stories with my students that have moved from primary to secondary: within the first term or so, all five have moved up a set. I definitely attribute that to their use of CENTURY to support and challenge themselves.
I had one student who is in her 50s doing Functional Skills so she can start a nursing course at university. She did her Level One two years ago without a problem, but she has been struggling with Level Two. She failed her first attempt, but after that she was introduced to me and I was happy to help. I only have worked with her through CENTURY, and I’m there if she is stuck on something and needs support. Within four months she passed her Level Two, and she’s on her course at university now. That’s really great.
The students love it. They use it in different ways: my youngest child is six, my eldest student is in her 50s. The parents love it too. They either say thank you to me for getting their child engaged on CENTURY, or they ask me to set them more work on the platform. It’s always great feedback, basically.
A couple of parents are really actively engaged with the process. They can’t adjust the plans for their youngsters, but they might go into the courses to pick out specific nuggets that they want to make sure their child understands. For example, one child does maths three times a week at school. At the end of the week, their parents actually go through the course to pick our individual nuggets to double check.
Has it reduced your workload?
The main reduction is in finding appropriate teaching resources. In maths, you teach a topic and you want a couple of questions that slowly increase in difficulty, specific to the child. Previously I've had to make these myself or find one on the test, which is time consuming. Now with CENTURY I don’t have to do that, we can just go through the course. I still need to work to ensure the child doesn’t have complete free reign with what they’re doing - although they can’t do anything wrong by going on CENTURY.
So my workload has been, if not lowered, then channelled to be more efficient for sure. Unlike setting homework for 34 children in a class, I can set assignments that are specific to the child I’m working with. When a child comes into the lesson they tell me what they're doing in class. I ask them a couple of questions verbally to gauge where we are, then we jump into my courses, find that nugget and that usually informs the lesson that I teach as well.
Find out more about how you can use CENTURY for tutoring here. Book a demo here.