Sunny Bank Primary School is a one-form entry school serving the Unsworth Community in North Manchester with 215 pupils, and is part of Vision Multi-Academy Trust. We spoke to James Gabrielides, headteacher at Sunny Bank about how they are using CENTURY as part of their commitment to providing the best education and personal development for their pupils.
We chose CENTURY because of the adaptive ability of the software to provide the bespoke learning path from the diagnostics, and the fact that the teachers could set individual nuggets for focus groups. Our previous software was just maths-based, so it was a bonus that CENTURY has reading, grammar, and science, as well as maths.
We started with the staff CPD. CENTURY’s team ran the onboarding meeting which was pretty seamless, then we had a second meeting to refine our usage. We came up with a system of non-negotiables that all staff agreed to as they had input and buy-in from the start. Once they were ratified, we put on two open evening sessions for the parents where we gave them a guided tour of the platform from the learner’s perspective. We also shared the expectations in terms of additional home learning. It’s been a win-win with the parents because as a school we don’t do formal homework, we say to the parents it’s up to you and your child.
How do you use CENTURY?
Predominantly we use it for additional learning at home for reinforcement. A number of children do the diagnostic for a topic and then CENTURY’s AI will steer them to the relevant areas. The staff will set nuggets for children in areas where they feel they’re 80 percent there.
As the teachers have become a bit more savvy with the programme, we’re also now using it for pre-teaches. For example, our Year 5 teacher has looked ahead in mathematics to set pre-teaches for the children to complete individually. That will make her planning ten times more effective because she will know what the children can already do and where they need extra input. That’s been a positive. We’ve asked staff to integrate CENTURY into the whole class input, for example by using the narrated teaching videos. I also run a CENTURY after school club, which we target primarily at children who qualify for free school meals or who had not accessed CENTURY at home.
Our usage quadrupled from the first term to the second. We have one pupil in Year 6 who is a very able mathematician, and he’s literally hoovering up every single maths nugget he can get his hands on because he loves it. He has a real keen interest, and looking at his assessment data he’s made reams of progress from quality-first teaching and all the hours he’s spending on CENTURY in his own time as well.
We have ‘postcards of positivity’ that we give out to the children who have the most usage and the highest accuracy rate, and also for those who were dipping in and out without really accessing it consistently but have now improved. For example, there is a girl in Year 4 who had only been on it for about eight minutes a week in the first couple of months. Then she bumped it up to 32 minutes so we gave her a postcard of positivity to take home to her parents. Now this week she has been on CENTURY for nearly three hours. It’s just a case of pushing the positive.
Have you seen a reduction in teacher workload?
Where staff have been setting nuggets for children who need that 20 percent boost by the end of the week, or where they’ve been setting it as pre-teaches, it’s starting to have a trickle down effect. For example, on daily assessment they are able to pitch the lessons more accurately. CENTURY assesses and gives feedback to the children, so we can move onto the next lesson without having to revisit or spend 25 minutes on a detailed scaffold. And obviously, automation affects that as well as it’s instantly assessed, and the teachers have all the data to hand that they can use to plan the next sequence.
The data dashboards are really useful for an overview. Our teachers like the intervention graphs in particular, because they can see the children who aren't putting the effort in, and those who aren't being challenged. From my perspective as a senior leader, they are useful as I can see the whole picture of all the classes in Key Stage 2 every week. Once we integrate CENTURY more within daily classroom practice, it's going to be so easy for me to triangulate the data. It will enable me to ask the teachers if they are plugging gaps, or to direct them to put weight behind areas the data tells them to.
Find out more about how CENTURY’s data dashboards can give you an overview of your primary school here. Book a demo here.