By Rachel Owen, Headteacher of TLG Reading, a school that focuses on the needs of children with SEND and those who are struggling in school.
At TLG Reading we educate young people in crisis points in their education. Our students come to us from a range of backgrounds – but a common theme is that they have all had difficulties in mainstream education. Some suffer from anxiety, some have behavioural problems, some struggle with the basics and we have some children with SEND issues like dyslexia.
When students are referred to us by schools and local authorities, our job is to give them the tailored, personal education that meets their specific needs. We use CENTURY as part of this, using it to teach a range of subjects. We have found that students respond very positively to it, particularly to how it lets them get on in their own world, in their own safety.
Improving focus and attendance
One of our students in particular just loves CENTURY. He’s a child who fell out of two mainstream schools and wasn’t able to even turn up because his anxiety held him back, but his attendance here is now great. He sits and uses CENTURY for maths, English and science and his anxiety about learning has transformed. Even a classroom of six students was too much for him to focus – but using CENTURY he’s in his own world, free to get on and learn. He prefers it to how he’s learned before because the aesthetic is more appealing to him; it’s clearer for him and he understands it better. He’s on it every day for a lot of time and he’s one of our best students in terms of progress.
His confidence is soaring – where he was too anxious to put his hand up in lessons before, he can now contribute in class thanks to his confidence from CENTURY. He’s talking to teachers, answering questions and asking for help like never before.
At a school like ours it’s even more important that children are given the ability to learn in the way that suits their needs. CENTURY offers choice for students – they can learn via videos, presentations, text and more – so students can choose what they prefer. The switching of questions – where students aren’t given the same questions over and over again – helps students too by keeping them engaged. It challenges and stretches students without spoon feeding them the answers and I’ve seen our students really respond to that – they like the challenge. For some of our students it’s the first time they have ever been properly engaged and challenged in a school.
Helping students to learn throughout the pandemic
The use of online learning has been vital during the Covid-19 pandemic. CENTURY has given us a way of tracking student progress whilst they have worked at home and allowed us to set key work linked to gaps that students had. We are able to see who has completed what and when so if students have not completed anything, we are able to pick it up quickly so no learning is lost. Our students were using their online programmes daily and made progress during this time.
The process of introducing CENTURY into our school was simple. We found it really straightforward to get started on – the initial meeting with CENTURY and the follow-up training were easy, simple and quick. Nothing has taken long to get going on, something particularly important for a busy headteacher! Putting the 'nuggets' – the micro-lessons – on is really simple and we’ve been able to add our own content to the existing library with ease.
CENTURY has allowed children with SEND to find a way of learning that suits their own individual needs, something that wasn’t there for them when they fell out of mainstream education.
To find out more about how CENTURY can help your school, book a demo with our team.