West Suffolk College share their approach to using CENTURY during the Maths Practitioners Networking Event

Posted on 24th April 2024

Posted by CENTURY

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


CENTURY sponsored the College of West Anglia’s Maths Practitioners Networking Event earlier this year. Speakers from across the sector covered topics from how to engage the disengaged to teaching for mastery. West Suffolk College delivered a session on their journey using CENTURY and how their use of the platform has evolved. 

Models of use – Using CENTURY:

  • as a teaching resource
  • data to resolve misconceptions
  • for flipped learning
  • to re-engage Elective Home Educated (EHE) students
  • in vocational areas
  • to target revision


West Suffolk College (WSC) had previously used a range of tools to support them in the delivery of their GCSE and functional skills teaching, but struggled to find a comprehensive solution that took students from initial assessment to the learning material. They also found that the initial assessment results weren’t reliable. After speaking with other FE practitioners, as well as the Cambridge Centre for Excellence in Maths, the college decided to pilot the CENTURY platform which then led them purchasing it in full. 

The college administered initial assessments for 3,000 students on CENTURY to ensure an accurate starting point for each student. Over 1,100 students then completed follow-up diagnostics either in GCSE or the appropriate functional skills level to ensure each student had access to a bespoke learning path.

CENTURY models of use

The bespoke learning pathways generated by CENTURY are especially beneficial for students doing November resits. The platform is able to pinpoint gaps in knowledge for individual learners, ensuring limited teaching time is maximised. Learners are able to skip questions, allowing those who may have low levels of confidence to reduce their anxiety​ around exams. The nuggets on CENTURY, which include bitesize videos and revision cards, followed by assessment questions, cover the key information. ​

Tutors can also use the nugget resources in their lessons, playing the video or talking through the slideshow, before asking students to respond to the questions using mini whiteboards. The tutor can then revisit any questions that caused issues and resolve any misconceptions in class before setting the same nugget as homework to check learners’ retention of knowledge. This approach is also partly due to a lack of devices within the classroom. The college is now looking to purchase tablet devices for learners, as these take up less room than desktop computers. 

CENTURY’s dashboards allow tutors to quickly check on progress as all nuggets are automarked. Alternatively, tutors can use a flipped learning approach with CENTURY, setting nuggets to learners in advance of a lesson in order to understand where their gaps in knowledge lie in a particular topic. The tutor can then tailor their lesson to the needs of the learners. 

The college isn’t prescriptive about how learners use the platform. Students are generally encouraged to spend 30 minutes per week following their Recommended Path.​ If a student wants to revise a topic they’ve seen in class, they can search for a recent topic using the My Courses tab. The 30 minute target is designed to be manageable for learners, who can also find content to revise in their Focus to Improve and Stretch areas, which can form the basis of their SMART targets and revision plans​.

Supporting Elective Home Educated students

West Suffolk College has around 100 Elective Home Educated (EHE) students. These are a particularly hard to reach group who have found access to CENTURY extremely beneficial, as their attendance in class can be sporadic. The platform has been successfully used to re-engage students as they can access it from home to catch up on missed sessions. A popular option has been to retake a nugget as students will be presented with alternative questions, testing the same skills, so they can build confidence and double check their workings. EHE parents have been supportive of and complimentary about CENTURY and the format used. 


The college has reported that students like the fact that nuggets generally take about ten minutes to complete, which is manageable for learners who might be struggling with motivation. Vocational tutors have also been trialling using the platform in their lessons to develop specific maths skills necessary for their vocational area​. This is an area where quality resources are sometimes lacking, therefore having CENTURY as an available resource saves tutors time searching for specific material and marking work.

Another advantage of using CENTURY is the ability to set nuggets outside of their course. This acts as a stepping stone between Entry 3 and Level 1. During a recent internal inspection, the college was able to provide evidence of work students had completed, evidencing students’ starting points and progress using the Student Dashboard and Teacher Dashboard as evidence. The college also talked about the benefits of the bespoke data reports generated by CENTURY and the insights these can provide to the maths department of where to focus their efforts. Need to spend lesson time on the topic of negative numbers.

How to develop CENTURY usage in the future

The college is keen to further develop usage in class, so that this will improve engagement outside of lessons. They are also looking forward to in-person training with their dedicated account manager to find ways where they can make more use of CENTURY. During this session, they will also consider how to create a level E3.5 and L1.5 maths courses. These aim to act as bridging courses for students who have passed one maths exam, and will help to ensure a smooth transition for students for their next qualification.

To learn more about how you can successfully embed CENTURY in your FE college, click here.