Using New Technology At Gateway Sixth Form College For November Resits

As a college, we have embraced the November GCSE English and maths resits. Taking this approach has benefits for different types of learners. For those who took their exams in the summer and narrowly missed out on a pass, we can capitalise on their existing knowledge. For other learners who may have taken their GCSE a long time ago, a November exam allows them to refamiliarise themselves with an exam context early in the year, so they know what to expect in the summer.

Having adopted this approach, we needed a resource that complements the intensive lessons we deliver throughout September and October. Whereas in class we focus more on exam technique, outside of the classroom we need a platform that quickly identifies gaps in knowledge and individualises learning for students, providing them with instant feedback to target underlying skills. We chose CENTURY as it provides a comprehensive solution for English and maths.

After pleasingly few teething problems, this innovative learning tool has integrated well into our academic environment, proving to be invaluable for students both inside and outside the classroom. During enrolment period, the Learning for Life and Work department carried out initial assessments in literacy, numeracy and digital skills. These were quick, efficient and user-friendly and helped to inform our decision making about the correct programme of study level for each learner. From a technical perspective, it was easy to embed this new package into the current information systems used by the college.

Once students have been assigned the correct course, the platform tailors the learning experience to individual students’ needs. Its adaptive learning algorithms analyse each student’s strengths and weaknesses, creating a personalised learning journey that reinforces comprehension and retention of course material. This level of personalisation caters to a diverse range of levels and is key for our students who need to maximise their learning time before November.

A range of different courses is being trialled across the college, including Functional Skills, GCSE maths and English and the Multiply courses, which are superb for developing students’ numeracy skills at the lower levels. The content library aligns well with our curriculum, whilst the multimedia content engages students through videos, presentations, and interactive quizzes. The variety of materials ensures that students can explore topics in depth, reinforcing their understanding of relevant concepts.

One of the platform’s best features is its ability to provide instant feedback, pinpointing areas that require improvement and reinforcing concepts that have been mastered. The platform generates detailed reports on individual and class performance, helping teachers identify common misconceptions, learning gaps, and areas of strength. This information enables us to adapt our teaching methods, providing support where it is most needed.

In English, we’ve gone back over plurals, apostrophes and have particularly targeted common ESOL differences, such as missing articles from sentences in English. In GCSE maths, following a whole department launch where diagnostics were completed, students have been using this software every week as part of their independent learning.  We have seen numerous students completing beyond the minimum number of micro-lessons, and are delighted to see their efforts and knowledge being applied in their classwork. In line with this we are seeing improved assessment results, too.

CENTURY enhances the way our students learn and engage with content that they’re otherwise not confident with. For teachers, the internal reporting tools are also useful, allowing staff to have an overview of class and learner performance progress, without having to keep manual records for each student, which saves a lot of time and ensures consistency across all subjects and a better perspective on various areas. Overall, it has been a welcome addition to our teaching and learning toolkit to optimise the chance of learners experiencing success in November.

Written by Kerry Reeve, Head of Learning for Life and Work (LLW) at Gateway Sixth Form College.

For information about Functional Skills and LLW click here

For information about GCSE maths and English click here

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