How Wigan schools are using artificial intelligence to help their pupils AND teachers

Youngsters are being given the chance to catch up on missed school time this summer with the help of new artificial intelligence.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 8:52 am
Updated Friday, 2nd July 2021, 9:40 am
St Johns in Abram

Youngsters are being given the chance to catch up on missed school time this summer with the help of new artificial intelligence.

Pupils attending schools in the Quest Trust will be getting to grips with Century, a new technology which uses algorithms to create tailored learning experiences which are unique to each pupil.

Century Tech has been developed by an award-winning team of experienced teachers, neuroscientists and technologists.

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Laura Butcher

Together, they have combined the latest research in learning science, artificial intelligence and neuroscience to ensure Century is underpinned by evidence-based scientific and pedagogical techniques.

Century Data Scientist Michael Ma explained: “Teachers can often each teach hundreds of students – so learning each of their personal attributes is a difficult task, one that becomes impossible to do quickly enough to maximise every precious week of the academic year.

AI is now being used in hundreds of schools across the world to empower teachers by giving them the data they need to provide their students with what they deserve – an excellent education tailored to them as individuals.”

He went on: “At Century, we certainly are not developing robots designed to take over the classroom. C-3PO will never be delivering double maths on our watch.

Century Tech in action

“Instead, our AI product uses a range of machine learning algorithms and systems that are fed huge amounts of data until they are able to make decisions and recommendations by themselves.

“Our technology is built on a rich data store, the foundation for all great machine learning-based technologies. From the duration students spend reading learning content to their historical performance on a plethora of different question types, our teams diligently collect, clean, and transform the data in ways that shape our platform to become better and better at making recommendations for the individual student.”

St John’s C of E Primary School in Abram, is one of the Quest Trust’s schools that has been using Century for several years. The tech has helped teachers balance their workloads and understand their pupils’ strengths and weaknesses, and the software has been even more valuable over the past 18 months, with childrens’ education uprooted multiple times through school closures.

Principal, Laura Butcher, said: “It’s more about the individual child, and what they want and need to know.

“We got involved a few years ago and initially rolled it out on a smaller scale. As soon as the class teacher found out what it could do, the jungle drums naturally went around the school, and every teacher was asking ‘Can I have that?’.

“The staff wanted it because it was helping them with their workload and also help the children’s learning. The children loved it, the parents loved it.”

She went on: “It’s a win at every level. One of the things the teachers really like is the heat map, which shows them the effort level being put in [by a pupil]. Each child is praised for the effort they’re putting in.”

For more information about the software visit

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