Inspiring pupils through improving engagement in handwriting

Inspiring pupils through improving engagement in handwriting at Cottingley

Cottingley Primary Academy case study

“Kaligo is a brilliant tool; it gives us the confidence that teachers can support and help every child progress with handwriting.”    Mrs Bentley, Principal


  • Immediate feedback 
  • Instant assessment of handwriting ability
  • Reduces the workload for teachers
  • An in-depth view of handwriting for each child
  • The bigger picture of class handwriting progress


Key information:

  • 300 Pupils
  • Aged 2 to 11
  • Based near Leeds


About Cottingley Primary Academy


Cottingley Primary Academy is a school of around 300 pupils aged 2 to 11 based in Cottingley near Leeds.  The school’s vision as part of the AET Academy Trust Is to inspire every child to choose a remarkable life. This is reflected in the leadership team, who work daily to motivate and inspire pupils by delivering an excellent education.

Set in an area of some deprivation with a 58% pupil premium, one of the school’s goals was to focus on improving handwriting. Another school in the AET Trust had successfully been using Kaligo, and Cottingley signed up for a trial of Kaligo to see if it would help their mission of improving handwriting in the lower school years; as Mrs Bentley, Principal at Cottingley Primary Academy, explains:  

“We started the Kaligo trial in early 2022 across KS1 as the pandemic impacted motor skills and handwriting significantly for some of our children. Following the trial, we have decided to keep Klaigo,  using it specifically in year 1 for around 34 children and then for targeted pupils who require handwriting intervention in higher years.’

“Handwriting is often challenging to teach as it’s impossible to watch how every child forms each letter in such a short time frame. So we looked to Kaligo to help us with this.”


A unique approach

The Kaligo app uses the latest AI technology to monitor a child’s handwriting as they use a stylus to trace letter outlines on a tablet.  

Looking at how a child writes letters can provide teachers with an overview of any neurolinguistic processes behind a child’s individual writing method. By seeing how they control the stylus on a tablet and how long they take to form different strokes or letters, teachers can easily see where a pupil is struggling and where they are thriving.

Using this information, teachers can see in a few minutes whether the pupil needs any extra support or whether there are any areas they need to spend more time on. 

Kaligo uses machine learning (AI) which provides pupils with real-time, automated and corrective feedback.  Based on six years of research at the Laboratory IRISA/INSA, Kaligo has collected and analysed 15,000 handwriting strokes.  Each handwriting stroke is analysed based upon shape, direction and order, and identifies any difficulties children as young as age three may have with forming letters and numbers, or even if they have an issue with pencil control.


Improved engagement

Writing is one of the essential foundations of a child’s education. So Cottingley was on a mission to ensure that every child’s writing ability was assessed so that any pupil needing support got the interventions they needed sooner rather than later.

To truly engage a child in learning, it needs to be enjoyable; as Mrs Bentley, Principal, continues:

“Using Kaligo means that children are more engaged with handwriting. They love using Kaligo and spend around 25 – 30 minutes practising their handwriting daily. The immediate feedback in Kaligo means that children can work at their own pace. They get very excited when it’s time to start handwriting.”

Clear improvement

The traditional assessment method saw a teacher sitting with each child, looking at how they formed letters on paper, but this wasn’t sustainable or effective. “Kaligo saves us hours in the classroom and delivers a level of personalised learning and instant feedback that wouldn’t be possible without technology.”

“We set an assessment in Kaligo during the first week of term to see exactly where each child was with their handwriting. We could see very quickly from the overview that there was an improvement in their letter formation. Pupils enjoy handwriting with Kaligo and love getting their green circles and collecting the stars.  They really enjoy its perfecting element; they can see instant progress.” 

“With Kaligo, we know which letters children need extra support  with; we can set these letters and send them home as homework.”

“During class, every child gets immediate, personal feedback with their handwriting; this isn’t possible without using technology.   We can also see that the improvement has transferred well from using Kaligo on the iPad to their work on paper. We’ve switched to tramline books to sit well with the lessons on Kaligo, and their handwriting on paper has shown great improvement.”


Kaligo Stylus

For Cottingley, using EdTech is already showing significant improvement, and they’ve also adopted the Kaligo Stylus.

“The pupils love the Kaligo Stylus. The shape reflects the same shape as a pencil, so their grip doesn’t need to change, which makes the handwriting improvement easily transfer over to paper.”

“Kaligo is a brilliant piece of edtech in the classroom, and we can see that pupils are making great progress with their letter formation and handwriting. Kaligo is an amazing tool, and the handwriting improvement transfers well to paper.” 

“I also like that I can see progress for each pupil, class, year or the overall picture of how our children perform as a school. The teacher assessment is easy to see which pupils are moving through from red to amber and then green.”


 Looking ahead

As a school using EdTech to help deliver independent learning, what’s next for Cottingley?

“Kaligo is a powerful tool in the classroom; we are hoping to look at the many features and expand our use this year to include setting spelling lists on Kaligo.”

“Kaligo is a brilliant tool; it gives us the confidence that teachers can support and help every child progress with handwriting.”


Make sure to take a look at our other success stories.