How Kaligo is maximising life chances for pupils who have SEND

A new approach to maximise life chances to pupils who have SEND at Westmorland School

“Using Kaligo a little every week for two months has delivered six months progress on paper. For one boy, using Kaligo has sped up the rate of progress by six months.”



○ Improved engagement
○ Instant assessment of handwriting ability
○ Reduces the workload for teachers
○ In-depth view of handwriting for each child

Key information :

○ Primary School
○ SEND Specialist School
○ Using Kaligo with 56 students
○ Located in Chorley, Lancashire

About Westmorland School

Westmorland School is a specialist school with 56 pupils ages 5 to 11, based in Chorley in Lancashire. The school is built on trust and partnerships between pupils, parents, teachers, support workers and our wonderful local community. As well as providing an excellent education, the aim is to help pupils be the best they can be. The school has high expectations of its pupils and uses different approaches to ensure that every child achieves their full potential.

A new approach

Westmorland school is pretty unique in that it teaches classes where pupils are grouped based on ‘need’ rather than ‘age’. The school then match the environment and the teacher to the pupils. So, for example, some pupils may need a lower sensory environment.

The school also use new approaches with technology. As well as delivering a broad and balanced, rich learning environment through the National Curriculum, educational and life skills, the school also looks to technology to support them where possible.

The school had always focused on reading and aims for every child to leave the school with a functioning reading age and the necessary skills to take them to their next step, as Daisy Lewis-Guinness, Assistant Headteacher, explains:

“As a school, we have always focused on reading for all pupils, as it’s through reading that we access the outside world, so it’s a necessity that all pupils can read. Last year, 90% of our pupils left our school with a functioning reading age, which we are very proud of.

“Often, pupils join our school from a poor experience in a mainstream school. They often have associated trauma and negativity from their time in mainstream school, and we work tirelessly to redefine our pupils’ experience of education, allowing them to feel that being in school is positive and can be fun! For example, a pupil could join at year three unable to read, and in the three remaining years, we work hard with them so that when they move on from our school in year six, they can read.”


Getting to grips with handwriting

Writing is one of the essential foundations in a child’s education, and for pupils at Westmorland

School handwriting can be a challenge. For some pupils, it’s a physical challenge; they may be hypermobile so holding a pencil and writing can be difficult. For others, they may just find handwriting very difficult, for example if they have visual/motor difficulties and find it a challenge to know where to position writing on a page,  or they may have had previous negative experiences and don’t want to engage.

“We are always looking at ways to improve engagement, and I saw Kaligo on Twitter and sent a message across.

“We started our trial in October, and that ran until Christmas. The response was really positive; the levels of engagement in handwriting using Kaligo were brilliant. In some classes, we were just going to use it as an intervention for a couple of pupils, but when the rest of the class saw it, we had no choice but to register them all; they love it.”

“Using Kaligo is consistent, which usually children wouldn’t like, but because it is on their iPad, they are happy to do repetitive tasks, and this consistency improves their handwriting.”


Hooked on handwriting

“We’ve now signed up for Kaligo and rolled it out across the school. The pupils loved the gamification of Kaligo; it’s so easy to understand the green circles and stars, they know if they are doing something right. It’s so powerful for a child to see how much they are improving in Kaligo; it’s a real motivator.

“What’s impressed us is the impact of Kaligo when we look at pupils’ progress on paper. We can instantly see with Kaligo that they are writing on the lines, and letter formation is more even.

“Using Kaligo a little every week for two months has delivered six months progress on paper. For one boy, using Kaligo has sped up the rate of progress by six months.”

“For pupils who are catching up post-Covid or were late-developing literacy skills or reading and writing, Kaligo is another way to support them in catching up.  The children have great pride in achieving the stars and seeing their significant progress; they can see that they are improving and want to do well, and that’s wonderful.”


How Kaligo works

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 give teachers an overview of any neurolinguistic processes behind a child’s unique 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 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. It identifies any difficulties children as young as age 3 may have with forming letters, numbers, or even having an issue with pencil control.


Outstanding Tech

Westmorland School is an outstanding school, and is an Apple Distinguished School.  Its incredible teachers and enthusiasm for technology mean that pupils leave their school ready for life ahead.

“Using EdTech helps us instantly see the progress for each pupil but also shows us the overall picture of how our children are performing as a year.  Our teaching team enjoys using Kaligo, and our pupils find it highly engaging and almost therapeutic as Kaligo helps them focus better.

“Pupils can get bored with handwriting, particularly when it is tracing the same letter over and over, but using Kaligo is very interactive, and the instant feedback the pupils receive keeps them motivated to continue.

“We look forward to seeing how our pupil’s handwriting improve even further with Kaligo supporting them over the next year; it’s really exciting to see their progress.”

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