09 Nov Helping everyone achieve at Whittle Academy
Whittle Academy – Case study
“Kaligo is a brilliant tool for the classroom, and the feedback has been very positive. We’ve seen a great improvement in handwriting over a very short space of time.” Daisy Morgan, Assistant Headteacher, Whittle Academy
- Immediate feedback
- Instant assessment of handwriting ability
- Time-saving, reduces the workload for teachers
- An in-depth view of handwriting for each child
- Quick improvement in handwriting
- 260 Pupils
- Aged 3 to 11
- Based in Walsgrave, Coventry
About Whittle Academy
Whittle Academy is a school of around 260 pupils aged 3 to 11 based in Walsgrave, Coventry. The school’s motto, ‘helping children to soar, giving children the power to take flight and helping every pupil to achieve’, is reinforced through the leadership team who work together to ensure that every child at Whittle can reach their full potential.
The school is set in an area with some level of deprivation, and the school’s pupil premium and numbers of pupils with SEN are higher than the national average. Whittle Academy is rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and is ‘Outstanding’ in some areas.
The school wanted a real push on handwriting in the classroom; Daisy Morgan, Assistant Headteacher, explains: “Watching each pupil form letters is an impossible task for a teacher, yet letter formation is key to getting a child’s handwriting flow well, so we must get it right. We need to know how letters are formed so we can stop any poor habits developing.”
During lockdown, the school decided to look at how EdTech could help in the classroom and discovered the Kaligo handwriting app. What attracted them was the independent learning aspect of Kaligo. Children from Reception to Year 3 could sit at a tablet and learn independently, self-correcting themselves.
Initially, the school introduced Kaligo for reception and year one and targeted interventions in higher years. Daisy says, “We wanted to ensure pupils were forming letters correctly. However, post lockdown, the muscles needed for handwriting were weak. So some pupils needed a bit of extra support or intervention to help them get to where they should be.”
The Kaligo 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 own 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.
During class, every child gets immediate, personal feedback with their handwriting this just isn’t possible without using technology. 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, numbers or even if they have an issue with pencil control.
“Some pupils had the most wonderful thoughts but couldn’t write them down”, says Daisy, “Using Kaligo a few times a week, we have seen a great improvement. The children really enjoy using Kaligo; they see the instant results and progress, which keeps them engaged with handwriting.”
“For one pupil, he just had the most brilliant ideas, but due to poor motor skills, he couldn’t translate these onto paper. However, using Kaligo, he improved quite quickly and we now love reading his brilliant thoughts and ideas.”
Saving teacher time
“Pupils self-correct to progress, which really empowers children to see the benefit of what they do, and we can see how every child forms letters without standing over each pupil in class.”
Kaligo is constantly adding new features; most recently, teachers can add audio comments and note feedback in the app. Schools can also customise imagery and lessons, and the real game-changer is the ability to see handwriting progress at individual, class, year, school and at the wider MAT level.
The team are already seeing great success at Whittle Academy; Daisy explains what’s next,
“This year, we want to embed Kaligo – set consistent lessons and try it with more whole class sessions for Reception and year 1.”
“Kaligo is a brilliant tool for the classroom, and the feedback has been very positive. We’ve seen a great improvement in handwriting over a very short space of time.”