Click here to see how Kinteract are supporting schools during the Coronavirus outbreak icon-close

Why Kinteract for SEND Schools?

by Jodie Lopez

scroll down

Kinteract is an online, portable, learning portfolio designed for life. That is so important. It goes through every stage. Totally agnostic to ages, stages, or educational establishment. Kinteract is just the tool, what you put in and get out in something so much more personal for every child. The portfolio, or learning journey, which is so central to Kinteract is exactly the reason why Kinteract is so perfect for both SEND and mainstream, but perhaps offers something for SEND schools which most other systems don't.

For a start you can add in whichever curricula you like. (Obviously minus copyright issues of just taking other people's curriculum!) But most SEND schools are working with some sort of adaptation or creation of their own, curricula wise, or are working in collaboration with a few schools, or may have a commercial curricula that we can arrange to be added to our offering. You can also add multiple curricula without issues - so a mainstream school with a resource provision, which goes from birth to 25, could add in every single curriculum relevant for every stage and every student. You can even have a curriculum just for one student, which won't impact on anything for anyone else in the system. Because Kinteract does not work on a "you must tick all these boxes off" basis like so many assessment systems do.

You can do traditional tracking if you like, whether that it a score for Reading as a whole subject, or by strand or objective even, and you get loads of data to look at in the form of pretty graphs and an Excel output as needed.

Kinteract, though, revolves mostly around the posting of "cards" of different types. Some of these cards may be assessment cards. They could be notices. They could also be next steps - things to work on. For these the students can either log on and hand in their assignment or homework as required to get their next step signed off. Or the teacher could sign it off based on seeing evidence themselves in class. Again this is perfect for SEND as we are not assuming that every student, or every teacher, has to approach Kinteract in the same way. You also get parent logons and they can add their own comments from home too. Vital for SEND pupils where communication with the home environment is so essential and such a key part of working together. You could even give some limited access to workers from outside agencies who work with your student(s) if that helps. Everyone who is involved in that learning journey, the community around each child, can be involved. Just for the children it is relevant for.

Most of the cards used for a learning journey portfolio are the "Observation" cards. These mean you can attach any evidence you wish - photo, video, sound file, documents etc - and also add notes. These may or may not relate directly to one of your curricula, or it may simply be a note. Not everything has to feed into assessment in the traditional sense! 

Where they do match up with the curriculum you can use hashtags to "tag" in the relevant subject, strand, or objective. This then attaches it to the assessment cards so that the next time you make an assessment in that subject it will show you that there is some evidence to review as part of that judgement - whether that includes photos etc or is just a note.

You can see an example of a note in the screenshot below:

undefined

These hashtags can also be user defined. What do we mean by that? Well essentially you can, as part of creating a card like the one above, invent absolutely any hashtag you like which you might like to search for later. These will not attach to a curriculum, but they will be searchable by you, any other teachers relevant to the child, the parent, and the student themselves if they log on. These hashtags could be for one off events such as #TriptoBritishMuseum to collate all the pictures of the day while only tagging the relevant student and parent into each individual image. (GDPR tick yay!) or they could represent something more ongoing as a target which you are working on at school, and maybe at home too (#PottyTraining perhaps?), or could even represent something which goes throughout the school life right into their future career or apprenticeship (#Carpentry, #SpeakingwithConfidence) and allows you, and the student, to track their progress on those key elements which fall outside the traditional curriculum yet are so personally important to that child.

This is why Kinteract is so perfect for SEND schools. You can add as much, or as little, information about any child at any time. You can decide if this is just for school or something to be shared to home too. We see these apps so often at EYFS settings, letting parents know their 2 year old ate their lunch, or had a nappy change, etc, yet due to them not seeming as necessary at mainstream primary schools and beyond (where we assume children can pass on these details themselves where needed) they are not seen much past Reception classes in most schools. In SEND we appreciate that in fact a learning journey is still hugely relevant. Especially if a child is non verbal, or if they are brought to school from further away by bus or taxi and you do not see the parents much to pass on regular information, or simply for any school who wants assessment to be defined by what is right for each child, NOT what is decided by the DfE to be the most important. Yes those skills and that knowledge is something you plan for, but you also want to highlight the smaller steps, or the things which are not covered by a small list of subjects due to the very nature of a national curriculum.

We also do not, in Kinteract, have some sort of random scoring system attached to the curricula themselves. If you choose to add summative assessment it is to your pre-defined labels. But the rest of the cards, even if you tag in the curriculum, will not do some magic calculation in the background based on some arbitrary percentages we made up. The teachers are always in control of the summative assessment side. With the formative assessment, and observation cards, we simply store them all for you in a lovely timeline which shows their progress over time simply with a scroll! No more worrying that a SEND child will be labelled as BELOW the mainstream cohort simply because you haven't filled in enough objectives for them yet (understandably!)

We want to keep working with you to make Kinteract even better, especially for those who find there is no system which fits the round peg into the square hole.

Get in touch for a demo, or tell us how you are using Kinteract already!