Our takeaways from the TES SEN Show

by Jodie Lopez

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Last Friday and Saturday we had a stand at the TES SEN show in London. As well as meeting lots of fantastic teachers, teaching assistants, and school leaders we also have a chance to look around at the offerings of the other stands.

What struck us is the diversity of needs of different schools and students. We knew this would be the case, of course, but hearing first-hand from educators really helped us to see what is important about what we have made here at Kinteract, and how fundamental some changes could be which we maybe took for granted before.

Teachers told us about the importance to them of the parental logins to make those home-school links really strong. To provide a window into the learning journey of their child would especially help parents who do not do the school drop off and pick up themselves as they miss out on those little daily updates so often.

We also learnt more about all the information and moments educators like to track outside of the statutory curriculum - from behavioural updates to celebrating those moments which don't sit in the curriculum but for an individual child might be groundbreaking. Being able to add user defined hashtags in posts in Kinteract was a huge draw for many teachers who find other systems restrict them too much and bind them to just traditional curriculum statements.

Having pupils with spiky profiles is also a concern in traditional assessment systems as a child might be working at Year 1 curriculum standard in one subject, yet Year 5 in another. Or even a range within each subject and strand. With Kinteract you choose where to add each objective from, even if one post or observation includes multiple stages. Every child is unique and so their learning journey should reflect that.

Educators also really liked the way they could make their own judgements about any levels they add for summative assessment points. They can also see all observations added for those children against those subjects easily when making those judgements - even if multiple members of staff and parents have been adding content for review. This means that for children who have multiple agencies and staff working with them the class teacher can still pull all of that information from different sources together to make an informed judgement of where they are at.

Another really key function of the system which many visitors to our stand liked is the ability to add voice notes, videos, documents, and anything else you need or want to add to a post. And not always having to tag that into the curriculum. Anything you add is important even if not for a specific subject. If you want to tag that a child earned a sticker for being kind, that has as much important in Kinteract as a note about them writing some work in English lessons. You can also make every post cross curricular easily by adding multiple tags. A class discussion or observation could easily include maths, art, science, speaking and listening, and history. In Kinteract you don't need to go hunting through each curriculum either to add all those tags - the intelligent AI will predict the tags based on what you are writing in the post. 

We are currently working on even more updates which we think have the power to offer even more for SEN schools of all varieties - as well as resource provision and SEND students within mainstream education. Our mainstream teachers who visited the stand noted how the system can work for their main cohort and their SEND students all in one place without compromising on any of the data they need to hand for any external requirements.

Our aim was always to make one system which is perfect for everyone. By making a system which works for SEN we make a system which works for anyone and everyone. Easy for teachers to upload and use, without hours of training! Easy for students and parents to be involved where appropriate in the learning journey. Easy to adapt to a school's needs - whether by using multiple curricula or multimedia inputs and outputs. Easy for every teacher to use it how they see fit - adding as much or as little child as is needed without turning assessment into a tick box exercise.