Edtech platform provides learning continuity to musical programme of excellence
Founded in 2013, the Music in Secondary Schools Trust (MiSST) provides funding for classical instruments for secondary schools with a disadvantaged or challenging student intake. The Key Stage 3 curriculum, known as the Andrew Lloyd Webber programme, gives schools the resources needed to produce high level, imaginative performers, composers and critical thinkers for GCSE, A-Level and beyond. With the aim of transforming educational and societal outcomes through the provision of classical music and expert tuition, the trust provides opportunities for children and young adults from all backgrounds to showcase their talents and be part of a programme of excellence that is unrivalled in the UK.
Out of tune technology
Supporting over 6,000 students, MiSST found that using a digital platform to share resources would benefit the learning experience, improve collaboration between pupils and teachers and reduce manual workload. For example, when a student is asked to practice playing a musical instrument, they should be able to access sufficient guidance or the supporting resources to learn outside of the classroom.
Yet, the edtech software it was previously relying upon did not meet these expectations. The common challenge was that the software was complicated to use and out of sync with the requirements of the music curriculum. Secondary school children found it difficult to navigate and struggled to find the specific supporting materials.
With the impacts of the Covid-19 forcing schools to turn to remote learning, the trust needed to find a user-friendly platform that would not only be easy to implement but would also accommodate their immediate needs to provide continuity to schooling. This included the functionality for uploading bespoke resources to be shared with pupils and music departments as well as access to single point of contact to help with any enquires. In the long term, MiSST also required a solution that could grow with the trust over time, offering additional features that could allow more opportunities for children to flourish while improving efficiencies for teachers.
Hitting the right notes
After searching the EdTech market for a solution, MiSST found that Kinteract’s cloud-based intuitive teaching and learning platform would compliment its approach to education, influencing their decision to implement the software across its partnered schools in the height of the pandemic. Due to lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures, the Kinteract team delivered several online training sessions with heads of departments within each school to ensure staff had the confidence to use the product.
With 20 schools subscribing to different virtual learning environments, the trust experienced benefits from the ‘get go’ as Kinteract gave them the opportunity to have a centralised place for all MiSST resources. Applications such as Google Drive were synchronised within the platform, enabling immediate access to learning materials. This, coupled with the ability to upload and share files to the content library has not only saved valuable time and driven efficiencies for both teachers and students, but it has also meant the learning journey for a pupil is uninterrupted; giving them the materials to practice and study in a home or school environment.
Opting for a phased strategic implementation of Kinteract to ensure users are familiar with the software, MiSST will be adopting its other features gradually. The functionalities of the platform go beyond typical edtech and offer a more holistic view of a student’s development. In addition to integrating third party communication tools, it can capture a child’s achievements, milestones, strengths, and competencies; allowing music teachers to set tasks and monitor progression aligned with a pupil’s skill level. Take for example a pupil learning the Saxophone. A teacher may ask them to learn a particular song or work towards the next grading level and set them a program to follow. The pupil could video themselves playing the instrument and upload it to the platform, providing evidence for the teacher to observe and assess.
Rachel Landon, CEO at MiSST said: “Kinteract has provided us with an impressive solution to the challenges we were previously experiencing with our content library. Pupils and teachers now have easy access to the material they need at the touch of a button – something that has proven invaluable during the pandemic. Going forwards, we’re excited to use the platform to evidence the students’ hard work, share progress with parents, and bring together the music community’.