2015-2016 Academic Year Review

Education, Learning, Learning Performance, Literacy, Mindset, Numeracy, Study Skills

This academic year has smashed all expectations. We are incredibly proud of what the Learning Performance team have achieved and as the end of term is upon us, what better time to reflect on the accomplishments of the year!

Not only have both our HQ and presenter teams expanded, we continue to reach more and more students, staff and parents each year throughout the country (and across Europe)! A massive thank you to each and every school, college and university that chose us to work with them to help raise achievement and inspire a love of learning this year!

So in summary, what’s been going on?

Press

Learning Performance and our MD Carrie Starbuck have been featured in the press several times over the last few months, which is very exciting!

Numeracy and Literacy

This academic year saw the launch of our Literacy and Numeracy programme, the success of it has gone beyond all expectations. Our case study shows that 100% of students felt that the programme helped them improve in English- incredible! I am thrilled to share with you our 2015 – 2016 Literacy and Numeracy Impact Report! We have had an overwhelming demand for longer term and more sustained programmes, and we are so proud to have evidence that supports just how beneficial such interventions are!

Aspirational Programmes

We have also been working with a number of schools specifically targeting hard to reach students with our 4 – 6 week aspirational programmes, with dramatic improvement shown. Nearly 90% of a targeted group of students felt more confident as a result of the programme.

Events

Growth mindset-Walk the Talk. We held our first ever off site event at Kings College, London which focused on ideas, techniques, research and case studies all linked to embedding a Growth Mindset in the classroom, with our NEW ‘Walk the Talk’ programme. Due to high demand, we are looking to hold further events in the Autumn term which we are already excited about!

We had a stand at The Academy Show, London where we spent a fantastic day talking with hundreds of education professionals from all over the county.

We attended The Festival of Education which was a HUGE success! Carrie Starbuck was in high demand after her talk on‘ Memory Matters’ on both days. You can download Carrie’s slides and transcript here.

 

 

Looking to the future

This year we have introduced Learning Performance Partnership Schools. This is an incredibly exciting development and we are so pleased to welcome on board a select few schools for the New Academic year. You can contact us to find out more about what a partnership with Learning Performance entails.

We have also launched an online hub for schools, which goes live in September 2016!

Feedback

Below are just a couple of my favourite comments from school organisers this academic year.

‘We really enjoyed the day. Your presenter was fantastic and very inspiring.  I don’t think the children believed that study skills could be fun.’

‘The session was fantastic. Students were totally engaged throughout the whole session and the content he covered was exactly what we were looking for. I have seen a lot of motivational speakers whilst doing this role and was very impressed.’

‘I would like to say a massive thank you.  We absolutely loved the workshop.  I was so impressed, his manner and way with the students had them hooked on every word he said.  The activities the students were involved in were both engaging and relevant and I know the students left the workshop feeling that they had got a lot from the session including being more energised and confident.  We have had other speakers in, both this year and previous years, and I can honestly say that I really think your presenter was one of the best.’

‘The students absolutely loved the day that was delivered and are still speaking positively of how much the day has helped them.’

And now from the students themselves..

‘I have learnt not to give up easily and try until you succeed.’

‘It was awesome. The presenter was so motivated & enthusiastic that it made me engaged and want to find out more.’

‘ I have found this has really helped me in class.’

‘I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it.’

What a fantastic year it’s been! It’s finally time to catch our breath and get prepared for what the 2016-2017 academic year will bring. A massive thank you to all our lovely schools, our team of presenters and the HQ team. Let’s continue to work together to inspire the young people of our generation!

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Presenter Conference 2015

Creativity, Education, Learning Performance, Teaching and Learning

team pic-LPS

Last Saturday the day started bright and early- well perhaps not bright, but early, without doubt, even facing a flurry of snow upon arrival at the venue, ready for our Learning Performance conference.

It was amazing to have this opportunity for the whole team to be together, from our newest presenters to those who have worked on behalf of Learning Performance for up to 13 years, everyone bonded over their shared passion – education!

The team was eager to crack on with the day ahead. To kick off the day, training in our Numeracy and Literacy programme was led by one of our senior presenters. This is a fantastic 6-week programme that has been introduced into schools this academic year; with great success may I add! Applying our strategies to literacy and numeracy is vital in showing students how tangible the techniques we teach are.

Training was also given in additional programmes to increase our newer presenters knowledge, in order for them to be able to deliver more of the workshops that we offer. This was led by one of our directors-Roger Starbuck.roger image

Programmes including ‘Advanced study skills, ‘Essential study skills’ ‘Critical thinking’, ‘Communication’, ‘Employability and ‘Enterprise’- to name just a few, were covered! It definitely was a jam-packed morning full of energy.

All sessions were completed successfully, with great participation, interest and eagerness to be part of what Learning Performance has to offer. This now means we have more of our excellent presenters trained to the highest standards out on the road delivering our workshops!

Introducing the afternoon conference, the Managing Director, Carrie, made a grand entrance with presentersimage2[4] stomping and clapping “We Will Rock You” style. Like a rock star, she gave high – fives to every team member before breaking out into a motivational speech on how Learning Performance is growing in epic proportions.

The main focus of this conference was to introduce a brand new and exciting programme. With great enthusiasm and clear passion, Roger Starbuck introduced the concept of ‘Mindset’, which was very much welcomed by all!

A great explanation and interesting evidence to support it was provided. We understand the impact that the correct mindset caCarol-Dweckn have on students, staff and parents and the importance of addressing this by encouraging a growth over a fixed mindset. At Learning Performance we are now taking steps to introduce mindset into all of our programmes in order to encourge a belief system that leads individuals down the right track to success.

Our focus on making what we do relevant – which is so key, provided an opportunity for everyone to contribute ideas and take away practical solutions to the classroom. It’s important to continually share ideas and make everything as tangible for the students as possible, as this is what Learning Performance is all about. It worked really well and showed what a dynamic and committed team we have!

image5[2]It was fantastic to see each member of our team in action, sharing ideas and showing a keen interest in the new material. As always, when the team is together, there was a high level of engagement and a real buzz throughout the room.

The 2015 Presenter conference was an inspiring, diverse and interactive day, full of new and exciting information which gave a clear insight into where Learning Performance as a company are heading and what’s been going on behind the scenes. It was huge success and opportunity to not only share new content, but to give recognition to our fantastic Learning Performance team!

inspire

Written by Holly Chandler

Each School Is Unique

Education, Learning Performance

There are many factors to be taken into consideration when deciding where a child should go to school. There are so many variations between schools, not only based on results, but also the cultures and norms.

It doesn’t matter where a school is located, the demographics of the students, or the age group the school ranges from. Each school is unique. Each school is its own micro – world with all its social hierarchies, principles, expectations and rules.

The ultimate desire for many parents, however, is for each student to feel a sense of belonging.

It is important to understand the needs of each individual and what works best for them. This naturally affects the decision process. Different things work in different schools and different things work better for different individuals.

One decision regularly faced by parents is the benefits of a large school compared to a small school, and vice versa. It is hard to evaluate the impact of school size on educational performance and student happiness, but it is clear that there are pros and cons for each.

A a big pro for larger schools is that often they have more capacity, facilities and choices in terms of school subjects available. A potential con is that a child simply becomes another statistic.

Smaller schools have that ‘small school culture’ that many parents want for their child. Class size is a major factor of this with students benefitting from smaller, personalised classes.

Let’s not forget, that this ‘small school culture’ can be created within a large school environment. It’s about the relationships that are built within a school, irrespective of its size. It’s about a sense of community.

In my opinion, that is a major factor about choosing a school. What does the school believe in? What is its ethos and values? Finding a school where each individual child is valued is fundamental because with the right support everyone has the ability to achieve.

Students ultimately go to school to come out with exam results, but school is so much more than that, it is a journey.

Each school is unique, and each student, even more so. Every school has the ability and opportunity to be amazing.

Written by Holly Chandler

What motivates you?

Education, Motivation

Got motivation?

The motivation to achieve is what really creates that passion and buzz in what you are doing. Within education I believe that state of mind and motivation is the key to success. So much has been written regarding motivation and the effects it has on us as individuals, yet motivation is often hard to define. What’s motivating varies depending on the individual, which is why motivation is such a unique process.

The reason behind why we are doing something is too easily forgotten. Excitement, enthusiasm and passion not only come from a love of something, but also knowing what it is you want to achieve and how you are going to get there. Things wont always work out perfectly, but it’s about having the mentality to keep going.

keep-trying-dont-give-up

Motivation is essentially based on our feelings, our thought processes and how we act on these. For example, a student may be motivated to work hard because their thought process is that they don’t want the shame and humiliation of failing. Or, a student may be focused on the pride and self-satisfaction that they will receive if they do well. Motivation is personal to each of us, it’s about having a focus in mind so that even when you want to give up, (which at times we all definitely do) there is something telling you not to. I think what’s important is getting students to think about this. These feelings are the side effects and triggers to motivation.

dont give up

Thoughts trigger action and therefore discussing what motivates a student is an incredible way of getting them focussed on wanting to achieve. Making someone self-aware can have fantastic results. Visualising where you want to be, thinking of goals and how you are going to get there, is what motivates most of us and influences how committed we are to something.

In terms of education, this doesn’t just mean thinking short-term. It’s about more than being motivated to get a good mark in an essay, or getting the results they need to go to college; it’s about being motivated to work towards the future you visualise. Thinking about what you can do in the short-term to enable yourself to get to where you want to be in the future. Channelling that thought process into everyday school life creates goal-orientated individuals that know the meaning behind why they are doing something.

future

It makes me sad to think that there are young people out there that lack the motivation they need to reach their full potential. Underachieving due to this is so easily avoided. Motivation 100% affects learning and behaviour in schools. It gives students the energy to keep going and creates the high effort levels needed to achieve. When you are motivated you have the ability to confront challenges you face. It makes an aspiring individual and determines the direction you take.

I believe that discussing what motivates you should without doubt be a focus within school, helping to encourage that love and want to learn from a young age. Being motivated forms a whole new outlook to life and makes students take responsibility for their own education. Motivation is not just something that benefits students now, but throughout the whole of their life. It creates an improved performance in  everyone and enables each of us to maintain a positive attitude.

Work hard, dream big and make things happen.

motivation2

Written by Holly Chandler

Educating Cardiff-Review

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Episode 4 of Educating Cardiff took me back to my years at secondary school. It made me reflect- as often programmes such as these do.

Although it was the first episode of this series that I have watched I still felt instantly connected to both the teachers and the students. This was once a school where only 14% of their students achieved A*-C grades. This figure however has now increased to 50%- making it one of the nations most improved schools!

Last night’s episode focussed mainly on Linda, a young girl with the ability to achieve but who let behavioural issues get the better of her.

Both the Head (Mrs Ballard) and the focus teacher (Mr Sage) really proved in this episode that they go the extra mile to help the students at Willows High School. They showed care and compassion resulting in heart-warming viewing.

We saw at the beginning of the episode Linda incorrectly calculating 99+10- a sum she clearly had the ability to work out. This clip emphasised her bad attitude towards education and her ‘kick up a fuss’ ways.

Mr Sage (Linda’s head of house) showed a well thought out approach to dealing with Linda’s behaviour. It was evident that he wanted her to improve and genuinely believed in her ability- “work with me, you are better than that.” Fighting a continued battle of Linda being on report and her insisting that she ‘hates it when teachers tell her what to do’, it was obvious that something needed to change! He showed a good balance between discipline and understanding which made him a brilliant head of house and support figure for Linda. Linda was troubled, but she without doubt wanted to be better and all she needed was a little encouragement.

Mr Sage believed that Linda’s behaviour and attitude was partially due to her lack of stimulation from being in set 3. She was regularly loosing concentration in class due to tasks being too easy for her, which meant that she completed her work before other students and was left restless. The main reason for her being in this set was due to poor behaviour. For teachers such as Mr Sage there are so many decisions to make in situations like this one. I can only imagine how stressful weighing up the choices must be. Both Mr Sage and Mrs Hammond after much deliberation decided to move Linda from set 3 to set 1 in all subjects, in hope that this would improve her attitude and stop her ‘playing up’ in the classroom.

Mrs Ballard refers to herself as not being ‘a traditional head teacher’ and I would probably agree with this- I honestly don’t remember my Head showing such sincere and endearing qualities. When she bought a present for Linda’s brother, to be posted on Linda’s behalf, I felt as though I understood her passion, her want to help, and her desire to be involved in the student’s lives- this student in particular. Linda’s brother had been sent to the Czech Republic to live with his Grandmother, due to his Mother no longer being able to deal with his bad behaviour. Both Linda and her brother were very big characters. Remaining at school without her brother left Linda very distressed.

Seeing Linda cry made me want to reach through the screen to hug her and seeing Mr Sage with tears in his eyes made me realise that teachers often can’t help but get emotionally involved in situations that often are out of their control. Mr Sage in this case clearly felt genuine sympathy.

The episode really confirmed for me the fact that what happens outside of the school environment has a huge impact on how students behave within school, something often too easily forgotten.

I loved Mrs Hammond’s idea of asking Linda to write a letter to include her thoughts. The outcome of this showed us all that Linda did have that desire to do well. She wanted to move sets, she wanted to improve her behaviour and she wanted to prove herself to Mrs Hammond and Mr Sage.

Improved body language, a more positive attitude and increased mental stimulation- it was clear that the decision to move Linda in to set 1 was a beneficial one for her. The clips of her weeks later showing a dramatic change in behaviour throughout classes was heart-warming to see.

She gained respect for her class teacher’s discipline and was taking responsibility for her own education. I felt many emotions towards Linda throughout the episode but ultimately I was pleased. I was pleased that it worked out for her, that Willows didn’t give up on her, but was with her every step of the way! She could now be proud of herself.

People emphasise that there are more things to life than education and I believe this to a certain extent, but at the end of the day whether a student loves or hates school, they have to go. School isn’t just about education though; it’s about the relationships you develop, your behavioural characteristics and your attitude to life. When I watch programmes such as these I realise the real impact teachers have on children. Each teacher is different, but each teacher has the ability to make such a big difference to every student.

GCSE Results-Recognise Achievement

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GCSE results day brings along a great deal of mixed emotions- a huge amount of nervousness, but I’m sure also a lot of happiness and excitement! It is a day where parents, teacher and students reflect on the positives and negatives. The educational changes that have already and continue to come in to place, affect schools differently. Those differences are proven by the results that have been achieved this year and we will continue to see the impact and improvement that further changes bring in the years to follow.

It is fantastic to hear that the amount of GCSE passes has risen this year again, especially in students receiving at least a grade C in English. Last year it was a concern that this figure had dropped by the largest amount since GCSE’s began, this increase is therefore very much welcomed. Performance in maths has also improved in comparison to last year- such positive news!

GCSEs are the first important set of exam results that students collect, so it is not surprising the worry that comes with that. The pressure that is put upon schools and teachers to achieve is another reason why this day is undoubtedly one of the most stressful of the year. It’s the end to the first big stage in student’s education, but it definitely doesn’t end there for teachers.

Today, success or failure will be the result students and teachers throughout the country receive. The feeling of success or failure however is personal to each individual. In relation to students, it is not necessarily to do with what grades that they have received, but if they are pleased with them. I think it is important to help young students put things in to perspective. Students beat themselves up if they didn’t get those straight A’s that they were hoping for, but it isn’t the end of the world- they must realise this! Many students receive results that are good enough to lead them on to their next step, however they are still left feeling dissatisfied with their achievement.

The futures of students collecting their GCSE results today are not determined merely by what results they see written in front of them. That fact however will not have stopped the nerves, disappointment and concern associated with receiving grades lower than anticipated.

It is very clear that not everything suits everyone. There are therefore cases where further education is not necessarily the correct next step. That may be because a student doesn’t currently hold the grades they need or because another route may be more beneficial for them.

Whatever the case is, I believe enjoying what you do is ultimately what leads you to success. The key is to help guide students today into their next step in life. To ensure that they make the right decision based on them as an individual, not on what they think is expected. Young people have to make big decisions so early in life- providing the support that they need today is essential.

Despite much criticism over exams, they are there to monitor achievement as well as progress. Without exams what is there for students and teachers to work towards? Exams and results aren’t everything, but without them we would live in a very different country, i believe one that would lack mind set and motivation.

I regularly question whether results are to do with intelligence or hard work. The two undoubtedly are linked in a huge way, however intelligence and hard work are each successes in their own right. Recognising and encouraging hard work irrespective of intelligence proven by results is so essential. I believe that this should very much be remembered on a day like today. For those students that missed out on that C grade and for that student who completely failed- it isn’t the end. Unfortunately we aren’t all gifted with natural academic intelligence. We do all however have the ability to work very hard. All achievement should be recognised!

Holly Chandler

Presenter Coordinator

A level Results Day!

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keep-calm-its-results-day

The day that the majority of A level students throughout the country have been anticipating has arrived. For many this will be the first time that they have been able to relax in months, and for others the time has come for them to pull their heads back out from under the sand.

It isn’t however just students that face the undeniable pressure and apprehension that this day brings- results day is equally as daunting of a day for teachers and parents! That fact is widely forgotten.

For most students, the moment of finding out their results is life changing in some way. That small bit of paper holds possible answers to their future, answers to their next step in life and potentially to the next path that they will take. Speaking from previous experience, this moment is overwhelmingly nerve-racking. How can this one moment, based on one set of exams, mean so much? That complete desire for something that you want so much. Something that relies solely on the information that one bit of paper holds.

It is not only the insane amount of pressure that students put on themselves that creates that feeling of utter disappointment if they do not get the results they were aiming for so difficult to accept, but also that overcoming concern of ‘what will my parents think?’

Those very apparent doubts and ‘what if’ thoughts that fill the heads of those students that open that envelope and haven’t got what they wanted, often despite trying their very hardest, are such a struggle to deal with. We all want to feel proud of ourselves but also make others proud of us!

woman-cryingparents a level results

From students that just miss out on that ‘A’ they needed to get in to the university of their choice to those that completely messed up an exam and haven’t got in to university at all- does everything really happen for a reason? How can getting in to university be so black and white? Students must be proud of what they did achieve and realise that this isn’t the end. I hope that today support and reassurance is being provided all over the country to help manage that indescribable disappointment which is so difficult to know how to deal with.

Hard work should be recognised whether they got that result they were looking for or not. These exams ARE important, but students shouldn’t be made to feel like this is the end. Opportunity is still there! Lets make students feel proud. Let’s provide them with the support that they need today. Never underestimate what can be achieved through sheer encouragement to keep going! They must remember that results alone cannot determine a future and there is so much further success that is yet to be achieved.

Those who haven’t got in to the university of their choice- the process of clearing is another stress to add to this pressure filled day. Along with disappointment, the rush of ‘where else can I go’ takes over. The opportunity of clearing creates many happy endings, but actually in a lot of cases can increase apprehension. It often means being accepted somewhere they haven’t had the chance to visit or somewhere that is maybe so far from home but yet they haven’t began considering leaving their family. This means the step from college/sixth form to university is even more dramatic than perhaps anticipated.

right decision sign

Even for those A level students that are filled instantly with sheer relief when finding out their results, it doesn’t end there! Today the pressure and apprehension is not only on those who failed to reach their target, but also those who succeeded to. It is time for these students to consider how to prepare for the unknown. Some will be ready and some will not be.

This day is truly life changing but i believe that positivity should be taken whatever the outcome. It is important to spot the signs of students who are struggling; those who need extra support on this very significant day. The ones most in need of your help aren’t always the most obvious. That struggle may vary from accepting that they missed out on a grade to dealing with the idea of moving away.

The point is, it isn’t just about what results they get, it is about providing encouragement, motivation and mind-set for that next step – whatever that may be!

For now, make the most of the summer and I wish you all a fantastic start to the new academic year!

relax

Holly Chandler

Presenter Coordinator