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!

summer
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Our Term Review!

Education, Exams, Learning Performance, Revision, Study Skills

Wow, what a fantastic term! We have finally caught our breath and done a review of all the successes we have had this term. In three short months we worked with over 200 schools across the UK (and Europe!). This means we reached just over 50,000 young people empowering them with effective revision strategies such as, memory techniques. That’s not to mention the thousands of staff and parents we visited too.

 

We are incredibly proud that so many schools, colleges, and universities chose us to help raise achievement and inspire a love of learning!

 

Here are some of our favourite comments from the past term:

My students absolutely loved the session and found it extremely useful. Thank you to you and the presenters. It was a great success. I will be recommending the session to my colleagues.’

 

‘Amazing and really boosted my confidence.’

 

‘Very good day, this changed my outlook towards my teaching.’

 

‘It was very motivational and inspirational.’

 

‘It was an eye-opening workshop’

 

‘Off the charts :)’

 

‘Thank you once again for providing such a high quality presenter- the pupils loved him and thoroughly enjoyed their workshops.’

 

‘I just wanted to say a massive thank you for the brilliant course’

 

We are thrilled to be making such a difference. Here’s to a fantastic Summer Term and best of luck to all those taking exams – You’ve got this! #YouAreAwesome

 

 

UK Schools Memory Championships 2015

Education, Learning, Learning Performance, Memory

The UK Schools Memory Championships has established an enviable reputation for helping students acquire powerful mental skills to improve both learning and self-confidence. In 2014, for the first time in its seven-year history, the final was televised on UKTV channel Watch, where George Watts was crowned Memory Slam 2015 champion!

Last year, the UK Schools Memory Championships moved online and was open to all schools, ages and abilities.

After receiving high scoring test papers from over 200 students from schools across the UK, we are delighted to announce that the 2015 UK Schools Memory Champion is..

LIA FROM INVICTA GRAMMAR SCHOOL!

National Memory Competition (1).JPG

Watch this space, as we will soon be opening and taking entries for the 2016 UK Schools Memory Championships. Could a student at your school be the next champion?

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

An Interview with a Presenter

Creativity, Education, Learning, Learning Performance, Motivation, Pupil Premium, Revision, Study Skills

At Learning Performance we have such a talented and inspiring team of presenters we thought it only fair that we spread their awesomeness across the blog-a-sphere.

We caught up with our presenter, Eric, who has worked with us for over 12 years, to give you an insight into the work we do with schools across the UK.

Q: Why Did You Start Working for Learning Performance?

I have always enjoyed being around young people and wanted to work with them for a long time. I was looking into becoming a supply teacher when I learned about LP.

Q: What Was Your Background Before You Became A Presenter?

I worked for British Airways for many years. I still run corporate training there and at other organisations around the UK. I also lecture part time at a University on Sales and Marketing.

Q: Which Workshops Do You Enjoy Leading The Most?

All the workshops are fun to present. What I find most rewarding and enjoyable is trying to tap into what will most benefit the individuals in the room. It is often something to do with motivation, stress or feeling overwhelmed. I love it when they see that they can take control and get inspired to make good choices.

Q: What Is A Typical Day Like In The Life Of A Presenter?

It starts a week or so before the job when we need to plan how we will get there (we work all over the UK and sometimes Europe). We also get notes from LP letting us know what’s expected (timing, special requests, a bit about the school and students). We aim to get there at least a half an hour before we start. That gives us a chance to speak to the teachers and set up our rooms so that we are ready when the students arrive. A cup of tea is nice at this point as well!

Time to prepare in the morning can make a big difference, particularly to the all-important first impressions. There are also days when we just walk right into a classroom full of staring faces.  The challenge either way is to get them interacting and involved as soon as possible. It’s a workshop, not a lecture!

We spend most of our time introducing new concepts and getting the students to try them out. Some things take more convincing than others. I tend to tell the participants funny stories about my own life and how this stuff has worked for me.

I always try to leave the day on a high. The children or young adults we’ve spoken to should feel good about learning new techniques, but also inspired to actually use them.

Q: Why Is It So Important To Inject The Current Curriculum With Creativity? 

There are so many reasons;

1.  We learn more quickly and hold onto information better when it is creative. Try this; think of a horse. Are you picturing the word “horse” or an image of a horse? I bet it was an image. Our brains think in pictures and for memory effectiveness we often need to link words to something creative like a picture, a song, a movement, a diagram – even a smell.

2.  Long term, the best and most satisfying jobs will go to people who can come up with creative solutions to problems. Anybody can just do what has always been done, but a leader finds a new and better way. If we don’t stretch the creative side of the brain and practice the discipline to learn at school, how are we preparing ourselves to do so in business or our personal lives later on in life?

Q: Which Age Groups Do You Enjoy Working With Most And Why? 

15-18 year olds. I love working with students who are feeling adult pressures and making adult choices, but still have the open-minded optimism of youth. Sometimes you need to convince the cynics that they can learn more easily or make learning fun. I enjoy that challenge. It’s like when athletes talk about “marginal gains”. The little changes we can all make that might not make a big difference individually, but can add up to success. Often the cynical ones just need to see that they make a difference with every choice they make. They can then decide if they are willing to work for a positive or negative outcome.

Last autumn I did a number of workshops with very young children (years 1-6). Their boundless energy, excitement and unconditional love is hard not to enjoy also.

Q: Many Children Suffer From Low Self-Esteem And Low Confidence. How Do Your Workshops Address This?

Those children are the reason I got into this work in the first place. I think that lack of self-esteem is probably the biggest reason the students I see are under-performing. I get them to try tasks and see that they can succeed. I sometimes get them doing things that they are bound to fail at the first time, so we can talk about learning from mistakes and being prepared.  For this I have some complicated yoga moves that work really well.

I’m tough on them when I hear excuses and negative self-talk. It is too easy to blame personal problems for our failure; dyslexia, unsupportive family, teachers we don’t like…There are so many excuses that prevent us from trying hard. Success doesn’t come without trying hard.  Like they say, “you have to work hard to get lucky”. The most successful people are often those who had the biggest battles to fight, because they learned from an early age to be responsible for their own success (or failure).

Q: What Has Been Your Proudest Moment As A LP Presenter?

I was at a university in Essex a few years ago when a new student stopped me. He remembered me from the LP workshop I ran at his school a couple of years before. He said it was the reason he was at university. He may have been exaggerating, but I have never been as proud of what I do as I was at that moment.

Wow. Thank You For Being Part Of Our Team Eric.

2014. The year everything changed.

Bloggers, Education, Learning, Learning Performance

We say over and over again to our students, you can’t learn without reviewing. This principle is fundamentally the same whether it be for school work, or life in general.

It is an opportunity to celebrate and/or commiserate, to learn from both the knocks and fun times so the next year is even more awesome. For Learning Performance 2014 is the year where everything changed.

Our Pupil Premium Project rocketed. In just 3 months, January – March 2014, the number of schools we visited doubled. This accelerated growth continued into this academic year with 270 schools joining our ranks. As a result, we welcomed new staff into both, office and field teams.

To have such a high demand during a tough economic time shows just how much schools believe in our learning strategies.

Family Business

Our 2014 impact evidence also speaks for itself. For example, 80 Year 7 & 8 Pupil Premium students who attended our 6 week literacy and numeracy workshop, improved by some 50%.

Equipping students with creative learning strategies helps them to become confident, independent learners. We always knew this, but it was finally supported by the Education Endowment Toolkit research on metacognition.

Beyond our work with schools we were incredibly proud to be part of the Sunday Times Education Festival. David Starbuck, our Education Director and Deputy Headteacher at Albyn School spoke to a packed – out room on Growing a Love of Learning.

Sunday Times Festival David at Sunday Times Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also were thrilled to be part of UKTV’s new pilot programme Memory Slam. The final of the UK Schools Memory Championship was filmed with Countdown’s Rachel Riley and televised just before Christmas. We loved it, because it showed learning wasn’t about academic ability but about using the brain’s power of imagination and creativity.

Memory Slam

All in all, 2014 has been an exciting year full of growth, change and challenge. It has not been without disappointments but those were the best learning tools of all.

Fail

Happy New Year everyone!

Sex & Relationship Education – Live!

Education, Learning Performance, Sex Education, Teacher Resources

For several weeks we have been working hard on our Let’s Talk Sex project.

Tight budgets has made us think outside the box, so we turned to the fantastic idea of Crowdfunding. People can support businesses, enterprises, charities and student events and in return receive rewards. The all or nothing nature of Crowdfunding means, those who donate won’t lose their money if the project does not reach its target. Brilliant!

Let’s Talk Sex is now live on Sponsorcraft. In just 2 days we have raised 8% of our target. Help us raise even more so we can help a generation of children make informed choices about their health, bodies and future.

You can find out more information about the project by visiting its website site. 

Thank you for your support. If you would like to know more or would like to get involved just contact me!

www.learningperformance.com

@LPerformance @CarrieStarbuck

 

Learning is Fun. Promise.

Creativity, Education, Learning, Learning Performance, Motivation, Teacher Resources

“I don’t love studying. I hate studying. I like learning. Learning is beautiful.”

Natalie Portman

I was so disheartened last night after a twitter conversation with @tesbehaviour that I fancied crawling under the bedcovers, only resurfacing for flapjacks and custard creams – the two best things in the world.

I didn’t do that, of course, tempting as it was but I did have a cup of tea with custard creams – any excuse.

A well – respected educational resource with a large following said “learning can’t always be fun.” Five trigger words that makes me want to leap onto my moral horse and gallop into the teaching battlefield screaming ‘Infidels! Fun Learning War!’ 

I am a realist. I do realise that not every lesson will be a roller coaster of rip – roaring laughter. We are teachers, not stand-up comedians. So it is important to realise ‘fun’ doesn’t just mean mucking about.

‘Fun’ is defined as something that brings pleasure or enjoyment.’  Synonyms are; interesting, engaging, & gratifying.

Surely that is exactly what learning should be?! 

To argue students misbehave because they are bored or think its funny is missing the point. Pupils shouldn’t be bored or having to seek their amusement elsewhere. Lessons that engage, interest and gratify students demonstrate that education and school has tangible value. And when we value something, we pay attention and work hard.

It doesn’t take much energy, time, planning or imagination to make learning fun and yes, this includes even so – called ‘difficult’ subjects like Maths or Science. See Lesson StartersRevision Games & Creative A – Maps for some quick & adaptable ideas.

And a big thank you to Miss Sykes & Helan Victoria who shared their enthusiasm for learning and preventing me from falling into a custard cream coma.

What we learn with pleasure, we never forget. 

Timing is everything – Time Management

Education, Exams, Learning Performance, Motivation, Revision, Study Skills, Teacher Resources

I’ve been struggling to manage my time recently. There simply isn’t enough hours in the day. So I thought I better sort my chaotic life out, and practice what I preach.

Prioritising 

Everyone likes a good list, especially if you can tick things off immediately. But once I’ve written my list of things to do I rate them. The official line to students is to rate them as per the following:

A = Very Urgent (deadline imminent)

B = Quite Urgent (deadline about a week away)

C = No so Urgent (deadline longer than a week)

Personally, I use colour and symbols. I won’t tell you what the symbols are, they’re rude! Moral of the lesson is that you can use whatever rating system that works for you.

Good Plan

A list is all very good and well but you can action any of the points unless you can plan or know what you are going to do.

This is where my five golden features come into play:

1. Description of the task

2. Allocation of priorities

3. Estimation of the time needed

4. Setting up a timetable (if necessary – this is good for revision)

5. Monitoring of progress (basically a big fat tick when that blasted task is done!)

This may seem very basic and common sense (it is) but I’m always surprised to find students who simply don’t know how to manage their time.

It’s easy to identify pupils (and adults for that matter) who haven’t got effective time management strategies. They are usually the ones drowning in work, buried under the pressure of unfinished assignments and missed deadlines. Then you have the opposite spectrum; those who are so overwhelmed by the tasks ahead they bury their heads in the sand and pretend its not happening.

With exams so close, it may be an idea to remind students of these simple strategies to keep them in track. Failing that encourage them to download an app on their phone. I’m lost without my ScatterBrain app.

For more information please visit our website www.learningperformance.com