The Festival of Education 2016

Education, Memory, Revision, Study Skills, Teaching and Learning

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1The Festival of Education was a HUGE success again this year, attracting teachers, students and educational professionals from all round the country to the beautiful Wellington College for another action-packed two days. You can check out videos from The Telegraph’s event on the Festival’s YouTube page here.

We were absolutely delighted to be an exhibitor at the event, along with the likes of Schools Week, Microsoft and BBC Learning. We met some incredible individuals who were all there to help improve the lives of our country’s young people.6

There was plenty to do at the festival, from holding reptiles, to circus skills, to watching the great performances going on outside. This was all topped off with an array of talks from influential speakers such as Rory Bremner, Germaine Greer and Piers Morgan, to name but a few.There were so many people coming over to us throughout the festival explaining how they were excited about our MD, Carrie Starbuck speaking on both days of the festival about Memory Matters. 52 attendees squeezed into a small classroom to watch Carrie talk on the Thursday, and Friday’s session w2as the busiest speech of the day in that room. It smashed our expectations! You can find out more about Carrie’s motivational talk here, where she has also uploaded the slides and transcript.

Overall, the festival was AWESOME and we would like to say a huge thank you to the The Telegraph for asking us to participate again!

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We’d also like to say a massive thank you to the teachers, students and educational professionals we got to meet – We came away truly inspired.

We can’t wait to see what next year has to bring!

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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

 

 

Part 5 of the Philosophy of Memory: Review It

Creativity, Exams, Memory, Revision, Study Skills, Teaching and Learning

This step is the most important of all. Reviewing work regularly strengthens the neural connections making memories stronger. This means you can recall information easily when it matters, most in the exam.

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This graph shows what is happening to those neural connections with each review you do. We call it the Review Philosophy which is based on scientific evidence of how the brain learns and recalls information, otherwise knows as distributed practice.

Following the Review Philosophy means reviewing revision notes for ten minutes around ten minutes after writing them. A day later you review them for five minutes. A week later you review them for between two and five minutes, and the same again a month later.

Essentially, reviewing a subject in small chunks, several times in short bursts, has a far greater impact than cramming three hours before the exam.

You can download our free guide to creating a revision timetable based on the review philosophy here.

Part 4 – Unleash Your Imagination

Creativity, Education, Exams, Memory, Revision, Study Skills, Teacher Resources, Teaching and Learning

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Yes, really. You can improve how you learn, remember and recall information by unleashing your imagination. The crazy, absurd visual story you used to remember the key dates of WWII has created stronger links between neurons making it easier for your brain to recall the information when you need it most, in the exam.

So go wild, enjoy using your imagination and creativity to make learning easier.

#MemoryMatters

Philosophy of Memory Step 3: Link it together!

Creativity, Education, Exams, History, Learning, Memory, Mindset, Revision, Study Skills, Teacher Resources, Teaching and Learning

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Capturing the brain’s love of imagination and logic is a powerful way to learn. Creating a whacky story, a mnemonic, a memory palace or a number system (to name a few) is an efficient and effective way to learn.

These techniques are particularly great for lists, processes, dates, formulas, and people. But what about entire topics?

Breaking down the huge information into key points e.g. Theme, Main Idea and Details, is vital. Then you can turn it into something creative, logical and most importantly, memorable with Mind Maps. Here is an example!

Henry A - Map

 

The Philosophy of Memory Part 2; Mindset

Creativity, Education, Exams, Memory, Mindset, Motivation, Revision, Study Skills, Teaching and Learning

Henry Ford’s, “If you think you can or you think can’t, you’re right,” is the lifeblood running through all our programmes for young people. So much so, it’s part 2 of our Philosophy of Memory!

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Mindset and self – belief is vital. Memory techniques is a big part of this as they demonstrate the brain’s plasticity – it can develop and grow. Intelligence is not fixed.

Often during our workshops students are amazed at just how much they can recall when they use a technique. Their mindset is transformed from “There’s no way I can remember all that,” to “I can do it!”

Getting rid of that little fixed voice that whispers, “you can’t do this,” is one step towards conquering all those obstacles that stop pupils achieving.

You got this.

#MemoryMatters

Memory Matters.

Creativity, Education, Exams, Learning, Mindfulness, Revision, Stress, Study Skills, Teacher Resources, Teaching and Learning

The national curriculum and exam changes are transforming the way our children have to learn. They have to retain and recall huge amounts of information when it matters most, in the exam.

It is a big demand on our young people. We can meet this demand head on with *wait for it* creativity and imagination. Yes, that’s right. By unleashing the power of creativity and imagination we can empower students to learn independently with effective memory techniques, learn to learn and study skills.

Over the next five weeks we will be sharing our 5 Point Philosophy of Memory as part of our #memorymatters campaign.

The first step in our Philosophy is RELAX. 

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The brain reacts to physical stress (think hungry lion chasing you down the street) exactly the same as emotional stress (think exams). It automatically goes into flight or fight mode. Stress hormones like adrenaline, run rings around you. When stressed your body is in a high state of alert – trouble sleeping, change in appetite, fast or shallow breathing, struggling to make decisions, lacking focus – are just a few signs of stress.

It is incredibly difficult to learn, retain and recall information when your stressed so it is important to know how to relax. Here are our Top 3 Relaxation Tips that you can do even during an exam!

  1. Mindful Breathing. 

Breathe through your nose for the count of 5, then out through your mouth for the count of 5. Really focus on your breathing. This will help calm your thoughts and soon your brain will realise you’re not going to get eaten by lion (unless you are, then run.)

It’s a great, simply, subtle technique. No one needs to know you are breathing mindfully and it takes just a minute.

2. Mindful Listening. 

Close your eyes for 30 seconds and concentrate on all the sounds you can hear – a ticking clock, tapping of a pencil, a car passing, your own breathing. This will help to clear your mind, to slow down and to focus. Open your eyes and the world will be a little bit clearer.

3. The Ten Second Count

This is a variation of Tip 1 but rather than focusing on your breath, close your eyes and focus your attention on slowly counting to ten. If your concentration wanders start back at number one!

For more information about Memory Matters click here and don’t forget to check back this time next week for Step 2…!

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.

Why Memory Matters

Why Memory Matters

Education, Learning, Politics, Revision, Study Skills, Teacher Resources
Love or loathe them, the new national curriculum and exam changes are transforming the way our children have to learn. They now have to retain and recall large amounts of information when it matters most, in the exam.
This is a tall order for even the most talented and confident person, let alone a stressed 15 or 16 year old.
If we don’t do something now to help students then among the usual “Education in Crisis” headlines, there will be a heart – broken 16 year old who can’t study Engineering at College. He failed to get a C in Math because he forgot how to Factorise Quadratics.
Then there will be the young girl with high aspirations with offers from the top 3 universities in the UK but panicked in the exam and came away with D grades.
It is a grim thought, but thankfully an avoidable one. That is why memory matters.
Equipping students with metacognition skills such as, revision strategies, exam techniques and above all, a positive mindset, will be the key to success.
Our ‘Memory Matters’ workshop does exactly that, but if this hasn’t sold it to you already then this comment from a student we worked with recently should:
“I now believe I can do anything. If I set my mind to it, work hard, and believe in myself then there are no limits to what I can achieve. Thank you.” – Ben Year 10

For more information about how we can help students today prepare for tomorrow read our latest White Paper, “Why Memory Matters” by clicking here.