Trauma: what it is and helping your child



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Trauma is prevalent in human culture, with the roots usually lying in childhood. Here we look at what trauma is and some approaches for working with young people. This includes the holistic work done by the charity Body and Soul.

Trauma: what it is and supporting your child

In this blog we examine what trauma is and how to work with young people who may have experienced it. We also get excellent insight of a holistic approach used by Body & Soul Charity by the Assistant Director Jed March. This interview is lower down on the page and covers the restorative work that this charity is doing. 

Nobody wishes to think of a child going through something traumatic. Such experiences are deeply destabilising, can have a devastating impact on the child’s psychological and physical health, and may also take years to recover from. It can be due to unforeseen events, such as the death of a parent or sibling, or may be due to abuse in the home or chronic neglect.

Trauma in childhood is sometimes called complex trauma, childhood trauma, or developmental trauma, and it is important that once it is identified, it is handled correctly to help your child get the best outcome and to assist in their recovery. We will first share a bit more about definitions of trauma and how it can appear.

What is trauma?

According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual 5, or the DSM 5, trauma can be described as:

But trauma can also be the result of being exposed to short-term or long-term stressors, where the threat of violence, sexual violence, abuse, or neglect is common. 

Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, can increase the risk of a child becoming traumatised as they get older.

Symptoms of trauma

Spotting trauma in a child is tough, as there tends to be a lot of secrecy around it, and it can be hard to differentiate from conditions like autism spectrum condition or ASC. This does not mean that children who have a diagnosis of ASC have been traumatised and, similarly, children who show signs of trauma may not have ASC.

Symptoms of trauma in children can include:

How to talk to your child about trauma

It can be hard to talk to children about their trauma. However, it is also not something that can, nor should, be ignored.

Explain to your child that it is completely normal that they have both physiological and psychological responses due to what they have been through. You can help them use a set of words to describe how they are feeling, such as foggy, sacred, anxious, or unsettled. In relation to the bodily sensations, you can ask them where they are feeling unwell. Most children who have been through trauma will experience headaches, migraines, upset tummies and even fast heart rates due to anxiety. So, ask them if it is their chest, head or tummy causing them to feel unwell. 

Be prepared that there may be times when your child may not be able to communicate why/how they are feeling unwell due to multiple symptoms hitting them at once. Be patient; take them somewhere safe and calm until they are better able to articulate their emotions.

Talking to your child
Patience and understanding is key for talking to children who have experienced trauma.

Strategies to help a child who has been through trauma

Each child who has been through trauma will have different things that can help them to feel safe and calm. However, there are some ways that you can help them better regulate their emotions so they feel more in control when they do become unwell.

Identify triggers

Children who have been traumatised will have triggers. This may be something like enclosed spaces or loud noises. Identifying these and talking them through can help your child feel more in control, and then, with the help of school staff and therapists, they can become better at managing their responses to them.


A child who has been traumatised can be helped with a simple routine. This will allow them to feel safe in their surroundings. Aim to set a time for breakfast, lunch, dinner, bath time, bedtime, and so on. Place the routine somewhere accessible, like the kitchen fridge or in their bedroom. Do not change or alter it without discussing it with them.

Build trust

Set aside time each day to talk to your child. This can be done via toys, doing puzzles, or even looking at bugs in your garden. These small things accumulate each day and will help them trust you. Trust is crucial for helping children overcome trauma and to feel safe in themselves and the world.

Trust is a process, but is instrumental for effective communication.

Calmness is key

You will need to make the home environment as calm as possible. No loud noises and no changes in the routine. Try to keep the level of noise in the home down, especially at night, as sudden loud noises can inadvertently cause a child who is traumatised to become scared.


A child who has been through trauma may lash out and have meltdowns. This is a normal way for them to manage their emotions and should be expected.

As an adult, you should never shout at them, smack them, or punish them for this. This will heighten their fear and potentially reverse the progress that they have made in managing their trauma. If you feel yourself becoming angry, remove yourself from the situation if you need to, and seek support / someone to talk to, to help you better manage your emotions. You are only human, and this can be a very challenging situation to handle.

Promote a healthy lifestyle

A person who has been through trauma is more likely to struggle with levels of high anxiety due to the learned response to the events. So, if you are aiming to help a child manage their trauma, you need to promote a healthy lifestyle to get rid of some of that excess energy. 

Here are some ways to do this:

An approach to trauma: Body and Soul Charity

One of the Bright Heart directors, Ryan Stevenson, has been a volunteer therapist at this charity for 12 years. He has witnessed the impact that this charity is making, from its group of dedicated staff and volunteers. 

This interview covers the important work that this charity is doing and is very informative as to a holistic approach that looks at the whole child and their community setting.

For more information, please get in touch with the charity here.

Get in touch

We hope this blog was helpful. Please feel free to get in touch with us should you have any questions about support for your child. Bright Heart tutors are experienced supporting children who have experienced trauma. 

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Nasen workshop held for Bright Heart tutors

SEMH training with nasen


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Our annual in-person workshop with nasen was very informative on the topics of SEMH needs and dyscalculia. 

Nasen tutor workshop: SEMH and dyscalculia

Annually, Bright Heart and nasen run an in-person workshop providing further training for our tutors. This allows sharing of the latest in special educational needs (SEN), along with strategies and tips for providing effective tutoring. It is also a time for social interaction – often tutors are spending a significant time working 1:1 with young people and can have less engagement with their peers.

The workshop was presented by nasen Education Officer, Anna Speke. Anna is a former SENCo and brought her experience to bear. There were two key topics which were explored, along with refreshers on safeguarding provided by Designated Safeguarding Lead, John Salmon.

It was shared that 1 in 5 children are unhappy with their mental health and 95% of education professionals reported increasing levels of anxiety among their students. It was noted the importance of trust and relationship with children, which is also key to our approach at Bright Heart. One key aspect where children are often misunderstood is understanding their behaviour as communication of need.

What might learners be communicating? Some reasons may be below:

Working with children with anxiety was also covered. Keeping activities light without any pressure was key for this environment. Breaking the anxiety feedback loop was discussed and practical strategies for helping emotional regulation.

SEMH training with nasen
Bright Heart tutors focused on the nasen workshop.

The second session examined the definition of dyscalculia, identifying it in children and what strategies are best. Sometimes people may consider this SEN as simply being poor at maths. A definition was provided by Anna as

”Dyscalculia is a condition that affects the ability to acquire mathematical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have a difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.’’

Everyone with dyscalculia will have a unique combination of characteristics. We then discussed some tutoring strategies for this need. 

Safeguarding refresher

Director John Salmon provided an SEMH case study to highlight safeguarding. In this study, the effects of vicarious trauma were also highlighted, which became an active discussion point for tutors.

The British Medical Association notes that vicarious trauma is

a process of change resulting from empathetic engagement with trauma survivors. Anyone who engages empathetically with survivors of traumatic incidents, torture, and material relating to their trauma, is potentially affected, including doctors and other health professionals.’

This is something for tutors to bear in mind for more complex cases, as well as to share with Bright Heart if this is something they may be experiencing.

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We hope this blog was helpful. Please feel free to get in touch with us should you have any questions about support for your child. We enjoy talking with parents and helping our students by tailoring learning to their individual needs.

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Diagnosing special educational needs (SEN) in children

Diagnosing special educational needs (SEN) in children


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It can be initially challenging to diagnose an SEN, as well as for parents to receive this news. However, a diagnosis should be seen in a positive light as it can help you understand your child better and make adjustments for them to be happier.

Diagnosing special educational needs (SEN) in children

Special educational needs (SEN) are not always easy to identify. SEN is spotted early on in some children, but in others, it might not be diagnosed until they are older. A later diagnosis could be picked up if a child has experienced problems in their personal or academic lives.

What makes a diagnosis difficult is that many of the characteristics of SEN can be put down to normal childhood because children develop at different rates. In general, parents tend to be the first person to spot any changes or differences in their children.

If you suspect your child might have SEN, this blog post is here to help. Here, we will cover what SEN is, how it is identified, and the steps you can take to get a diagnosis so you can help your child get the most out of education.

What are special educational needs?

Special educational needs can affect a young person’s ability to learn. A child has an SEN if they have a disability or learning problem that can make it more difficult for them to learn than other children of the same age.

If an SEN is spotted early on, children can receive additional support, and provisions can be made so they are not limited in any way.

Some signs of SEN in children include difficulties and frustration in the following:

Some examples of SEN are:

This is not an exhaustive list.

How are special educational needs identified in children?

Every child is different and will develop at a different pace. Not every child with the above characteristics will have SEN.

Early years settings like nurseries and schools have a responsibility to spot SEN. Healthcare professionals can also identify it. Your child might have special educational needs if they have a mental or physical impairment – including a learning difficulty, mental health issues and physical disability – that makes it harder for them to learn.

If a child has SEN, they might need extra help depending on their individual needs in the following areas:

Some children may only need additional support for a short time when at school, and others might need help throughout their school lives.

Diagnosing special educational needs (SEN) in children
A child with sensory processing challenges.

What steps can I take if I think my child has SEN?

If you are worried about your child’s behaviour or development, there are some steps you can take. Depending on what stage your child is at, you might wish to speak to your GP or the local council Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Service for advice about SEN and referral for assessment.

If your child is in school or nursery, it is advised that parents follow the steps below to voice their concerns:

Step 1: Speak to the teacher

Raise your concerns with the class teacher as early as you can. In this meeting, you can tell them how your child is coping and provide examples of where you believe they are struggling. The teacher may wish to share anything they have noticed and make suggestions for the support available to move forward.

Step 2: Meet with the Senco

Every school has a SEN Coordinator (SENCo) who ensures that special needs provisions are met. If you or the school is concerned about the progress your child is making, then a meeting with the SENCo will be arranged.

You can talk about whether the SENCo feels your child has SEN and the support the school can provide in response. Take note of everything discussed and agreed upon in the meeting so you can keep track of your child’s progress. If it is necessary, you can request that the school arrange assessments from specialists like a Speech and Language Therapist or an Educational Psychologist. The support your child receives at school should be regularly reviewed in line with their progress.

Meeting the Senco
Meeting the SENCo should be a priority.

Step 3: Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment

If your child is not progressing with additional SEN support through their school, you can apply to the local authority for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. This application can be made by yourself or the school.

If the school does not agree to a further assessment, you can go private with an educational psychologist report, which costs around £500.

In the application, you will need to:

The local authority will assess your child to see if they have or may have SEN and outline what provision may need to be taken.

The assessment will determine if your child needs extra provision through an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If an ECHP is issued, it will outline the budget for the additional support provided.

If an EHCP isn’t granted, you can appeal it.

How long does the process take?

Special educational needs (SEN) can be diagnosed at any time. Some children are diagnosed when they are born, while others are diagnosed at school. For some, it could be years before diagnosis, and others may never get one. If you make a formal request for assessment, the Education Authority must make a decision within six weeks.

Are there different processes for diagnosing different special educational needs?

Diagnosis for SEN usually starts with a referral from the school or your GP. After this, the above steps are taken. For some diagnoses it can be helpful to talk to SEN specialists in that particular area, however, this is only after seeing an educational psychologist.

It can take time to adjust to a SEN diagnosis. However, it is essential to ensure your child gets the help and support they need to get the most out of their education. A diagnosis should be looked at in a positive light as it can help you to understand your child’s condition better and celebrate the progress they make towards their goal and adjusting to their diagnosis. With the proper diagnosis and support in place, you can watch your child’s motivation and confidence around school grow.

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We hope this blog was helpful. Please feel free to get in touch with us should you have any questions about support for your child. We enjoy talking with parents and helping our students by tailoring learning to their individual needs.

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Tips for supporting your child with anxiety

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Anxiety is affecting many children, especially post-Covid. There is an increase in emotionally based school avoidance. We look at this and managing anxiety in your child.

Managing anxiety in your child

A recent NHS study estimated that 1 in 8 young people suffer from anxietyAnxiety is a natural human response to stress or potential danger. It is a feeling of unease or fear about something that may happen. Sometimes anxiety is a common part of life, such as feeling nervous before a test or starting a new school. Excessive and persistent anxiety that interferes with daily life may indicate an anxiety disorder. 

 This blog offers tips and support for parents to help when their child is feeling anxious.

Tips for supporting your child when they are feeling anxious

All young people will feel anxious at some point. Common causes of anxiety in young people are:

Children’s anxiety may show through their behaviour. Common signs of anxiety are:

anxious child hiding her face
Anxiety is observed via behaviour.

How to start a conversation about anxiety

You could say to your child you’ve noticed a change in their behaviour or mood. You could say something like, ‘You seem a bit wobbly today. Is everything OK? I’m wondering if you’re a bit worried about something?’

Explain to your child that it’s normal to be anxious. Help them to find words to express their feelings. For example, wobbly, scared, anxious, nervous, and unsettled. Ask them where the feeling is. ‘Is it in your tummy, head, or heart?’ Tell them everyone has worries and that they can become too big to handle without help. Explain that avoiding our worries can make them bigger.

Talk about being brave together and working out small steps to tackle worries. Think with your child about what might happen if a fear came true and how they would handle it. For instance, ‘What could you do if you didn’t have anyone to sit with at lunch at school?’

It’s important not to dismiss your child’s feelings. Do not tell them they are being silly or that there is nothing to worry about. Listen and offer support. Take steps to resolve the issue that is worrying them.

Strategies to support your child if they feel anxious

Think about what helps your child calm down: rocking, having a warm drink, snuggling up. Help them to do this when they are feeling anxious.

Make a ‘calm bag’ they can use when they get anxious—for example, a fidget toy, threading beads, or a favourite book.

Try a breathing exercise. You could ask your child to breathe in and out slowly while counting to ten. Younger children could put their favourite soft toy on their tummy and watch it rise and fall as they breathe.

You could also put glitter and water inside a plastic bottle. Shake it up and ask your child to breathe slowly while they watch the glitter settle.

Promote and support healthy lifestyle choices

When we get anxious, our bodies prepare to cope with something difficult. This is called the ‘fight or flight’ response. In ‘fight or flight’, our hearts beat faster, we sweat more, and our muscles tense. It often helps to do something active to release these feelings and feel better. Encourage your child to play sports or exercise to help overcome their anxiety.

Sleep and diet are essential factors in reducing anxiety. They directly impact our physical and mental health.

When we sleep, our body and brain can rest, repair, and rejuvenate. Lack of sleep or poor sleep can contribute to increased anxiety levels. Sleep deprivation affects our ability to regulate emotions, cope with stress, and think clearly. Tiredness can intensify anxious thoughts and feelings.

Young people usually need at least 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Sleep promotes emotional stability, cognitive function, and overall well-being. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule can help achieve this. A sleep schedule includes:

The food we consume can significantly impact our mental health and anxiety levels.

Consuming a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods is important. Adequate intake of essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc can support brain function and emotional well-being, potentially reducing anxiety symptoms.

Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can contribute to feelings of anxiety and irritability. A diet that includes complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, vegetables) and balanced amounts of protein can help stabilise blood sugar levels and promote a more stable mood.

Stimulants like caffeine can increase heart rate, trigger restlessness, and exacerbate feelings of anxiety. Limiting or avoiding excessive caffeine intake can benefit those prone to anxiety. Energy drinks include high levels of caffeine and are very dangerous for young people.

sleeping child cuddled up with a bear
A regular sleep schedule is key to well-being in children.

Promote and support healthy lifestyle choices

How you cope with your anxiety will help your child cope with their worries and fears. Taking time to talk about worries with your child, and showing them how to cope, can really help them.

Look after yourself too. Talk to other adults, you’re not alone, and your child’s anxiety can make you anxious too.

You can speak to your child’s school or your GP if you are worried about your own or your child’s anxiety, and they can provide further support and guidance.

Get in touch

We hope this blog was helpful. Bright Heart tutors are well equipped to support children who are feeling anxious about school. We provide academic support but also mentor students so that they are able to cope in situations that they find challenging. Please feel free to get in touch with us should you have any questions about support for your child. We enjoy talking with parents and helping our students by tailoring learning to their individual needs.

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8 Ways AI & Chat GPT will affect school education

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Artificial intelligence is set to shake up the way children are educted and their homework. We look at this and also get some input from ChatGPT itself!

8 ways AI & Chat GPT will affect school education

If you have a child at school, you may wonder how new technologies will affect their education. In particular, you might have heard about artificial intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT. These are technologies which are used more and more at the moment. They will likely greatly impact how teachers teach. They will also change how students learn.

This blog will examine AI and ChatGPT in more detail. The focus will be how these technologies might affect your child’s learning. We will also look into the technology’s positives and some drawbacks. We will also give ChatGPT a chance to answer too!

What is ChatGPT?

Teachers around the world have started to use ChatGPT. It was created by company OpenAI and released in November 2022. ChatGPT is a language model which uses artificial intelligence. It allows users to have human-like conversations with chatbots.  

This technology can answer questions and help with writing emails. It can also help with writing and researching essays and writing code. It helps to find errors in work and remove them. The types of assistance it can give are being explored further.

ChatGPT had more than one million users within the first five days of release. This made it the fastest growing app ever.

Click on the above image to access the ChatGPT website

How will AI & ChatGPT affect school education?

The impact of artificial intelligence and ChatGPT is likely to be big. It will affect teachers and students in different ways.

Read on to discover 8 ways artificial intelligence and ChatGPT will affect school education.

How will these technologies affect teachers?

1. Offer an additional resource

As a parent you are probably aware that teachers are stretched thin. ChatGPT offers them an extra resource. This can be used in a similar way to Google, but it could be even more useful.

For example, imagine a teacher is giving a lesson on the history of World War II. Google would give thousands of results to a very simple question, such as when the war started. However, with ChatGPT, they will be given a more precise and straightforward answer. This will result in better use of time in the classroom. This is a basic example, the abilities of ChatGPT are much wider.

2. Help with grammar and writing

Today students are more used to writing. They write texts and post on social media. This is of course a good thing. However, it can be tricky for teachers to teach correct grammar and writing skills. The style of writing in a classroom is very different to posts online. Students may have picked up bad habits which are harder to correct.

ChatGPT can effectively help students with these aspects of learning, providing real-time feedback to help them improve these skills.

AI Chatbot
Since AI is only going to grow, we should look to harness it for education, not block access.

3. Automate grading

Teachers spend a lot of time grading students’ work. This time could be better spent planning lessons. It also would be better to provide one-on-one help to the students who need it.

ChatGPT can aid this time consuming task for teachers, speeding up the process. This will allow teaches to focus time and energy on their students. This could improve the overall learning experience.

4. Create assessments

Creating assessments is also time consuming for teachers. Many struggle to find time to create new ones often. Artificial intelligence can create assessments tailored to individual classes’ needs, perhaps even groups within the class. These can then focus on the parts that student’s need most practice with. This task may take some trial and error to get right. However, once teachers use this tool, they will soon start to see the benefits.

Teachers can also use AI to create lesson plans which will remove some of the admin from the job. They should also be able to create extra content on topics which textbooks might not cover in enough detail, but the students are interested in

How will these technologies affect students?

5. Help with homework

Students often need help with homework. With ChatGPT they can quickly get the answers they need. Students have been doing this already on the internet and with phone apps such as Siri, however, there is no longer a need to pour through search results. The challenge is for an aid not to become the answer, or rather, it means the nature of homework will change.

As mentioned earlier, advanced ChatGPT can even help improve their writing skills. It can give feedback on grammar, structure, and content which is tailored to each student. This is given in real-time, so they can learn as they go. This is better than waiting for feedback which might be hard to reapply to a different assessment.

6. A resource for research

ChatGPT is acting as an intelligent source of information. It has access to many different resources, with the database being 300 billion words and trained on 100 trillion parameters. So, if students need a research source for their work, they can easily find one using this new technology.

7. Cater to individual needs

ChatGPT can cater to each student’s needs. This makes it an effective tool for children with SEND or those who need a boost in certain areas. Practical artificial intelligence in a classroom can also provide a more hands-on approach. It will provide simulations and real-time examples demonstrating what they are learning about.

8. Offer valuable feedback

ChatGPT is equipped with data analysis. It can provide valuable feedback to students. In fact, a student could copy and paste an entire essay into ChatGPT and get fast and accurate feedback in a matter of minutes.

Are there any downsides to ChatGPT?

As with anything, there are a few drawbacks to artificial intelligence and ChatGPT for learning. The biggest is the technology can’t be completely accurate. Its knowledge comes from the Internet. It also cannot judge true or false. So it can take anything online as a true fact. This means that it will never be 100% accurate or reliable.

It also can struggle to understand context, however, this is improving as its training data improves.

Finally, ChatGPT can provide students with all the information they need in seconds. This could harm student critical thinking skills and is also a challenge to the current provision of homework to consolidate learning. The schooling models which rely on a regurgitation of facts are also under threat, although many would not necessarily see this as a downside.

What is the future of AI in education?

Artificial intelligence and ChatGPT could change the way students learn and how teachers teach. They provide fast access to information and feedback. They can also be used to personalise learning and aid accessibility to teachers.

However, a human teacher can offer a level of empathy and connection which technology can’t. Using these tools might also lead to over-reliance on technology. This might harm learning overall.

It is clear that these new technologies are not going away anytime soon. Teachers and students should use them as valuable tools. They should not be thought of as a replacement for human teaching.

What does ChatGPT have to say about this?

We also asked ChatGPT ‘what are 8 Ways AI & ChatGPT will affect school education?‘ and received the below. Do you think it is helpful?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and chat-based models like ChatGPT have the potential to significantly impact school education in various ways. Here are eight ways in which AI and ChatGPT can affect education:

AI and education
A big shift is coming - are schools ready?
  1. Personalised Learning: AI can analyse student data and provide personalised learning experiences tailored to individual students’ needs. ChatGPT can offer adaptive tutoring, assess students’ understanding, and provide real-time feedback.
  2. Virtual Assistants: AI-powered virtual assistants can assist students and teachers by answering questions, providing guidance, and offering support outside of the classroom. ChatGPT can act as a virtual tutor, helping students with homework or clarifying concepts.
  3. Intelligent Content Creation: AI algorithms can generate educational content such as quizzes, study guides, and lesson plans. ChatGPT can assist teachers in creating engaging and interactive learning materials.
  4. Language Learning Support: AI chatbots can help students practice and improve their language skills. ChatGPT can engage in conversations, provide language corrections, and offer language-learning resources.
  5. Accessibility and Inclusion: AI can enhance accessibility in education by providing support for students with disabilities. ChatGPT can assist students with visual or hearing impairments, providing text-based explanations and instructions.
  6. Data Analysis and Predictive Analytics: AI can analyse large volumes of educational data to identify patterns, predict student performance, and suggest interventions. ChatGPT can help educators make data-informed decisions to improve teaching strategies and student outcomes.
  7. Virtual Classrooms and Remote Learning: AI-powered virtual classrooms can facilitate remote learning experiences. ChatGPT can interact with students in virtual classrooms, conduct discussions, and provide instructional support.
  8. Teacher Professional Development: AI can support teachers’ professional development by offering personalised training, suggesting instructional strategies, and providing access to a vast repository of educational resources. ChatGPT can act as a virtual mentor for teachers, offering guidance and expertise.

Get in touch

We hope this blog was helpful. Please feel free to get in touch with us should you have any questions about support for your child. We enjoy talking with parents and helping our students by tailoring learning to their individual needs.

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New planned SEND reforms in England

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It was annnounced this month regarding the key changes planned for SEND over the next few years. We have summarised these so you are aware, should you be seeking support for your child.

New Planned SEND Reforms In England

In 2019, the Department for Education launched a review of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Education providers and families have been waiting for the reforms since.

On March 2, 2023, the results were published in an improvement plan. This improvement plan aimed to improve the support and services available. It focused on children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities and their families.

As part of the review, ministers spoke to families and people who support and educate those with SEN. This was to gather evidence to form the foundation of a new national SEND and alternative provision system in England. The new provision system would seek to improve current challenges. It would focus on where the education sector is falling short for families of children and young people with SEND.

The long-awaited improvement plan sets out to:

Currently, it is estimated that there is a gap of £1.9 billion between the funding available for SEND support and its cost. Without government intervention, this will rise to approximately £3.6 billion by 2025.

SEND Improvement Plan 2023
Click on the above image to access the SEND improvement plan

When Will Changes Come Into Effect?

While the improvement plan sets out significant reforms, there will be no immediate legislative changes for 2023. This is because the government is launching what it calls a “Change Programme” to test the recommended changes first. This should resolve any problems.

The government is investing £70 million into the testing programme, and it will run for two to three years. Therefore, it could be 2026 before any real change is seen. From the results of this test programme, the reforms and how they will work in real life will be finalised. The reforms can then be rolled out nationwide. This will hopefully end the current postcode lottery that families often face for SEND support and services.

The Change Programme will be trialled in 30 areas. This could potentially rise to 50 or 60 areas as it progresses. However, the trial’s duration will mean that many reforms won’t be finalised until after the next general election in 2025.

The publication of the plan was announced by the Minister for Children, Families, and Wellbeing, Claire Coutinho. She said: “Parents know that their children only get one shot at education, and this can have an enormous impact on their child’s ability to get on with life.

“The improvement plan that we are publishing today sets out systemic reforms to standards, teacher training, and access to specialists as well as thousands of new places at specialist schools so that every child gets the help they need.”

Everything You Need To Know About The Announced Reforms

The announcement focused on new national standards for SEND. It also included a digital system for education, health, and care plans (ECHPs). As mentioned above, it could be years until these reforms are put in place.

Any established national standards will not be compulsory or legally binding. This would change if SEND legislation was put in place.

Here are the key highlights that you need to know about and what they mean.

New National Standards

The government intends to launch new national standards for SEND. It says it will set new and clear expectations of what is rated “good”. This will focus on identifying and meeting needs. It will also establish who is responsible for delivering support.

The standards will:

Starting in Spring, the government will talk with families and frontline staff. They will discuss the changes and how they should look. Testing the changes will begin at the end of the year. By the end of 2025, the standards will be published. They will focus on what are the most realistic changes for the current system.

families Icon painting on tar road
Input from families will be key in the role out of this plan

National System Of Tariffs And Banding For Consistent Funding

A national system for tariffs and banding will be put in place. These will be alongside the new national standards. This new system will ensure that funding is consistently provided. It will involve clustering different education provisions. Rules will be set on what education commissions can use to pay education providers. It means that providers will clearly know how much funding they should receive.

Accountability Measures

Accountability measures will be put in place. This is to make sure all expectations are met. This includes how schools should adapt environments so that SEND students can learn alongside others. The role of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted will be considered here.

Early Support For Children and Alternative Provision (AP)

Children and young people who need extra support can stay in their mainstream school. They can also be provided with an Alternative Provision school. Under the new plans, children will get help earlier. This will make it easier to stay in their mainstream school. If they do need to go to an Alternative Provision school, plans will be in place to help them quickly return to their mainstream school.

EHCPs Go Digital

The improvement plan intends to streamline assessing children’s needs. This will be done through changes to Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). EHCPs are currently used to help students receive support in school. These will be digitised to simplify the admin process and speed it up wherever possible. Speeding up this admin should mean that parents get support faster than before.

EHCPs go digital
To streamline the process EHCPs will become digital.

New School Places

As part of the plan, 33 new special free schools will be built. These will provide additional specialist school places for children with SEND. This will relieve pressure on existing overrun systems. These new school places are thanks to the government’s £2.6 billion investment. This was specifically to increase special school and AP capacity between 2022 and 2025.

New Qualifications For Staff

The government will introduce a new leadership level. This will be the SENCo National Professional Qualification. Staff will be better equipped to meet the needs of children, young people, and their families.

The Department for Education will also look at ways teachers can build their expertise. They intend to review the teacher training framework.

This will:

Training will also be expanded. This will be done for 5,000 special educational needs coordinators and 400 educational psychologists. This should mean help is given earlier to those who need it.  

Intervention in Failing Areas

The government has said that a “Ladder of Intervention” will be in place. This will hold providers accountable when needs are unmet or overlooked. The Department for Education has suggested its response to poor performance will follow the Ofsted and CQC framework.  

Fair Access Panels

When making arrangements for alternative provisions, the fair access panels will be altered to match the new national standards for mainstream and specialist schools.

New Inclusion Dashboard

A new national and local inclusion dashboard will be published. This will show how inclusive schools are in any given area. According to the improvement plan, the dashboard will give parents a transparent view of their area’s performance. This should help with decisions regarding their children’s education. Part of the intention of this is also that the dashboard will encourage service providers to improve.

What Will This Mean For Families?

In addition to the above measures, the Department for Education will set aside £30 million to provide respite. This will be for families of children. This will include short breaks and funding for local areas for play, arts, sports, and independent living activities.

The plans outlined by the government have not been finalised yet. Only time will tell what the updates mean for children, young people, and their families. In theory, a system that focuses on early intervention and support for families sounds great. For years families have said that the current SEND system is broken. The government has also said that the current provisions are failing the most vulnerable. There are often big delays in getting the right support and access to the right services.

However, the process won’t be a quick fix as everything will be trialled under the Change Programme first. In the meantime, schools and budgets will still be stretched while it takes time to build the new facilities and train staff up to standard. This will leave many families afraid that their children will be left behind. Without immediate plans, it could be 2025 before any real change is implemented.

Get in touch

We hope this blog was helpful. Please feel free to get in touch with us should you have any questions about the SEND changes. We enjoy talking with parents and helping our students by tailoring learning to their individual needs.

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Children’s mental health and emotional literacy

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Children’s Mental Health Week is an important event to bring attention to children’s well-being. We also look what can be done to improve emotional literacy and promote positive mental health.

Children's mental health and emotional literacy

The mental health of young people comes to the fore at the start of February with Children’s Mental Health Week, organised by Place2Be. They estimate that 1 in 6 children today have a mental health need. That is an increase from 1 in 8 in 2019. Prevention, early identification and support are essential for young people. Research shows that more than half of all adult mental health problems start before 14 years old.

People often consider mental health to be low mood, anxiety and depression. Instead, we should see it as enhancing our capacity to cope with and enjoy life. We should all develop and nurture a sense of positive mental health. Learning how to deal with life’s stressors and creating a sense of self-esteem and self-control is vital.

smiling child
Mental health is also about enhancing our capacity as humans.

Emotional literacy and emotional intelligence

Emotional literacy helps us recognise our feelings. Emotional intelligence helps us understand, use, and manage them positively to relieve stress, communicate well and empathise with others. It allows us to:

Parents should model emotional literacy and intelligence. Talk to your children about your feelings. For example, describe how you’re feeling.

“Just to let you know, I’m on a bit of a short fuse today as work is very stressful at the moment. I’m sorry that I might not be as patient as normal. I’d appreciate it if you get ready quickly so we can leave the house on time.”

Describing times where you felt hurt, ashamed or angry teaches children that everyone has negative emotions. It shows them that these emotions are natural. 

To promote emotional literacy, ask “How are you feeling?” instead of “How are you doing?” Encourage children to reflect on things that annoy or anger them. Ask them how they can handle the situation differently next time.

Dad talks with son
Parents can model emotional literacy by talking about their feelings to their children.

Five ways to promote positive mental health

1. Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is at the centre of emotional intelligence. It’s the ability to understand your emotions. We must measure our strengths and weaknesses honestly and remain open to strategies that can help us improve.

What can I do to help my child improve their self-awareness?

People who practise mindfulness meditation report increased self-awareness. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a few minutes every day. There are many guided meditations that you can find online. You can also do some breathing exercises like those recommended by the NHS.

2. Self-Regulation

Self-regulation is being able to control your feelings and impulses. It helps us to think before we act.

What can I do to help my child improve their self-regulation?

Set aside time at the end of the day. Ask your children to pay attention to their mood. Encourage your children to describe situations that upset them. Discuss calming strategies, such as breathing exercises, temporal distancing or positive self-talk.

Temporal distancing gives us time or space to distance ourselves from the current situation. For example, if your child is very nervous about a test at school, ask them to consider how they think they’ll feel about it in six months. Will it seem as important then? Doing this can help them gain perspective and feel less nervous about the situation.

Help your children use cognitive reappraisal. They can change negative thinking if they’re aware of their thought patterns.

Catastrophising involves taking something negative and blowing it out of proportion. All-or-nothing thinking involves seeing things as only good or bad. If your child tells you they find something impossible, say, ‘That sounds very challenging. Is there any other way to look at this situation?’

You might also occasionally notice your own distortions and share them.

3. Delayed Gratification and Motivation

This is when we defer gratification to achieve greater results. It enhances productivity, initiative and enjoyment of challenges.

Phone notifications, social media, setbacks, and boredom can distract us. Pressure and stress can also harm our motivation and capacity to defer gratification to achieve a greater goal.

What can I do to help motivate my child?

When studying at home, keep devices in the kitchen and allow children to check them once an hour. Incentivise exercise, organisation, or revision by creating rewards charts and goals. If they’re working towards a meaningful goal, it increases motivation and productivity.

4. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to recognise and understand the feelings, views and needs of others. It’s being able to put yourself alongside another to understand their experience.

Active listening plays a key part in empathy. Many people believe they’re good listeners, but the reality is often different. When we share a problem, we don’t usually want advice, reassurance or to hear about how someone else dealt with that issue. When we’re upset, we want someone to listen to our feelings and understand us.

Make sure to model active listening when talking to your children. Encourage them to listen to a friend or family member without trying to solve their problem. Instead, ask them how it might feel to be them.

I heart you
Encouraging talking about feelings can create a space for children.

Social Skills

The ability to work well as part of a team and recognise the value of relationships is a key factor for positive mental health.

What can I do to support social skills?

Encourage your children to take part in after-school clubs or team activities. Support a wide range of friendships and explain the benefits of healthy, positive relationships. Model your positive relationships and discuss how friends and family members have helped each other over the years.

There’s so much you can do at home to develop healthy coping strategies and build resilience in your children. Ask your child’s school for support if you worry about their mental health or want to find out how they discuss these issues in PSHE. Remember that good nutrition, sleep and exercise are also essential to healthy brain development and well-being.

We hope this blog was helpful. Please feel free to get in touch with us should you have any questions about your child and their learning at school and at home. We enjoy talking with parents and helping our students by tailoring learning to their individual needs.

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Tutoring Case Studies – Schools

NTP tutoring - Bright Heart Education - literacy

Bright Heart Education’s tuition offering has been featured in the Jan / Feb 2019 edition of the SEN Magazine. 

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    Bright Heart Education

Having won the prestigious Tuition Business of the Year award (2022), we review some of our recent tutoring success stories – Part 1 of this case study series focuses on school tutoring (we are NTP accredited).

Case studies series - Part 1: Schools

This is the first of our series of case studies blogs. We highlight some of the incredible work our tutors do with students. Bright Heart considers academic and SEMH targets when delivering tuition and evaluating results. SEMH (social, emotional and mental health) targets include engagement, self-esteem and communication. Student achievement was a key factor considered by the judges in awarding Bright Heart the prestigious Tuition Business of the Year award. You can read more about the 2022 National Tutoring Awards here

This first blog focuses on schools. Later case studies will focus on our work with local authorities and private families. As an accredited national tutoring programme (NTP) tuition partner, we ran many successful programmes at schools last academic year. These included:

NTP tutoring - Bright Heart Education
Bright Heart delivers tailored tutoring to schools to help pupils catch up.

Free catch-up tutoring after lockdown

Bright Heart works with students with many different needs. Many of these children, unfortunately, struggle with formal education. We realise that those who struggle the most are often disadvantaged. This includes those with an identified special educational need (SEN), and those with backgrounds less conducive to learning. For example, where the family can offer limited support with formal education.

To help disadvantaged students after COVID-19 learning delays, we offered pro bono catch-up tutoring to a selection of London schools.

Ark Byron case studies: Pro Bono and School-led Tutoring

One school to take up Bright Heart’s free tutoring offer was Ark Byron Primary School. Bright Heart Director and Senior Education Specialist John Salmon visited the school. John is a former head teacher. He, therefore, understands the importance of taking the time to understand a school’s culture and identity. John met with Alison Berry, the SENCo. They discussed Ark’s teaching and learning and the different areas of improvement for pupils. Bright Heart offered support in key areas needing improvement for some of the school’s most disadvantaged pupils. By reviewing baseline assessments, the school determined that the most pressing area of need was literacy, specifically writing. This was because many pupils were performing well below their age level. Thus, the school carefully selected small groups of children with the most significant learning delays in Years 1, 3 and 5. 

-> Writing intervention programme

Bright Heart selected Andy, a highly experienced, qualified primary teacher, to run the writing programme. Andy was selected based on his qualifications and experience. He had previously worked as a youth leader, a lead learning mentor and a primary school teacher. Andy and John worked together to create a targeted and personalised writing programme.

writing intervention for NTP tutoring
A targeted and personalised writing programme was delivered to Ark Byron Primary School.

Careful planning

As a first step, we conducted our own assessment to determine strengths and areas for improvement. These areas ranged from letter formation and the use of phonics for spelling with the younger pupils to aspects such as ideas, sentence fluency, and organisation for the older pupils. We chose narrative writing as the most suitable genre as it allows students to let their imagination flow freely. We identified many gaps in learning. We then formulated a plan to address learning gaps in the programme.


Tutoring commenced in November 2020. It focused on 29 struggling pupils. Of this group, 12 were on pupil premium.

During the first session, Andy built rapport with the students. He created a warm, nurturing learning environment where they could feel at ease. This was in keeping with the Bright Heart Approach. Week by week, Andy focused on improving one skill at a time. This ranged from helping pupils with the basic punctuation rules to implementing strategies to help the students organise their thoughts. The students worked collaboratively at times and independently on other occasions. Andy engaged the different groups with hands-on, practical activities where they could share their imaginative stories. At times, students would use interactive tools such as IXL, which allowed them to work on specific areas such as conventions and spelling. 

The writing programme was unfortunately interrupted by the pandemic at times. As a result, we had to overcome different challenges along the way. For example, absenteeism increased, and working conditions for everyone at the school were more constrained. We were therefore concerned that this would affect the continuity of the programme and hinder student progress. However, with the school’s support, we successfully completed the programme in February 2022. Bright Heart provided 56 hours of free tutoring worth over £4,000. Andy and John also dedicated many more hours to planning and reporting.

Pleasing results

Based on interim testing in July 2021, 10 (33%) of the pupils tutored by Bright Heart had caught up with peers (now met age-expected standards). This included 5 (42%) pupils on pupil premium. Within the control group, 4 (15%) of the pupils had caught up with peers, including 1 (13%) on pupil premium. The control group comprised 26 pupils below standards (8 on pupil premium) who did not receive Bright Heart tutoring. Despite the control group being composed of slightly stronger pupils, Bright Heart’s pupils’ performance was more than double that of the control group. This was a pleasing result demonstrating the effectiveness of our tutoring in driving student achievement. In addition, pupils made significant progress with SEMH targets such as self-confidence.

During the last session in February 2022, the pupils completed another assessment. Despite the programme’s lack of continuity and the pandemic delays, results were encouraging. This was particularly the case as many of the pupils were non-native speakers with SEN who had the lowest scores in writing. Out of 29 pupils completing the programme, had improved their attainment levels (for example, from working below to working at age-related standards). Although we would have preferred this to have been higher, it was a significant improvement compared to the control group. In addition, it was pleasing that the pupils engaged well and, most importantly, enjoyed the programme.

Commenting on the writing programme, Alison Berry, Ark’s SENCo, noted:

The children in KS1 and 2 were engaged in the sessions, and the tutor took time to build a rapport with the children, ensuring sessions were pitched to the correct level for attainment and interest. This is a service we would recommend for others, and we would like to use again in the future.”

-> Numeracy programme

Following the successful writing programme, we sought to help more disadvantaged pupils by developing a numeracy programme. It was delivered through the school-led tutoring pillar of the NTP. We selected Harris as the tutor. Harris is an experienced specialist maths tutor. In addition, he is skilled at engaging and motivating pupils. The programme focused mainly on arithmetic, including word problems. Additionally, Harris provided tuition for reasoning, fractions, decimals, percentages and SATs for pupils in Years 2 and 6. 

NTP tutoring in numeracy - Bright Heart education
Bright Heart delivered a tailored numeracy programme to Ark Byron Primary School.


We provided tuition to 41 pupils in Y2, Y5 and Y6. Tutoring took place from November 2021 to July 2022. Instruction was aligned with teaching and learning practices at the school. In addition, we regularly liaised with the teachers to adjust targets and strategies accordingly. Sessions involved theory and practical applications of maths to make concepts more tangible and meaningful for pupils. The school reported very high levels of pupil engagement. Progress was measured throughout the programme to ensure attainment in each key area.

Excellent results

Unlike the writing programme, pupils benefited from a lack of disruptions. This meant the programme was delivered as planned. As a result, the pupils tutored made excellent progress. For example, the results of SAT testing for Y6 demonstrated the programme’s effectiveness. Initially only 1 of the 11 Year 6 pupils selected for the numeracy programme met the expected standard. The mean scaled score for the pupils was 93.6 (100 being the expected standard). However, by the end of the programme, 10 of the 11 students had exceeded the expected standard (with a mean score of 105.6). One Year 6 pupil narrowly fell short with a score of 99. However, this was a big improvement compared to the pupil’s initial score of 89.

Southmead Primary School Case Study – NTP Tuition Partners tutoring

Southmead Primary School approached Bright Heart in April 2022. They wanted a Key Stage 1 phonics programme using the Tuition Partners pillar of the NTP. 

Bright Heart was selected due to its holistic approach, which increases engagement, and its SEN expertise.

-> Phonics programme

Literacy was, unfortunately, a key area affected by the pandemic. Therefore, the school sought a focused phonics programme to help student attainment.

John Salmon met with the school and key teachers in person. He carefully discussed their objectives and the specific levels and needs of the 25 pupils selected for tutoring.

Lee, a qualified teacher with 30 years of primary teaching experience, was selected as the tutor. She was given a detailed briefing about the school and the pupils. In addition, she received NTP training, which includes safeguarding training. She also spent an orientation day with the different groups at the school.

NTP tutoring - Bright Heart education
Younger pupils can especially benefit from targeted phonics programmes.

Individual learning plans

The school selected 13 Year 1 and 12 Year 2 pupils who had not met the expected age-related phonics standard for the programme. To help plan the sessions, Bright Heart and Lee worked together to produce an individual learning plan (ILP) for each pupil. The ILP sets out a pupil’s strengths and areas for improvement based on their own assessment and that of the tutor. It then outlines a series of academic and SEMH targets to be achieved during the programme. Academic targets were based on SMART goals – being specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. SEMH targets include communication, confidence, self-esteem and considered study skills.


Lee delivered the programme over two months from early May. Tuition was mainly given to small groups of four or five pupils. However, one pupil received one-to-one tuition. The tutor assessed the students’ progress at the programme’s start, middle and end. Lessons were adjusted accordingly to ensure engagement and progress towards targets.  

Good results

The programme achieved solid results considering its relatively short duration, with great engagement for most of the 25 pupils. The phonics programme focused on hearing sounds, segmenting and blending, and reading longer words and adjacent consonants.

Following the programme, 9 of the 13 Year 1 pupils (69%) and 5 of the 12 Year 2 pupils (42%) had achieved the expected standard. All 25 pupils had improved their phonics.

In addition to the pupils’ academic progress, the tutor built rapport, made the sessions enjoyable, and helped the children improve their confidence. 

Commenting on the programme, Tara McBride, Southmead’s Reading Lead and Early Years Phase Leader, noted:

The tutor was lovely, and the children thoroughly enjoyed their phonics intervention sessions.”

NTP tutoring - Bright Heart Education - literacy
Bright Heart not only improved KS1 literacy but also pupils' confidence.

If you think your school or child could benefit from our nurturing approach, please get in touch. We will be more than happy to discuss your requirements.

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Education and Public Sector supplement features Bright Heart

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Bright Heart Education’s tuition offering has been featured in the Jan / Feb 2019 edition of the SEN Magazine. 

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    Bright Heart Education

Bright Heart’s tuition offering was featured in the July ’22 edition of the EPS Supplement

EPS Magazine features Bright Heart Education

Bright Heart is pleased to have been featured in Issue 413 of the Education and Public Sector Supplement (EPS), 1 July edition.

This feature highlighted the nurturing approach that Bright Heart brings to the tutoring market. It mentions how Bright Heart provides its tutors with exclusive training through nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs), was the 2020 winner of a nasen Award and how Bright Heart also works with local authorities to provide EOTAS packages (Education Other Than At School).

EPS supplement showing Bright Heart Education

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Digital well-being: finding a balance for your family

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Bright Heart tutor Sally looks at how parents can support their children during exam time.

How best to support your child during exam season

Exam season can be stressful for the whole family. It is difficult for parents to know how best to manage revision at home, especially if this is the first time your child is taking public exams or end of year assessments.

Helping your child to succeed will vary according to their needs and strengths. Some children will need help to make revision timetables, others with sorting and filing notes and handouts and others someone to prompt them to stay focussed or to help them get started with a task.

Key things that parents can do to help their children:

Realistic revision expectations and tips for revision timetables

It can be hard to decide how much time to spend on revision per day, especially as everybody does it differently. The most important thing is to make a revision timetable to avoid devoting the first week of study leave to the first exam.

During term time 2 hours of revision per evening for GCSE and A-Level students is an achievable goal. Most homework tasks set now should be part of revision.

During study leave, GCSE and A-Level pupils could follow their school timetable and revise according to the lesson they would usually have at school. When they have subjects that they do not have a set exam for, such as PE or PSHE, the focus should be on a weaker subject that they feel needs more time. It is important to take regular breaks e.g. 45 minutes of study followed by a 15-minute break. It is a good idea to keep their phone in a different room or
to put it on to not disturb and only check it during the 15-minute break.

Here is a link with more information about creating effective revision timetables.

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A family walk in the evening can be a rewarding routine away from screens.

Five Simple Strategies

If your child is struggling to revise, focus or retain information, you could try the following strategies with them.

1. Asking questions - the 6 W's

You can apply this exercise to many topics in a variety of subjects. Choose a topic and ask your child six questions about it using the following prompts:

Who? How? When? What? Why? Where?

Your child could make brief notes under each of these prompts or create a spider diagram – topics can include volcanoes, forces, shapes, religious groups, characters in a novel etc.

2. Ask your child to teach you

For every topic, ask your child to teach you the content in a way that is easily understood, well-structured, and simplified into several key points. They can retain information by talking aloud and “teaching” the topic that they are revising. They could prepare keywords and definitions and perhaps six important points for each topic before they present the topic to you.

It is estimated that we can take in 10% of what we see, 20% of what we hear, 50% of what we say and hear, and 95% of what we teach someone else. This is why teachers can remember a lot of facts!

You could suggest a three minutes time limit to teach a topic. You will be amazed at the results. They could also teach siblings, themselves in the mirror or talk into a voice recorder on their phone.

3. Flashcards

Flashcards are excellent in helping to revise key topics. Ask your child to put a question or a word on one side of a small piece of card and write out the definition or key facts on the other. They can then place the cards on a table and revise by remembering the important details before checking the answers by turning over the cards.

You could buy coloured cardboard – a different colour for each subject – and your child could
carry these around with them. They could work with a friend to test each other.

4. Note making

Revision means that you need to be active in the way that you learn. This will inevitably mean that your child will need to write out information to help them recall certain information. The best way to recall information is to present it attractively.

a) Spider diagrams

Record the topic in the spider’s body.
Place keywords at the end of each leg.
Provide some information under the keywords.

b) Flow charts

A flow chart is a common type of diagram that represents a process. Your child should use diagrams to help remember key points and details in all of their subjects. In Languages, they can create diagrams to help them to remember the days of the week, rooms in a house, seasons etc. Add pictures and colour.

c) Closed book note making

This approach will allow them to test themselves after they have read over a section of notes on a topic in any subject. The point of this methodology is that it can help you get information out of your head and onto the page – a key element of exams.
1. Take a piece of information and skim read through it.
2. Read it again and identify the six (or eight, ten, etc.,) most important points – you can
number these on the text.
3. Turn over your notes and write out the main points from memory.

5. Mind maps

Your child can use mind-mapping techniques to help them absorb information in all subjects. Developed by Tony Buzan, mind-maps are an excellent way of taking in information and allowing you to make all sorts of links and connections. This is how you mind-map:
1. Take a large sheet of paper and turn it on its side.
2. In the centre of the page, draw a logo or heading that sums up the topic that they are studying.
3. Draw several large branches coming out of the central topic heading – these are the key themes. Write the key theme along each branch.
4. Draw smaller branches coming out of the main branches and write along these as they begin to develop their topic.
5. At the end of branches, they can draw pictures that help them to memorise the information.
6. When your child has finished their mind-map, it should resemble the picture that you would see if you were underground, looking up at the roots of a tree

More information can be found here about mind maps.

Family going on a walk
A family walk in the evening can be a rewarding routine away from screens.

Retaining information

Educationalists have analysed how information is retained and it has been argued that there are seven keys to memory, six of which are listed below. We naturally remember things that are:

1. Funny
2. Outstanding
3. Personal
4. Emotional
5. Linked to our senses
6. The first and last thing we learn in a reading or revision session

With this in mind, your child should try to remember revision notes by making connections, rhymes, links or visual images. They should make these funny and personal to them. It is of great importance that, when revising, your child (and the parents) do not become unduly stressed or anxious, since a calm, relaxed mind learns much more efficiently. Encourage your child to be kind to themselves and to not become cross when they are unable to recall an answer – simply reveal and read the answer.

We hope this blog was helpful. Please feel free to get in touch with us should you have any questions about your child and their learning at school and at home. We enjoy talking with parents and helping our students by tailoring learning to their individual needs.

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