Kids excel & schools save SEN money

Almost all of our schools are finding they have less funding available that in turn effects the increasing demands on Special Needs Budgets.  So what can we do for less whilst kids excel?

Imagine what it would be like if you could dramatically increase the number of children who find spelling, reading, maths and concentration easy.  How much money would that save your school?  How much heartache would that save children, parents and teachers alike? How many lightbulbs could you turn on?

10.don't-slump_smallHave you ever heard about the Elephants in the Classroom – those skills that we know about but may not be helping our children to use, to stop them being so confused. The most important one is mental imagery or visual imagery – those images you hold in your head to help you think and learn.  Alongside this, how do you keep calm and fully grounded so you can use controlled mental images for literacy, numeracy and aid concentration?  And to support those, how do you learn to relax your breathing, be fully grounded and have clarity of thought.

During the summer holidays, you can learn simple skills to make all this possible for you, your child or your school, regardless of neurodivergent diagnoses such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, ADHD or ASD.   You can start right now:

no-problem-studying-dec15_colour_smallerThe choice is yours, the results can be spectacular with just a little practice. You can make a real difference.



#neurodivergent #ADHD #dyslexia #Dyscalculia #ASD #literacy #numeracy #concentration #mentalimagery #empoweringlearning #elephantsintheclassroom #SEN #specialneeds #school


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Breathing is good for you

mouth breathingBut do you know the difference between nose breathing and mouth breathing – what is “right” breathing,  and why is it important?

I work with children and adults with learning differences, currently known as neurodivergent thinking and learning styles. I specialise in teaching students how to use their advanced strengths of using mental imagery, to assist their thinking and learning patterns.

To do this successfully for literacy, numeracy, design, art, creativity etc, you need to be able to control your mental images.   If you feel unsafe, are stressed or anxious it is difficult to achieve this control and maximise the use of your own images.   I have been teaching students to calm their breathing and feel grounded for years.  But now I am learning about the other qualities of breathing, especially the importance of nose breathing.  Mouth breathing indicates a level of anxiety that is common in many of these students, whatever their diagnosis.  Of course, they may have some underlying emotion that is panicking them or just have had a heavy cold at some time and developed a habit of mouth breathing.  It is never to late to make these adjustments and learn to benefit from “right” breathing.

I am also following the considerable research about ADHD and “right” breathing, that I suspect is common to many neurodivergent thinkers and learners, referred to as EPIC students in my latest book “The Elephants in the Classroom”.

To learn more about breathing, we have a free recording of the live class here.   Click here.  You will get skills to try out for yourself or your child immediately and discover the sources of more information.

For more information about using your visual strengths, go to, it is an easy skill to learn once you know how or take a look at “The Elephants in the Classroom: uncovering every student’s natural power of mental imagery to enhance learning“.  To find out more, order your own copy here, or more than 10 copies here or on or

#empoweringlearning #neurodivergent #adhd #breathing #nosebreathing #rightbreathing #literacy #numeracy #mentalimagery



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Maths made easy with Steve Chinn

numberspersonsmallSo many people are anxious about elementary maths, join us for an on-line free teleseminar to explain the basics easily. Steve Chinn makes it all seem very simple.

Book your place here:

The recent Guardian article looked at how people feel positively scared by maths. This needs to change for the mental health of our children. 

Empowering Learning teaches how to visualise numbers which is a basic skill for succeeding at maths. Steve Chinn’s explanation will take the fear away.  For more information go to

#Guardian #maths #stevechinn #elementarymaths #freeteleseminar #mathsexplained #mental health

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Visualising your Way through a Healthier Life

Olive Hickmott, is a leading expert in the use of mental imagery in visualisation.  She is renowned for working with those who learn and think visually to help them improve their experience of many learning differences and excel.
But visualising is more than that, it includes improving your memory, reaching your goals, being able to picture what you want. and so much more. Some people need a bit of encouragement to improve their abilities whilst others need to learn skills to delete negative memories or pictures that may frighten them.  Join us and tune up your abilities in just a couple of hours, so you are in control rather than your images controlling you.
For those with young children, this is a fabulous skill you can teach from nursery age, that will help them throughout their lives.
7:25pm Tuesday 9th July in the Plough and Harrow Southdown, Harpenden.

You might like to explore my latest book,  “The Elephants in the Classroom: uncovering every student’s natural power of mental imagery to enhance learning“.  This explains the merits of mental imagery and how it can go wrong without appropriate guidance.

#Harpenden #elephantsintheclassroom #visualising #mentalimagery #olivehickmott

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Are you and your child confused by school maths?

I am delighted to offer you a FREE online call with Steve Chinn, a world-renowned expert in the teaching of mathematics, especially in the primary stages.
Book your FREE online webinar place here, for Wednesday 10th July at 7:30pm.
Steve quotes that 25% of young adults in the UK have poor numeracy, with those diagnosed as dyscalculic having no understanding of simple number concepts. So don’t worry you are not alone.  His approach uses a lot of visual imagery and is thus very complimentary to Empowering Learning and really resonates with me.
Empowering Learning practitioners  teach students how to get control of their images including numbers and a little on times tables, especially when the experiences of neurodivergent students may be very different; starting with out of control mental images and deep anxiety,  Steve builds on student’s visual images to teach the who range of number skills developing the students’ visual imagery for all mathematics. When students have not developed these skills they need to briefly go back to the beginning, building their confidence at every step. In just one hour you will improve your understanding, learn a few tips and discover how you can learn more.
Book your FREE online webinar place here, for Wednesday 10th July at 7:30pm.
You would really benefit from looking at his website before the session
#mathematics #mentalimages #visualimagery #stevechinn #empoweringlearning #webinar #maths #primarymaths #elephantsintheclassroom
For more information about learning to visualise numbers, go to, it is an easy skill to learn once you know how or take a look at “The Elephants in the Classroom: uncovering every student’s natural power of mental imagery to enhance learning“.  To find out more, order your own copy here, or more than 10 copies here or on or
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How young can you spot learning differences?

baby looking upThrough our work with children and adults with various learning challenges, we have realised that the place to start is with very young children and ensure they are making the most effective use of their mental images as they start to learn.

Click here to learn more

#learningdifferences #mentalimages #learningchallenges #children

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Is SEND at breaking point?

archieYesterday’s article in the Observer, talks of a 26% increase in the number of court appeals, a total of 6374 appeals lodged in 2018-19. Full text below.

So we have a “perfect storm” for special educational needs;  parents are desperately trying to do the best for their children, but this can be very expensive for them. They are exhausted battling various educational systems but the needs are exploding, all amongst more and more limited funding for schools.

As Einstein is reputed to have said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results “? It is clear to me that we can’t continue to do the same thing amongst skyrocketing need. And then today’s Guardian says that 1 in 3 people in prison have learning difficulties.    So what else can we do?  Clearly something different to what we are doing!  

As someone, who by today’s standards would be diagnosed as Dyslexic, ADHD and a bit of Aspergers, several years ago I “tripped over” a key to much of this chaos.  I call it the Elephants in the Classroom.  Those things that everyone knows about but few discuss:

  • the vital role of mental imagery in learning, that some call visual imagery; those pictures that even our youngest children hold in their heads to assist recognition, your memory, literacy, numeracy, concentration, comprehension, etc.
  • keeping calm, feeling safe and grounded so that your images are stable and a major asset, rather than developing into a sensory overload nightmare for our brightest neurodivergent students.
  • unpicking the students’ strengths to assist with their challenges.
  • we must start young, preferably pre-school and include improving parents’ understanding, who may share some of the same challenges.
  • the damage that is happening to our children’s mental health amongst continual testing and failure.

And when SEND is finally broken what are we going to do about it for future generations? We need to change the system for our youngest students and in parallel implement those same changes in an age-appropriate way for our older students.  The costs of teaching students these skills are minimal and the results are exceptional.

For more information go to (part of the International Association for Health and Learning).

This is all documented in a new book, called “The Elephants in the Classroom: uncovering every student’s natural power of mental imagery to enhance learning“.  To find out more, order your own copy here, or more than 10 copies here or on or

#school #theelephantsintheclassroom #grounded #visualimagery #mentalimagery #safe #sensoryoverload #strengths #neurodivergent #observer #guardian #insanity #parents #einstein



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