Call for fresh approach to develop accelerated learning skills in school 

16th December 2013 – Neuroscience research shows that effective mental imagery skills are missing for those with poor literacy, numeracy, concentration and also many with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), such as Dyslexia. Olive Hickmott, expert learning coach and founder of Empowering Learning, has observed and studied the learning strategies employed by skilled and confident learners.  Observing best practice amongst skills and confident learners, it is clear that the ability to generate mental images and control their location, motion, size, brightness, etc are essential skills. She has developed a teaching model which both enhances and controls mental imagery and has taught 100s of Practitioners worldwide.  100% of those who are diagnosed with Dyslexia are not using mental imagery for words or numbers and many can’t keep even a single letter still.  The skills to control mental images can be taught quickly and used immediately to accelerate progress.  Mental imagery offers a fresh, enjoyable and simple skill for teachers, parents and children with SpLD.  In England there is an increase in the pupil premium available, with the amount per child in primary school, rising from £900 to £1300. Hickmott is calling for this increase to be used most effectively to ensure children are not just supported in their confusion, but are taught new skills that will last a lifetime.

As we digest the OECD’s test results, literacy and numeracy levels in the English speaking countries still have much room for improvement.  As English has many irregularities and homophones to confuse our children, using mental imagery effectively accelerates learning and helps children to develop the necessary skills to overcome many of their challenges. Teaching these skills within schools and to families has created exceptional results. Several symptoms of SpLDs can be reduced or even eliminated. 

Hickmott quotes that, “The National Curriculum calls for multi-sensory teaching and learning”. 

She comments, “Being in control of your mental imagery is the fundamental basis for visual learning. Teachers however are not being taught how to help a child hone their mental imagery skills for literacy, numeracy and concentration.  Teachers can add the skills, as Continuous Professional Development (CPD),  in just a few hours on-line or through INSET training. This will enhance their teaching and provide a very sustainable and cost effective way of addressing the challenges of conditions such as Dyslexia. This is particularly vital amongst children aged 4-7 years as a preventative measure and also to ensure that they do not lose confidence and self-esteem”.

Hickmott observes, “This is not just another spelling or reading strategy, it enables teachers and families to understand more about how we learn. Mental imagery has been used in sport for many years to model excellence and every day we see dramatic results in working with children, particularly those with Dyslexia. Following the latest figures from OECD, the strategy to teach the skill that experts already use, must be considered.  Developing the use of mental imagery as a technique in schools offers an effective starting point for all aspects of literacy teaching. If you know something works why wouldn’t you try it? ”

Not only do the children benefit, the family benefits as a whole and Hickmott actively encourages parents to get involved. One such family is that of Jane Smith. Jane’s partner and nine-year old daughter both showed signs of Dyslexia and as a result sought help from Hickmott. Jane comments, “When I sent my partner and daughter to see Olive, I expected them to come home with some new skills to help them improve their reading and spelling. I was not prepared to be totally amazed at the results!”  She continues, “The stress levels in the house have gone right down, confidence has grown, there is more co-operation and some very happy people.” 

Hickmott concludes, “We have a great opportunity to make a real difference in teaching children with poor literacy, Dyslexia and other SpLDs. The bonus of using this approach is that it will accelerate any techniques that are already in place. The increased pupil premium offers a real opportunity to address Dyslexia and other learning difficulties. Let’s not waste this opportunity and instead take up this challenge to enable our children to learn in a way that best suits them.”

www.empoweringlearning.co.ukwww.cpdoutofthebox.co.uk and the blog at www.olivehickmott.co.uk

–  Ends  –

Notes to Editors:

For more information, or to speak directly to Olive Hickmott, please contact her on one of the following: Olive Hickmott  Tel: 07970-854388  or email olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk

About Olive Hickmott

Olive herself showed signs of Dyslexia and ADHD when growing up. She is a NLP Master Practitioner and Certified Coach. She is the architect for the New Perspectives series of personal development books for Health, Wellness and Learning Difficulties. Her book, Bridges to Success – How to Transform Learning Difficulties, takes a major step forward in offering simple skills to anyone with other learning difficulties such as ADD, ADHD, Autism and Asperger Syndrome.

About Empowering Learning

Olive has trained over 100s of Practitioners throughout UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Brazil, Cyprus, Switzerland, Belgium, Singapore, USA and Africa. They work together to enable people to know about how these simple skills can affect them and their families. Together they have worked with 1000s of adults, children and schools. Our Practitioner in Ireland achieved a 1st class Masters in Adult Learning and Development, based on this work and is currently running a pilot project with three primary schools. This project is already showing great results with many students now achieving higher marks for spelling and literacy than preciously possible.

About olivehickmott

I am a Forensic Learning coach, showing people how they can improve their own learning and change their health. Working with creative neurodivergent students is a joy, as they learn new skills to overcome many of their learning challenges.
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  1. Sousa Hari says:

    Hello Olive. This year I have been trained in some very fast and easy to learn techniques which are groundbreaking in their effectiveness for emotional issues. I have been coaching people who have dyslexic difficulties and they have all found the techniques very beneficial for eliminating their stress, and use one in particular for slowing down their writing, speaking etc.
    I would be honoured if I could teach you these techniques to you so that you can teach others too. Best regards, Sousa

  2. Sousa, stress is such a big part of learning difficulties I am always happy to discuss working with others, Do Take a look at Bridges to Success – how to transform learning difficulties; I am sure you will find it fascinating. I will contact you seperately.

  3. drdcurtiss says:

    I have to agree. I have always thought that dyslexia is not a learning problem, but a teaching problem. If we develop the correct teaching techniques, these kids can excel.

  4. And it is so unfair to blame the teachers, they are getting almost no education in learning difficulties and I have not yet found a training college that is teaching mental imagery.

    This is why I have created our own CPD programme. Understanding mental imagery can so enhance anything else that schools are teaching and makes learning so much easier.

  5. David Cleland says:

    A short reply Olive… Simply – thank you.

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