Learning - Kickstart Learning with Kerry

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Everyone learns in their own individual way. Some people are more visual, some more auditory and some more physical and tactile. Many people prefer a combination of learning styles.

Students with Specific Learning Difficulties often favour certain ways of learning, for example those with ADHD or dyslexia tend not to be particularly good auditory learners. They are likely to benefit from more visual stimuli such as maps, graphs, pictures, diagrams and colourful worksheets.

Everyone's brain has two halves which have different roles. They are linked by nerves which allow the two sides of the brain to communicate, but in most of us, one side is dominant making us more left or right brained.

Students with special educational needs are often at the extremes of the normal left and right brain balance. Students with dyslexia are often very right brained - creative and imaginative, while those with ASD are usually more left brained - preferring facts, logic and order.

If a student is taught using methods that appeal to their preferred learning style(s), they will enjoy their learning more, understand concepts faster and make more effective progress. Of course, students need to be exposed to all styles of learning so that they are still able to access different teaching methods but they will always learn most effectively using their preferred style.

I undertake a learning styles assessment with all my students. I then use this information when planning activities and lessons with your child which enables them to be as engaged and motivated as possible. I also use this information to help your child understand how they learn best and how they can use this to benefit them in daily life.

Growth mindset is the term given by psychologist Carol Dweck to the idea that intelligence can develop and that effort leads to success. If someone thinks that talent or ability is innate and something we cannot change, they have a 'fixed mindset'. If someone believes that their performance at school and in life can be changed by their attitude, and particularly by how they cope with setbacks, they have a 'growth mindset'.

A lot of schools are developing growth mindset within the classroom. This is an area that I focus on a lot with my students as I know how beneficial it is and that someone's mindset can either accelerate or halt their progress.

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