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Naplan ‘bands’ explained…

Tuesday, Feb. 21st 2017

Many parents ( and some teachers) are often confused about how the assessment ‘bands’ are arrived at and what they actually mean for the students.


This excellent slideshow from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, may help to explain how the bands are arrived at and what the results actually mean.

It is by no means comprehensive but gives teachers and non-teachers alike a deeper understanding of the results.


Healthy lunch ideas for optimum performance

Monday, Feb. 13th 2017

One of our biggest challenges as tutors/mentors is ensuring that our students arrive ready to engage in learning. A good diet, together with HEAPS of fresh water is the key to bette performance.

Here’s an example of a healthy lunch that will keep your child awake and alert in the afternoon.

  Water – filtered water in a metal drinking bottle is great for lunches. Non breakable and no nasty plastics leaching into the water. Remember most filters remove the chemicals from the water.

  Fruit – a whole apple or a whole banana or any piece of fresh fruit. Remember that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ – apples and bananas are highly nutritious and are a great energy boost.

  Fresh greens & salad – when fresh and organic, salad greens keep you awake and alert and provide great nutrition.

  Avoid bread if possible. Bread gives a boost of energy and then leaves you sleepy. No wonder so many children fall asleep in class and just look at people at a conference if they have had bread during their lunch break…they are asleep too. If you need an alternative, wraps are generally better.

  Yoghurt. A quality natural yoghurt and add your own dried fruit or cut up fresh fruit.


Tuesday, Feb. 7th 2017

There are 7 colours in the rainbow and 7 main food colours. If you want to feel a certain way, then you can eat the foods of those colours or wear clothing of the colour.

Light Red represents joy, passion, sensitivity and love
Pink for romance, love and friendship
Dark red for vigour, willpower, anger, leadership, courage

Orange stimulates mental activity, passion, pleasure, aggression and a thirst for action
Gold gives the feeling of prestige

Yellow for intellect, freshness and joy
Dull yellow sickness and jealousy

Yellow green can indicate sickness or jealousy
Green blue for emotional healing
Olive green for peace
Dark green for ambition and jealousy

Light blue for health and healing
Dark blue for knowledge and power

Light purple for romance and nostalgic feelings
Dark purple can cause frustration and sad feelings

White for innocence, purity and goodness
Black for power, evil or mystery

Identifying children with learning difficulties

Monday, Feb. 6th 2017

Children are clever and those who have learning difficulties are quite adept at hiding them. They are usually quite aware of their inability to perform certain tasks, tackle particular subjects and even understand curriculum content and their biggest skill is avoiding them. The easiest way to identify a student with learning difficulties is to watch their avoidance techniques.

  • Going to the bathroom frequently
  • Talking out of turn
  • Purposefully getting into trouble around exams or heavy periods of study
  • Forgetting glasses, books, pens, textbooks, homework etc
  • Copying others work
  • Being the class clown or making light of the reason why they have not completed the work

Handy hints for back-to-school

Monday, Jan. 30th 2017

Our current summer seems to be endless. Long, hot days and equally warm nights. Few of us are sleeping well and many of us are getting a little short-tempered and frayed, primarily due to under-hydration and lack of restful, rejuvenating sleep.

As our children re-entre the school world for another year, it’s important to realise that they too, are often a little under done in the sleep stakes. They too are often under-hydrated.

As a 35 plus year veteran of ‘week ones’, I’ve always held the view that the first week of back-to-school in the hot Australian summer, isn’t so much about the learning and the content, rather it’s often simply survival.

Surviving wearing school shoes and not thongs. Surviving being away from a fridge and cold drinks. Surviving the early morning wake-up and the often crazy-making kitchen dance of lunches, drink bottles, books, uniforms and lost socks.

As working adults, we ALL struggle to find a work-rhythm after a long holiday. School students aren’t any different. They need time, patience and understanding as they adjust and settle into their new year. So, at the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, here are a few reminders that can make that holiday-school transition a little smoother;

  1. HYDRATE. Water, water, water. Our brains are often the first part of us to feel foggy and jaded when we’re under-hydrated. We actually set one hour water- reminders on our devices. When the reminder sounds, we stop, stand and drink water.
  2. Move! I know this sounds counter-intuitive but moving slowly and consciously through our physical world allows us to be present and spend less time focussing on the heat!
  3. Eat small and often. Fruit and veggies are king here.
  4. Wet hankies. These are often overlooked but can be the perfect antidote for the heat when used to wipe our faces, necks and wrists.
  5. Breathe. S-L-O-W-L-Y. This is perhaps one of our best ‘go to’ tools in our toolbox. Watch what happens when you stop, sit ( or stand) and enjoy 3 or 4 very slow inhales and exhales.

Kindness and self-compassion. Being kind to ourselves and those around is one of the greatest gifts we can offer ourselves and those in our orbit.

Stay cooooool in schoooool. 🙂

Simple advice for parents.

Wednesday, Nov. 30th 2016

If you suspect that your child may have learning difficulties or you have been told by their classroom teacher, it is important not to panic.

Many children will have some difficulties over time and it is important that you don’t make a big deal out of it. Chances are they will already feel left out or different and it is your job to make them feel at ease with these differences. Talk to them and ask how they feel about their learning experiences. Identify where they need help and be proactive to find a solution.

These days there are so many options and so many different ways of finding learning solutions. Often, children with learning difficulties require an ‘out-of-the-square’ approach to finding solutions that work for them.

Schools, though well-meaning, often don’t have the resources that are relevant to the specific needs of your child.

Effective coaching or tutoring must be tailored to the individual. This not only increases the chances of a successful learning outcome but can be the catalyst for increased self-belief and authentic confidence.

If you would like to know more about our Individualised Learning Programs and how they can benefit your child, give us a call to obtain your child’s Personal Learning Program.

Techniques to assist students with Learning Difficulties

Thursday, Nov. 24th 2016

Short of engaging the services of professional child development psychologists or having the resources to pair a child with a teacher aide one-to-one there are a number of ways to assist their identified learning difficulty. It is important to match supporting techniques to the child’s issue.

  • Create colour categorised timetables for older students to keep them organised
  • Visit an optometrist and purchase multiple pairs of glasses
  • Have their hearing tested to ensure they have no physical impairments
  • Talk to them and ask them to identify areas where they have trouble
  • Give them checklists for classes or subjects to keep them organised
  • If they have trouble with English read to them, with them, listen to them read and encourage them to do it on their own
  • If they have trouble with mathematics spend time with the basics, counting, grouping, times tables, adding, subtracting and counting in 2’s, 4’s, 6’s etc