Memory tips for teachers and pupils

A Shropshire company which specialises in boosting pupils’ learning power is expecting a surge in interest following changes to the education system.

Learning Technologies, based in Bucknell, south Shropshire, has developed a range of tools, including a new e-book, to help students memorise facts and figures.
Proprietor Phil Chambers, who travels all over the world hosting ‘memory championships’ says that teachers and pupils will need better study skills due to Michael Gove’s reforms of the current exam system.

He explained: “From 2015 assessment of coursework will be abolished, as will modular exams. Children will sit an exam at the end of two years of study - a similar system to the old O Levels - and there will be a far greater emphasis on fact-based learning and recall, including mathematical equations that must be learned rather than being supplied on the exam paper.

“The changes will apply initially to English and Maths but will eventually be rolled out across all GCSE subjects. So students need to learn how to memorise information. Most teachers have never had to teach students to do this so need new skills and we are here to help with specialist training.”

Mr Chambers said that he was starting to run workshops in schools and these had been well received and was expecting to see an increase in demand for his work.

“There will be a new grading system and a far greater emphasis on memory. In maths, students will no longer be given equations in the exam but be required to memorise them,” he added.
In response to these changes he has launched a new eBook called ‘How To Remember Equations And Formulae’ and is providing private coaching for students and parents in revision, study skills and memory.

Some of his top tips for memorising facts are:
1) Take a 5 to 10 minute break every 45 minutes whilst studying, even if you feel fresh as memory rapidly declines if you work for too long.

2) If you need to remember a list, make up an imaginative story featuring each item in turn, the more outlandish and fantastical idea the better.

3) Psychologists have shown that in order to transfer information to long-term memory it must be reviewed five times. The optimal schedule is 10 minutes after initial learning then one day, one week, one month and three months later. If you don't have three months you should still review five times but condense the intervals.

4) We naturally remember images, colours and associated things. Creating Mind Mapped notes taps into this, so learn to Mind Map, make use of images and diagrams or highlight key points in colour.

5) Remember to celebrate or reward yourself after completing an extended period of studying. This may sound frivolous but is very important as it associates study with reward and motivates you the next time the need to learn comes around. During the whole period of enjoyment, your subconscious is assimilating, integrating, interpreting and embedding your learning.

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Pete White Pete White

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