Urana Public is a small primary school of 26 students (K- 6) located in the Riverina region of New South Wales, 600 kms south west of Sydney.
The school has implemented Fast ForWord for the past five years with excellent results, according to Dorothy.
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Dorothy says the students have become stronger learners with results including:
- More effective listening
- Improved ability to articulate thoughts
- Better sequencing of ideas
- Improved concentration
- Retention of concepts enhanced
- Writing skills improved
- Better maths results
- Stronger ability to recall what they have learnt
The Brain That Changes Itself
The school became aware of Fast ForWord from the book The Brain That Changes Itself which includes a chapter about the program.
They started with a targeted group of 4 students who did the Fast ForWord exercises for six months.
After seeing the positive changes in the students they concluded that “Yes, this has really got merit. Let's try this across the whole school."
“We thought this would be good for everybody because it wasn't a program designed just for kids with learning difficulties, it is a brain training program," Dorothy said.
Every day on laptops & iPads
The students do the program first thing each morning, with all 26 of them accessing it on their laptops or iPads.
Responses from children & parents
It’s not only the teachers who have seen the improvements, according to Dorothy. Students report that learning is easier and they are able to understand more of what they hear in the classroom.
And Dorothy has had very positive feedback from parents too:
“The parents are telling me that their kids have made a shift and they are attributing it to Fast ForWord as much as anything else that's been happening."
“I do get parents telling me that we need to keep this up and it's one of the really popular things that is happening."
“And I have parents saying my child used Fast ForWord used three years ago and it gave him a real spurt and it's doing the same thing again."
Learning capacity & the growth mindset
“It fits beautifully with our strategic direction - what we call how to learn," Dorothy said.
“It’s about the culture of learning which then gets right back to brains and giving kids the power …that it’s their brain, and it’s only as good as they use it."
“We've got kids now taking ownership of their learning. They're making improvements. They're setting their own goals.”
“If we build the capacity of the brain, then we're going to get the learning happening, and that all works in well with the growth mindset and striving for your personal best."
A “no-brainer” – works for all kids
Dorothy was asked what she would say to other schools now she has seen Fast ForWord used for five years.
She said, “I think it's a no-brainer, for lack of a better word. I've seen enough for five years to tell me that it works and it will work particularly those kids who have learning difficulties, but it's going to work for all your kids”.