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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What makes Learning Connections different?

    Rather than giving children more of what they cannot do, Learning Connections helps children overcome a range of difficulties by addressing the core issues contributing to these difficulties. Many children experiencing learning or behavioural difficulties have gaps in their neurological development.

    We address these gaps through reorganisation of the neurological system. The developmental movement patterns used in Learning Connections’ programs help to improve neurological development and lay a strong foundation for life-long learning. If children miss out on these crucial developmental patterns as they are growing, is may lead to gaps in their neurological development.

    These gaps may not be apparent at first, but often manifest as learning difficulties or behavioural problems later in life. Poor neurological development can also lead to behaviour disorders, memory problems, speech delays or difficulties, sleep disorders, balance and coordination problems, auditory problems and other difficulties. Learning Connections' activities are specially designed to mimic the developmental movement patterns that children need for their neurological development. Incorporating these movements into a daily routine helps children’s central nervous system to better develop:

    • Motor skills
    • Proprioception
    • Balance
    • Eye-tracking
    • Sensory integration
    • Improved behaviour
    • Attention and
    • Memory

    What skills will the Learning Connections Program give me?

    The two day training workshop gives teachers a program of practical core activities to use daily in the classroom to address developmental delays associated with learning difficulties, attention disorders and behavioural issues.

    The workshop also gives teachers the knowledge to look beyond the behaviours, identify what may be underpinning the behaviour and, most importantly, practical activities to help. You will also learn how to manage behaviours with specific activities that address the developmental and sensory needs of the child.

    Who will benefit from the Learning Connections Program when used in the classroom?

    Children of all ages benefit from the classroom activities we have developed. Teachers using Learning Connections’ programs report that even children who are already performing well in the classroom make great gains. This shows that even bright children may not have been reaching their full potential without Learning Connections' activities. A recent academic study into the benefits of the Learning Connections program has been published.

    You can download a copy of the findings under the Publications tab of our Further Resources page.

    Do many schools use the program?

    Hundreds of schools including State, Public, Private and Independent schools from all over Australia and overseas use our programs. Schools like our programs because they are effective and teachers can see noticeable results quickly.

    What do teachers say about Learning Connections' programs?

    Feedback from Teachers who have used Learning Connections' programs

    "I started using the Learning Connections School Program with my Year 2 Class in 1999 – I have used it with every class since then with the same extraordinary results. I have documented improvements in reading ages far outside the "normal range". I have seen amazing improvements in behaviour, that is, the ability to sit still; to listen; to concentrate; and, most importantly, to interact with others. Parents have reported to me that their children even sleep better after starting the program. I will always do the Learning Connections School Program with my class."

    "Learning Connections School Program has helped so many children who have been able to go up to secondary education well motivated and with more confidence than they had when they first came into primary. It has particularly helped the dyslexic, the dyspraxic and the hyperactive children. Parents have been astonished at the change in their children. One teacher in the past did two 20 minute sessions a week with the whole class as she had been experiencing a difficult time with 17 out of the 30 children listed as special needs. She said, teaching had become just "crowd control" and was all for giving up teaching. However, towards the end of the first school term, the whole class were achieving well. One dyslexic child went up 10 months in his reading [age] in just four months!"

    "Initially the Preschool teacher introduced Learning Connections School Program into her program. After seeing the children in action and reading the literature, I was keen to observe how these children presented in Year 1. It was apparent from day one that overall, their coordination was better than in previous years. The children completed the first day task to a much higher standard, displaying concentration and focus that was much better than I had hoped for. It was noticeable that the only exception was a child who had not attended our preschool."

    "It was beneficial to my professional role as an adviser and as my future role back in the classroom. Early childhood education programs deal with child development but we need to know this information. This seminar provides in-depth and extremely important information."

    "After our morning sessions with the Learning Connections School Program the children are ready for work and concentrate with ease. The same result has been commented upon by the teacher of children in Years 2/3. It’s a great program and the kids just love it. The difference it makes is amazing. As teachers we can definitely see that an improvement in the exercises is mirrored by an improvement in some area of class work. This has been noted too many times to be deemed accidental. Learning Connections gives each child the opportunity to realise their true potential."

    What are the outcomes and benefits of the Learning Connections program?

    Learning Connections programs benefit teachers and children in many ways. The programs:

    • Improve knowledge of child development and the principles of brain stimulation, and how it can be promoted by the classroom teacher
    • Increase awareness of the cause of children’s problems and what teachers can do about them
    • Increase teacher’s ability to assist integration of the primitive reflexes and knowledge of how to promote brain-body connections
    • Increase understanding of the links between movement, body awareness, spatial awareness, balance and the vestibular, tactile and proprioceptive senses. As well as providing classroom activities that link these systems
    • Improve understanding of the factors involved in visual development and show teachers how to assist in the development of the visual skills required for successful learning
    • Improve teachers’ to assist students in developing auditory skills. They also provide activities to promote the listening and auditory processing abilities necessary for successful learning
    • Provide knowledge of the impact of nutritional and environmental factors on children’s development, learning and behaviour and
    • Provide practical and theoretical skills necessary to put into effect the Learning Connections School Program

    Is the Learning Connections program evidence based?

    Learning Connections programs and activities are based in neurodevelopmental science. The activities are specially designed to mimic developmental movements that children need in order to lay the neural connections required for learning.

    The Learning Connections School Program has been evaluated in a randomised controlled trial by researchers from Australian Catholic University. The study examined the effects of the program on cognitive development, behaviour and school readiness of young children in the first two years of schooling.

    The study consisted of a cohort of over 470 children from 19 classes across 10 schools from urban and regional areas in Queensland with similar socio-economic status. The daily Learning Connections Program was implemented involving over 360 children, while over 240 children undertook usual schooling. Results of several cognitive and behavioural assessments were compared across groups.

    Results from the first year of the trial (after one year of implementation of the Learning Connections School Program) found some statistically significant differences between the control and experiment groups of children; all with a small effect size. Most notably, improvements were found in the following areas:

    • Internalising behaviours (less anxiety and depression)
    • Adaptive skills (better social skills and study skills)
    • Spelling
    • Early mathematical concepts

    Interestingly, anecdotal feedback from teachers indicated that the children enjoyed participating in the program, while teachers noted improvement in children’s settled behaviour once the Learning Connections School Program commenced. The daily teaching experience improved as the whole class became calmer and more ready for learning.

    The full results from the two year trial can be downloaded from our Further Resources page. Learning Connections' programs have been evaluated by many schools, for other results click here .

    How will I incorporate extra activities into an already busy curriculum?

    Teachers who have been using Learning Connections programs for many years comment that they have more direct teaching time when incorporating the Learning Connections program as the children are more settled and ready to learn. The Learning Connections activities only take 10 to 20 minutes each morning, or can be used as transition activities throughout the day. Implementing these activities daily creates a calmer and more focused class.

    How long is the training workshop?

    The standard workshop is two days however Learning Connections offers a variety of training options including extension training. Please see our Training and Professional Development page for more details.

    What do I receive at the end of the workshop?

    You will receive all training manuals and a Certificate of Participation.

    What equipment will I need to run the program with my class?

    You do not need any equipment to effectively run the program in your school. However, you may like to use some equipment in addition to the program. We can recommend the most cost effective equipment to add value to your program.

    Can you come to our school to run a workshop?

    Yes, Learning Connections will travel to your school. The minimum number of educators is 8 for a school visit. We are flexible with how we structure the workshop to ensure we help meet your school’s needs. Please call or email us for further information and pricing.

    What do the training sessions cover?

    Training sessions help teachers with the following:

    • Understanding the relationship between child development, movement and learning
    • Understanding the role of reflexes in learning
    • Learning the factors that can affect classroom behaviour and strategies to assist and overcome these factors
    • Understanding how the Learning Connections School Program promotes development and impacts on learning and behaviour
    • Learning how to implement visual, auditory, tactile and kinaesthetic activities into the classroom
    • Understanding different learning styles and how interference in development can impact different learning styles
    • Knowing the role of the vestibular system in learning and development
    • Discovering classroom strategies for improving reading, spelling, writing and mathematics
    • Using music in the classroom to improve listening skills
    • Understanding nutrition and its effect on behaviour and learning
    • Implementing the Learning Connections School Program in the classroom

    Training Outcomes: Comments from Teachers Attending the Training

    Teachers attending training in the Learning Connections School Program are asked to provide an overall rating of the training and give feedback and suggestions for ongoing development of the program. Teachers are asked to anonymously rate the training on a scale from 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest rating. After decades of teacher training, the average rating is 9.2.

    Below is a summary of some the comments received:

    • More valuable than my Bachelor of Education.
    • Fantastic! The most practical seminar I’ve been to – for teaching and family life. Wish I’d known this when I started teaching.
    • At last I feel I can make a real difference in children with learning difficulties.
    • This would have to be one of the most valuable seminars I have ever attended, content is relevant, easily understood and applied without waffle.
    • It was the most relevant in-service course I have undertaken.
    • I was very impressed with the depth of knowledge and understanding displayed by the trainer in such a vast array of fields. I also reacted to her sincerity.
    • If only I had known about this sooner.
    • Extremely practical, informative and useful towards my work with children.
    • Interesting, inspiring, informative - very beneficial theoretically and practically.
    • It was beneficial to my professional role as an adviser and as my future role back in the classroom. Early childhood education programs deal with child development but we need to know this information. This seminar provides in-depth and extremely important information.
    • Very interesting from a parent and teacher perspective. I think expectant parents or parents of young children need this information.
    • A good, well-rounded program giving lots of developmental information and not just remediation. The "reasons why" were well covered and explained.
    • Excellent information with great inspiration and hope for “the answers” to learning difficulties.
    • Fantastic! I cannot wait to start the program and see how the children achieve.
    • All teachers of lower school children need this information.
    • It has inspired me to go back to my classroom and give the children a better chance of success.
    • Thank you for offering classroom teachers answers for many individual or classroom problems.

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