MEMORY



Firstly, it's important to state what we are not doing. We're not teaching your child to never forget anything ever again. We are not teaching your child to obtain a photographic memory.

 

What we are teaching are techniques that will improve their ability to learn lists of information, and with repetition retain that list indefinitely. If that sounds pretty dull, think a moment. Learning lists of vocabulary is critical for language learning. Learning a list of the kings of England and their dates may be useful in History. Learning the chemical elements and their valences is pretty important in Chemistry. Lists are everywhere - not just in school, but in daily life.  What we are doing, though, is more than just list learning.  We want the children to take an item that they have learned and then link it more deeply with what they already know, which leads to greater depth and breadth of understanding.

 

Just as in our approach to thinking skills, we have not invented new techniques from scratch. The essentials of mnemonics have been used throughout history. We have drawn ideas from ancient Greece, through 19th Century Japan and more recently Tony Buzan, Dr Fiona McPherson and Sjur Midttun. What we are doing is emphasising the links from memory techniques to the other skill sets. We start with simple techniques such as Number Shapes and using Memory Palaces to complex registers.

 

Briefly, to remember something you need to incorporate it into your model of the world. We are trying to help children improve their memorisation by breaking the process down into different stages.  Sometimes they will need to simplify things - or maybe make them more complex.  They may need to separate items - or glue them back together. They may benefit from some kind of scaffolding to help them remember something in the short-term before it passes into long-term memory. Above all, they will need to use their creativity using colour, exaggeration, weirdness, humour or engaging their senses to aid recall.

 

With repetition, short-term memory can become long-term memory and that's where practice and strategy come in. We also need to make them think about things they already know, patterns they recognise, bonding new items and concepts to things they already understand to make the memorisation solid and permanent.

 

Much like the thinking skills, the more you practise the better you get. However, even a few hours' practice will make remembering your grocery list effortless.

"Intelligence is the wife, imagination is the mistress, memory is the servant." 
Victor Hugo