Retiring from school volunteerism

download (13)After a long day of running my usual mom duties on a cool mid January evening, I hurried to put dinner on the table. Feeling ambitious, I chopped, grilled, and steamed the foods that would please my guys. Perfumed with the aroma of ajo, I quickly ran out the door to yet another volunteer meeting As I sat at the 8th grade committee meeting, I kept whispering to myself, “assist only.” Our school principal was giving us parents the run down on which activities we had enough funds for. Sadly, this year our student body, has a very limited budget, only allowing for a walking trip to the movies in place of the traditional class trip to a local amusement park. I don’t know how it happened but as I looked above my head I saw my hand waving in the air. {Ay ajo, por qué me siguistes a la escuela? Se desperto mi hambre.} Was I really begging to take on this project? Um… I suppose I was. (more…)

Support Your Child’s Learning

images-39RAIS have developed this course for parents and carers of children and young people (for a background to the development, please read Case Study B) At RAIS we believe that schools, homes and other organisations should work in cooperation with each other and ‘sing from the same hymn sheet’. This course draws upon much of the recent research and initiatives being used in schools to develop learning and teaching and adapts it for two aims: •  To help parents understand what is happening in schools with relation to learning and teaching •  To equip parents with practical strategies and approaches to help them support their child in their learning (more…)

Teaching Thinking

albert einstein The Teaching Thinking certificate introduces a variety of strategies designed to challenge students and to help them understand and develop their thinking and allow them to transfer skills developed to other contexts. The strategies are all adaptable to a wide range of scenarios be it educational, business or with other learning organisations. The course also looks at research and thinking into the way the brain works and how this can influence the learning process. Two important concepts that the course deals with are metacognition and transfer. Teaching Thinking develops both of these. Metacognition is thinking about and understanding your thinking. Transfer is being able to apply skills learnt in one context to another. This seems straightforward but it actually rarely happens. Debriefing is an important concept in developing both of these concepts. (more…)


images-41Outsmart is based around a series of problem solving adventures. They are designed to develop the links between high quality outdoor experience and the ability to think and learn. Teamwork is a key element of the activities. Participants in the course experience the challenges for themselves and to consider how they might use them in their own contexts. Key questions that will be considered include: •  What is it to be part of a team? •  How can teams be successful? •  What are the habits and dispositions of successful learners and successful teams? •  What skills do you need to facilitate successful experiences? •  How can the reflection process be used in these experiences to develop successful and sustainable learning? The course was originally designed for use in outdoor education but it has been successfully tailored for use in schools, businesses, children’s organisations and any team building context. (more…)

Developing Babies Brains

images-42Our understanding of the brain has increased in recent years as technology has improved and research conducted. Much of this has been directed towards developing teaching and learning within our schools, however there has been an increasing awareness that the early years of development can have an immense formative effect upon the development of a person and the information is being increasingly applied to the age range 0 to 3. This course shares current understanding of the anatomy of the brain and links it to developing and nurturing the young child. (more…)