108 days ago

Are "Learning Skills" effective"? What about TEACHING?

Robin Hicks from FOCUS Learning Centre Napier

We see much being made of "Learning Skills" lately in our education system. Sadly we are also seeing huge drops in the standard of achievement. This is borne out in international testing, and I'm sure, from your own experiences with your children. I hear it all the time, especially … View moreWe see much being made of "Learning Skills" lately in our education system. Sadly we are also seeing huge drops in the standard of achievement. This is borne out in international testing, and I'm sure, from your own experiences with your children. I hear it all the time, especially since Lockdown... "my kids can't DO anything!" There is nothing wrong with these trendy new "skills", except they are totally ineffective if the children don't KNOW anything! And sadly that is what we see regularly. You simply can't "problem solve" or "think critically" or "make connections" if you don't have a sound basic knowledge base to build this higher thinking on. Even "Communication" is of questionable value if you don't have something of substance to say! (unless, of course, you want to be a politician! ;))It appears our school systems are developing a high proportion of children who cannot read or write correctly and effectively; physically and/or creatively, who struggle with basic maths, and who have little to no general knowledge. The research on the critical nature of all these in a child's cognitive development is overwhelming! but far too often the response these days seems to be "there is an app for that"! Hardly surprising kids lose confidence and show minimal resilience!
The answer, however, is very simple: TEACH them! Build a strong base of knowledge and skills! Letting young children "work it out for themselves", being "taught" by other students who really should be being enriched and challenged in their own learning, or simply plonking them in front of a screen continues to prove to be a dismal failure for all but a few.
Here at FOCUS we teach kids. Computers are OK for practice, but NOT for learning... we believe that is the job of TEACHERS.

194 days ago

We are looking for another tutor for 2021

Robin Hicks from FOCUS Learning Centre Napier

Recently retired but still have lots to offer or looking for extra income? We are looking for a NZ qualified, experienced and passionate primary teacher to join our team here at FOCUS. Familiarity with the NZ Curriculum is important, but registration is not required. This will be a part time … View moreRecently retired but still have lots to offer or looking for extra income? We are looking for a NZ qualified, experienced and passionate primary teacher to join our team here at FOCUS. Familiarity with the NZ Curriculum is important, but registration is not required. This will be a part time position and we have some after school hours available to start the year. We work with small groups of motivated children and parents, delivering individualised "back to basics" programmes in literacy and numeracy.
Contact Robin on 06 8337479 for more information.

227 days ago

Primary School Maths and Science?

Robin Hicks from FOCUS Learning Centre Napier

The most damning report ever out on the maths and science achievement levels of our primary/intermediate school students. Sadly we see this every day, regardless of the reasons (and there are many very obvious ones), the simple facts are, kids are missing out. This report confirms our experience; … View moreThe most damning report ever out on the maths and science achievement levels of our primary/intermediate school students. Sadly we see this every day, regardless of the reasons (and there are many very obvious ones), the simple facts are, kids are missing out. This report confirms our experience; very few students entering high school are at the expected level in maths and most have done hardly any science. At FOCUS, we offer teacher led programmes to try and ensure our students have the base skills expected for Y9 in maths and in written language. We can also support your Y9/10 students struggling with these subjects. Talk to us about 2021; catch up, keep up, or get ahead!

486 days ago

Washing Hands for 20 seconds!

Robin Hicks from FOCUS Learning Centre Napier

Singing Happy birthday is OK, but a MUCH better idea is to use this regular 20 second wash to help your kids learn their tables! Contrary to "popular" opinion, this IS an essential skill for their maths future.
These printouts take about the right time you should be washing if recited out… View more
Singing Happy birthday is OK, but a MUCH better idea is to use this regular 20 second wash to help your kids learn their tables! Contrary to "popular" opinion, this IS an essential skill for their maths future.
These printouts take about the right time you should be washing if recited out loud at a reasonable pace :) Stick them to the mirror, and change them every few days!
Touch typing is another extremely valuable life skill, hey, why don't you do it with them! ;) There are lots of great free online apps for this and some better but $$ ones; TypingMaster is good. A little bit every day will guarantee results, but, warn kids that they will get way worse before they get faster, this early stage is when they tend to give up. Cut up a cardboard box to cover the keyboard, and no peeking!
Keep Safe!

Handwash Tables.pdf Download View

500 days ago

Kids and the Virus

Robin Hicks from FOCUS Learning Centre Napier

There is a lot of fear, uncertainty and false news circulating regarding the Coronavirus, especially amongst children. This "comic" may be a great way to talk about this issue with your kids!

501 days ago

Attitude is Everything! FLC

Robin Hicks from FOCUS Learning Centre Napier

Call 06 833 7479 today for a free, no obligation assessment!

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502 days ago

FOCUS Learning Centre Napier

Robin Hicks from FOCUS Learning Centre Napier

Hi, I’m Robin Hicks. Along with my team of passionate teachers, I run FOCUS Learning Centre on Carlyle Street. We’ve been operating for 5 years now; previously as Kip McGrath, now as FLC. We work with children to maximise their academic success. Many of the younger students we see are not … View moreHi, I’m Robin Hicks. Along with my team of passionate teachers, I run FOCUS Learning Centre on Carlyle Street. We’ve been operating for 5 years now; previously as Kip McGrath, now as FLC. We work with children to maximise their academic success. Many of the younger students we see are not achieving as well as they should be at school. There can be lots of reasons for this, but the ones we see most often are the growing dependence on IT devices, and insufficient work on basic skills; language and maths. This is borne out by a growing body of research. While computers do have a place for practice, they generally make very poor teachers; it is the personal teacher/student relationships that get results. So called “old fashioned” skills, like writing; letter formation and written language skills, spelling, along with basic maths facts are still as valid today as ever, and in fact, science tells us they are critical in the cognitive development of our children. Sadly, these are the skills we regularly see missing in students. These gaps in their learning mean students are unable to keep up, which leads to a loss of confidence, and a downward spiral. We see some remarkable turn-arounds in children in both confidence and achievement when we can fill in these gaps.
Call me to discuss how we might help your children.

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1031 days ago

Are you a qualified and experienced teacher?

Robin Hicks from FOCUS Learning Centre Napier

As our numbers grow, we are often have work available for tutors. If you are a passionate, qualified teacher, especially experienced in teaching reading and/or maths, and are interested in some part time work with enthusiastic (mostly ;) ) children and in a pleasant and supportive work environment,… View moreAs our numbers grow, we are often have work available for tutors. If you are a passionate, qualified teacher, especially experienced in teaching reading and/or maths, and are interested in some part time work with enthusiastic (mostly ;) ) children and in a pleasant and supportive work environment, contact us to register your interest.

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