Building on the success of a smaller, pilot project that involved 4 schools in the previous academic year Exeter Consortium offered a course to develop early years professionals’ understanding of the importance of working memory. The course ran over two terms and was led by Jon Maxwell-Batten, retired Educational Psychologist, Tania Beard, Headteacher of St Martin’s Primary and Nursery School and Mel Turl, Assistant Head and Early Years Lead at St Martin’s Primary and Nursery School.
The aims of the project were to:
The course participants were made up of a majority of early years practitioners but included professionals from other settings and age ranges. Everyone who attended the course was given a copy of 2 books with games that can be played in the setting/school or at home. The books were written by Mark Hill and Katy Hill and are currently in print.
The books give many ideas for games to improve children’s working memory and these can be adapted and changed to meet the needs of the child/ren, school or setting.
Each school/setting that took part in the project has given an overview of how they implemented what they had learnt and shared a story about an individual child. Not all settings/schools have supplied quantitative data but the stories they have shared give an indication of outcomes for the children. The stories have been anonymised but if there is a particular approach you are interested in you can contact Tania Beard at St Martin’s C of E Primary and Nursery School - firstname.lastname@example.org - she will liaise with the school, and, if they are willing, will arrange an email introduction.
Please find a copy of the report here: Working Memory Report. The report also includes information about additional resources to support schools in strengthening working memory with children.