Study Skills

 

‘Every student can learn, just not on the same day or the same way’ George Evans

 

 

Study Skills & Mindset programmes

I’m fascinated by learning and how people learn. I love observing learners – children, students or adults – unlock the magic of learning for themselves. Watching a learner ‘get it’ or figure it out is a fulfilling moment. The overall aim of our 'learning to learn' courses is to enable the learner to become an independent learner and to make learning easier for them.

This awareness started for me as a young teacher but more particularly after I completed a PhD degree in language and learning. In 2002 I designed a programme called ‘Successful Study: Towards Becoming an Independent Learner’ and proceeded to offer it, along with a team of specially-trained teachers, to thousands of second-level students, in up to 100 schools across Ireland, including an adaptation to suit Adult learners in Further Education Colleges. This course, although revised, continues to be well received by students and schools across the region.

To support the programme we also offer a helpful Parents’ talk called ‘Successful Study: Supporting your Child’ and a tailored in-service teachers course called ‘Active & Reflective Learning: Increasing Students’ Capacity to Learn’. Since our early days we have learned a lot, we are constantly revising and improving our courses to reflect students’ needs, experience, emerging evidence and best practice.

Our uniquely-tailored book ‘Switching on for Learning: A Student’s Guide to Exam & Career Success’ make us leaders in the field. It is matched by a complementary student workbook with a menu of activities for students taking the course.

So how does this course help you the learner? 

Research indicates that for students to learn effectively they need to be motivated, to manage time and to have good learning techniques. We agree but first they need to get to know themselves as learners, their needs and what works best for them. We start by listening to their problems. 

 

Typical problems that students share with us about study and learning include:

Don’t know where to start
Don’t see themselves as a learner
Concentration a problem
Don’t know how to plan
Can’t find the time
Not motivated to read a whole chapter
More reading is the last thing they want to do
Don’t like studying in the way other students do
Find it difficult remembering

Feeling stressed, Don’t know how to approach the exam paper

 

 

Courses: Study & Careers offers the following courses for Schools and Colleges:

 

Each Course addresses your students’ needs at the stage they are at. They combine a range of self-management strategies and study skills to help your students to confidently succeed.


Step into Your Future: Settling down to Learn  (1st Year Students, 2 hours)

 On completion of this course your students will:

  • Be able to name the challenges they need help with at 2nd level.
  • Be aware of the importance of wellbeing as a prerequisite for learning
  • Figure out ways they learn best in practice.
  • Learn Study skills for getting organised, planning, homework, memory and test revision.


 

Switching on for Learning: Becoming an Independent Learner (Junior Cycle Students, 2.5 hours)

On completion of this course your students will:

  • Figure out the strategies by which they learn best
  • Increase their concentration and motivation through positive mindsets, goal setting and target setting
  • Learn to plan their time more effectively and to use learning and study strategies for a range of purposes.


 

Switching on for Learning: Becoming an Independent Learner (Senior Cycle Students, 3 hours)

On completion of this course your students will:

  • Increase their self-efficacy through self-evaluation of themselves as learners
  • Learn practical ways to increase concentration, motivation, and time management
  • Acquire effective strategies for learning, chapter reading and summarising
  • Practice approaches to manage stress and techniques for sitting the exam.


 

Switching on for Learning: Becoming an Independent Learner (Further Ed. Students, 3 hours)

On completion of this course your students will:

  • See themselves as learners and be able to figure out how they learn best
  • Learn practical ways to improve their concentration and motivation, goal setting and time management in the midst of busy home lives.
  • Learn to use a range of study and summarising strategies for their own purposes.
  • Become aware of how to manage stress and cope with assignments and tests.


 

Parents’ Seminar

  • Successful Study, Learning & Wellbeing: Supporting Your Child  (1.5 hours)

This seminar outlines the learning challenges and study requirements your child experiences at 2nd level. It discusses practical ways you can support your child to manage and organise their lives in a holistic way.


 

 

Teachers' Seminars & Workshops

Continuing Professional Development for Teachers

 

  • Train the Trainer Course: Switching Students on for Independent Learning - By special arrangement

This is an 8 hour course for second-level teachers. Based on the book 'Switiching on for Learning: A Student Guide to Exam & Career Success, the objective of this course is to upskill teachers to enable their students to become independent learners.  A very useful  n-career course, it addresses the curricular requirements of learning to learn, wellbeing and careers.

 

 

  • Active & Reflective Learning: Increasing Students' Capacity to Learn - 2 hours

This short course looks at the ways students learn and study best by helping teachers to become more aware of their own habits and the implications for how they teach. Students motivation, organisational and planning approaches as well as.strategies that engage students and make them more reflective learners.are a central feature of the course..

 

This course is purposeful. It enables teachers to introduce students to what it is they would like to be and do in their lives. Highly motivational, it looks at the concept of 'career match' based on values, interests, skills and crucially, personality.  The course puts the teacher in the shoes of the student. Interactive activities and case studies make it particularly engaging and true to life. 

 


 

 

 

Our 'Learning to Learn' courses explore the following themes, in varying ways: 

How the Brain works: Learning Styles

We learn differently and under different conditions. This is a revelation for many learners because school may have emphasised one way more than others eg., book-based learning, and if that didn’t suit your learning style then more than likely you felt learning wasn’t for you.  Not true! This is why we get great pleasure when learners understand how their brain works, when they figure out how they learn best and then adapt their learning approaches to suit their own learning style.

This is the focus of Chapter 1 of my book ‘Switching on for Learning’.  By the end of that chapter you will have completed a range of exercises that will have taught you a lot about yourself and your preferred learning styles. This is also the opening module of our courses. In our courses we select different exercises for our students depending on their age and stage of development, to enlighten them in this regard.

 

Getting in the right Mindset or head space is a skill you can learn.

 

Motivation & Concentration

Your motivation is crucial and for some who find learning difficult this may be the missing piece. You need to find a motivation to keep going. We take students through a range of exercises to help them dig deep and tap into their motivation.  Being motivated leads to improved concentration too, which is an issue that all students tell us they need help with.

Organisation & Time management

Getting organised, making good use of time and learning to plan are key techniques we show students eg., how to maximise the homework diary and make a study plan. For some students good planning strategies make all the difference.

Learning & Study Strategies

In our experience every student benefits from good learning strategies. Strategies that help students access information in a focused way so they feel they are learning and getting good results for their time invested eg.,  chapter-reading strategies or summarising strategies. Having a range of summarising strategies under your belt will always serve you well.

Smart summarising is essential. It shows students how to pick the strategy that best suits themselves and their material. This is also a powerful memory aid. Students are shown a Study/ Review system so that they have the hooks to more easily recall information when they need it eg., for assignments and exams.

Preparing for the Exam & Managing Exam Stress

So much good work can be undone if students are nervous or suffer from exam anxiety. One of students’ greatest fears is going blank. We address this upfront and impart a range of really useful strategies for preparing for the exam and sitting the paper.  Strategies that enable the student to be ‘bigger than the paper’, to use past exam papers and sample answers (see the State examinations Commission website www.examinations.ie) to be more confident approaching the exam and to use the exam situation to show off what they know! Good habits around self-care, positive mental health and wellbeing are emphasised throughout so that the course is not just a preparation for exams but a preparation for life.

Our ‘Switching on for Learning’ courses - a passport to learning, a passport to life.

What We Do

Study Skills and Mindset Programmes
Wellbeing
Writing
Career Guidance
Online Training

Our Clients

Learning how to learn changed my life

Everything about the study skills session we did was great. It was so interesting, I had left school after my leaving cert and got a job. I had no interest in school and further education was not part of my plan.  20 years later I changed my mind, I really wanted to do the yoga teacher training. For me the biggest obstacle was all the theory, writing  projects and presenting them. It seemed like a huge amount of work and it was.  The study skills course taught me how to study. I had no idea, I had never studied anything in my life. It does help when you are interested in a subject and I was keen to learn. The exercises that I can remember were the different sensory ways we take in information, how short term / long term memory works. How to use mind maps and so much more. Time management, lists and compartmentalization were my new strategies. I was at home with  two small children at the time and I had post-its stuck everywhere! I would record myself and then listen back when I was out for a walk. I achieved top marks in all my exams.  All the study skills were very practical and manageable and I continue to use them. When my daughter was doing her leaving cert she had post-its everywhere! So not only did it help me but it also helped me to help my children. As I had said to you Fidelma learning how to learn changed my life, thank you.

Pauline, Yoga teacher
Inspirational

The Independent Learning Course was inspirational. It’s about more than school and learning, it’s about life. It showed us how to make College work for us to achieve our life goals.

Adult Learner, College of Commerce, Cork

Books



Successful Studying: Towards Becoming an Independent Learner

Successful Studying: Towards Becoming an Independent Learner is a 20 page Student booklet  designed by Fidelma Healy Eames, PhD. It provides a menu of activities that supports the work of our Study Skills & Mindset courses at second-level, based on our book 'Switching on for Learning: A Student Guide to Exam & Career Success'.



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Switching on for Learning: A Student Guide to Exam & Career Success

Written by Dr. Fidelma Healy Eames & Ms. Sara Hannafin, this text is based on the premise that students learn differently. Beginning with a chapter on helping you to figure out how you learn best, it provides you with a range of strategies and mindset approaches to make your study and learning more effective. It meets the 'learning to learn' intentions of the curriculum.



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Parents

As parents our intention is to give our children "roots" and give them "wings". Strong roots to help them believe in themselves and to give them a good start in life. Wings to help them set out on their own and become independent.


This journey is not always plain sailing for every child or young person. Some benefit from individual help from time to time. Study & Careers believes in the innate talent and uniqueness of every child. It knows that timely help can enable your learner to overcome challenges they face along the way. To do so, it offers courses for you the parent and one-to-one private consultations to support your student.


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