What is NLP?
NLP stands for Neuro-linguistic Programming. It is all about the connections between our thoughts, our emotions and our actions. This includes how we experience the world, how we process and store information, how we plan and make decisions, and how we relate to others.
NLP comprises a number of strategies which can empower individuals to take control of their thoughts and emotions in a positive way, thus achieving more positive outcomes. Techniques from NLP are often used in business to help people build better relationships, develop leadership skills and overcome negative thinking, however, they are not so commonplace in the school environment.
Sian Goodspeed, Flying Start’s founder, first discovered NLP at a networking meeting in 2010. She soon went on to complete her NLP Practitioner course. During her training, Sian was astounded by the potential of NLP for enhancing children’s confidence, independent thinking and academic progress and decided to incorporate NLP tools and techniques into the programmes at Flying Start Tuition.
NLP in the classroom
Helping students to learn smarter
Over the past nine years, NLP has become an important part of what we do at Flying Start. It sets us apart from other tuition providers and is a key reason why our students become more confident, happy learners.
NLP provides the ‘missing link’ between what children are taught (ie the curriculum) and what children actually learn. Essentially, NLP teaches children how to learn and teachers how to teach more effectively. As a result, students gain more confidence in their ability to learn and so perform better! We call this our learn smarter approach.
There are many facets to NLP and, at Flying Start Tuition, we have chosen the elements that are most beneficial to teaching and learning and have integrated these into our learning programmes. We do this in three main ways: how we train our team, how we deliver our lessons and in the content of our courses.
Working in collaboration with Edge NLP, we have developed a programme of staff training across the company and we have also embedded many NLP tools and techniques into our lessons. All of this, combined with high quality learning programmes, dedicated staff and fantastic resources, make for a tuition experience that is second to none!
Overcoming learning barriers
Often, the main reason children struggle at school or don’t do as well as expected in exams is due to doubts, anxieties or blocks related to their own abilities. Understandably, these negative beliefs hold children back and may even prevent them from learning altogether.
There are a number of NLP tools which can help children to overcome these barriers to learning, enabling them to move from a ‘stuck’ or ‘I can’t’ to an ‘I can’ or positive mindset.
Techniques such as ‘anchoring’, ‘grounding’ and the ‘learning state’ can be used to help children deal with stress and improve concentration. Such tools have been shown to give students more confidence in their ability, which means they are happier to learn and thereby achieve better results.
At Flying Start, we teach our students a range of NLP tools to help them overcome limiting beliefs and to enable them to take a calm and focused approach to their learning.
Sian says, ‘We always start our lessons with a warm-up which involves moving about and getting rid of any worries or distractions they may have brought with them. It may sound like a small thing, but it can make a significant difference to the value each pupil gains from their session.’
How we prefer to learn
One aspect of NLP, which is generally accepted in schools, is the theory that children have different learning styles or preferences. Most teachers will be familiar with ‘auditory’, ‘visual’ and ‘kinaesthetic’ learners and many will use a range of approaches to try and cater for the different learning styles of their pupils.
At Flying Start, NLP training enables our tutors to gain a deeper understanding of learning preferences (including the fourth, lesser known ‘auditory digital’ preference) and how to adapt their communication, teaching strategies and use of resources accordingly. This ensures that every student has the best possible opportunity to take in and retain the information and methodology that is presented to them.
In addition, we help our students to become attuned to their own learning preferences, and to become more flexible and adaptable so that they are not too reliant on only a few strategies. In this way, they are able to take greater control of their own learning, thus becoming more effective, independent learners.
In May 2019, Sian was a finalist in the NLP International awards, for outstanding contribution to the education sector.
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