In line with our commitment to developing the whole child, St Andrew’s Cathedral School is proud to offer Cogmed Working Memory Training at our school. In 2012/13 St Andrew’s implemented Cogmed with a small group of students. In 2014 we have rolled out the program to all students in year 2 and other students in our Junior and Middle School.
Working Memory is our mental jotting pad and is critical for focus, managing distractions and for complex thinking. Improving Working Memory capacity leads to improved attention and learning. There is a growing body of research demonstrating that this kind of adaptive, targeted, intensive and supported training can produce new, strong and permanent pathways in our brains.
Signs of Working Memory difficulties include; being easily distracted, having trouble waiting your turn, difficulties with reading comprehension and doing math calculations in your head. Some students may struggle with getting started or completing a task, have difficulty planning and organising a task with multiple steps. Some students may often seem restless, on the go, or lose their belongings frequently.
Brain training programs often make incredible claims about how they improve memory, IQ, social skills and some of the difficulties described above, but there is rarely any scientific evidence or credible research to support the claims. Cogmed's research is substantial, with some of the best demonstrated results of any cognitive training program. With over 40 published articles and over 80 ongoing studies into the efficacy of Cogmed. http://www.cogmed.com/research
The Cogmed training includes scientifically tested exercises to train auditory and visual/spatial Working Memory. It takes approximately 30-45 minutes per day for a total of 25 training sessions. The training is undertaken for 5 consecutive weeks, 5 days per week. In addition, a weekly coaching session for each student is arranged to support the process. The training and coaching is completed with school staff who are trained in Cogmed.
St Andrew’s students are able to access this program at a significantly reduced cost compared to outside providers, and the convenience of training and coaching at school reduces the time pressure on families.
Two weeks into the program students are turning up early to training sessions and are thoroughly enjoying the challenge of this games based program. Many students are already reporting positive effects on their focus and attention:
- ‘I’m remembering to start my homework without being asked’ Alex, Year 2
- ‘I feel like I can listen in class for longer, already!’ Charles, Year 2
- ‘Doing Cogmed training is hard work, but it pays off’ Alexi, Year 7
- ‘It helped, I really noticed an improvement in my schoolwork after doing Cogmed’ Henry, Year 7 (Completed Cogmed in 2013)
Additional information and research links can be found at the website: http://www.cogmed.com.au/