An empowering journey: Natalie and Steve Hall with Lucy and Emily
I am delighted to have the opportunity to recommend the Arrowsmith Program being taught by Caterina Cerrina at Brain Athletics. She has achieved life changing results for the many students she has taught over the past five years in a school setting and is now able to offer the Arrowsmith Program to the wider community.
During my forty years as a primary school principal I had been involved in Maths and English research projects with Melbourne University and Australian Catholic University looking at ways to improve the learning outcomes for students in the early years of their education. Despite the efforts of everyone, many bright and intelligent children continued to be left behind resulting in poor prospects for most of them.
In 2015 I was introduced to several families who had moved to Toronto in Canada for three years so that their child could attend the Arrowsmith school. Hearing and seeing first-hand the unbelievable transformation that had occurred with these children convinced me that I had to offer the same opportunity for students in my school with specific learning needs. In 2016 I sent Caterina Cerrina to Sydney to be trained and certified to teach the program in Melbourne.
Caterina did an outstanding job resulting in the first ten students in the program making giant strides that would have been impossible in the normal classroom setting. I had the privilege three years later of being invited to the graduation of the first intake of students and see the new confidence of the children and hear the gratitude of the parents for what Caterina had been able to achieve with their children.
Students with learning disabilities have traditionally been treated with programs designed to compensate for their difficulties. The goal of the Arrowsmith Program, by contrast, is to help students strengthen the weak cognitive capacities underlying their learning dysfunctions. The Arrowsmith Program deals with the root causes of the learning disability rather than managing its symptoms.
The Arrowsmith Program identifies students’ learning strengths and weaknesses through careful assessment. Then a program of individualised exercises addresses nineteen cognitive functions and is individually designed for each student to target their precise areas of weakness.
Gavan Murphy, retired school Principal - Melbourne
"Louis was at the beginning of Grade 2 when we decided to take up the Arrowsmith journey.
We were desperate; we’d tried everything with no improvement in Louis’ academic and social development.
We had a little boy that expressed to us that he thought he was dumb, he ‘hated his brain’ and questioned why he was here in this world.
Louis had numerous unexplained stomach aches and headaches, with no medical explanation other than stress. What a giant leap of faith we took in choosing Arrowsmith, but it transformed our little boy from a shy, barely speaking, stressed and unhappy child to a more confident, happy boy that was willing to learn.
In his Arrowsmith journey Louis started on level 1 reading and within one year climbed to level 19.
Louis continues to improve after completing the program. He is able to retain more information and is happier in himself. I do not know where Louis would be without the Arrowsmith program, he’s found his strengths and developed in his areas of weaknesses.
We have a happy boy that is willing to learn and has a vastly improved level of self confidence."
Michelle P., Louis' mum - Melbourne
"As a classroom teacher I have taught 7 Arrowsmith children over the last 5 years and watched their journey with great interest. Having taught a few of these children over multiple years, their progress was noticeable. My observations included a growth in self confidence and a decrease in stress levels. This allowed them to try activities that would have previously been out of grasp with a new enthusiasm. The sheer joy of mastering new levels within the Arrowsmith program was evident.
For many of the students, I observed them growing in organisational skills and maintaining their focus when back in the class. They felt confident to ask questions and take responsibility for their learning. The students seemed to find a new motivation for completing tasks. I was often close to tears when hearing them read a passage or watch them explain something in front of their peers with confidence and ease.
I thoroughly enjoy working with and learning from Caterina. She has a beautiful nurturing way with all the students. She has an ability to keep them focused and striving to achieve. The meticulously planned programs for each student are closely monitored. Caterina’s willingness to go above and beyond for the students is remarkable. She has an in-depth knowledge of the Arrowsmith program and communicates this so clearly to students, classroom teachers and parents alike. Caterina’s passion for helping the students is absolutely inspiring."
Louise J., Classroom Teacher - Melbourne
"Prior to Charlotte starting the Arrowsmith Program my husband and I were at a loss as to how to help Charlotte with her learning. She was lost in the mainstream classroom. She had lost her confidence within herself and her learning and would often come home from school upset.
The transition into the Arrowsmith classroom was not easy to begin with, but over the three years that Charlotte was in the class, with the support and caring guidance from Caterina, Charlotte slowly started to emerge from her shell.
She was reading more confidently; she was participating in classroom discussions and she had lost the anger and the frustration that use to be a norm for her when it came to learning.
We will be forever grateful that Charlotte was part of the Arrowsmith program, she is now full of confidence, questions anything she does not understand and feels like an equal among her peers."
Julie D., Charlotte's mum - Melbourne