Senior School Teachers - Does any of this sound familiar?

  • Some of your students have difficulty motivating themselves to do homework, leave assignments to the last minute and have trouble prioritising school work over part time work, socialising, social networking and sport.

  • Some of your students get extremely stressed about grades, exams and school work.  They stay up all night, worry excessively and instead of talking to teachers about it - end up avoiding school and having "melt downs".  More than a few have genuine and tough mental health and home life challenges. 

  • Some of your students leave test and exam revision to the last minute, passively read text books on their bed hoping that the information will magically go into their brains.  

  • Some of your students are "addicted" to social media/phones/texting and being online.  They struggle to put phones away, resist watching youtube videos, uploading their every thought and experience to facebook/tumblr/instagram and get behind in class and at school.

  • Some of your students do really well - but would benefit from some extra ideas about maximising their time and managing their huge workloads.

  • You have tried to help your students understand concepts about effective study and managing stress and tough times - but they need "another voice" to explain it to them, reassure them and give them practical ideas to start

  • You don't want students to exposed to another "one off seminar" which is entertaining but doesn't have any follow up or result in any genuine behaviour change.

If any of this sounds familiar, please read on.


"Brain Training for Teens” is a year-long program for secondary school students run by Adelaide based psychologists - to help them get their best results in senior school. We have worked in over 100 schools, with over 50 thousand students, over 15 years.


Adolescent Brain Training Program 2018: 30 second overview

Our program consists of the following elements:

·         Three engaging 40-50 minute student seminars (run for an entire year level) conducted by our clinical psychologists - to teach students the skills they need to motivate themselves, cope with stress and get organised (see below for what students learn in each seminar);

·         Follow up reminder letters from our psychs to your students - approximately a month later (so they don't forget what they heard in the seminar);

·         A parent seminar run by the psychologists to help parents know how to support, talk to and coach (and not rescue!) their teens in Year 11 and 12;

·         Newsletter articles for parents to reinforce the concepts taught and keep them informed of the training being provided to their students

·         Materials/worksheets/activity ideas for teachers to use through the year as follow up (either with individual students who need it, or with a class group);

·         Email access to an adolescent psychologist for 12 months, for all students, staff and parents to get extra advice when they need it.


What material is covered in the Three Student Seminars?

We use recent, attention grabbing psychological research which explains exactly how to get the best results without necessarily having to do "numerous hours" of study every day.   Each seminar also has to pass the "now what" test - in other words, students should leave the seminar and be able to immediately implement some behaviour change which helps them get a little more organised and motivated.

As well as having relevant content, we know that teens need relatively fast paced presentations, with story telling, humour and video.  We have designed the presentation so that the majority of students (there's always one or two we just can't reach!) are engaged and interested throughout.

Seminar One: Finding and Keeping the Drive – Designed for Term 1

In this seminar, students learn how to:

  • Organise their time
  • The dangers of multi-tasking
  • How to avoid procrastination
  • Avoiding traps with technology interfering with study
  • Become more efficient in homework sessions,
  • Become independent learners
  • Become more adept at thinking and planning ahead.

Past comments made by students regarding this seminar:

·         It was good that we were told how, the best way to study, not just that we should study.
·         You can relate to us! Plus you made it fun, and made me laugh.
·         This made me really think about my study habits.
·         I learnt how to get more organised and it was effective and to the point.
·         This has opened my eyes to different methods of study and organisation.
·         This showed me how to be self-motivated.

Seminar Two:  (Option A) Active Learning and Revision (How to remember and learn concepts long term) – Designed for Term 2

In this seminar, students learn how to:

  • Retain information – whether it be names, dates, concepts, facts or ideas;
  • Spot the difference between "comprehension" and "memory"
  • Stop revising in ineffective ways;
  • Stop procrastinating over revision and prioritise it appropriately;
  • Find strategies for revision which work for them
  • Notice "fast brain" thinking and slow down and work to understand an idea.
  • Students leave the seminar inspired to start effective revision immediately, they have been reminded about the importance of revision, understand how revision can actually be interesting and know how to revise in a way that works.

Past comments made by students regarding this seminar: 

·         I believe I will do better in exams now
·         I really liked learning about revision and methods for revision
·         I think all year 11s and 12s everywhere should attend so they know what they are up for and how to do well in tests
          I've actually started studying for exams now, rather than leaving it till holidays.

·         Thankyou - I’m not so scared of exams now! 

Seminar Two:  (Option B) Smart Social Networking – Designed for Term 2

In this seminar, students learn how to:

  • Manage relationships online;
  • Avoid conflict,
  • Cope with hurt and rejection online;
  • Avoid key relationship mistakes;
  • Be aware of both the risks and benefits with social networking.
  • Learn about - not just cyber safety - but cyber wisdom, including how to manage their psychological well being, relationships, sleep and more in a digital world.

Seminar Three: Calm and Confident: Managing Stress and Tough Times – Designed for Term 3

In this seminar, students learn how to:

  • Be aware of the "normality" of tough times and tough emotions
  • Recognise warning signs of stress, depression and worry;
  •  Cope with everyday worry and stress – and how to manage when distress gets higher;
  • Develop strategies such as "redirection of attention", "generating calm thoughts", "slowing their breathing/physiological arousal levels" and others - which help with stress management
  • Avoid destructive strategies (eg avoidance) sometimes used by teens to cope with tough times
  •   To understand what their brains are doing when they feel mad, sad or worried, what they can do in response and the importance of asking for help.
  • Cope with both school and exam pressures, and also "non school" stressors – peer problems, relationship break-ups, conflict with parents or siblings, feelings of self worthlessness, mental health problems and others.

Past comments made by students regarding this seminar: 

·         This has helped me calm down about Year 12 and understand that you can get on top of things.
·         This made my remember that I CAN do it - not just on an academic level but on a personal level as well.
·         This was a great way to start Year 12.
.          Unlike other times I've heard people talk about this, there are some strategies you told us I'm actually going to use.  Thankyou

·         Kirrilie’s session was the best thing about the orientation day, it really helped me. 


I would definitely recommend this seminar to other schools, they improve your grades and you don’t have to do extra hours of homework.
— Student, Eynesbury College
• This program has made me consider some different strategies to help me complete work and revise well. I’d definitely recommend them.
— Hallett Cove Student

This program benefitted me and people around me greatly also. Many of the things that were spoken about related to me directly. I learned more about myself and how to deal with my personal problems. I also went home and told all my siblings about your tips so that they knew what to do for revising and all that also.
— Unity College Student
I really took some of the tips - that really related to my study habits or coping skills - on board and they have helped me improve/cope better in the areas I needed. The seminars are interactive and modern – and enjoyable.
— Nazareth College Student.

What about Parents/carers?

Parents and carers of senior school students make a huge difference to their success and coping through the year.  Unfortunately, many parents/carers struggle to know exactly how to effectively help their students – especially in difficult times, or when conflict or stress hits the family.  The Adolescent Brain Training package therefore also provides parent/carer education and support.   First, we run a parent/carer education seminar for each school, “Helping Students through Senior School” and over a 45-75 minute workshop period teach parents:

·         How to communicate effectively with teens
·         Helping young people with homework - without rescuing or nagging!
·         Most common pitfalls in dealing with a Year 11 or 12 student
·         Helping teens get more sleep
·         Supporting teens who stress out
·         And others…

We often finish with a question and answer session and parents/carers benefit from hearing other parents’ experiences.

Feedback from parent/carer seminars in the past has been excellent:

·         “There was lots of of information, it was extremely worthwhile and challenging”
·         “Great to feel we were doing things right" 
·         "Lots of practical suggestions" 
·         "I learnt more about how to talk to my daughter"
·         "Was terrific to hear from a presenter who was so positive about teenagers"

As well as a parent/carer seminar, we also provide detailed, helpful articles for the school newsletter or website during the year so that we can keep in touch with parent/carers and provide more support if needed.  These articles are also helpful to remind parents/carers about the work the school is doing to support their student.


What about follow up?

Our Adolescent Brain Training package also includes a curriculum pack with all the materials required for staff to run three forty five minute follow-up lessons at some point after the seminar. Each of these three follow up lessons are designed to support and reinforce the messages in each of the three student seminars. They consist of student worksheets, discussion topics and activities. Each homegroup/pastoral care group/mentor group teacher receives a copy of a manual which provides a step by step guide to facilitating these lessons.

If the school does not have the time/resources to run these lessons, a "quick discussion question guide" is also provided so that teachers are provided with ideas to start conversations on the seminar topics in any time they might have with individual students.


What about ongoing Email Support?

For schools that book the Brain Training package, all students are provided with one of our psychologists’ personal email address. They are encouraged to email anytime with any study skills/motivation related issues or questions and we will provide them with as much e-support as they need or want during that calendar year.


These presentations make a positive difference. They know they aren’t alone, they know there are strategies. Extremely helpful. The reassuring nature..the anecotes and real life examples. I would recommend these seminars for other schools.
— Kris Karamoshos, Immanuel College, 2015.
These seminars are great. Gives the students great, practical advice. Gives them lots of ideas/methods and explains why. Lets them choose what to use. Fits in with what we are saying as well.
— Rod Davis, Unity College, 2015

What other follow up is there?

Several weeks after each seminar, students are also sent a letter from our psychologists which reminds, encourages and reinforces the content in the seminars.  This happens three times during the year and again serves to reinforce and remind students of how they can achieve their best grades, in a consistent, ongoing way.


What is the Cost?

The 2018 price for Brain Training for Teens is $2895 plus GST.  This cost includes:  All seminars, parent support, email support, curriculum pack, and follow up letters.  If preferred, instead of running the whole package - schools can just book Individual seminars at a cost of $1200 plus GST for each seminar.

All aspects of the presentation were important and relevant as they encouraged students to reflecton their behaviurs and what could be changed for the better. I would absolutely yes recommend these to other schools. There is a lot covered and quickly.
— Teacher, St. Mary's College, 2015

We have worked with over 50 thousand students in the last 15 years.  To see the list of the more than 100 public, independent and catholic schools in SA and interstate who have booked the brain training program and other seminars through Developing Minds, click on the button below.


Want more information or to make a booking?

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or would like to make a booking.  You can email me directly on kirriliesmout@developingminds.net.au or call on 8357 1711.

Please note that as all of our seminars are run by three of our psychologists, we unfortunately have limited resources - meaning we have to go on a "first in, best dressed" basis for dates.  The most popular times for seminars are the first 3 weeks of school - so if you would like one of these dates, it's usually important to have a booking made by end of October.

P.S. – If you don’t want to make a booking this year but would like some (free) tips, resources and ideas in supporting your senior schools, please click here to to my email newsletter on the right of this page