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.


Here's what our Brain Training Schools get:

  • Three engaging student seminars (run for an entire year level over around 45-50 minutes) to teach students the skills they need to motivate themselves, cope with stress and get organised (see below for content);
  • Follow up reminder letters approximately a month later for students (so they don't forget what they heard in the seminar);
  • A parent seminar to help parents know how to coach (not rescue) their teens in Year 11 and 12;
  • Follow up 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 a 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?

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

Students learn how to:
Organise their time,
Become more efficient in homework sessions,
Become more independent learners
Become more adept at thinking and planning ahead.

This presentation incorporates recent, attention grabbing psychological research which explains exactly how to get the best results without having to do hours of study every day. It includes practical and useful suggestions students can implement immediately.

As well as having relevant content, I know that teens need fast paced presentations, with story telling, humour and video.  I have designed this presentation so that students will be engaged, interested and not bored.

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 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 showed me how to be self-motivated.
  • This was a great way to start Year 12.
  • Kirrilie’s session was the best thing about the orientation day, it really helped me. 

Seminar Two:  (Option A) Memory Magic (Revising in ways that Work)– Designed for Term 2

Students learn how to:

  • Retain information – whether it be names, dates, concepts, facts or ideas;
  • Stop revising in ineffective ways;
  • Stop procrastinating over revision and prioritise it appropriately;
  • Find strategies for revision which work for them.

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

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

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.

Social networking is without question now part of the average teenagers’ daily life.  Data suggests that teenagers will interact with a social networking site up to 50 times a day.  Friendships are made, strengthened and broken on these sites, personalities are formed, reputations are improved, damaged and ruined.  Teens desperately need specific training about how to use these sites wisely.

The material this seminar covers is not just “cyber safety” but perhaps more pertinently for many teens, “cyber-wisdom”.  Teens need to know how to protect their physical safety but also how to manage their psychological well being.  They need strategies for managing relationships, aviding conflict, coping with rejection, bullying or just perceived slights.  They need strategies for knowing what to do when they see things go wrong on social networking sites, managing the time they spend on it, how to make sure it doesn’t interfere with sleep and more.

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

  • Students learn how to:
  • Recognise warning signs of stress, depression and worry;
  • Cope with everyday worry and stress – and how to manage when distress gets higher;
  • 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.

Studies show that more than 1/3 of senior school students in Australia experience higher than normal levels of stress, anxiety and depression at some point during their senior school years.

These emotions are sometimes related to school and exam pressures, but at other times are a response to non school stressors – peer problems, relationship break-ups, conflict with parents or siblings, feelings of self worthlessness, mental health problems and others.

This seminar teaches students how to identify early warning signs of stress, how to take control over what they do have control over, how to put in place practical stress management strategies themselves, how to lower their physiological stress levels and how to deal with difficult times calmly and effectively.  It teaches them 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.

This is one of my favourite seminars to give.  It’s so rewarding to have students totally engaged in hearing about how they can cope – with all the tough stuff in their head and their lives.  I rarely do this seminar without being contacted afterwards on email about students who have told me how helpful they have found it.  Partly it seems to be just about acknowledging for them in a public forum – that life is tough, and they can cope.


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?

Parents of Year 11 and 12 students make a huge difference to their success and coping through the year.  Unfortunately many parents struggle to know exactly how to effectively help their students – especially in difficult times, or when conflict or stress hits the family.

The Brain Training for Teens package therefore involves parent education and support.   We run a parent 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 benefit from hearing other parents’ experiences.

Feedback from parent 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 seminar, we also provide detailed, helpful articles for the school newsletter or website during the year so that we can keep in touch with parents and provide more support if needed.


What about follow up?

The Brain Training package also includes a curriculum pack. This curriculum pack includes all the materials required to run three forty five minute follow-up lessons. Each of these three followup 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 discussion question guide is 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 2016 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.

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