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Peter Barnes

Peter Barnes has diverse background and experience that ranges from adult education & training in a human resources context, through learning & business innovation, to the leadership of large organisations. He has also worked in finance journalism, accountancy, and digital marketing.

Peter has been involved with the LearnFast Group since 2003, when he joined his wife, Devon, to help her manage the growth in the numbers of schools and individuals using LearnFast’s educational software programs to address language and literacy challenges for learners of all ages.

Peter is a passionate snow skier and has a wide range of interests – from mirror neurons, to American politics (and many others!). Peter has a vision for improving the education of future generations through the innovative and creative use of emerging technologies.

Recent Posts

How to Improve Your Child’s Social Skills

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 19, 2021 at 11:44 AM

Peter Barnes

Are you concerned your child's social skills may not be up to scratch?

Here you will find some strategies, tips and activities to help your children improve their social skills. You will also learn where to look for online programs and professional help. And if you want to dive deeper into the topic, there are some links to resources from around the world.

But first, what are social skills anyway, and why should you care about them?

Social skills include behaviours and emotional competencies

Social skills include a range of behavioural and emotional competencies such as:

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Topics: Social Skills, Social & Emotional Learning

Elements - Newest Addition to the Fast ForWord Literacy Program for Secondary Readers

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 15, 2021 at 9:48 AM

Peter Barnes

Elements is a new addition to the   Fast ForWord Literacy program  for secondary readers. The four exercises in Elements I and the five exercises in Elements II are designed to deliver the rewards, instant feedback, and socially safe learning environment that adolescent learners need to stay motivated and become college and career ready learners and readers.

This new release also represents a further advancement in our delivery of   Mastery-Based Learning, enabling adolescent learners to achieve mastery of new skills on their own individual learning path, using a combination of instruction, persistent practice, and continuous assessment.

Explore the exercise samples below to see how Elements has been designed to promote key aspects of mastery-based learning:
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Topics: Reading, Fast ForWord, Artificial Intelligence

Brain Wave Research: Fast ForWord Aids Language-Based Learning Problems

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 7, 2021 at 10:27 AM

Peter Barnes

Do you know what this means?:

"Brain wave oscillation bands appear to be a major mechanism co-ordinating billions of nerves across different brain regions to perform even basic cognitive tasks such as paying attention to someone who is talking and understanding what they are saying."

It's about brain science, language learning and reading, and it may help your children or students.

For most of us brain science is mysterious, a field of knowledge open only to neuroscientists. Much of what we read about how our brains work, how brains learn and what can go wrong with them is written by people who have no special knowledge of brain science. They are generally reporting summarised conclusions of scientific research.

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Brain Science, Dyslexia, Fast ForWord

Accelerate Learning: Fast ForWord's New Reading Comprehension Program

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 6, 2021 at 1:14 PM

Peter Barnes

If you’d like your child or students to be a better reader then Fast ForWord Reading Comprehension program could help.

The exercises work on the underlying skills of Working Memory, Attention,Processing and Sequencing this helps all learning becomes easier.

What to expect from Reading Comprehension

  • A concentrated focus on reading comprehension and the sub-skills that build it, from fluent decoding and grammar skills, to comprehension strategies 
  • Practice in reading for understanding with a wide range of texts, including fiction, expository prose, tables, instructions, diagrams, and flowcharts—the kinds of texts that students encounter when reading to learn across the subject areas
  • A new look and feel, with graphics age-appropriate for secondary learners and motivational features to keep students engaged and learning
  • Improved adaptivity and responsiveness, so that individual students get the content they need at the right level of challenge
  • Just-in-time supports, to help students work more independently and stay motivated
  • A safe learning environment, where students can take chances without fear of judgment by their peers
  • The same research-driven design and content that have made Fast ForWord a reliable, evidence-based solution for over 20 years.
Read More

Topics: Fast ForWord

Dyslexia - Symptoms & Treatment

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 22, 2021 at 1:53 PM

Peter Barnes

What is the best treatment for my child’s dyslexia? How can we improve his/her progress learning to read?

To get answers to this question, LearnFast recorded a video interview with speech language pathologist and dyslexia specialist, Devon Barnes.

Key points from this interview include:

  • Firstly check that the child’s eyesight & hearing are fine

  • Build the child’s phonological skills:

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Topics: Dyslexia

New Insights About the Autistic Brain Confirm Fast ForWord Helps

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 2, 2021 at 11:28 AM

Peter Barnes

People with autism may simultaneously have too much connectivity in some parts of their brain and poor connectivity in other parts, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, USA, published in Nature Neuroscience in January 2015.

The research compared brain scans from a group of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and brain scans of a control group with normally developing brains.  The resting brains of the control group looked very similar to each other whereas the scans of the brains in the autistic group were all different. They showed unique patterns of connectivity, different patterns of excess or poor connectivity in each brain.

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Topics: Autism

Building Student Learning Capacity - The Missing Link in Education

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 6, 2020 at 10:43 AM

Peter Barnes

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if all the students you teach would pay attention and more easily “get” what you are teaching them?

That’s impossible, you might say. Perhaps it is, but it’s not impossible to improve the attention and ability to learn for every one of your students. Listen to this podcast “Student Learning Capacity – The Missing Link in Education” to find out how.

Welcome to the concept of being able to change the learning capacity of students

How often do some of your students:

  • Find it hard to pay attention to your teaching?

  • Struggle to remember what you taught?

  • Seem to be unable to keep up with the pace of your instructions or the classroom discussions?

How much more could you enjoy teaching if these were less of an issue?

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Topics: Learning Capacity, For Principals

8 months language & literacy gains in 2 months: gold standard research study

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 22, 2020 at 3:21 PM

Peter Barnes

Can you get your struggling students to achieve 4 times the reading growth you would normally expect from 2 months of teaching?

One group of primary and early high school students did last year.

Read how in the article below, reproduced from The Science of Learning Blog.

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Topics: Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity Success Stories

Out-of-School Learning Business - Rewards & Challenges: Monique Peters

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 8, 2020 at 9:40 AM

Peter Barnes

Monique Peters is a mother of a child with learning difficulties.

Her efforts to help him opened up a new world for her. A world of learning specialists, educators, tutors, neuroscientists, support groups and other parents desperate for a solution for their own learning disabled child.

Monique saw a need that was not being met from the range of existing services for families like hers.  So she established an out-of-school learning business to support parents like her and children like her son. It's called Brainwise Learning.

This is Monique's story.

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Topics: Podcasts

How to Get 7 Months Reading Gains in 7 Weeks

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 7, 2020 at 3:48 PM

Peter Barnes

One of the largest school systems in the USA state of Alabama achieved average reading level gains of seven months in only 35 days. Students in 17 primary schools used a systemic, research-proven approach to reading intervention that developed cognitive skills essential to reading and learning.

“We felt that helping students with skills like memory, attention, and processing would be beneficial to their learning in any subject and have a greater impact on achievement. Our data so far has supported that belief, ” says Tim Solley, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Academic Accountability.

Read More

Topics: Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity Success Stories

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