How to Learn – the new course by Matt Bromley (best-selling author of How to Lead, Making Key Stage 3 Count, and The New
Teacher Survival Kit) – will take you from novice to expert in three simple steps:

1. Create a positive learning environment to stimulate sensory memory
2. Think hard but efficiently to gain the attention of – but cheat – working memory
3. Engage in deliberate practice to improve storage in, and retrieval from, long-term memory

For each of the 3 steps, Matt will share his top tips, melding cognitive science with tangible teaching strategies, and evidence with experience, to turn theory into practice and answer the age-old question, ‘What does this look like in the classroom?’
This course is ideal for teachers and learners alike, whether imparting complex curriculum knowledge to help pupils pass exams, or developing skills to improve your performance in a hobby or interest.

The central argument of the course is that the process of learning is the interaction between our sensory memory and our long-
term memory… Our sensory memory is made up of: what we see – this is called our iconic memory; what we hear – our echoic memory; and what we touch – our haptic memory. Our long-term memory is where new information is stored and from which it can be recalled when needed, but we cannot directly it. As such, the interaction occurs in our working memory, the only place we can think and do.

As such, and to stimulate our sensory memory and engage the attention of our working memory, we need to create conditions conducive to learning, conditions which stimulate our iconic, echoic and haptic memories. Next, to utilise our limited working memory, we need to think hard and be challenged by work that is difficult but achievable because if the work is too easy, we will complete it through habit – this is called ‘automaticity’, and if the work’s too hard, we won’t complete it because we will overpower our limited working memory – this is called ‘cognitive overload’. But, whilst thinking hard, we also need to think efficiently and cheat the limited space in working memory by learning new things in the context of what we already know (allowing us to ‘chunk’ information into ‘schema’ and save space).

Once we have processed information in our working memory, we need to encode it in our long-term memory, so we can easily
retrieve it later. To do so, we need to engage in deliberate practice – and use spacing and interleaving – to increase storage
strength and retrieval strength. This course also includes action plans and lesson planning materials which can be put into immediate use to help improve the effectiveness of your teaching and learning today.

  • Teachers, teaching assistants, and middle and senior leaders.

  • Primary, secondary and further education.

  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


09:00 – 09:30am
What is great teaching?

09:30 – 10:15am
Session One
What is great learning?

  • Performance versus learning
  • The learning process

10:15 – 11:00am
Session Two
How to stimulate sensory memory

  • The art of attention
  • A teaching sequence
  • Articulating the lesson ‘lead’
  • Making learning stick

11:00 – 11:15pm 
Coffee break and informal discussion

11:15 – 12:00pm
Session Three
How to think hard but efficiently

  • Finding the ‘sweet spot’
  • Inducing cognitive strain
  • Making students comfortable with discomfort
  • Creating schemata to cheat working memory

12:00 – 12:45pm
Session Four
How to improve retrieval from long-term memory

  • Recognition versus recall
  • The power of deliberate practice
  • The magic of myelin
  • Spacing and interleaving

12:45 – 13:30pm 
Lunch and informal discussion

13:30 – 14:15pm
Session Five Putting it into practice

  • See one do one, teach one
  • The habits of good teaching
  • Knowledge organisers and daily quizzes
  • Developing independent learners: teaching study skills

14:15 – 14:30pm
Afternoon tea and informal discussion

14:30 – 15:00pm
Plenary Action planning

  • Q&A
  • Next steps

Matt Bromley

Matt Bromley is an education journalist and author with over twenty years’ experience in teaching and
leadership including as headteacher. He works as a consultant, speaker, and trainer, and is a school governor.

Quality of Education