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St John's Fisher

Tougher Minds

Tougher Minds, PRI Time and Personal Improvement Programme 


Over the last two years an external company called “Tougher Minds” have come into the school to run a project with a number of our Year 11 students in readiness for their GCSE examinations in the summer term.  

The project, like any intervention we do is being implemented to improve their GCSE performance, but with Tougher Minds, it focuses’ on the daily habits and routines of the pupil and not just how they learn. The project is delivered by Andrew Foster from Tougher Minds, and the main aims are:

  1. More effective behaviours for learning in the classroom
  2. Greater academic confidence
  3. More effective completion of homework and revision
  4. Better sleep, diet and exercise habits

A quick 5 minute explanation of the programme can be found here:

Level 0 animation - the APE brain HAC from Tougher Minds.

The company we are using are nationally recognised and have worked at a number of schools and universities and they have a proven track record in improving pupil performance. Away from education they have also worked with sports teams including England Rugby League team, Premier League Football Managers and England Athletics along with business organisations such as Deloitte.

The project was so successful last year, that as a school we have begun to incorporate some of the ideas around Tougher Minds into our form time. Two mornings a week, each student take part in ‘PRI Time’ (Personal Reflection & Improvement Time).  This involves the students reflecting using their PRI time booklets, on the quality of their Diet, Exercise and Sleep over the last two days. Based on the marks they give themselves, they will then set an Aim surrounding one of Diet, Exercise or Sleep and give three ways in which they will achieve it (a D.E.S.® plan).

We are focusing on Diet, Exercise and Sleep because they have been proven to aid the ability of the brain to learn, retain and re-call information. This is a long project and we do not expect to see immediate changes. However, if parents could support the school in discussing with their child, how they are improving their Diet, Exercise and Sleep, it will begin to help their ability to retain and recall information.

Each week parents will receive a “PRI Time Tip” text message with a suggestion on how Diet, Exercise or Sleep could be improved.

Mr Graham also runs a weekly ‘Personal Improvement Programme’ with a number of year 9 and 10 boys, focusing on a range of Tougher Minds strategies such as day and evening planning, concentration plans and revision preparation. 

To find out more please visit the Tougher Minds website http://www.tougherminds.co.uk