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Marsden School hosts Barbara Arrowsmith-Young

International best-selling author and founder of the Arrowsmith cognitive learning program, Canadian Barbara ArrowsmithYoung will be speaking at a free event at Samuel Marsden Collegiate School on the evening of 25 February, followed by a book signing. Arrowsmith-Young developed the groundbreaking Arrowsmith Program to help students, especially those with learning difficulties like dyslexia, attention deficit issues and auditory processing difficulties, retrain their brains utilising the principles of neuroplasticity.

The Arrowsmith Program, available at Marsden for Marsden and non-Marsden students, uses exercises to stimulate areas of the brain responsible for skills such as reading, writing, listening, processing, coordination, logical thinking and social awareness. You are invited to hear about this innovative educational approach and learn about the latest research into neuroplasticity.

Marsden student Olivia wrote about her experience of the Arrowsmith Program at Marsden for the school magazine, saying: “Before doing Arrowsmith, I spent ages and ages trying to write one paragraph. I had the ideas but they would not flow. I found working with numbers hard and I had slow processing. I took longer to lock something into my learning. I found it hard to talk to people because I did not know what to say to them. I felt shy about going up to people and because of this, my confidence was not great. I have now finished my third year of doing Arrowsmith and I can say that 2019 was my best year yet. Every year I am more confident.”

The updated edition of ArrowsmithYoung’s international bestseller ‘The Woman Who Changed Her Brain’ includes a new chapter with case studies from ArrowsmithYoung’s more than forty years of working with both children and adults. It also examines the latest independent studies on the efficacy of the Arrowsmith Program, which empirically show the positive impact of cognitive exercises on students’ brains.

Register to hear Barbara Arrowsmith-Young speak on Tuesday 25 February 2020, 7pm-8.30pm, Marsden School Auditorium, Marsden Ave, Karori:

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School has been providing quality independent education for over 140 years. While honouring tradition it delivers a wide-ranging, modernised and future-focused curriculum, with a strong emphasis on student wellbeing. Marsden is New Zealand’s first Visible WellbeingTM school. Marsden provides education for girls from Years 1-13 and has a co-ed Preschool.



‘Barbara’s story…is truly heroic, on par with the achievements of Helen Keller.’

Norman Doidge M.D. author of the New York Times Bestseller ‘The Brain That Changes Itself.’

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is the founder of the Arrowsmith Program, an assessment process and a suite of cognitive exercises designed to stimulate and strengthen weak areas of cognitive functioning that underlie a range of learning difficulties, which has been delivered for 40+ years throughout the world. The Arrowsmith Program is offered in educational organizations in 10 countries. Ongoing research with neuroscientists, neuropsychologists and psychologists is demonstrating that the program not only changes the brain, cognitive functioning, and academic achievement but also leads to social-emotional well-being. For more information visit the Arrowsmith Program website.

Barbara’s work, begun in 1978, has been recognized as one of the first examples of the practical application of neuroplasticity which, simply put, is the ability of the brain to change and rewire itself over one’s lifetime. As the Director of Arrowsmith School and Arrowsmith Program, she continues to develop and refine programs for students with learning difficulties. The Arrowsmith Program has been recognized by Sharp Brains as the Most Innovative Special Education Program of its kind, identifying and strengthening the weak cognitive functions that underlie specific learning difficulties. Barbara was recently awarded the 2019 Leaders and Legends Innovation Award from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto for her contributions to education.

Barbara’s vision is that all students struggling with learning will have the opportunity to benefit from cognitive programs utilizing the principles of neuroplasticity, programs that change the brain’s capacity to learn and open to these learners a world of possibilities. The genesis of the Arrowsmith Program’s cognitive exercises lies in Barbara Arrowsmith-Young's journey of discovery and innovation to overcome her severe learning disabilities. Her inspirational book ‘The Woman who Changed Her Brain’ has become an international bestseller and a third edition updated with new research and new case studies of cognitive transformation has just been published in December 2019.

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is the Director of Arrowsmith School and Arrowsmith Program. She holds a B.A.Sc. in Child Studies from the University of Guelph, and a Master’s degree in School Psychology from the University of Toronto.

Further information:

View her Tedx talk


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