From the Head of the Crowther Centre – Dr Ray Swann 

Knowing ‘how to learn’

This semester across the School we are focussed on building our understanding of knowing ‘how to learn’. Recently, there has been a lot of work done in the ‘science of learning’. This body of research straddles cognitive psychology and education and combines both the way that the brain works as well as how that knowledge can be applied in a classroom.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Much of learning is about memory. Daniel Willingham (Professor of Psych at the University of Virginia) tells us that ‘memory is the residue of thought’. Much of learning is mapping new concepts to established ones; memory can be developed and improved. Here is a short clip of Willingham, with a tip for students to improve memory:


  • To acquire and build memory there are three things that really help:
    1. Time (it takes time, routines are important).
    2. Practice (distributed practice is better than massed). This means that 15 minutes per day (in most instances) will be more helpful than a 2-hour block on a Saturday, for example.
    3. Effort (here an interesting thing happens: when we try more, we are more engaged. This leads to a clarity of purpose and helps with wellbeing).
  • Cognitive load. We know that we only have the capacity to think about so much at once. Sometimes, when we first start learning something (through time, effort and practice), we are maxed out in how much we can think about. However, as some of these processes become more established, we develop capacity to think more and in greater depth. This means that we can do the simpler stuff and start to have more capacity to problem solve. For example, think about when you are driving – when you first started there was so much going on, but now, if you are an experienced driver, it almost happens without thinking.

If you are interested to learn more about how to be an Effective Learner, please come along to a workshop (see below).


Crowther Events 

Parent Workshop Program – Term 3

Preparations for our Semester 2 parent workshop program are now well underway. Please see dates below for our Term 3 workshop suite, along with links to book your place.

Do not delay to secure your spot. Places are strictly limited and are selling out fast!


  1. Effective Learner Workshop – Junior School Special with the Director of Teaching & Learning

A workshop event tailored for parents and guardians of boys in the Junior School, exploring the Effective Learner model and looking at how to build effective routines in your home.

When:      Thursday 2 August 8:30–9:30am

Where:     Wellbeing Centre

How:         Book HERE


  1. Engaging Adolescents

A workshop for parents of boys heading into adolescence (or in it).

This workshop will have a focus on building and establishing communication with your son as well as managing technology.

When:      Thursday 9 August 8:30–9:30am

Where:    Wellbeing Centre

How:         Book HERE


  1. Teens and Technology

This workshop will have a focus on all things technology, including: managing technology at home, problems with engagement/disengagement, as well as issues around cyber-bullying, sexting, inappropriate content and more.

When:      Wednesday 22 August 4:30–5:30pm

Where:    Wellbeing Centre

How:         This event is currently FULL. To be added to the waitlist, click HERE


  1. Effective Learner Part II – Building Deeper Routines

This workshop is Part II in our Effective Learner series and best suited to those who have previously attended an Effective Learner workshop.

The workshop will continue to explore the Effective Learner model and look deeper into how to build routines into the home. It will also provide a discussion on common issues faced by parents and strategies on how to combat these.

When:      Wednesday 29 August 7:00–8:00pm

Where:     Wellbeing Centre

How:         Book HERE


  1. PROSPER for Parents

A workshop for parents and guardians of boys from ELC to VCE.

The PROSPER model is our wellbeing framework at BGS and stands for: Positivity, Relationships, Outcomes, Strengths, Purpose, Engagement & Resilience.

This workshop will cover what the model is, how it is used at BGS, as well as how can you implement the language and framework in your home.

When:      Wednesday 12 September 4:00–5:00pm

Where:    Wellbeing Centre

How:         Book HERE


If there is an area of interest that you would like to suggest for future workshops or feedback you would like to give, we would love to hear your thoughts. Please email us at: