Tooled Up Events
Guidance for Educational Settings
Following a Suicide or Sudden Death
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday 10th September, we are proud to have published a resource for schools, written in collaboration with suicide prevention charity, The OLLIE Foundation. This comprehensive guide will provide leadership teams in schools and other educational settings with the detailed guidance needed to coordinate an appropriate, helpful and safe response following the tragic event of a suicide or sudden death in their community.
This invaluable resource is available for free. Simply click the button below to view and download the PDF.
The home of evidence-based resources on all aspects of parenting, education and family life
Schools that are part of our Tooled Up Education community can provide their parents and teachers with access to Dr Weston’s exclusive resources, covering areas such as aspiration, resilience, mental health and behaviour.
As a member of the Tooled Up community you will have access to a whole host of evidence-based resources, which will enable you to support your children or students in a way that makes their lives and educational journeys both easier and more enjoyable.
Dr Weston's Wednesday Wisdom
In an ever increasingly busy and demanding world, Wednesday Wisdom provides a reflective 2 minute read every week that readers constantly tell us they look forward to. Full of topical and relatable experiences that help provide reflection, motivation and support in achieving a balanced family life.
Over the years, thousands of people have benefitted from, and continue to enjoy, the parenting and educational talks from Dr Kathy Weston at Tooled Up Education and have subscribed to Wednesday Wisdom. Join now for free to get your own weekly digest of motivating, interesting, and thoughtful parenting advice from Dr Weston herself.
“I just wanted to say how grateful I am to read your Wednesday Wisdom email. Perfect size for the time I have to engage and reflect and think about the topics you touch on. It helps me to evaluate my parenting and take a step back to look at scenarios that play out.”
Parent – October 2020
Early Days for Dads
It was Mother’s Day in the UK last weekend but I have been firmly focused on fatherhood research this week. An old friend from university is about to become a first-time dad in his late forties and understandably, is keen to rapidly educate himself about doing the best for his baby.‘What book should I buy?’, he texted. “What do I need to know about being a dad and how to be a good one?”
Parenting Question of the Week
I’m a single mum with a 12 year old boy. How do I address the topic of hormones, changes to body and give my son comfort, so that even though I’m not his father, he can still come to me to talk, discuss and emote? I want him to feel open and willing but also appreciate this is probably something he would naturally go to his dad for.
Our Promise: We will answer all questions, and, whilst we may share your question and answer to help others, we will never declare who asked it.
Researcher of the Month
Dr Shana Carpenter, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Iowa State University.
Professor Carpenter’s research primarily focuses on cognitive science principles that can be applied in educational settings to help students remember information, transfer what they have learned to new situations, and improve their awareness of their own learning.
The benefits of spacing and retrieval practice have been confirmed repeatedly in studies from numerous different contexts. Spacing is a way of scheduling learning activities over time. Research shows that repeated learning opportunities that are spaced apart in time are more effective than the same number of learning opportunities occurring closer together. Retrieval practice involves recalling information that has been learned previously. The simple act of retrieving something from the brain, without any helpful cues, strengthens learning and makes memories more durable over time. Retrieval activities can take many forms, including flash cards, practice tests and open-ended writing prompts, all of which helps students to recognise what they do and don’t know.
The study showed that, instead of adopting these practices, students tend to use other, less effective strategies when learning. Professor Carpenter notes that it’s important for young people to gain an understanding of when and how to engage in learning and what strategies will prove most impactful.
Teachers should help students understand the benefits of spacing and retrieval practices, and metacognitive skills. When using spacing in class, expect children to forget some information between sessions. Be patient, provide practice exercises on material already learned and give feedback on the things that your students are and aren’t remembering. If teaching topic by topic, try to insert some learning material or practice exercises on information/topics that have been taught at an earlier time. Regularly provide concrete activities that help young people implement retrieval. For example, why not ask them to reflect on their learning after each class through a simple practice question or two? Don’t grade the responses, but do give helpful feedback.
At home, nudge teens to map out revision timetables, encourage them to schedule spaced practice on specific topics and suggest that they revisit and re-practise things that have already been learned. Test them on their learning and support them in working out what they know and what they don’t. Cultivate a culture that values mistakes, views errors as essential to learning and relishes challenge. If you want to learn more about normalising mistakes in family life, read our article.
Tooled Up News
A Few of Our Favourite Things
Sometimes, a sense of excitement builds at Tooled Up Towers when we discover some hidden gems buried in the research papers that we come across in our work. Sometimes, we shop in bookshops, attend talks or see things when out and about that we really want to tell our families
Happy International Women’s Day
It’s International Women’s Day today. This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity. International Women’s Day has devised a number of missions to help forge a gender equal world and note that celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility, while calling out inequality, is key. These are things we are passionate about at Tooled Up, and for Tooled Up subscribers, we have plenty in the library to help break down stereotypes and raise awareness of some remarkable women.
"I thought the talk last night was absolutely fantastic. It really helped us to have a vision and how we can support [Child] to develop his resilience."Parent
"So informative - lots of food for thought as a teacher and a parent of two girls. Thank you."Parent
Merchant Taylor's School
"So informative, thought-provoking, practical, awesome!"Parent
South Hill School
"Thank you so much for such a wonderful Q&A, it was so informative and rich with information. I am certain our parent community will use all these resources!"School Welfare Counsellor
St. Catherine's British School
"Expert and engaging, Kathy gives rich, evidence-based guidance. You will come away inspired and empowered"
Dr Johnny Noakes
"It is no exaggeration to say that Dr Weston’s input into our pastoral programme has been transformational. Her presentation to more than two hundred staff was the most inspirational – and practical – training we have received on how to support adolescents through the changes of the teenage years."
Francis Holland School
"Kathy’s talk was engaging, interesting and highly informative throughout. She balanced factual information with personal advice and practical tips to ensure that the talk was relevant and accessible from the outset."
Sarum Hall School
"Just to say you are amazing at what you do.. really really informative and helpful to parents and can’t recommend tooled up highly enough!"
"I just wanted to say that it was great to meet you yesterday. Thank you so much for giving such an impressive and insightful talk. We have had lots of positive comments today about it. You struck just the right tone, and I know that the advice will have been invaluable to so many of our parents. It’s such a vital and important message and we are very grateful to you for sharing your knowledge and insights."
"Thought provoking, deeply engaging and totally relevant to every aspect of my work. Thanks so much for your passion and drive."
Stopsley Community Primary School
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Have a Question?
If you are interested in learning more about Tooled Up Education, have a technical question, press enquiry or any other query, please follow the link below or get in touch with Dr Weston’s team on email: firstname.lastname@example.org