Free neuroscience platform doubles student performance

Dr Flavia Belham

Dr Flavia Belham applies experimental findings from neuroscience to the Seneca learning platform. During her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London (UCL), she used behavioural and brain imaging techniques to investigate how people of different ages memorise emotional events.

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Images courtesy of supplier. Images courtesy of supplier.

It can be difficult to find learning strategies and resources that both tackle of budgetary concerns and teacher workload effectively. In 2018/19, we plan on helping you double your pupils’ rate of learning, while not charging a penny. Our team of educators and scientists know that our new platform works, and we want to bring it to your school this academic year.

We created Seneca Learning with the aim of helping students and teachers across the country to learn better and faster. By collaborating with neuroscientists from top universities, we were able to develop an online homework and revision platform that is both highly effective and engaging.

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GCSE student Anna shares her opinion of the resource: “I REALLY LOVE SENECA! I signed up for it a month or two ago, and it has really helped me on the things which I didn't really get in class! I just want to thank you soooooo much! It’s the best revision resource I have used.”

High praise!

Concepts such as retrieval practice, spacing, interleaving and dual-coding are applied throughout Seneca’s exam board-specific content. To make sure the platform works, we trialled it with 1,120 pupils from eight different schools in a rigorously designed study. Seneca and its effective learning strategies doubled students’ performance when compared to a regular revision guide. These results have been reviewed and published by the Chartered College of Teaching, the Association for Science Education, and the British Educational Research Association.

Chemistry teacher Arushi said: “I absolutely love this platform. It is so user-friendly, contains varied sources which will keep students interested, and encourages self-regulation. The fact that the course design incorporates principles from cognitive science is fabulous.”

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More than stopping at creating something effective, we wanted to create something for everyone. That is why we’re offering all of our content for free. We believe that every child should have access to the best resources, regardless of the school they attend or their parents’ income. In fact, our trial showed that the progress achieved by students using the platform was the same in selective and non-selective schools.

As Dawn, the head of Year 11 at a free school, said: “I am really impressed with this. It is fantastic, and in the current climate of tight budgets it is so helpful that someone is supporting us for free. We are really struggling with the demands of the new curriculum and the lack of funding, so thank you so much for this.”

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Our GCSE content was launched in March 2018, and by the end of the exam season, Seneca already had more than 170,000 users. For the 2018/19 school year we will be launching Key Stage 3 and A-Level content, as well as a sophisticated teacher platform. This will allow teachers to create classes, set homework, and receive an automatic and detailed report on their students’ individual progress. We hope this will both reduce teacher workload and provide more information to help them decide on what to focus in the classroom.

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