Our cognitive exercises use neuroplasticity to change the brain. We do not use any compensatory methods, instead we address the core learning challenge.

A1 Student is an independent co-educational and non-denominational private day school accredited to offer the Arrowsmith Program.

We offer both full time and part time programs to help New Zealand students accelerate their learning.

We accept students aged seven to adult including those who have specific learning difficulties.

Our accelerated learning programs use neuroplasticity and have over 40 years’ proven research-based success.

When forming new neural pathways we strengthen each student’s ability to learn. 

This allows our students to achieve life-changing results.

What is Arrowsmith?

The philosophy that the learner is not fixed, but can be modified through the application of the principles of neuroplasticity, sets the Arrowsmith Program apart from the majority of other programs for students with learning difficulties.

The Arrowsmith Program is capacity-based, in that its goal is to change the student’s capacity to learn, rather than compensatory-based which tries to work around the problem.

Strengthening these weaker capacities increases the overall functioning of these specific cognitive areas, allowing them to be used more effectively for learning.

Before and After Results of one year of Arrowsmith
Handwriting examples
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How does Arrowsmith help improve handwriting?
We use a cognitive exercise called Motor Symbol Sequencing (MSS)
What are the key components?
  • 2 Paper exercises – Tracing and Word daily over 10 months during a school year.
  • Requires at least 20 students per class (whole cohort)
  • Pre-test, Mid-test and Post-test administered.
  • Comparison made with control group undertaking alternative handwriting schedule.
How does MSS work?

The exercises comprise as follows:

Alternate 30 minutes each day

Monday, Wednesday and Friday – Word

Tuesday and Thursday – Tracing

Teacher monitors student work by timing, assessing accuracy and advancing student to next level when ready.

Writing out the alphabet, or a sequence of numbers, or expressing thought in speech are problems for children and adults with this dysfunction.

Words may be misread, or handwriting may be messy and irregular. While focussing on writing, the content is often neglected, and sometimes the same word is spelt different ways on the same page.

This capacity is involved in the process of learning and consistently producing a symbolic sequential motor pattern (e.g., writing out the alphabet, or numbers).

All sequential symbolic processes involving input through the eye (e.g., reading), output through the hand (e.g., writing) and mouth (e.g., speaking) are impaired when there is a weakness in this capacity.

Who can we help and what are some of the features of this problem?

Misreading – Words are misread due to poorly developed patterns of eye fixations. The person reads “step hall” for a road sign that says “steep hill”. A truck driver misreads road signs thus ending up in the wrong locations and taking much longer to do his job than expected despite superior intelligence.

Handwriting – is messy and irregular. People with this dysfunction frequently print rather than handwrite.

Writing – is not automatic. The person has to concentrate on the process of writing and as a result has less attention to focus on the content of what is being written. This also slows down the speed of writing so written assignments and tests often take longer to complete than the allotted time.

Copying material – from one location to another (i.e., from the blackboard or a text into a notebook) is slow and often inaccurate. Clerical work is painful and tedious and the person may have a tendency to put it off.

Spelling – The person can spell the same word several different ways on the same page.

Speech – The person tends to ramble and have difficulty getting to the point. There is a tendency to leave out chunks of information which are necessary for the listener to understand what the person is talking about. The person has this information in his head and thinks he has said it but it does not get expressed in speech. It is difficult to get ideas out in the order of their importance in speech, and the person may go back and forth over several subjects, making his speech difficult for others to follow.

Mathematics – This problem affects accuracy in mathematical computations. The person makes what appear to be careless errors but which are really motor slips. For example the person thinks one number in his head and writes down another number.

International Motor Symbol Sequencing (MSS) Results
A1 Student is inviting selected New Zealand schools to offer the MSS program to a class in 2020. 
If you would like to offer this program to one of your classes or you would like to know more, please email office@a1student.com or click below to lock in a time and let's discuss
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