make your child brilliant
In this brand new series, education guru Bernadette Tynan puts into practice her unique brand of brain-training by going into schools up and down the country and identifying seemingly ordinary children whose gifts are being ignored. In this first programme, she visits Rothwell Primary School in Leeds.
Bernadette Tynan has spent more than 15 years researching the secrets of the mind and developing a range of brain-training techniques guaranteed to bring out the best in any child. She has helped thousands of children unlock special gifts and talents, but she is convinced that the current “exam-crazed” education system in the UK is failing to spot the ability of many of the country’s brightest kids.
“Everybody’s got something,” says Bernadette. “It’s just a matter of discovering it and developing it. And that’s what I’m here to do.” As she embarks on her first experiment at Rothwell Primary School, she sets the children a go-kart building challenge, during which she quickly realises that there are plenty of possible candidates for her training. Some display leadership skills, others an aptitude for mechanics, and some are good problemsolvers and entrepreneurs.
After talking to teachers, reading reports and watching the children in their classes, Bernadette selects the five children who she wants to observe more closely before ultimately picking one to receive her intensive brain-training. The first of the five is Ben, nine, who has an unusual talent for gardening – something that is not on the National Curriculum so might be missed at school. Taunie, aged ten, is very bright but holds back in class. Nine-year-old Adam displays impressive mechanical aptitude; ten-year-old Nicholas is inventive and innovative; and Daniel, also ten, has many gifts but often puts others first, which can overshadow his own strengths.
Bernadette takes the five children to an activity centre to see how they deal with new situations in unfamiliar environments. She presents them with new challenges that test their creativity, codebreaking skills and teamwork, and by the end of the day has decided on the the two children she wants to observe further: Nicholas and Ben.
The next challenge is to see how the two boys interact with their parents, so she sets them the task of piloting a barge through a lock. Bernadette watches to see how each family communicates under pressure, and notices that while both sets of parents bring the boys into the task like adults, Ben’s family work calmly together, while Nicholas’s seems to suffer from a case of “too many cooks”.
Ultimately, Bernadette decides that Nicholas is the boy she wants to take on for one-to-one brain-training. She has noticed that he has important gifts, like business acumen and innovative thinking, but ignores details like spelling and organised storytelling. Bernadette believes that her guidance will help him get the best out of both school and his gifts.
Bernadette sets Nicholas the task of designing a new toy, building a prototype and preparing a sales pitch for some industry heavyweights. If he is to achieve this, Nicholas is going to have to learn that rules and structure are important, and that he needs to get his written work up to scratch. Bernadette begins by utilising a visualisation technique favoured by athletes like Tiger Woods. “You’re going to achieve great things,” she tells him in the boardroom. “And you’re going to do it right here, in this room, at this table.” She also identifies that Nicholas is a kinesthetic learner – someone who learns best through ‘doing’ rather than working on paper – and comes up with ways of improving his spelling by combining it with things he loves, like swimming.
With Bernadette’s help, can Nicholas come up with a killer concept, create a prototype and organise his thoughts into a coherent presentation for the toy company? It is a huge challenge for a ten-year-old boy – but Bernadette is convinced that her brain-training will get the best out of her student.