The Extra Lesson is an individual 1:1 assessment and intervention program developed by Audrey McAllen in the UK and is based on Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophical developmental philosophy of education.
This holistic, remedial approach works with the understanding that it is the whole body that supports the learning process and through developmental exercises, archetypal movements, therapeutic activities including speech, painting and form drawing, we can help to overcome underlying issues or hindrances to this process. Therefore, by enhancing and supporting natural physical development we can optimise a child’s learning ability/outcome and experience.
The Extra Lesson is founded in anthroposophy yet works in conjunction with modern neuropsychology and neuroscience. Research shows us that conscious, regular movements are the catalyst to create the healthy development of the nervous system by forging neural pathways. The Extra Lesson gives the whole body the opportunity to develop and to function at an optimal level, assisting the child to address the problems they are having with sensory processing, learning and behaviour issues, confidence, anxiety and stress; enabling them overall to achieve to the best of their ability. Through the assessment process and weekly observations, other areas of specialist support required may be identified.
From a comprehensive assessment, an individualised program is tailored which is comprised of weekly sessions. This requires home practice of a few minutes daily to support the process. The sessions are warm, engaging, grounding, nurturing and imaginative. The assessment is very comprehensive and covers:
- Parent interview about early development and the areas of concern
- Ongoing discussions with teachers
- Reflex assessment
- Dominance and laterality assessment
- Fine motor skills (e.g. handwriting and co-ordination)
- Hand-eye co-ordination
- Gross motor – overall co-ordination, balance and rhythm
- Spatial awareness and body geography
- Eye movements
- Memory and auditory processing
- Behaviour checklist
- General impression of the student’s sense of self-esteem, gut health and overall wellbeing.
For children in Class 2 and above the assessment includes standardised academic assessments:
- Reading test to assess reading accuracy and comprehension
- Maths and spelling test.
The results of such tests offer a benchmark for gaging future progress. The assessment shows the underlying developmental issues and areas that need to be addressed.
Regular Extra Lesson sessions coupled with the home program helps the child enhance their learning ability, social skills, behaviour, confidence and self-esteem.
In time, through the development of beautiful rhythmical movements, the children are enabled to gain mastery and control of their bodies. They learn to move with more certainty and grace, developing those faculties that will aid them in writing, reading, thinking and self-regulation.
All Extra Lesson teachers are bound to abide by the professional code of conduct of the Extra Lesson™ Association in Australia www.extralesson.com.au
Magic of Movement
The Magic of Movement program is founded on teachings of The Extra Lesson which is a Steiner based approach to holistic, developmental learning support; recognising that it is the whole body that is involved in the learning process. Magic of Movement is developmental movement and activities of a therapeutic value oriented towards a small group. Working very closely with the teachers, the program is developed in alignment with the overall needs of the group.
Neuro-developmental exercises and games, artistic speech, drawing, and for age 6 and up painting exercises are also included in the weekly program.
We focus on areas such as fine and gross motor skills, sensory integration, reflex integration, proprioception, co-ordination, spatial awareness and balance which all in-turn support the development of faculties required for learning and a healthy physiological development. The twice-weekly rhythm supports science behind neuro-plasticity and the formation of a healthy nervous system. Children can enjoy a sense of confidence as underlying difficulties are gently addressed and the remedial benefits are experienced in their daily lives.
All classes are carried with storytelling, imagination and enjoyment! Through the nature of the small group setting and working together on a regular basis the social/emotional aspect is also nurtured and supported.
Any further questions please talk to your class teacher or contact Katherine Balbi on 0425 201 368.