Imogen Sharpe is officially the best young learner in the UK. The Year 6 pupil from Arnold KEQMS School, Blackpool, became the new national Junior Memory Champion on Sunday 9th June, winning an exciting final at London Zoo and recording some truly impressive results.
Imogen was one of 19 finalists who had congregated in London from all over the UK. These were the top performers in a series of memory tests taken by many thousands of children online. Since September they had been all been following a specially-written training programme, preparing to take part in The Junior Memory Championship - organised by The Learning Skills Foundation.
At London Zoo the very best children were put through their paces by the championship's Founder, former World Memory Champion Jonathan Hancock. They were challenged to learn facts about London, as well as numbers, words, and a collection of names and faces.
The competition was fierce and unusually tight, but in the end Imogen's strong all-round performance gave her the top score. On the way to the title she managed to memorize 22 digits in a random sequence and 36 words in perfect order - after just 5 minutes of study.
This year saw a clean sweep by the girls! Megan Keeley from The Red Maids School was second - just one point behind Imogen. She scored 90% on a recall test about the history of the London Underground, and successful recalled all 20 people in the names and faces challenge.
Third place went to Leah Guilding from Springside School. She impressed the audience by recalling 47 random words.
Megan Keeley, Imogen Sharpe and Leah Guilding with Jonathan Hancock
Jonathan Hancock said: "This was one of our closest finals ever, and there were some fantastic performances. The learning techniques we're teaching clearly work, and it's wonderful to see 10- and 11-year olds performing such incredible feats of memory. It was great to hear that the children are already putting their training to use in school, and I hope they'll continue to show this level of confidence in their memory skills - and keep setting themselves such high standards for their learning".
Jonathan Hancock with the finalists of the 2013 Championship
Since its launch in 2008, the Junior Memory Championship has introduced memory techniques to thousands of children.
Caroline Shott, CEO of The Learning Skills Foundation said: "We are delighted to support Jonathan Hancock in establishing the Junior Memory Championship. This is a wonderful project, bringing powerful memory techniques to the front line of learning. In its first five years, The Junior Memory Championship has become very popular with teachers and children alike as they see the very real benefits of memory skills".
Schools can now register for the 2013-2014 Junior Memory Championship, which promises to be the biggest yet.
To organize interviews, obtain photographs, or for more details about the Junior Memory Championship and The Learning Skills Foundation, please contact Caroline Shott:
The Junior Memory Championship is a pioneering educational project from The Learning Skills Foundation®.
Now going into its sixth year, the competition promotes memory techniques in schools, working with teachers to introduce pupils to the benefits of powerful learning strategies.
When you register, your children will be eligible to compete in the online stages of the Championship in March 2014.
When you take part in the JMC you receive:
an INSET pack to welcome you to the project
video clips explaining the key learning techniques
a full memory training programme for the Year 6 children in your school, plus extra lessons to use in the run-up to the competition itself
a wide range of detailed lesson plans, weaving memory training into the curriculum
materials to develop learning skills in other year-groups and throughout your school community
access for all your children to the Junior Memory Club®
The short in-school training sessions help children to develop powerful memory strategies that will help them in every area of their education. Then, in March 2014, your Year 6 children take a series of online memory challenges, testing their learning skills against competitors from around the country. The children with the best scores are invited to the Final in London in May 2014 at which the new Junior Memory Champion will be crowned.
"Memory Tricks and Techniques to boost Students' Learning"