Isla Flett is officially the best young learner in the UK. On Sunday 15th June the Year 6 pupil from St Mary's School in Twickenham became the new national Junior Memory Champion, winning a thrilling final at London Zoo and amazing the audience with her learning skills.
Isla was one of 18 finalists who had congregated in London from all over the UK. These were the top performers in a series of memory tests taken by thousands of children online - in the most popular competition so far. 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. This year's challenges included a memory test about Regent's Park, as well as numbers, words, and a collection of names and faces.
The competition was fierce and unusually tight, but in the end Isla's strong all-round performance gave her the top score. On the way to the title she managed to memorize 43 random words in perfect order, 39 names, and 90% of an information page - each feat after just 5 minutes of study.
Callum Wass from Witham Hall School was second. He remembered 37 names and a 26-digit random number.
Third place went to Megha Burri from Highclare School. He impressed the audience by perfectly recalling 49 out of the 50 random words.
Callum Wass, Isla Flett and Megha Burri with Jonathan Hancock
Jonathan Hancock said: "Every year I've been blown away by the children's feats of memory and learning, and this year was no different. It was great to have children from all around the UK - all clearly very well-trained by their teachers to use these powerful memory techniques. It's wonderful to hear about the positive impact the training has had on their school work, and I'm sure they all have very bright futures. If they keep using these memory strategies, they're destined to achieve impressive results in their learning - and in all the other challenges they take on".
Since its launch in 2008, the Junior Memory Championship has introduced memory techniques to tens of thousands of children across the UK.
Jonathan Hancock with the finalists of the 2014 Championship
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 the six years since we launched, The Junior Memory Championship has become extremely popular with teachers and children alike as they see the very real benefits of memory skills. And the news is spreading: this year we worked with around 300 schools and estimate that 25,000 children took part in the training. Our finalists represent some of the brightest young minds in the UK - all taking their learning to the next level by using Jonathan's memory training techniques".
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 seventh 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 2015.
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
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 2015, 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 June 2015 at which the new Junior Memory Champion will be crowned.
The Nationwide Memory Championship for Primary Schools, sponsored
by The Learning Skills Foundation®, now going into its 7th year.