Dubai, UAE May 5 2015: The learning abilities of the UAE’s under-fives can be accelerated by more than 12 months above the norm, according to one of the UK’s leading educational psychologists, Dr Madeleine Portwood.
She was citing her UK-tested child development programme (CDP) which allows pre-school teachers and parents to fast track the movement, thinking, language, communications and social skills of children from two to six years old.
Dr Portwood said that the average improvement in an Early Years child on the programme over six months produced a 14.3 months leap forward in movement skills, a 13.9 month jump in personal and social skills, while communications skills moved ahead by 14 months.
“The programme benefits children of all abilities and also helps with the early identification of Special Education Needs,” she explained. Dr Portwood is also the consultant psychologist with Dubai-based Ebdaah, a specialist training and capacity building consultancy,
She cited a case of a three-year old girl in the UK who was understanding at the level of a six-year-old after just six months on the programme.
Meanwhile, a three-and-a-half year old boy with learning and language difficulties progressed his thinking and perception skills to an age-equivalent child in nine months.
“The programme is proven to empower pre-school teachers, parents and child carers to help children attain their full potential in the crucial early learning years, and can also provide relevant evidence for governing body inspections.
“Indeed, there are often other, very positive by-products from the programme including a lifting of a child’s self-esteem, self-confidence and general health,” said Dr Portwood.
The CDP is validated as evidence-based by the UK’s Department of Education, and comes in the wake of UK statistics suggesting that some pre-school children are lagging behind in the development stakes often because of a lack of specialised opportunity and activities.
“The programme provides a great link between Early Years education at home, extending right through a child’s development with activities at nursery and school reception class. Pre-school children seem to love the programme,” she said.
Dr Portwood, the programme architect as well as an acclaimed author, confirmed that she is heading to the UAE to share the mechanics of the CDP with the UAE’s pre-school teachers and healthcare specialists at a one-day conference hosted as part of Ebdaah’s Education Series.
“I will take the audience through the programme, showing exactly how children’s abilities can be lifted. Research shows we all have the capacity to improve our abilities and that if we are given the opportunities to develop the right behaviours, our neural system will develop to strengthen and reinforce this behaviour,” she added.
The Child Development Programme conference – Help Children Reach Their Potential – will run for one-day only on June 13 at the Conference Center in Dubai Knowledge Village.