The Illusion Learning Sessions

The Curious Cats Sessions

curious-cat

Do you need to analyse poems?

Yes.

Well, learn this sentence:

“All curious cats think mice smell lovely, don’t you think?”

Why?

Because, if you do, you will be one step closer to remembering all the stuff your teacher asks you to write about when it comes to a poem.

How come?

It’s a mnemonic.

Oh, OK ..

A ll – A uthor

C urious – C ontext

C ats – C ontent

Th ink – Th eme

M ice – M ood

S mell – S tructure

L ovely – L anguage

Don’t you think? – Reader response

Cool!

So, when you’re analysing a poem, you can do it by working out the answers to questions like these:

All – Author

Who wrote the poem? When did the poet live? Where? What was his or her childhood like? What did they do apart from write? Did they write other stuff?

Curious – Context

When was the poem written? What was happening in that place at that time? What is the poet’s perspective on these places and events, and the characters involved? What was the general public’s perspective on these things at the time? Have these views changed since the poem was written?

Cats – Content

What is the poem actually about? Does it describe something? Does it tell a story? What places or characters are mentioned? What do we know about them? Is there a literal and also a metaphorical or allegorical meaning to the poem?

Think – Theme

If you can answer the last question in the Cats section, you will already be thinking about the themes that are dealt with in the poem. Does the poem have an overall subject or topic? What is it? Does it have more than one? Does the poem have a message for the reader? What does the poet want the reader to think? What does the poet want the reader to feel?

Mice – Mood

And if you can answer that, you are ready to start thinking about what it actually is that the poet actually does to convey all of the above to the reader.

Is the poem dark or light? What situations, places, characters, phrases or words make it that way? Does it make you laugh, cry, think, cringe? Why? Is this how the poet wanted you to feel?

What other things has the poet done to influence the way the reader feels?

Smell – Structure

Is it long? Does it have stanzas? How many? Are they all the same length? Are the lines all the same length or are they different? Is there a pattern to the stanzas or the lines?

Does it rhyme? is there a particular rhyme scheme? What is it?

Is the poem a sonnet, or a ballad, or even something as weird and obscure as a villanelle (not likely, but ..)? How do you know? Why did the writer choose this type of poem? Was it a popular or common type of poem at the time? Is it popular now?

Has the writer made the poem this way for any particular reason? Does the structure of the poem do anything to enhance the message or the themes of the poem?

Lovely – Language

What emotive words has the poet used? Are they adjectives? Are they adverbs? Does the poet use alliteration, repetition, personification, enjambment or any other fancy poetic devices to help us understand the poem’s message and feel the poem’s feelings?

Don’t you think? – Reader response

Do you like it? Why? Why not? Who would like it? Why? Who definitely wouldn’t like it? Why not? Are particular types of people more likely to like it than others? Did more people like it when it was written than now? Why? Why not? Will people like it in the future? Why? Why not?

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The Three Ball Juggling Club

jugglerYou might think that learning to juggle is something that some people do to pass the time away, or even to waste time, but it is actually of great benefit to people in many different ways.

Juggling certainly is a great way of taking a break and enables you to return to more intensive mental activity feeling refreshed. On the other hand, though, there are cognitive and educational benefits to learning juggling skills and at The Safe House we use juggling to develop our understanding of patterns and procedures and to devise strategies which help our learning in other areas.

At the same time, research has shown that juggling can help people with dyslexia, attention deficit disorders, hyperactivity and even Alzheimer’s disease because it is an activity which challenges the brain and keeps it active and ready to deal with the complex tasks of everyday life, including learning.

Juggling facilitates the development of problem-solving skills and can help to develop qualities such as patience and perseverance. At the same time, as a person develops the skill, it can stimulate imagination and creativity, qualities that are vital in the modern world.

The Safe House Three Ball Juggling Club Sessions begin with learning how to juggle. This can be a short or long part of the sessions as different people learn at different rates. However, once you know ‘the trick’, it is usually a matter of individual patience and motivation.

For this reason, The Three Ball Juggling Club Sessions are an ideal medium through which to assess your own motivation and, through this assessment, to develop ways of getting stuff done even when you maybe don’t feel like it.

These sessions focus on the skill of three ball juggling, but also incorporate a range of other areas of learning depending on the needs of the participant(s).

italian dog logoIf you are interested in participating in this scheme, either as a client or facilitator, or both (!), or if you would like to discuss supporting The Safe House Juggling Club, just fill in the form below and we will get back to you with details of how to be involved in this part of the work of The Safe House.

This IS The Safe House 

“We can take you to a better place.”

 

Intergenerational Skills Exchange Project

suitcases keatsThe Intergenerational Skills Exchange Project at The Safe House bridges age gaps to facilitate personal, collaborative and shared learning of skills. The project is based on discrete 1:1 and small group sessions through which young people and older people teach, learn and exchange skills as diverse as:

  • welding and metalwork
  • carpentry
  • sewing and needlework
  • mobile technology, IT and social media skills
  • languages and literacy skills
  • science, maths and numeracy skills
  • cooking and baking
  • online shopping
  • government and the electoral system.

At The Safe House, we coordinate, develop and facilitate teaching and learning sessions across the age ranges for mutual understanding and shared learning.

italian dog logoIf you are interested in participating in this scheme, either as a client or facilitator, or both (!), or if you would like to discuss supporting the Intergenerational Skill Exchange Project, just fill in the form below and we will get back to you with details of how to be involved in this part of the work of The Safe House.

This IS The Safe House 

“We can take you to a better place.”

 

The Cardboard Library

girl moon umbrella butterflies adana1The Cardboard Library sessions are creative writing development sessions.

Participants are led through a series of stimulating journeys, both real and virtual, which form the catalyst for poetry, flash fiction and short story writing. The products from these sessions are collated and presented by The Safe House as The Cardboard Library, a hand-made occasional ‘magazine’ showcasing new creative writing talent.

italian dog logoIf you are interested in participating in these sessions, either as an attendee or facilitator, or both (!), just fill in the form below and we will get back to you with details of how to be involved in this part of the work of The Safe House.

Left Luggage

The Left Luggage project is based around a series of walkshop events comprising:

  • poetry reading.
  • local sights and landmarks.
  • walking, talking, discovery and writing.cat on the luggage

The Left Luggage sessions involve walks in the outdoors, poetry readings and discussion. They focus on understanding, analysis, comparison and appreciation of poetry as well as offering an opportunity to read and hear poetry in the fresh air.

These sessions could be particularly useful for anybody who is working towards GCSE or A Level English Literature qualifications.

Of course, practice in understanding poetry for national qualifications is not the only benefit of the Left Luggage sessions  and we are sure that they will inspire participants to seek out more poetry and maybe even write some too!

italian dog logoIf you are interested in participating in these sessions either as an  attendee or facilitator, or both (!), or if you would like to discuss developing your own sessions as part of the Left Luggage series, just fill in the form below and we will get back to you with details of how to be involved in this part of the work of The Safe House.

The LSD Sessions

bandstandThe Learning and Skills Drop-in (LSD) Sessions focus on the development of language, literacy and learning skills and strategies, whether for achievement in national and international qualifications, to enhance potential for employment or university application, or for personal development and change.

The sessions take place in 1:1, pairs or small groups and form short, medium and longer term personal language, literacy and learning skills programmes.

Some of the sessions available through LSD (Learning and Skills Drop-In) with The Safe House are:

The Bookcase Sessions – How to choose a book that’s right for you.
The Aikido Flex Sessions – Introduction to a writing process.
The Elephant Sessions – Ways of taking notes and revising stuff.
The Duck-Rabbit Sessions – Intensive proofreading for accuracy and meaning.
The Order from Chaos Sessions – Strategies for planning learning and beating deadlines.
The Twelve Bar Blues Sessions – Learning to learn through music.
The Murakami Sessions – Ways of studying and enjoying literature.

italian dog logoIf you are interested in participating in these sessions and programmes either as an attendee or facilitator, or both (!), or if you would like to discuss developing your own LSD sessions with us, just fill in the form below and we will get back to you with details of how to be involved in this part of the work of The Safe House.

This IS The Safe House

“We can take you to a better place.”

BTEC Assignment Quick Fix Trial

Are you doing a BTEC?

Are you handling the deadlines OK?

Have you got an assignment to hand in soon?

Why not try This IS The Safe House BTEC Assignment support?

Here’s what to do …

Get your assignment sheet and take a pic of it.

E-mail it to us at info@thisisthesafehouse.com

or post it in a message to us on Facebook.

Tell us when the deadline is.

btec quick fix

We’ll help you sort things out

so you can meet the deadline

and get a decent mark!

Go on, try it now!

 

This IS The Safe House –  “We can take you to a better place.”

The Illusion Learning Sessions

jugglerThe Illusion Learning Sessions encourage participants to assess the situation, plan action and start getting things done. 

Activities in the sessions lead participants on a journey of self-discovery and personal reflection in preparation for learning.

Through the Illusion Learning Sessions, participants acquire and develop skills, knowledge and personal qualities to tackle the challenges of learning, work and life.

The Illusion Learning Sessions can be done randomly or strategically. Ideally, they will be accessed in conjunction with other learning so that the content of this learning can be applied to the activities in the Illusion Learning Sessions.

Click the links to access summaries and sample sessions.

Knowledge is Power (1)
Knowledge is Power (2)
The Elephant Sessions
The Edson Erantes do Nascimento Sessions

For information on how to access real life sessions fill in the form below:

This IS The Safe House –  “We can take you to a better place.”

Knowledge is Power (2)

realGiacometti Man / Giacometti Woman

Take a cereal packet rectangle.*

Draw the Giacometti (Wo)man in the middle of the rectangle.giacometti man

Write the words in bold below in the spaces around your Giacometti (Wo)man.

Write a sentence near to the word in response to these prompts:

  1. A dream that you have …
  2. Something you’d like to be good at, but find difficult …
  3. Something you want to see before you die
  4. The most important person in your life …
  5. Something you can do well …
  6. Something you really dislike
  7. The furthest place you’ve been to …

And so, you are invited to reflect on your conscious and your unconscious, your skills, your hopes, your past, your present and your future. You don’t need to go into any great detail right now. This session is about starting to think about who you are, where you’re going and the knowledge, skills and qualities you already have, want to acquire or want to develop.

Look out for The Illusion Learning Sessions – Knowledge is Power (1).

Follow The Safe House for your direct link to regularly posted sessions.

*  These are the instructions for creating a cereal packet rectangle:

  • Take a used cereal packet and tear it into rectangles. Choose the biggest rectangle and look at the grey side.
  • Get a good quality felt tip pen. Test it by writing the date in the top right hand corner.
  • If the pen’s OK, sit at a table or get something to lean on. If not, get a different pen and then sit at a table or get something to lean on.
  • Answer the questions below briefly. Write clearly.
  • When you have filled up the rectangle of cereal packet, choose another rectangle.
  • Keep going for as long as you can.
  • If necessary, get another cereal packet.*

It is useful to save cereal packets and other pieces of card. It is also useful to have rectangles ready torn up to use whenever you feel like it. You could, of course, use a notebook, a notepad or just some paper instead, but we quite like the idea of collecting cardboard for some reason …

Session series: The Illusion Learning Sessions, Session no: 02, Session name: Knowledge is Power (2), Reading time: 5 minutes (approximately), Participation time: 2 x 15 minutes (minimum, approximately). What’s the session for? To help us to start thinking about our personality and how to make it happy and good.  Practical application?  If you know yourself you have the power of reflection. From reflection comes evaluation and then, through purposeful action, comes change and development.   Warning: All timings and instructions are flexible. Relax! ‘It’ll be OK in the end. And, if it’s not OK, it isn’t the end.’

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“Knowledge is Power” (1)

fishIpsa Scientia Potestas est.” Francis Bacon

btec quick fixAt The Safe House, we have learned that people have great skills, tons of knowledge and all sorts of useful and beautiful personal qualities.

We believe, though, that sometimes we need more and better knowledge about all sorts of random stuff to make the most of our skills and our personal qualities.

For example, just think how much time you save every day because you know your mobile phone number off by heart. Just imagine how stressful it would be if you didn’t know the single password you use to unlock all the accounts on your phone, tablet or computer. You do know your own phone number, don’t you? You do remember your password for everything you need, don’t you?

please use other gate

‘Is he being sarcastic?’ ‘Can’t tell.’

Just having these two bits of knowledge (phone number and password) can give you the energy and the confidence to focus on more important stuff. Whatever that might be.

Try this out (If you don’t go to school or college, then you will have to think carefully about how you could answer some of these questions. Remember, though, that there is always a possible answer):

  • Take a used cereal packet and tear it into rectangles. Choose the biggest rectangle and look at the grey side.
  • Get a good quality felt tip pen. Test it by writing the date in the top right hand corner.
  • If the pen’s OK, sit at a table or get something to lean on. If not, get a different pen and then sit at a table or get something to lean on.
  • Answer the questions below briefly. Write clearly.
  • When you have filled up the rectangle of cereal packet, choose another rectangle.
  • Keep going for as long as you can. If necessary, get another cereal packet.*
  • When you have answered as many questions as you can, stop and put your writing somewhere safe.
  • Leave it for a while (minimum about half an hour, maximum 24 hours (?)) before you read it again.
  • Take the pen, sit at a table, or get something to lean on, and read your answers again. Add, change, delete as you like.
  • Give yourself a score out of 40 for how many of the answers you got ‘correct’.** Write this score on the card. Put it somewhere safe.

The Questions Below

  1. arrowWhat’s your name?
  2. What’s your postcode?
  3. What’s the full name of your school or college?
  4. What’s the phone number of your school or college?
  5. What’s the full title of your main course at school or college?
  6. How old are you?
  7. What level is your main course at school or college?
  8. How well are you doing on your main course at school or college?
  9. What is your highest level English Language qualification so far?
  10. What is your highest level Maths qualification so far?
  11. Will you have the chance to change your answers to the last two questions in the near future?
  12. Do you need to?
  13. Why? Why not?
  14. Are you intelligent?
  15. Are you kind?
  16. Do you really know why your teachers complain if you’re late?
  17. What is your ultimate life ambition?
  18. Have you got homework or an assignment to do?
  19. Do you know when the deadline is?
  20. Do you know how long, in hours and minutes, it will take you to get it done?
  21. Can you do it by yourself?
  22. Are you a patient person?
  23. Are you an open-minded person?
  24. Are you a disciplined person?
  25. Are you a calm person?
  26. Are you an organised person?
  27. Are you a creative person?
  28. Are you an inquisitive person?
  29. Are you a motivated person?
  30. Did you answer ‘no’ to any of the last nine questions and wish you could honestly say ‘yes’?
  31. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
  32. What hospital were you born in?
  33. Is there life after death?
  34. Is there anything you can do about your answer to question 30?
  35. What does ‘parsing’ mean?
  36. Can you think of any way in which parsing might be a useful thing to do?
  37. Who is your favourite person in the whole world, alive or dead?
  38. Which location in the whole world is most important to you?
  39. What is your favourite word?
  40. If you could add any question to this list, what would it be?

imageAt The Safe House, we believe that the more knowledge we have and the more we know about what we need to know, the better equipped we will be. For anything, really.

We also think that the higher your score for the above session, the better!

Look out for The Illusion Sessions – Knowledge is Power (2). Don’t forget where you put your cereal packets!
Follow The Safe House for your direct link to regularly posted sessions.

 * It is useful to save cereal packets and other pieces of card. It is also useful to have rectangles ready torn up to use whenever you feel like it. You could, of course, use a notebook, a notepad or just some paper instead, but we quite like the idea of collecting cardboard for some reason …

** Q: How will I know if my answer is ‘correct’? A: Only you will know the answer to that!

Session series: The Illusion Learning Sessions, Session no: 01, Session name: Knowledge is Power (1), Reading time: 5 minutes (approximately), Participation time: 2 x 15 minutes (minimum, approximately). What’s the session for? To remind us that the more we learn to know what we need to know, the better things will be. Practical application?  Well, it’s amazing how much difference it makes, for example, if you KNOW when the deadline is! Warning: All timings and instructions are flexible. Be careful what you do!

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