Our Method

The Eaton Arrowsmith Approach

At Eaton Arrowsmith, students complete a series of cognitive exercises to help them strengthen their brains and address the weaknesses that cause their learning difficulties.

Our schools operate on the principle of neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to strengthen over time with targeted training. This sets us apart from other schools for students with learning difficulties. We don’t teach children, teens and adults to work around their weaknesses. Instead, we help them address them.

Over a 35-year history, Arrowsmith graduates have returned to public and private schools and the workforce with an increased ability to learn. Our students go on to complete university degrees, find employment in their chosen fields and pursue their dreams.

Trevor Bestwick (EA graduate) talking about how EA changed his life.

The Arrowsmith Program

Think of the Arrowsmith Program like exercise for the brain. Going to the gym has countless benefits for a person’s muscles, heart and overall health. Cognitive exercises have a similar effect: they get the brain into shape so it has a greater capacity to absorb information.

Having a learning disability absolutely is not a life sentence. You can strengthen very particular parts of the brain to allow them to function and it’s amazing when it happens.
Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, Founder of Arrowsmith Program

Each student’s brain is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses. Anyone, regardless of age, can strengthen their brain using intensive and graduated mental exercises and overcome their learning difficulties.

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young founded the Arrowsmith School in 1980. Born with severe learning disabilities that caused teachers to label her slow and stubborn, she used her excellent memory and work ethic to get through school. Arrowsmith-Young then created a series of exercises that helped her address her own brain deficits. The Arrowsmith School has now used these exercises for more than 35 years.

For additional information on Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, please visit her biography page or consult her book, The Woman Who Changed Her Brain.

The Magnussen Approach

At Magnussen, children develop their interests and skills in a small, supportive classroom setting. Our students are curious, passionate learners. But they do not thrive in mainstream schools. The structure prevents them from exploring their interests and honing their strengths.

Not all children learn in the same way. Some students are independent learners, while others need more emotional support and encouragement. Magnussen offers the British Columbia curriculum but celebrates each child as an individual.

Our classes have no more than 10 students. We believe in Attachment Theory, which states that humans thrive when they develop lasting, psychological connections with others. Our teachers are supportive, understanding and trained to help unique learners unlock their potential.

At Magnussen, students fit in by standing out.

Our Principles

Vision: Empowering positive change.

Mission: To provide compassionate learning communities, built on integrity, trust, and growth, that empower positive change.

Core Behaviours
Fairness
Immediacy
Respect
Safety
Trust

Eaton Arrowsmith and Magnussen work collaboratively to ensure the wellbeing and safety of our students through Nonviolent Communication, mindfulness practices, and the importance of strong community relationships, which foster a safe school environment. We strongly believe that every child deserves an education free from discrimination, bullying, harassment, intimidation and violence. Our goal is to create a community where each child feels safe, accepted and respected, regardless of their gender, race, culture, religion or sexual orientation.

Do you think Eaton Arrowsmith is right for your child?
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News & Events
October 16, 2018

Join Howard Eaton for a evening of interesting insight and conversations and learn how you can improve your large scale brain network connectivity! Read more and register here.

October 9, 2018

Research has identified that there is a neurobiological basis for learning difficulties. Neuroscientists around the world have been studying the brain networks responsible for various behaviours such as reasoning, attention and memory and language processing. In education, the approach to learning disabilities has been to find ways for the brain…  Read More »