Our Method

The Eaton Arrowsmith Approach

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

All of our schools operate on the principle of neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to be strengthened over time with targeted training. This sets us apart from other learning intervention programs. Traditionally, a student who struggled with handwriting, for example, would learn to use a keyboard or be given more time to write tests.

We don’t teach students to work around their difficulties; we help them address them.

Over a 35-year history, Arrowsmith graduates have returned to public and private schools 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 your child’s brain – mental training. Going to the gym has countless benefits for our 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.

If you were to try and run a marathon without training, it would be a challenging, if not, impossible task. But if you ran a little further every day for a year, you would definitely finish the race and might even win.

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

Like an athlete’s body, 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 after discovering research while at graduate school. 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.

Our Principles

Vision: Inspiring positive change.

MissionTo provide compassionate educational environments, built on integrity, trust and results, that deliver the opportunity, support and tools for development in our students, staff, schools and organization.

Core Behaviours

The Magnussen Approach

At Magnussen, we give children the opportunity to develop their interests and skills in a small, supportive classroom setting. Our students are curious, passionate learners, but do not thrive in mainstream schools simply because the structure prevents them from exploring their interests.

Not all children learn in the same way. Some students are independent learners, while others need more emotional support and encouragement. Magnussen 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.

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
May 7, 2018

Howard Eaton’s new book, The Brain Pioneer: The True Story of How Barbara Arrowsmith-Young Used Brain Science to Help Children With Learning Disabilities, can now be ordered on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. Current Eaton Arrowsmith families will soon be able to purchase the book at a discounted rate from their schools….  Read More »

March 28, 2018

Please join us on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 (6:00pm-8:00pm) at Eaton Arrowsmith Vancouver/Magnussen School/Eaton Cognitive Improvement Centre for our annual Community Resource Fair. This event will give you – our wonderful families and other community members – access to practitioners in our area who, like Eaton Arrowsmith, provide support to…  Read More »