Introducing … for the first time …  Modular Online Training as a Bright Start Practitioner

MODULE 1 – October/November 2021

Bright Start (CCYC) is a comprehensive programme for early years education, which complements and enhances pre-school and early years curricula, preparing children with the thinking and problem-solving skills they need to successfully enter the world of elementary (primary) school education. The effectiveness of Bright Start has been demonstrated over many years of research and in many countries and contexts ranging from ‘typically’ developing children to those with a variety of developmental challenges. In simple terms one may say that the emphasis in curricular learning is about facts and knowledge that is WHAT we are learning. Programmes that emphasise cognitive development focus on the tools and processes of learning – HOW we learn. We need both. But for a variety of reasons many children may enter the early years of school, not having effectively learned how to learn.

Why Cognitive Education in the Early Years?

Cognitive education refers to the systematic attempt to teach basic processes of thought, perception, learning and problem solving. The belief is that if children are not successful learners, one reason may it may be because they have not acquired the thinking skills needed for effective social and academic learning.

“Policy makers should know that the brain is more malleable in infancy and early childhood than at any other time in life, so it is important to identify infants at risk and intervene early for the best chance to maximise positive outcomes.

  1. Because cognitive development depends on education, it is important to help teachers to understand brain and behaviour from a developmental perspective, and to empower them to apply that knowledge in practice.
  2. A huge proportion of brain development (around 85%) occurs in the first 5 years of life, yet we currently allocate a tiny proportion of educational and community resource to this group. Experience during this time has direct effect on children’s brains. It does more than just set a blueprint for future learning, yet our society vastly underestimates the importance of this time. There are empirically based reasons for why we need to change social attitudes and financially invest in pre-schoolers.”

Summary recommendations from the Baby Brains Paediatric Neuropsychology Conference,  London,2012.

What is Bright Start?

Bright Start – the Cognitive Curriculum for Young Children, (CCYC) was designed to teach children ways of thinking and problem solving to help them learn better, both in and out of school. Through the use of Bright Start these thinking skills, motivations and attitudes necessary for successful learning are facilitated. Children thus acquire generalisable learning principles applicable to all learning. (Haywood, H. C. 1992).

Bright Start is very appropriate for inclusive educational settings in which children with learning and developmental difficulties learn alongside more typically developing peers.  The programme also addresses the needs of children whose difficulties may stem from social and linguistic disadvantages, which places them at risk. Bright Start is used in half- day or full day settings as well as clinical settings by psychologists, teachers and therapists. Bright Start is designed to be used in conjunction with existing content curricula such as National Curricula. Some of the components of Bright Start are utilized by specialists working with children who are developmentally below the age of three years. The emphasis on family involvement in the cognitive development of the child is particularly important for early years and multi- agency services.

Bright Start Components

The Bright Start training programme consists of Eight Bright Start Units, each of which has  explicit lesson plans and supplementary materials  for small group activities; A set of Theory and Concept Papers; The Record Keeping Booklet and The Family Handbook. All of these are available in a new spiral bound format, easy to access and with easy-to-follow instructions enabling you to share good practice with colleagues and families.

The five major components are:

  1. MEDIATED TEACHING STYLE – the basis of a cognitive education approach
  2. SMALL GROUP UNITS – daily small group lessons
  3. DAILY ACTIVITIES – including five key parts of the day
  4. BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT – using the cognitive, mediational style
  5. FAMILY PARTICIPATION – involving parents and carers as primary mediators

The goals of the programme include:

  • Enhances and develops basic cognitive functions necessary for the skills needed to access formal learning. Laying the successful groundwork for the cognitive skills needed at the Foundation Stage of education. In the UK, it complements National Curriculum goals in order to facilitate access to successful learning in the primary school years and for older pupils working with different levels of need.
  • Early Identification and remediation of poorly developed cognitive functions
  • Develops task intrinsic motivation. The ability to be motivated from within, rather than by external rewards
  • Develops representational and symbolic thought. The ability to use codes and symbols which are needed for access to numeracy and literacy
  • Enhances learning effectiveness and school readiness for young learners
  • Facilitates mainstreaming and inclusion
  • Bright Start is founded on an extensive body of research and research efforts have been ongoing since its inception.

Who is Bright Start training for?

Are you a teacher, a therapist, a psychologist, a parent or carer?  You may be involved in research, a programme or agency director and more…  Do you work with or consult to others who work with young children or older pupils whose developmental level may be  at an earlier stage of learning? The course is open to participants from anywhere in the world. The principles and applications are universal. You can access support and guidance to customise Bright Start for your local needs.

How do I obtain the Bright Start materials?

The Bright Start programme authored by Haywood, Brooks and Burns in the late 1980’s, was first published in the USA (1992).  It has been updated and revised by Burns, Deutsch and Haywood, (2021), and is available to purchase directly  at or by email

You can buy the Bright Start programme materials and use them without training.  You can also choose to take some training to develop and deepen your insights into identifying and promoting important learning skills- including emerging cognitive abilities and how to become a mediational teacher.  Systematic step by step training will help you to use the programme with confidence and with a depth of understanding and practice that comes from learning how to use the concepts and ideas, how to modify and custom fit your lesson plans; how to offer the programme to children with a variety of different needs; how to integrate Bright Start into the daily life of the children and their families. Ongoing mentoring and  support for your own or group needs is available  during and following all modules of the training programme.

Introducing The BRIGHT START CAMPUS ONLINE Modular Training Programme  

The advent of online courses in place of traditional face to face teaching, whilst missing that precious personal contact with course participants, also opens up exciting opportunities to pace the e-learning to the participants’ advantage. Instead of trying to cover ‘everything’ in an intensive face to face course, it is helpful to proceed step by step, allowing more time to internalise concepts and apply them, one phase at a time, increasing experience and confidence. During this past year, I have developed online training courses with the technical support of the Real Training, which aim to enhance the quality of learning even beyond what we could gain face to face. I am humbly grateful that the feedback has been very encouraging. To this end, I have pleasure in offering Bright Start training online and for the first time in modular form.  Each of the modules of the programme are certificated.

How is this achieved?  To begin, all course applicants are registered for access to the Bright Start CAMPUS ONLINE.

  • There are specially recorded videos to introduce concepts and discuss theory and ideas, which can be viewed as many times as wanted.
  • There are live interactive sessions with built in time gaps between sessions, giving you space and time to review, read, carry out assignments and reinforce your learning and reflect. Relax…. There are no marks or grades!! It’s all about us learning together…. We weave together theory and practice. All sessions are recorded and placed in the CAMPUS course library online for you to visit and revisit.
  • Have a question or comment between sessions? Message me privately or choose to share your message with others.
  • Proceed step by step with reading, videos and assignments. Need help and advice? Just message me, your trainer, for content questions or our technical support team for technical help.
  • All course materials and recordings are saved on the course CAMPUS for three months after the completion of the training. Need more time? No problem. Just contact one of us and your access can be extended to suit your needs.

A Mediated Teaching Style lies at the heart of delivering Bright Start. How can one become a good mediator when participating in online training?  

You will learn theory and concepts in depth on the course and then becoming a good mediator is all about hands- on practice and experience! Each module has direct application and practice built into it. Mentoring is arranged in person and / or by video link.

What happens once I complete a training module?

  • Now it’s time to put your training to good use. Whatever your work context, whether you are working face to face or remotely, whether your role is advisory or direct practice, you can contact us directly for ongoing support.

Is the Bright Start training programme accredited as CPD?  Yes. Each module carries certification of attendance and completion of its components.

Overall Bright Start Course Methodology: Pre-recorded videos; Assigned reading and activities; Live sessions; Practical application – Theory into practice.

Is there more than one way of doing Bright Start training?

  • You can attend an Open Course (see dates below), or you can request a Bespoke Course, for example for a whole service, school, or a specific group of participants, Eg. A parent/caregiver group, with dates and times of your choice.

Please contact Ruth Deutsch to discuss your needs and options, including course times customised for participants from other time zones. 


Course dates: To be confirmed. Please contact Ruth Deutsch   to register your interest and receive updates on dates when avalible.

Time and duration: 4 Live sessions (webinars) 2.5 hours each, approximately one week apart, with  videos, assigned reading and structured  tasks between each session.