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Memory is in the Pitt of your stomach

Picture this. Brad Pitt is ill. Violently ill. He is throwing up buckets of saliva and in the middle of the saliva is a little pig called Gus who has a large stomach and is cooking a piece of liver in a pan.

This, in case you were wondering, is a memory-boosting technique being taught to pupils to improve their exam grades.

Maximize Your Potential, a study skills programme costing up to pound;800 a session, claims it can boost by 15 per cent the numbers of pupils getting A* to C at GCSE.

Jeremy Dry, a senior trainer, said: "We get children to use the right sides of their brain, the creative side. The story about Brad Pitt is a way to remember the seven key words of the digestive tract. Mouth - imagine your favourite movie star's mouth; saliva gland - imagine them throwing up saliva; epiglottis - it is a hard word but it has the word 'pig' hidden in it; oesophagus - the last three letters spell Gus; stomach; liver; and pancreas - the pig's cooking the liver in a pan."

On Tuesday Mr Dry taught sixth-formers from Dover grammar school for girls and Archers Court school, also in Dover, the memory techniques.

Hannah Collins, 17, a pupil at Dover grammar, said: "He was referring to celebrities a lot and that helped everyone get into it."

Julia Salter, a science teacher and post-16 manager at Archers Court school, joked: "I wish I could teach my lessons like that. That man is an entertainer."

The sessions also focus on what type of learner you are: someone who looks and listens, or who enjoys getting involved.

Mr Dry is due to go into Willenhall school sports college, Walsall, on Monday to work with 80 borderline C-D GCSE students. In March he worked with the whole of Year 11.

Susan Biggins, deputy head, said: "The students predicted grades lower than a C did really well at the lateral thinking. Many feel they are on a downward slope to exams. It is about boosting their confidence. They were doing better than the teachers at questions like: 'What is in the middle of Paris? The letter R.'"

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