School aims to sniff out secret of success

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The Independent Online

A primary school is hoping the whiff of peppermint and the sound of running water can help boost pupils' results.

All Saints Catholic Primary School in Liverpool is taking part in a four-week experiment designed to see if smells and sounds help youngsters' concentration skills and their ability to remember information.

Two Year 6 classes at the primary are taking part in the experiment which is running during some afternoon lessons.

The smell of peppermint is being pumped into one classroom, while the other group of children will listen to sounds such as running water and rustling leaves.

The youngsters will take a daily five-minute computer test to see if the experiment is helping their learning.

Headteacher Jeremy Barnes told the Times Educational Supplement: "I'm interested in ways of maximising the effectiveness of the learning environment. They are looking at concentration levels and memory retention and a more positive attitude to learning where the children think 'this is pleasant to be in this classroom'."

He added: "I'm very fixed on the idea that music can help and as for the smell the jury's out a bit more. But this experiment is about giving it a go."

The experiment is being run by Glyndwr University in Wrexham and Nightingale architecture practice.