List of podcasts

A podcast for teachers and parents who really care about learning ways to help secondary students enjoy effective and stress-free learning.

Episode 33: Helping Students Tackle Assignments (Part 2)

Episode 33: Helping Students Tackle Assignments (Part 2)

Welcome to episode 33 of BrainTree Podcast – “Helping Students Tackle Assignments (Part 2)”

In this episode, Rocky and Prue continue the subject they discussed in the previous episode which was how to help students tackle their assignments efficiently. They discuss more methods of helping students.

Quotation for the episode: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I am-possible”–Audrey Hepburn

In this episode of BrainTree Podcast, Prue explains:

  • How students should conduct internet research.
  • What type of assignments should be given to students.
  • Why should students not dismiss the library.
  • Which resources students should use when doing research.
  • What parents and teachers can do to make the assignment process easier.
  • Tools that help students with assignments.

Tune in whether you’re a parent, teacher or student who’s looking for a way to make the assignment process smooth and way less stressful.

News and Updates:

To find out more about Prue and what she has to offer in this area, visit where you’ll find a section for teachers and schools, and a section for parents and students.

There are also workbooks there for study skills, time management, goal setting workbooks and exam prep workbook. Coming soon, HELP GUIDE #2: Approaching Assignments.

You can subscribe and listen to BrainTree podcast via iTunes.

Episode 32: Helping Students Tackle Assignments (Part 1)

Episode 32: Helping Students Tackle Assignments (Part 1)

Welcome to episode 32 of BrainTree Podcast – “Helping Students Tackle Assignments (Part 1)”

In this episode Prue and Rocky discuss how you can encourage students to tackle their assignments in the right way and help them come up with reasons that motivate them to get started in a timely fashion.

Quotation for the episode: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant”– Robert Louis Stevenson

In this episode of BrainTree Podcast, Prue speaks about:

  • How you can get students starting their assignments.
  • Advice to give to students on how to approach assignments.
  • Effective internet research and prioritizing.
  • How peer sharing is useful for students.
  • Breaking the assignment down into steps to follow.
  • Helping students make a workable plan.

The aim is that parents and teachers will plant seeds to build skills. You could sit down with students and do this for them, but better to spend that little bit of time to teach them how to approach assignments effectively so that they can do it themselves!

Tune in whether you’re a parent, teacher or student who’s looking for a way to make the assignment process less stressful.

News and Updates:

To find out more about Prue and what she has to offer, visit where you’ll find a section for teachers and schools, and a section for parents and students.

HELP#1 – Starting Secondary School (For Teachers)

HELP#1 – Starting Secondary School (For Parents)

There are also workbooks there for study skills, time management, goal setting workbooks and exam prep workbook.

You can subscribe and listen to BrainTree podcast via iTunes.

Episode 31: Living Life By Design – How To Turn Your Life Around

Episode 31: Living Life By Design – How To Turn Your Life Around

Welcome to episode 31 of BrainTree podcast – “Living Your Life By Design”.

In this episode, Rocky and Prue speak about designing a life free of stress, anxiety and depression that will help you pursue your dreams and live happily.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu

In this episode of BrainTree podcast, Rocky discusses how to turn your life around and shares:

  • How to deal with the increase in stress and anxiety.
  • Importance of being deliberate about living your life.
  • Simple daily routines that will help you live your desired life.
  • How exercise is linked to good mental health.
  • The ideal way to start your day and it’s impact on the rest of the day.

This episode was inspired by a teacher who asked Rocky, “How do we put you out of a job”? She was referring to the increase in anxiety and depression in young people in schools. Listen to this episode as we look at not just how to deal with anxiety but also look at the habits and routines happy and successful people use in their lives and how research is proving that living your life by design is an essential component to having a “good life”.

News and Updates:

If you want to know more about Rocky, visit his website. Also, check out his “Online Wellbeing Resource”, It’s a program that helps people with stress and anxiety. This resource contains 18 valuable modules. You can either purchase a personal or school license for affordable prices

Links referred to in episode 31:

FREE Online Wellbeing Resource Module.

You can subscribe and listen to BrainTree podcast via iTunes

Episode 30 – Secondary School Success Tips

Episode 30 – Secondary School Success Tips

Welcome to episode 30 of BrainTree podcast!

In this episode, Rocky and Prue discuss valuable “Success Tips for Secondary Students”. You’ll listen to key messages that you will definitely want your student to know. These tips are especially relevant for when students first enter the world of secondary school, but will apply to all students looking for ways to improve their academic performance.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather become a man of value”—Albert Einstein

In this episode of BrainTree podcast, Prue shares five main and critical success tips for secondary students:

  • Understanding the concept of independent learning.
  • Working smart.
  • Being organized and planning.
  • Asking for help early.
  • Learning how to study properly.

Tune in whether you’re a parent, teacher or student to listen to some valuable tips and ideas.

Sec Success Tips

News and Updates:

Prue has just started a new series of resources that she’s writing. It’s basically a “HELP series” (Helping students become Effective Learners Program). Prue has written the first one in the series which is all about starting secondary school. It’s available for a very affordable price and there are two versions, the first for teachers (to photocopy and use with classes) and the second for parents to use personally with their student.

  1. HELP#1 – Starting Secondary School (For Teachers)
  2. HELP#1 – Starting Secondary School (For Parents)

Links referred to in episode 30:

  1. Using Your Diary for planning video
  2. Weekly Planners

You can subscribe and listen to BrainTree podcast via iTunes. 

Episode 29 – Meditation and Mindfulness

Episode 29 – Meditation and Mindfulness

Welcome to episode 29 of BrainTree podcast!

In this episode, Rocky and Prue are going to discuss “Meditation and Mindfulness”. Rocky divided the episode into two main parts:

  1. Studies that proves meditation changes the brain.
  2. Practical ways to start applying meditation and mindfulness.

“Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally” — Marcia Lucas

On this episode of BrainTree podcast, Rocky and Prue are going to share:

  • How meditation helps you focus on the present.
  • How meditation strengthen your brain through “gyrification”.
  • Difference between the brains of meditaters and non-meditaters.
  • Tips on starting a meditation practicing.
  • How meditation helps in reducing stress.
  • The best way to start your day.

Meditation and mindfulness can be very closely linked. You don’t have to sit down in a formal  practice, you can include it in your daily habits and become more aware of what you’re doing. Focus on what you do in the moment!

It’s a piece of advice yogis have given for thousands of years: take a deep breath and relax. Watch the tension melt from your muscles and all your niggling worries vanish. Somehow we all know that relaxation is good for us.

News and Updates

Rocky is releasing his “Online Wellbeing Resource”, It’s a program that helps people with stress and anxiety. This resource has 18 modules (short videos, audios, PDFs).

To access one of the modules for free! “Meditation and Mindfulness Module” Visit:

Click here to get my free Meditation and Mindfulness video and audio

Mindfulness App mentioned by Prue:

You can subscribe and listen to BrainTree podcast via iTunes.

Episode 28 – Managing Perfectionism

Episode 28 – Managing Perfectionism

Welcome to episode 28 of BrainTree Podcast!

[00:47]  Prue and Rocky introduce the topic “Managing Perfectionism” and their new learning resource “Be a Better Learner“.  Prue says that out of the 20 resources that she had written, it’s the best by far.

From Michael Lore, author:

“At its route, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making mistakes, fear of disappointing others, fear of failure, fear of success.”

[02:47] Prue says she has a tendency to be a perfectionist but sometimes it can be a good thing because it means that you are meticulous, you follow up the details, you do things to a really high quality. But it becomes a problem when you’ve got so much pressure in yourself to do things perfectly that your life loses balance.

[04:07] Rocky thinks that if we keep waiting until it’s “perfect”, we’re not really producing much. Prue explains the difference between someone who’s a “perfectionist” and someone who’s “just doing things well”:

  • Perfectionist: Their fear of failure is almost greater or stronger than their actual desire to achieve. Sometimes they’re paralyzed because they don’t want to do it unless it can be perfect.
  • Just doing things well: They get things done and maybe in a prefect way.

[05:14]  Rocky shared a story wherein he had a student who was a very brilliant student, a gifted writer. The student submitted an assessment paper with one page that really impressed Rocky, but he was surprised that when he turned to the next page, it was blank.  The student said, “I’d rather not complete it than fail.”

[06:43]  Prue explains that it’s this rationalization that they have in their mind that, “If I don’t attempt it and I fail, it’s not really my fault because I didn’t attempt it.  But if I attempt it and I fail, that’s then a personal reflection on me.”  That becomes incredibly paralyzing if you have to be perfect all the time and if your work has to be the absolute highest quality all the time, you just don’t move forward.

Perfectionism copy

[15:10]  Prue shares tips for making students less of a perfectionist:

  • Parents and teachers have to admit to making mistakes themselves so that the students can see that everybody makes mistakes.
  • Help students to actually plan their workout and identify realistic time frames.
  • The Parents should avoid comparisons particularly with other siblings or other children.

[19:45]  Prue also says that teachers can start to help students change the way they think.  Get them to question and help them understand that they can’t absolutely do everything.  Also, teaching students techniques to positive self-talk.  Rocky & Prue reference to three helpful past episodes related to this topic:

[22:25]  Rocky says, breaking the task in small bits takes the pressure off, rather than suffering and ruminating and procrastinating over it and then eventually not turning the work in.

[25:08]  Teachers and parents need to have some empathy for what they’re going through and to understand that they don’t want to be like that, it’s crippling.  They need a lot of guidance as to what is truly important and where do they need to spend their time.

[29:11]  Rocky and Prue both agree that this has a lot to do with really just getting some movement, doing something, getting momentum. Do one little bit at a time. It’s all in your head.  You just have to say, “I’m just going to start. I’m just going to do it.” Because if you don’t do anything, you just can’t move forward.

Updates and News

To know more about Prue and what she has to offer, visit where you’ll find a section for teachers and for schools, and a section for parents and students.

There are also workbooks there for study skills, time management, goal setting workbooks and exam prep workbook.

Prue has also just released a new series of help guides: Helpings Students Become Effective Learner program. It’s for parents who’ve got a student just starting secondary school this year.

You can subscribe and listen to BrainTree podcast via iTunes.

Leave us a comment below and let us know what do you think about this week’s topic? Also, if you have any tips about “Managing Perfectionism” you can share it with our listeners!


For parents – perfectionism blog

For teachers – perfectionism blog

For parents – study skills workbooks

For teachers – study skills workbooks

Episode 27 – Productivity

Episode 27 – Productivity

Welcome to BrainTree Podcast!

[00:51] Prue and Rocky introduce their productivity tools and their Be A Better Leaner resource.

[01:40] Rocky introduces a couple of quotes for this episode which come from Nelson Mandela.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

“The majority of what you want will come from a minority of what you do.”

[03:05] Rocky moves in to today’s topic which is all about productivity. He tells us a personal story about how he used to scrape through work and look forward to the weekend or a holiday, until he decided to change that mindset. He also references a poll he did amongst his teacher colleagues where many of them responded that they wished they had more time and their primary hurdle in life was a lack of time.

[07:05] Rocky explains the myth that successful people are multi-taskers, in fact, Rocky explains that prioritising the most important thing will help you to be more efficient and more productive. Prue explains that we should rank our tasks in terms of importance and start at the top, not moving on until the top item on the list is complete.

[10:15] A client of Rocky’s told him that he needed to have more willpower, but Rocky tells us that willpower is like a muscle, and it’s essential to work in some rest to not burn out. Rocky goes on to say that he aims to gt all of his most strenuous tasks done in the morning, because he’d be less capable of completing anything too taxing in the late afternoon.

[12:09] Prue asks if it’s hard to know what is the most important thing. Rocky tells us that it is simply to ask questions. If you ask ineffective questions such as “Why am I so busy?” then it will be hard to find an actionable answer as the question is too abstract. Rocky explains a more effective question you can ask yourself: “What’s the one thing I can do today, for ______, such that, by doing it everything else will be easier or even unnecessary?

[14:38] Rocky asks the question of Prue regarding her Ph.D. Prue answers that she struggles as she can think of three things immediately. Rocky suggests that you must be as decisive as possible in choosing the one thing.

[17:53] Prue asks Rocky about his work routine and Rocky tells us about turning willpower in to habit. Rocky and Prue both agree that it is important to plan what you should work on, so you don’t get distracted by answering emails or any other less important items.

[22:10] Rocky quotes that research has shown that habit forming could take up to 66 days, contrary to what Rocky has previously quoted, so it may take a while for this planning and prioritising method to take hold, but you must stick with it. Rocky also suggests sharing it with friends and colleagues so that you can create a support group that makes it easier to keep the habit.

[22:55] Rocky starts to wrap up by sharing the routines he intends to implement this year. He tells us about The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor, which tells us to end the day reflecting on the positive actions of the day and write down three good things that happen every day, why did they happen and how did it feel? Review your good things list at the end of the week.

[30:10] Take two minutes to send a positive email. Even something as simple as a thank you note can have great benefits for personal well-being. Rocky tells us about a study where customers of coffee shops were given buy-10-get-one-free cards, and there was a much greater completion rate when customers were given the card initially, with progress already stamped.

[32:40] Rocky’s final tip is called activation energy, if we can make a 3-20 second difference to making positive habits easier and negative habits harder, the chances to create those habits in the future is increased. Rocky suggests if he wants to watch less TV then he will remove the batteries from his remote. If he wants to exercise in the morning then he will place his running shoes beside his bed the night before.

If you have any stories about how you made yourself more productive then get in touch! Let us know what you think about this episode and please leave us a review in iTunes!



Episode 26 – New School Year Resolutions

Episode 26 – New School Year Resolutions

Happy new year! Welcome back to a new year of BrainTree podcast. Rocky and Prue are back for another year of learning.

[01:17] Prue has returned from an overseas trip and the hosts discuss the value of travel as a learning experience. They then introduce the topic for this episode and Prue sets up that there are seven different areas that should be considered when preparing for a new school year. Rocky suggests that some might also be relevant outside of school.

[03:18] Prue introduces her quote for this episode. She quotes American musician Brad Paisley.

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. So make sure you write a good one”

[04:54] Rocky goes on to discuss that often life is happening to us rather than we’re engaging and defining our life. Prue agrees with this.

[06:00] Prue starts looking at her seven areas to prepare for learning. She starts with 1. Look at your environment which she had previously discussed in episode nine. Clear the clutter in your physical environment and you will clear the clutter in your mind.

New School Year Resolution

[08:45] 2. Be organised and create a filing system for your materials. In whatever format your learning materials are in, make sure they’re organised and you can easily find what you want when you need it. The hosts discuss that the system doesn’t have to be alphebetised or any other strict format, but you should create an organisation system that you feel comfortable with. Rocky tells us how his filing system of choice is Evernote. Prue also suggests being flexible.

[12:22] Once your have established a clean environment and a filing system then you should move on to 3. Create a working routine and schedule for the year. Prue tells us that creating a structure and a process will help make your study and learning more efficient. Rocky suggests revisiting episode eight for more information on this.

[15:00] 4. Think about your planning systems. How are you going to manage the workload? How are you going to keep track of what work needs to be done and how are you going to schedule and plan that work? Prue suggests a diary or calendar and also a term planner. Rocky recalls that in episode five they discussed a variety of methods for planning.

[16:22] 5. If you’re a student then the start of the year can set the tone for the rest of the year. If you start the year with an attitude that is open and ready to work then you will benefit. Rocky agrees that if you do not have the right tone and attitude then you will not succeed with any of the other steps.

[21:22] 6. Do more than you’re asked to do. Whatever tasks are laid out for you, you should try to be ahead of the curve. The students who excel are the ones who take more responsibility and set their own pace in their curriculum. Rocky and Prue discuss being proactive and discuss how to teach students to take their own initiative.

[27:30] 7. The final step is to make sure you have your lifestyle in order. Make sure you have enough sleep, pay attention to your diet and nutrition and make sure you don’t overreach and you have enough time to rest and restore.

[29:40] Rocky begins to wrap up by asking for feedback. If you have any comments or questions then please get in touch. If you have any ideas for topics you’d like to hear discussed then send it in. Don’t forget to leave us a rating or review on iTunes!

Episode 25 – Merry Christmas from BrainTree Podcast!

Episode 25 – Merry Christmas from BrainTree Podcast!

Merry Christmas! Thanks for downloading this special episode of BrainTree podcast. Since today is Christmas Day, we don’t want to take up too much of your time, so this is a short Christmas message for you!

[01:50] Since BrainTree is all about learning, Prue suggests you take some time while your family and friends are around you to learn more about them and your interactions with them. Rocky agrees that sometimes it can be good to refocus and look at people and interactions in a new way, as well as learning something about your own role in those interactions.

[04:34] Rocky tells a story about “How to Fill Your Bucket.” from a children’s book he recently purchased for his daughter. There was a young boy who could see what others couldn’t, that everyone had an invisible bucket above their heads. He noticed when his family were angry with him his bucket began to drain, which caused him to drain other’s buckets. He tells a story in front of his class and as the class are enthralled with his story he realises his bucket is refilled with their applause. He helps out a friend and both he and his friends buckets are filled with his kind actions.

Thank you for listening! Enjoy your Christmas and look out for more BrainTree podcasts in the new year!


Episode 24 – How to Anchor Your Emotional State

Episode 24 – How to Anchor Your Emotional State

Welcome once again to the latest episode of BrainTree Podcast!

[00:53] Rocky starts off early with a quote

“Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts and you are a slave to your emotions.”

He then introduces today’s topic which is managing your emotional state. Rocky introduces a technique to do this called anchoring, which is mentioned in Rocky and Prue’s resource Be A Better Learner.

[02:56] Prue and Rocky jump in to explaining what anchoring is. Rocky gives us a few examples of anchoring that we use every day. First the link of smell and memory and certain smells strongly evoke specific memories. Also a particular song or sound that reminds you of a moment or an experience.

[04:52] Rocky tells us of the growing evidence and research that we are unable to learn effectively if we can’t manage our emotional state. Anchoring can help you do that. It is a conditional response that links to an emotion. He goes on to tell us a saying from the field of neuro-plasticity which is “neurons that fire together, wire together.” So essentially we can program our emotional response to learning.

[10:16] Prue volunteers to be used as an example to rewire her feelings towards completing her Ph.D and Rocky explains the process of rewiring anchors. First, we must choose the emotional reaction we desire in any given situation. Prue tells us how she would like to feel and Rocky asks her to recall times when she has experienced those emotions. She thinks about this while Rocky explains the process further.

[14:05] Rocky suggest that a previous overseas trip might be an ideal memory for this exercise and Prue tells us that even recalling those memories changed how she felt. Rocky tells use that we want to access our visual, auditory and kinesthetic senses of that memory. Prue recalls a time on a recent trip where she felt most focused, enthusiastic and energised. Rocky wants Prue to anchor this memory to a subtle and unique physical touch. Prue chooses to press her thumb to her finger.

[18:10] Now we’ve chosen the memory and the action, we need to anchor the two together. Rocky asks Prue to recall her visual memory of the memory and anchors it to the action. Our hosts then move on to the auditory senses and anchor them to the action also. Rocky then moves on to the feeling and the emotion of the memory and Prue anchors it to the action. Rocky then asks Prue to practice and test the result, which has a small effect and Rocky tells us that to get a stronger connection and more effective result, we will need to repeat the anchoring process. Rocky suggests that constantly exercising this muscle and anchoring for a few minutes every day will make this process more effective.

[25:36] Rocky tells us his experience of teaching this technique to his young daughter and tells us about the anchors that we might have already without even realising it. At this time of year many retail spaces will be playing seasonal music, Rocky tells us that this in an auditory anchor that they use to put customers in a seasonal purchasing mode.

That’s all for this episode. Don’t forget to leave any comments or questions!