Easily Teach Your Child to Read and
Basic Mathematics in just Half an Hour a Day!

Give them the advantage that will last a lifetime with easy to use
tools and techniques from the Nicholson Easy Learning Centre
Give the Worlds Children a Simple Education!







Using Language to express an Idea

Blake wrote: "I have heard many People say, 'Give me the Ideas. It is no matter what Words you put them into. '"

To this he replies,

 "Ideas cannot be Given but in their minutely Appropriate Words."

- William Blake (quoted by J. Newman, The World of Mathematics, 1956)

This opinion is seconded by Bertrand Russell. Here is what he says in his Autobiography about meeting G.Peano at an International Congress on Philosophy in 1900:

The Congress was a turning point in my intellectual life, because I met there Peano. I already knew him by name and had seen some of his work, but had not taken the trouble to master his notation. In discussions at the Congress I observed that he was always more precise than anyone else, and that he invariably got the better of any argument upon which he embarked. As the days went by, I decided that this must be owing to his mathematical logic. I therefore got him give me all his works, and as soon as the Congress was over I retired to Fernhurst to study quietly every word written by him and his disciples. It became clear to me that his notation afforded an instrument of logical analysis such as I had been seeking for years, and that by studying him I was acquiring a new and powerful technique for the work that I had long wanted to do.








 He uses the words his mother taught him, and so to my phrase


We are the only species on earth to speak and use written language

We learn to speak without awareness of either being taught or teaching

Nothing else will ever be as complicated as speech or as simple to understand

Why, because ever one of us possesses only limited knowledge, we live in the universe of unlimited knowledge, but the reality of man is that he lives in a world of darkness, thankfully even those OF US who would claim to be educated are in possession of very limited knowledge, and are in the main unaware of it.

But our survival depends on knowledge both individually and communally.     Hence my

Essence of Education

      “ The central purpose of education is to allow us to understand the world we live in and to think about our personal and collective actions in order to enhance them.”


FIRST OFF WE TEACH MATHEMATICS which is a knowledge and thought exorcise. .Then we teach reading, gaining knowledge and THAT ability in order to  “ SURVIVE”

I WILL attempt to explain


Using Language to express the Idea of a bush school its potential as a model of effective educational techniques, of lowest cost and maximum value I believe  that Those things which are of most importance are in the main passed on in speech on a one to one basis

BUT Quotations the likes of William Blake’s

“Ideas cannot be given but in their minutely”

“Appropriate Words”

Are so valuable that they are recorded by history and are “immortal”

I use an explanation of my own here quote. “A proverb can contain within a few sentences the lessons of a life time”

I believe and so does history that when a truth is described with such eloquence that history itself records it, we should all avail ourselves of it and wherever possible embrace its lesson, for example regarding as to the principles of democracy were I to write a million words it would be impossible to compete with the clarity of a giant in American history.  Abraham Lincoln’s wish at the dedication of the National Cemetery on the site of the battle of Gettysburg,       ”that government of the people by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.” along with his practical explanation as to the value of  “democracy,”            “you can fool some of the people all of the time and all the people some of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”        are the most eloquent English words that have ever been used to describe the principles and values of democracy.

It is my most strongly held belief, that simple and efficient primary education, on a universal basis, will lead to a better standard of living, and through that standard of living towards universal democracy, only equitable distribution of resourses will lead to the possibility of a world without war.

The importance of one-to-one teaching

We are in the main unaware of what is happening, during   one-to-one teaching; this is why I describe it as the imperceptible learning process.

Where does one-to-one teaching take place?  Virtually everywhere, just as a child learns to speak, so the son of a restaurant owner learns to cook and serve food, he will be consistently informed as to the principles of his father's business, alongside his formal education. At 18 years of age it is most likely that he could manage his father's business, this would be at the same time as he was ready to go to university.  If we take the child what has not come from a business background but who has worked in classrooms with the son of the restaurant owner, probably achieving an even higher grade then the son of the restaurant owner, when we compare them, one of them can run a restaurant, but they both have more or less equal formal education qualifications, but one of them has been training as well, not only to work with in a business, but also in the management of that business.

Obviously there are many situations where children from practical businesses are taught business skills and working skills needed within those businesses during the years they are at school, it is vital for us therefore to learn from this, besides going to school, children need to be involved in many other activities, not only working within different businesses, but they need to be taught, self-confidence, they need to understand from their early life, that given the right education and determination they can achieve anything that they wish.

As a farmer's son, I was totally unaware, that I had learnt a great deal about agriculture, until I attended the local agricultural College, at this point it was clear that of the thirty young men and women who were attended my class the ones who were living on a farm, knew their subject far better.  The brighter pupils often performed better in those agricultural examinations then the ones who knew the subject backwards, but the reality still was that those of us who were trained at home in agriculture had a flying start over the ones who came straight from school.

Practical learning of skills in the thousands of businesses are passed on through the family, this education in the main is imperceptible, but it is the backbone of private business, and the operating classes of any country remain the operating classes of that country, purely because of the home education.  It is a phenomenon of the imperceptible learning process, a process that continues, throughout the working life of each and every one of us.  Everyone we meet throughout our lives has knowledge of an individual nature, and if we are wise we will seek to learn from those around us.

I have a figure in my mind of what we learn imperceptibly and what we learn, or should learn within the school room, from early language through all the skills we need in life 90 percent of what we need to now has been learnt naturally, “imperceptibly”

But, and it is an important but, the 10 per cent of knowledge that we require within our basic skills, is the 10 per cent of knowledge that is vital, if we cannot speak, we cannot ask a question, if we cannot count, we do not know when we have been robbed, if we cannot read, we will be for ever limited to oral information, and be unable to develop our mentality, to the levels that the possibilities of literature of newspapers of technical magazines and fom the Internet, give us.                  “World Awareness”

In a nutshell lack of basic skills will keep us in ignorance throughout our Lives, do you want that for your child, or do you want them to race away with life, grabbing the ninety percent of knowledge, that is readily available to them, in thousands, and hundreds of thousands possible ways of self-advancement.


O mother and father please teach me to read write and count.



If we accept the concept of a bush school, what do I mean by this, this means that we have no formal building, we teach under a tree in the bright sun, as with the great Greek philosophers, we are with Archimedes and his sand reckoner his dust abacus, we are with the elders of our African families, we are with the priests in south America the mullahs in Arabia, with the monks of Mongolia, we are with those people who take education seriously wherever they are and whoever they are, and this includes the families of all children universally.

Once a child has learnt arithmetic and how to read it has learnt to think for itself, it has escaped the basic bondage of ignorance, reading learning and thinking will follow it for the rest of its life, we have given it the basic tools of education even without further formal education it will seek out the knowledge that is necessary for it to survive with.

I shall start this preface with the words of William Faulkner the writer it is a quote he made after he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature

“Not only will man survive he will prevail”

If the species of man is to survive he has to be optimistic, optimism without knowledge is a necessity as far as the future is concerned, 6 billion human beings all on one small planet, it is only 100 years since man first conquered the air.  From learning to fly, and the rapid developments in engineering, history shows us that in the last 100 years Nationalism and greed alongside fear has destroyed the lives of millions of innocent people.

Only rapid universal education stands between us and disaster, having spent seven years of my life thinking in the main about how we are to achieve universal education, I shall quote my best attempts of interpretation.

The essence of education

“ The central purpose of education is to allow us to understand the world we live in and to think about our personal and collective actions in order to enhance them.”

Although my personal journey in education began with the Abacus and the simplicity which it allows us to teach basic mathematics with, it is in reading comprehension that the majority of my own time has been given, it was my desire to find a simple mechanism as easy to use as the abacuses in mathematics in order that I may discover something as simple in concept as the abacus is to mathematics, my journey in reading as slowly taken the same direction towards the birth of written language, the simplicity of  language in interpretation of sound holds the key which allow us to easily learn our own language, the symbols in language have evolved over 5000 years, English is one of the most modern languages it has been improved and  standardised over the last thousand years, written language depends entirely upon symbols, it is those symbols that we today describe as letters, that hold the key to comprehension.  There are 26 letters within the English language and argument reigns as to whether there are 42 identifiable sounds or 45, my own ears tell me that there are far more, but 42 or 45 identifiable interpretations of sound are plenty to cope with, and so we have our English alphabet. A modern European language, 26 letters, which hold the key to simple literacy, just as much surely, as the abacus holds the key to simple numeracy.

         Even though the miracle of spoken language is absorbed naturally by our children, the basic skills of reading and mathematics have to be taught, and it is to simplicity we have to turn in order to teach and learn those basic skills.  Naturally man learned to count before he learnt to read, that ability is still possible within the young child and should be an essential part of reading preparation.

       I have redesigned the Abacus in order for it to become universal in concept, as far as the alphabet goes all I need to do is to return to basic logic in language.  I provide simple learning resources, but I consider that a return to common sense in teaching reading was long overdue.

 Seven simple steps in reading. and 22 two-letter words hold the phonetic key to universal primary education. Children teach children.

Intelligent education

By definition intelligent education has to be simple, I am primarily concerned with primary education, as far as mathematics is concerned we have developed the counting game based on the abacus, chance encounter.  Which is intended to be used preschool or in the first year of school, also during the first and second year each child would utilise its own Abacus One. Every child using the Abacus for two years would be more than adequately taught the grounding of mathematics, Professor Winston Hagston has written a simplified book based on the Abacus mentality which will rapidly take the children through all their primary mathematics.  Utilisation of these three resources during the child's early years will ensure that they are taking part in an accelerated learning programme.

Every step they take in mathematics, is building a foundation for the next layer of knowledge, without systematic steps being utilised, the child's ability to grasp difficult concepts in mathematics is even harder.  In just the same way that mathematics knowledge is built up with layers of knowledge, reading is even more so, the Childs reading ability will limited if the seven logical layers of reading have been ignored.

  The seven layers of knowledge, that I identify within my reading book, starting with learning the alphabet rhythm, naturally which is extremely easy for every child, all one has to do is to sing the alphabet to the child, the sound of the alphabet in rhythm form, it is easy for the child to understand.  Not utilising this fully integrated verbal memory means that both the teacher and the child will have a problem in identifying the written letters, the symbols of sound, that the child has already learnt, in Alphabet sound.             It is easy for the child to follow the written alphabet when it already knows the sound of the alphabet, the child is learning easily, utilising a first layer of knowledge, in order to teach itself, a second layer of knowledge.

 My claim is that every child can recognise the letter a at two years of age and make the sounds that are associated with the letter.  A two-year old child can read the letter a.

Chanting the alphabet is the way millions of children have been taught to read.     Chanting is a simple technique, that as fallen into disuse, it is perceived to be morally wrong to know the answer before you understand the question.

Chanting is an ancient technique of teaching, just as ancient as the Abacus and the alphabet.  It is a technique that is just as simple and just as effective as is the use of the Abacus and the alphabet when you are teaching your own child, and it is even more effective when you are teaching 100 children at once, we are all programmed to learn from our hearing, to learn verbally, and it is easy for us, to remember a chant, it is not necessary to understand it, to benefit from it.  It is the third leg of a Bush school education.

To prove what I mean I will give you an instance in mathematics, if we take for example the Times Table sum Seven Times seven, without knowing the answer, we say to ourselves 10 Times seven is 70, and three Times seven is 21, we then subtract the 21 from the figures 70, where we have achieved the answer 49.  This is exactly how someone who has never learn the Times table, finds the answer to seven times seven, how much simpler can it be to known that, then by having learnt the Times Table.

When the child is utilising the Abacus it is possible for it to continually add seven, this demonstrates easily the principle of multiplication, the child grasps easily, that it can count seven, seven times, or it can remember it, from chanting it , these lessons I combine in early maths teaching, after all what is the child doing when it learns to say 1 2 3 4 5 representing the fingers from the left-hand and following it with 6 7 8  9 10 representing the fingers of the right hand.

Chanting is an easily learnt way, of remembering a great deal of knowledge, the type of knowledge, that a child needs to draw on instantly when it is working on mental arithmetic, in principle it is no different to a child searching its memory for appropriate words in speech, everything that it is possible to teach a child by chanting should be undertaken by that method, but equally important, is that we explain to the child the principle of the lessons that we are teaching it the answer to.

The Bush school illustrates the benefits of chanting as a concept better then any other example that one can think of, but the chanting technique is just as valid in the most up-to-date school room decked out with computers as it was 5000 years ago, it is also just as valid when you use it to teach your own child mathematics and reading.

Chanting is a natural way of providing us with the first layer of mental knowledge that we can retain easily for all our life. Just try it, we can ourselves recall most of the things we were taught correctly in chanting form, understand it well, and use it wisely.


This is a practical report on the necessity of concentrated action, as regards international primary school education.  Not only are we considering the Third World, we are also looking for alternative solutions in primary education within the developed world.

The purpose of the report is to initiate thinking in relation to how we bring the Third World primary education up to par, without a background of well trained, primary school teachers, without any basic equipment, without building facilities, without the finance to initiate a concentrated world effort in this area. An intellectual debate. Lateral thinking.

Over the last six years having inadvertently discovered the abacus, becoming fascinated with it, has led me down numerous avenues of thought.  My own previous life was taken up with farming and agricultural matters.  I could say that my business was destroyed by two international companies working together.

Our personal thinking, ideas and beliefs are the product of our lifetime’s experience.

These thoughts and ideas are mine, developed from my own personal lifetime experiences.  I should like you to share these concepts and work with me in developing and bringing about universal primary education of a standard which will allow those children without hope, to develop their own education, their own industries, their own art and their own lifestyles based on the highest standard of primary education that we can give them. 


Justice, based on democracy.

Truth, based on an acurate news service, the internet and scientific research.

Primary Education is the neglected third leg.  I give you my initial ideas and concepts for criticism or constructive consideration.  These three items are the only areas where one can aim effective effort towards sharing the responsibility of future world development.  They are illustrated clearly by my concept “The Problem”, a one page book.


At eleven years old our concept child should be able to read, write and speak in two languages.  It should be able to use a computer and do rudimentary typing towards that.

It should understand the geographical relationship between most of the 200 countries that make up the world.  It should be able to name a large proportion of those 200 countries. 

It should have some concept of its own countries broad history and be aware of the day-to-day world global situations.  It should be able to read a reasonable quality article and initiate debate from the ideas within it.  The child should be able to understand television news programmes and be familiar with radio stations (United Nations education by air concept).  This would naturally be part of the Bush School concept and has only occurred to me at this moment.

Mathematical competency after reading, and the ability this gives the child to research and think through many matters is of major significance. 

Our concept child starts at 3 years old and this gives us 8 years of pre-school infant and primary education.  For simplicity, I consider the term, primary education.  Within the first four years of a Childs mathematics teaching, at the age of 7 years old every speaking child should be able to answer questions on the times table.  Starting the Childs mathematical education, taking over from counting lessons given to the child by the teacher of most consequence (it’s mother), the child can be taught by sister, brother friend, teacher or Uncle Tom Cobbleigh, the basic mathematic principles, by the use of Abacus One, details of Abacus One are contained within a twin report on education and  as a part of this project.

Numeracy needs to be bestowed upon every child. From 3 to 11 years old the child should have 8 years of one hour a day numeracy, that hour, I would suggest is best given as the first lesson of the day. The first half hour of that lesson would be related to teaching differing concepts in mathematics.  The second, would be with the child working alone on worksheets, projects, questions etc. etc.  This half hour of concentrated thinking would give the child a working period alone, but supervised.  This subject enforcement would give natural control to the teacher.  No child that has been brought up on one half hour a day test paper for 8 years or the major part of its early school life would ever fear any exam or test in either mathematics or any other subject.  Assessment of the Childs progress would be clear to even the most limited teacher/classroom assistant.

As regards the times tables, “learning off by heart” is a term, which we might think of as “building in a programme to a hard drive within a computer”. Without basic numeracy, every child is disadvantaged.  Numeracy can be built up to cope with whatever life requires, but there is a natural ability coming from fluent thought in mathematics.  Concepts may be understood as a child develops without instant answers as per times table, but speed of thinking will always be impaired within any child that fails to learn it’s times tables properly.  The French regard this ability as paramount in their preschool education system.  The Childs ability to learn and retain chanted material at this time in its life is awesome.  Chanted material can be used for mathematics for the teaching of geography, and we accept it within teaching English, the use of poetry etc. 

My own mental picture of a Bush School is contained within the rest of this report.  It is up to you to develop it.  By you, I mean you, every person however limited in influence they may be, has a duty to train the next generation. Our very futures depend upon it.  The individual lifestyle of every child depends upon it.  My base philosophy as regards education is that we are in search of a “better standard of life” rather than “a better standard of living”. A well-educated country operating under democratic process being given the truth through news and scientific results will naturally bring them towards a better standard of living.


“The conquest of poverty is the quest for peace”, that is a quote from the chairman of the World Bank, Jim Wolfson.











WHAT      To ensure that within the next 20 years, every child on earth shall enjoy the benefit of a comprehensive primary education.

WHY      In order that they as individuals reach their full potential so ensuring the future of the planet earth as a viable place where mankind can live in peace coping with the difficulties of feeding and housing an ever-growing population.  Utilising the technology that will ensure the world population lives within its own resources.

HOW       Through the use of volunteerism carried out by students in gap years and post degree years (an international VSO project).

WHERE      It is the concept of the proposition that a model primary school should be used both in the third world and deprived areas of the Western world utilising the technologies that are available




  • The concept of this school is to provide the link between the Third World and the Western World.
  • Natural lateral thinking quickly led to the Concept known, not Prince Charles, but Prince William for a UK figurehead, (after all he as of the 15th June 2001 doing VSO work in Africa). 
  • The Bush School Concept can be added into any other Third World or even Western World Concept it is after all searching for a reform in education using minimal tools giving maximum effect.
  • Children teach children.
  • Prince William should he become the figurehead of the project would be available to meet all volunteers that were to take part in The Bush School Project.
  • Initially volunteers from families who could provide the funds for their children to take part in the project would be asked to fund their own child. The thought of their child shaking hands with Prince William should be enough to prompt many middle class families to support the project.
  • Where an individual wish to take part in the project we can formulate a plan to attract local funding to enable the young student/ person to take part in the project
  • The project moves along with Kennedy’s Peace Core and the VSO concept
  • One years international voluntary service for every student should they so wish
  • The concept of the Bush School is one of a working group of Western students working in a small working party between five and ten taking on individual to co-opt ongoing work after initial years project.
  • United Nations, International Voluntary Services Overseas, Primary Education Project.
  • In order to promote the concept of children teach children on an international basis, partaking Countries would need to promote the concept under a figure-head for example if Prince William were to agree to become the UK representative, figures such as Bill Clinton would come on board for America and this would make it possible to recruit high level individuals in further Countries.
  • Running small working parties based around defunct field ambulances, donated by Western Countries with the addition of a few all-terrain motor bikes would provide a small working centre for a group of Western students or either before or after or during their professional studies.  These working groups should cover one professional teacher, one engineer, one builder/joiner one farmer, one medical doctor/nurse and one all rounder capable of managing the project. 
  • The United Nations has recently come up with the term volunteerism and it is a useful term and concept to base a radical effort in Third World Primary Education.  Once a model was set up and one or two working parties under way, the ideas would evolve on an ongoing basis.  Without payment, having to be made to these working groups, (funding coming from the Countries taking part) the United Nations would help with materials and limited infrastructure probably needed to set up primary schools.  (Also, the Countries benefiting from the project could be invited to co-operate in providing some funds). However, to get the broadest spread the management of these teaching groups teaching basic reading, writing, mathematics, geography and some history from a World point of view the project would have to keep down the costs in order to gain the maximum coverage.
  • The long-term aim would be to establish the concept of a year’s voluntary service being committed to by Western students with different skills.  This concept of giving time during a Western University course would be of great benefit to the students concerned.  We would in effect have a win win situation.  Help for children and Countries finding it difficult financially for their population to provide basic education. It is unlikely that these matters will be brought up to Western standards, even within the next 20 years.
  • The win, as far as the Western students are concerned is that they are experiencing directly, life in Third World Countries, they are being given a crash course in independence, taking care of others, using their initiative and hopefully becoming more open minded, caring and aware of the difficult economic circumstances that the majority of the World finds itself in.



  • We have to look for a simple model educational system, which can be carried out, almost in the open air and with pretty much unqualified teachers. I have evolved the phrase, children teach children for my thinking on these matters.  I have also simplified my own educational thoughts into 4 areas. Firstly thinking, which in some ways is similar to mathematics. My abacus can be used as the basis for maths teaching in open air schools, so thinking and mathematics are group one.  Group two, has to be language, obviously most of the material available is in English and as the most common language is English, it is best to first concentrate on this language, reading, speech, music and poetry.  Thirdly, Art, pictures, photographs, models, making wooden models, clay modelling, using pictures to explain how people dress, how they work to illustrate areas of learning along all the levels of age.  The fourth area has to be the physical area.  How do you cook, how do you work, playing physical games, learning physical skills, e.g. in a more complicated school situation, typing will become even more important in a Childs school life.  .  If we keep those four areas of education in mind, we should build on it a model school in which we can provide the right tools and format for a bush school/third world school or self help school in a more costly society for e.g. specifically a school for children who do not respond to formal education.  My own observation of this tells me that as soon as children fail to understand what they are being taught, they turn off.  They are willing to concentrate for lengthy periods of time, if they are involved, if they understand what is happening and they are actively taking part in the class.  My observation of Asian children, using an abacus and becoming totally involved in it shows that.  The physical movement of the abacus itself develops their understanding of mathematics by starting with small sums, which are fairly obvious and developing the sums and complications and guiding the child on how to use the abacus develops a Childs own mathematical understanding.
  • There are a growing number of children who have turned from mathematics very early in their lives and because of this, find it very difficult to work through their other school curriculums. So, here we have to think of a school, which can teach itself.  Methods which are simple and can be copied at low cost,
  • To take on education a step further, one important aspect we should try to develop for the Third World is a self build and self help smallholding, in which we help develop a model of rapid house building, using local materials with ideas from all around the World on how to build cheaply and effectively for shelter and a protected family life.  Building a home I a Country like Liberia should also be featured around food subsistence, maybe because of the areas  nature, not rice or cereals, but maize and other crops considered more the area of gardening, than agriculture and a small scale animal model 20 chickens producing eggs and some chicken meat, probably a sow, and either a goat or cow for milk.  In other words we need to set up a home and farming model from where a main breadwinner can subsist without full-time outside work constantly available to them.  The benefits of this are that they would not have a mortgage to pay if we could persuade the government to award the people a small area of land; they could build their home with their own labour or on a shared skilled basis.  They could grow their own crops and take care of a major part of their diet especially in a climate where fruit grows so plentifully.  It is a step towards other freedoms.  The only freedom an individual in the West has, is free air.  Everything after that has to be bought. He has to be part of a Society and if Society decides not to give him his fair share, if he is unable to find a job, his only alternative is to steal.  We have to build a model for the Third World, which allows an individual to develop for himself, a way of life, which is not Western orientated only.  An individual has limited time available, after taking care of as many parts of their life as possible.  Radio will invade their World quickly, BUT THERE IS NO POINT IN HAVING PROGRAMMES BEAMED TO A POPULATION THAT ARE NOT RELATIVE TO IT.
  • Thinking through, how why where what when.
  • The primary schools, what should be the main criteria, and that we should judge a primary school by.
  • Are the children happy, without any doubt the second criteria of any primary school, is, are the children happy.
  • What does happiness mean, as regards a small child in a primary school. Firstly there should be no negatives, are the children being bullied.  By either teachers or pupils.  Do the children feel safe, are they making friends, are they happy with a workflow they are attempting.  Can they understand the lessons they have.  Are they excited and eager to learn.  Can they cope with the length of a period.  Personally I feel that happiness is the main criteria.  No child can excel at school if it is miserable, any form of stress, inhibits the child from absorbing lessons.
  • Most importantly the individual child should be happy, and therefore it follows that all the children should be happy with their school, it also follows  that the teachers should be happy, following on from that third party individuals working within the school, should also be happy.
  • Inevitably this criteria is the responsibility of the headmaster.  The responsibility of running a school, is far greater then the responsibility of running a business, it is not in the gift of a businessman, to be able to ensure that his employees are totally happy.  But it is inevitably the responsibility of a headmaster to ensure that his pupils are happy.


  • trial and error
  • verbal instruction
  • written instruction
  • illustrated instruction
  • TV documentary
  • physical examples
  • chanting times table
  • chanting class register
  • chanting geography
  • whole class chanting
  • whole school chanting
  • memory experience pain or pleasure.
  • Holding attention.
  • Children watching a TV documentary all see exactly the same thing, they share a common experience, then they can discuss that experience, and then they may grasp the essence of the lessons, if they are paying attention. The documentary can be rolled again and again, children can be questioned, on what they have seen, a question and answer session will reinforces the lessons to be learned from the documentary.
  • How do we use documentaries in a school? – enquire - amount.  With something as compelling as TV with its ability to replay as often as we need to, it will inevitably be a primary teaching tool, low cost schooling in any situation.  Whatever facilities are available, the use of a TV documentary should never be ignored.
  • Accelerated learning will inevitably mean using TV documentary on all relevant subjects.  Handling the reinforcement of the lessons, needs to be part of the understanding of the messages carried through to the pupils. Secondary education, will benefit more and more from this style, its use in a primary school will inevitably be restricted, but to leave it out will inevitably mean that the child is losing out.  We need to consider it in a primary education, but even more than that we need to consider the handling of the reinforcement.
  • The questions to be asked our, how much TV documentary, what part of the day, what reinforcement.
  • TV documentary, TV plays, TV soaps, films, utilise the minimum of the child's imagination.
  • Listening to a radio programmes, or a lecture, utilise a greater part of the brain then that used while watching a film.         A DIFFERENCE
  • Insuring maximum attention is the essential part of teaching the listening child.  Using a tape, of a special nature, enables us to use and reuse something of a special interest.
  • Tapes therefore should be an essential part of any school.  The questions are, what tapes, what time of day, what reinforcement of the lessons is needed to ensure maximum benefit.
  • Direct lecture, teacher and pupil interaction, how much, how long, what subjects, feedback, children working in pairs, children on the same age working in pairs, children of mixed age working in pairs, how long, how often, what subjects, children working in larger groups, how long, how often, playing cards, and beneficial group activities, what when and where and why.
  • It is essential that the child is excited by what it is learning, and that it is never bored, for long, lessons should inter-relate, children teach children, rethink everything.
  • The visual interactive material, what material, what subjects, copying important pictures.  Reinforcing the subject of the picture using the Childs own abilities to copy. Copying whose pictures.
  • Learning to type, learning to use a computer, what work does the child do on the computer.  Spelling, grammar.  Reading.  Understanding the computer. General and I T abilities.  What length of time should they use a computer for.  Keyboard skills.  Exploration of the Internet.  What age.  How often. What part of the day.
  • Should it be two children, should there be three children? 
  • Physical use of a pen, Control of pencils, control all types of pens and pencils in art, being taught to write, quickly, well, stylishly, script, singly, flowing style, using a biro, printing, developing the Childs own style,
  • Re-thinking the curriculum in a modern primary school.
  • Re-thinking the curriculum in a Bush school.
  • Re-thinking the curriculum in every school.
  • Playtime is best.  Physical activity, children reacting internally with each other.  What activities can be encouraged in the children's free time. What work is set for, homework, and awareness of others, .
  • A child is at a distinct disadvantage, if it does not speak well, if it does not have good manners.  If it is not kind, if it is not caring, if it has no background knowledge, if it is selfish, has no style.
  • World awareness
  • And geography are an essential part of a Childs early education, a child should understand the weather, North South East and West.
  • Every school should have a sundial.
  • Every school should have a chessboard.
  • Every school should have a rainguage.
  • Every school should have a weathercock.
  • Every school should have a monster world globe.
  • In terms of a Bush school's, needs, what other items on low cost, can we develop, from rethinking everything.
  • Trial and error. Trial and error for the child, trial and error for the teacher, trial and error for the curriculum, trial and error for the headmaster, experimentation for the school, experimentation for all schools, experimentation for all schools in whatever country they maybe.

MATHS:        One hour plus at the start of the day. Using Abacus One, further abacus equipment, calculators, pen and paper (teaching mathematical tricks)

BREAK:         Children would use this period of time to explore and utilise playground equipment of a basic nature. Sundial – height measuring – outdoor chess set – rain gauge – wind gauge – weathercock indicating wind direction + N.S.E.W.  PLUS numerous other activities, which can be created for little cost and that, are useful in this break period.  

LANGUAGE: Native language combined with English. Where English is the native language, combine it with French. Phonetic teaching of English plus cards indicating two languages on important words.


The children would start, slightly before they were going to eat, preparing their local food and learning how to cook it, care for it in storage and relating back to the production of it.


This period would be used for practical geography lessons combining any practical subject learning through whatever accelerated lesson which could be utilised e.g. World Chant combined with the use of enlarged world map and the worlds countries giant jigsaw made in plastic suitable to write on to insert capital cities eventually. Each country to be written in native language and English.


History based only on verbal stories read by the teacher or the use of audio equipment. Stories would be advanced in native language first, but a simplified follow up in English could be utilised using picture books with shortened versions of the same story.

(By late afternoon most active children are tired and that is the period that they will sit quietly using their imagination to understand history based on stories.)



These should be based entirely on the use of a recording machine, valuable and informative documentary tapes (please tuck them all up by ten!!)


1.      Children teach children – how do we best organise and manage this?

2.      The dynamic of multi-age groups in learning.

3.      Maybe in Western Schools we need to teach children less in order for them to learn more.

4.      Latest educational theory is to create longer periods.

5.      Children learning mathematics with an Abacus should be constantly faced with work sheets once the basic principles are understood. This would prepare children for constant testing and illustrate to those in charge, those children who need further help.

6.      Even limited research indicates that the home environment is most likely to be the most important aspect of any child’s learning. In order that we can persuade parents to take on more teaching and training tasks with their own children, we have to link the methods in early primary school with assistance being offered by parents within the home. The use of Abacus One in this aspect is a glaring link that should be provided wherever possible.

An open letter to Microsoft

Dear Mr Gates

Re: Primary Education

To ensure that within the next 20 years, every child on earth shall enjoy the benefit of a comprehensive primary education.  In order that they as individuals reach their full potential so ensuring the future of the planet earth as a viable place where mankind can live in peace coping with the difficulties of feeding and housing an ever-growing population.  Utilising the technology that will ensure that the world population lives within its own resources.

I am writing to acquaint you with my project.  I believe that it is very worthwhile, and if you are reading this, then I believe that I may have influenced some of your colleagues so enabling me to have this letter delivered directly into your hands.  From the best information available at the moment, it is estimated that only one person in a hundred has the benefit of a university education, and the probability is that on a world scale, only one person in a hundred owns a computer. 

Thanks to the work that you and other IT experts have developed, we have a medium within the internet for constant updating of technical information. On the very day new technical discoveries are made, they can be made available to the world.  That is the world in possession of a computer.  Technology uptake is the factor that will ensure or not, the existence of a peaceful or relatively peaceful world in the future.  The world’s problems do not lie with the well educated, well informed and well fed, they lie within the ill educated, ill informed and poorly fed. 

We are constantly reminded that it is better to teach someone to fish than it is to catch fish for him.  And it is within this aspect of primary education where the crux of the world’s future lies.  My project is an intellectual project.  In order for it to be brought into being, it has to be thought through properly, debated and refined.  To ensure the full cooperation of the United Nations and the democratic countries of the world, with I would assume the most useful help coming from the multi national companies with international vision. 

No one today will be using a computer without the aid of some Microsoft system. The supply and development of computers and software will continue apace, but in the short-term we have to put into place a project, which will bring up-to-date teaching throughout the Third World and in difficult urban situations that teaches basic skills without the use of a computer. Within the last few hundred years and throughout history we have seen many men who made important marks in history, who had not had the benefit of a university education system or even the benefit of secondary education, but they had the benefit of a good primary education provided by a good primary school or individual mentor.

I would imagine that no one recognises the value of computers and their ability to help in secondary and university education more then yourself.  I fully recognise the ability of a computer to assist in the learning process, at any age.  Thinking ahead it is inevitable that the larger amount of teaching in most secondary schools and universities will be replaced by direct computer to student teaching.  This will have the effect of reducing the need for formal teaching as we know it today, so reducing the costs of setting up the secondary schools and universities in Third World countries, academic subjects will probably be taught directly from the computer and practical and physical subjects will most likely be taught in the specialist colleges.  Those children that have the benefit of a good primary education, in the poorer countries of the world will most likely take jobs and continue their education through the use of computers within their homes.

Most children arrive at primary schools around 4 to 5 years old and speak fluently their native language without having been near any formal teaching. Even the most simplistic research into learning indicates that we are learning from the cradle to the grave.  The importance of primary education is that it should give us the tools enabling us to master the intellectual and physical skills, which are necessary for us to continue our cradle to the grave education.

At around five years old, children are extremely anxious to learn, with the exception of children whose families are computer buffs we would consider them to be at an age where the computer is of limited use.  They are being taught the basics in mathematics, and they are being taught to read, developing their vocabularies, it is also an essential time for them to interact with their classmates.

You must be the best bundler of knowledge that the world has ever seen. Even the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the unopened books it traded in was as nothing compared with the way you'll have bundled and sold knowledge.

Effectively the knowledge you bundle is being utilised virtually every day by the customers who paid good money for it.  You are the most effective, distributor of knowledge that the world has ever seen.  This gives your company only immeasurable wealth, it gives you personally immeasurable responsibility.

I am sure that you consider that you live up to your responsibilities and I am sure that given normal circumstances most individuals would judge you, to do so.  I am using a voice recognition system to write this letter, the development of that system will have utilised many of your products, the letter is being printed on word, whose word is printing it, we share a common language, that language is now effectively the language that teaches the world, it is a common link for the many languages that the different Countries of the world communicate in.  The language and the ability to read it, the ability to think in it, the ability to communicate with all others in it, gives the users on English-language special responsibility, not only are we able to communicate in it, think it, we now have the duty of conveying ideas in it.  It has been my contention for a long time, that all physical inventions and developments and all intellectuals concepts are clearly the property of every individual within the world, they are after all continuations of previous developments that have been made.  I am knocking on your door, I am bringing you an abacus and the ideas that have flowed from it.  This computer has a five thousand year history.  It is a concept available for all, not only are children taught on it, it was used for trade, for the development of ideas, for the benefit of mankind in general.  I believe that after 5000 years of development, that I have recreated its importance to mankind, not only from redeveloping it to providing it with the ability to carry any language, in order that even those small children without pen or paper, families or food, parents or schools can benefit from it, allowing those children, to learn, not only mathematics, but mathematics in their own language, and the written language of English.  I give you once again, the concept of the Bush school.  It could then probably be renamed The United Nations Primary Education Project shortening it to (UNPEP).

Its second of the United Nations primary education project. 

The Bush school is a concept, a concept in which we can all share.  A concept school, a school world where Microsoft can make its mark, not only will it make its mark, it will more than double its sales.

So hear me clearly Bill Gates, I am knocking at your door and behind me, stand millions of children that are being born into physical and intellectual poverty.  I am almost 62 years old and my race is nearly run. I am neither Christian or Jew, Mohammedan or Buddhist. I hold no religious beliefs only my consideration for the welfare of my fellow man.  I carry with me a torch, that is the concept of the Bush school.  It is a challenge to your ingenuity, to link the abacus and it’s teaching abilities with that of the computer. I consider it to be at least a 20 year project, in which you will need all the help you can get. There are only three important things to consider, primary education being the most important of those three issues.  A complete and truthful news service being the second of those important issues. The truth has to be told.  Important issues can be carried somewhere on the internet.  The internet provides for every man a space for the writings on the wall.  Once we can ask a question for a world audience, someone somewhere will provide us with a truthful answer, if it is intellectually possible to do so.  The third and final issue, is a democracy ladder and I use my illustration of the democracy ladder as a cover for my story of the problems mankind has to address. My personal thanks for everything with you that you have done so far, but the best is still to come

John Nicholson




Volunteerism is a good concept.  We can see in a minute, the meaning of it and the concept of it as regards one human being doing something, giving something, helping projects in any form without receiving payment can only be the way to maximise dealing with the problems that the World has.  We are all constantly made aware of the Third World population increases, health matters, feeding the ever growing population, every second five people are born and only two die.  We can arrange things to kill more of each other in wars or control our population to some extent, but whatever we have to prepare for larger World populations, which will inevitably come forward.  There is a statement, which says, “Nature abhors a vacuum” and to some extent, there is room for more people on Earth, but they will definitely have to manage that environment better than we are doing at the moment.  The United Nations will inevitably be the last resort of individual democracy and any hope for personal democracy to those populations locked in dictatorships and economic hells can only look forward to the United Nations help.  It has to be the prime mover in all democracy matters, even at this very moment it is trying to influence the outcome of matters in Afghanistan. It is trying to arrange a feeding programme, which will carry the population through the coming winter.  These are short-term matters and like all major problems, they have to be addressed in both short term, medium term and long-term arrangements. 


Within the Bush school project, there are areas, which can be used both in the short term and the long term as regards World problems of welfare, democracy and nutrition. 

Using the term volunteerism, we are not restricted to paying out wages for young people helping in Third World projects to a certain extent they can find their own day to day living allowance from either their parents, co-operating international companies or the wealthier third of the Worlds Countries loosely known as the Western World. 

If one takes the view that all knowledge is basically the intellectual property of all mankind generally, then it is fairly obvious that we are already living in one World.  Looked at globally, we appear to be making a mess of it, and inevitably whatever we do and for however long human beings occupy the Earth, they will appear in exactly the same light constantly. Isaiah Berlin described the last century as the very worst for mankind.  More people were killed through wars and starvation than ever before.  Even though this is true, the World’s population has risen sharply and no amount of wars seem to solve any problem. We are starting this next century with a bang.  There suddenly seems to be mainly because of the twin towers disaster in America, a rising World awareness of terrorism and the damages that it can inflict.  Terrorism carried out by small forces in Countries that are opposed to them and democratic will always be with us, but in the main, should be controllable.  Terrorism carried out on a national scale by corrupt governments of a dictatorship nature is entirely another thing.  Once a population is under the control of any totalitarian state, it loses its ability to think.  Differing opinions are suppressed. All media to some extent is controlled within the state only now do we have a possibility of outside information being passed to individuals into totalitarian states.  There is no stopping the information being carried on the internet. Neither information for the benefit of good or even information for the benefit of terrorist or perverted activities.  We can only seek to prevent the very worst information being placed on the internet using a Country by Country self policing policy. 

Hopefully, the coalition of governments organising events in order to protect themselves from terrorism will be a lasting union, which can oversee any action that is deemed necessary to protect any Country from repeated gorilla or terrorist action.  Political divisions of some Countries may be still be inevitable in order to protect the individuals within those Countries.  But, the common education and technical spread carried out by use of the internet and computers generally will inevitably break down Country to Country hatreds and religion to religion bias.  No one wishes to suppress any religion but domination by religious views is outdated.  One vote one man carried through the democracy ladder of our civilisation is the only practical and long lasting sustainable road to the future. 


Education is the fastest way of spreading not only up to date technology, up to date agriculture and science in medicine, crop production, health services and general human welfare.  Science should mean prove positive and science will lead us forward in order to benefit from education in its broadest sense we need to re-think it.  It will not be possible for every student to start school at a nursery school, primary school, secondary school, finishing off with two university degrees.  This is a privilege, which the World would be unable to sustain as regards the total population.  This however, does not prevent it giving the facilities of all those levels of education to all who wish to take part in it.  Primary education is a starting point where common facilities and methodology have some bearing.  Although, within the Third World, restrictions would be economically frustrating to primary education.


This is a mental attempt to form a pattern or model, which can be used with the minimum of facilities, even to some extent without a building in which to congregate.  We have to consider the facilities that can be placed in any children’s playground around a school or building where teaching is carried out or in playgrounds, which are built/created in villages and urbanely deprived areas in order to provide children with a safe haven in dangerous environments. There are a number of simple educational models and games of an intellectual benefit, which can be provided, simply in any school yard or any open area. Firstly, we can provide a sundial; secondly we can provide a weather vein and the East North South directional pointers, which accompany it.  We can provide a measuring tool on either a wall or a tree or as a fixed separate item built around a pole.  We can provide a long jump facility where measurement will become a norm.  Children can learn to appreciate distance, both running and jumping.  Large boards can be prepared for chess and draughts/checkers. There are obviously many other simple facilities, which we can add to playing fields and children’s playground areas.  In the Third World, gardening, horticulture, small scale food production should be a built in part of any education programme. The welfare of animals is an essential lesson in the provision of World food supplies.  Any reader of this should pause for a few moments and add to these lists. 


There will never be sufficient numbers of fully qualified teachers to teach the population of the Earth.  In a manner which we understand it in the West. We have to develop a model which is based on student to student, adult to adult, children to children but in practical terms those newly qualified students without family commitments are best suited to carrying out the Bush school project.  If we were to consider that one year of every child’s life should be given over to the teaching and welfare of the World’s population generally, given under the heading of volunteerism probably with only the choice of where you went, rather the choice of whether you go or not being part of the volunteerism concept.  The concept of every child doing one years world service, they could choose anywhere between 16 years old and 30 years old in which to perform their world service year.  The years service itself would form part of the educational background of all individuals and their eventual integration into a world population diffusion would be simplified by this year of world service. In the first instance, it would be impossible for every person to undertake this service, but from a willing truly voluntary starting point, the very basis of the education being carried out, would multiply the possibilities and the increases in this economically viable educational form of education.


It would be possible for all the present religious, national aid, differing World aid organisations to co-operate under the United Nations concept of volunteerism.  No project would need to lose its own individuality.  They could only benefit from being under the broad umbrella of the United Nations. With the facilities that the United Nations have to offer, demand and distribution of education would be made at will where these facilities were acceptable to local governments and provided by National governments where they were able to facilitate giving economic help for their own nationals to take part within these projects. 


World Aid in teaching under the United Nations should be primarily aimed at primary children only, under the care of their own parents or parent substitute.  Secondary education as such should be left entirely to national edict or places made available in international schools overseas.  In order that children can benefit from material, which is written in the World language of communication English, reading and writing in English as well as the national language would be a key part of this primary education.  Television and films of a technical nature are available everywhere, mainly in English.  Spoken tapes and stories are often best without film for at least part of the young child’s day.  By using the child’s own imagination, we can key in to their creative and imaginative brain.



This can be taught in primary education first by marking the fingers and toes with the numbers one to twenty, secondly by using the abacus which will teach the children to count and understand the layout of sums, especially the abacus which I have developed (Abacus One).  This is a simple plastic tool, which allows a child to learn all the essential elements of mathematics on which to build a full maths curriculum.  Cheap calculators are available for every child, once they are seven or eight years old and can benefit from them.  By using the abacus in the early stages, we can guarantee that the children fully understand the basic principals of mathematics and their speed of learning will be enhanced beyond normal teaching methods. 


In order that a child can learn geography quickly, schools should be equipped with both a globe showing the layout of the worlds countries and a large flat projection where every country is clearly marked.  I have developed a chant, which will through numbers, and initials, guide a child in learning the position of a large number of Countries quite quickly.  It is based on accelerated learning principals following on from this general books and maps should be available. 


In 1937 Dr Orton developed his phonetic teaching which Mrs Spalding and others carried on and developed.  We need to make research into providing simple tools allowing children to assimilate lessons that Spalding taught us in the reading and spelling of the English language.  Education itself is the very tool we need to develop the tools we need to teach.  In a physical sense, we take a stone to carve another stone, to carve a piece of wood etc. etc. We begin our Bush school model, we experiment, we think, we try, we try again and we develop ourselves a sustainable teaching model. 


In primary education, a child does not need to learn thousands of historical facts.  History can be used to develop the child’s imagination.  Stories from history involving children, situations, different Countries etc. etc. can be used in enlarging the child’s background knowledge of education in historical matters.  Think back to the first book you read, you will not be able to remember the names of the individuals within it or the dates, but you will probably remember the timescale that it took place in and the general background of the story.  History should be taught as a series of stories, they can be in the form of tapes with collections of pictures, they can be in the form of having the stories read to them or we can take the easy way out and use films. Using films will necessitate ensuring that the child had gathered the concept of the history it was viewing.  This means that it would also create an opportunity for the child to write and give its opinion on the historical films that it is watching.  To a large extent, on a Third World basis, the films and audio material that were used in schools should be based on reality, rather than abstract fiction. 


The practical should concern games, chess and checkers, sports and games, which can be carried out on whatever facilities are available.  In a Third World situation the cooking and preparation of food and the facilities being used in it should be a major part of practical teaching in schools in the same way that animal welfare, gardening, horticulture, rearing and management of fruit crops which could be grown in the areas and growing conditions where the schooling is taking place.  Simple woodwork ensuring children had some ability with tools etc. and if possible some engineering work dealing with metals and engines etc. etc. 


Realisation that medicine as we know it cannot be carried out in a Third World situation where there is no facilities for hospitalisation means that we have to rely on emergency aid and family nursing.  The medical help that is available would benefit from having either a nurse or a doctor as part of a group of five or six working/teaching students.  Models of field hospital situations could be used to establish some form of clinics etc. etc.  An agricultural student would be a valuable asset in order to promote the growing and extension work necessary in agricultural and horticultural areas.  An engineering student would be of benefit in order to keep a group working vehicle in order and to develop engineering of a simple nature necessary for crop production and housing etc. etc.  As the main stay of the school, it would be of benefit to have a student either qualified or being trained as a teacher.  All projects require a team leader.  In some forms this may be a politician in some forms it may be a businessman, in some forms a business executive.  In engineering projects, it may be an agent, but an overall team leader is a necessity. Individual skills and training would be part and parcel of their own personal development, but the team leader would be responsible, as the primary school project manager.  Naturally the teams would contain both male and female as well as being probably of a mixed nationality basis.  The ladies that were involved in the team would be naturally equipped with advice on how to teach birth control and child welfare matters as well as any other matters pertinent to the local female population.  It is envisaged that the school would become a centre, not only for primary school education, but for pre-school education. Children could be kept in a crèche under the supervision of the teachers and the older children.  The school could become in the evening a learning centre for adults where ideas and facilities were explored and exchanged. 

In order that we may explain parenting skills and the necessity of the parent’s involvement with their children, not only from a baby or toddler point of view but throughout the child’s immature and early mature life, we need to impress on the parents that they are in part, responsible.  All children should benefit from association and help from their parents.  We should ensure that the parents are instructed on how they are able to assist their children in the educational and emotional phases of their maturing years.  To illustrate this point, I shall write a letter as though it was from the Head teacher to the child who is entering school for the first time.

The affair’s of an individual or a country are rarely in perfect order, at the inauguration of John Kennedy as president of America, he identified the world's problems, and was determined to start to solve them, his words were, “let us begin,” for my own benefit some years ago I prepared what I describe as a one-page book dealing with these matters, maybe you would consider it my epitaph.



To understand a problem is

over halfway to solving it.



To understand a problem is

over halfway to solving it.








































For further information please contact John Nicholson on +44 (0)1964 551945
Abacus House, The Green, Bishop Burton, East Yorks, England, HU17 8QF

Abacus & Alphabet is a venture of the Nicholson Easy Learning Centre