Why Talking Doesn’t Change the World – What I Have Learned in 6 Years, Dr. Naoise O’Reilly

Content-EvolutionWhy is it so hard to change the perceptions of dyslexia and other conditions in education?

It would be so easy if all you had to do was talk about your story or be academically brilliant to change not only how others achieve but perceptions of what they can achieve.

I have always wondered why ideas of what dyslexics can do have not changed with all the successful famous people from Jamie Oliver to Albert Einstein. If all these people had done so much before me, why was I told at 17 I could not do any of it and that going to college was and I quote, "above my status".

If only what you had done could change the perceptions of how others approach the next generation.

One of the biggest frustrations for me was it never mattered what I had done before - I was always judged at the next stage of education. So even though I got over 500 points in my leaving cert and was in the 25% of the country the year I sat it when I got to college, lecturers refused to help me with notes because "I shouldn't be there and sure what was I going to do in the future anyway" and when I got a 1st for my degree and went on to my PhD I was given a lecture on the pyramids of education in my viva as to why I didn't deserve to be there at this level. It never mattered at any level what I had done before or what others had done before me. There was still a concrete idea that I couldn't be academically successful.

But almost 6 years on since I started my own education projects to develop methods to change education I now understand why I didn't want to be a motivational speaker. Why my approach has all been about action.

In order to really change the patterns of generations and the educational blueprint that has built up over decades you have to create an experience for people. They have to feel and know the difference.

In order to be truly successful people have to experience what it is like to learn differently - they have to understand how they absorb information, how they process it and how they can be truly successful.

Yes, the methods seem very simple to me and are easily applied to all as they are universal but the crux is that they have to be applied to real people. Then for every person I help to see differently and every family that is successful or every business they will approach the next set of people in a new light. I was told recently that "you have made me look differently at my employees and I can see how they learn now" and this was from working with someone's child. But by understanding their own child in a different way now from experience they see their own employees differently. I have always thought that business had the ability to drive education and that is why I work across both sectors now.

When I set out almost 6 years ago I had three objectives:

1: Literacy and intellegnce not in the same sentence.

2: Make school more enjoyable for everyone.

3: Make companies understand how everyone works differently and stop focusing on the difference.

I guess I have added a 4th one - to make everyone successful.

Almost 6 years on I have a set of methods to apply universally to the whole world to do just this - but it'll never be about me just talking about them. It's all about making as many people as possible experience something new that will gradually change the world over time. You can never go back once you have looked at people in a new light. You can never expect a dyslexic to be defined by their reading age once you have seen them get 9 out of 10 in the spelling test or 44 out 45 in the maths test. You now expect them to achieve academically and in life.

I have never been one for talking about what I'm going to do - I always just did it and now I understand why that action changes the blueprint for the future.

I'm an expression developist now because I express myself often but I give this ability to others too.

Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly.


Leaving Cert results 2013, A year later – the transformation of The Homework Club to Confidence Club

So it is one year on - our first state exams results since transforming The Homework Club into Confidence Club and I have been asking myself what are the real results?

In the past I found myself dancing around the real issues with students - as parents and students alike thought they were attending some form of "grind school" we spent more time by stealth in the background getting to the real reasons behind what was going on ... it was often a case of me waiting for an opportunity in the hall to chat casually to a student or waiting for the chance when a parent collected their charge.

Now it is all a lot more straight forward and upfront - which means less time waiting for the chance to talk about what is really happening. All too often the maths result or other challenge is just a factor in what is really happening in a young persons life.

This means a year later I can say that we have worked with real people, real problems and in record time. Many of the students I have met have required no more help from me or my team after the initial hour and a half meeting. Their whole lives have improved not just the "maths problem" or the "english essay rows". The time my team have spent in peoples house has been less that we would have needed in the school for greater return.

All round as what we do is not conventional in anyway it didn't make sense to continue with a conventional school model. I felt often that we had a revolving door as we got results too quickly and now we get them even quicker with a wider spectrum of people.

Another change for me is that I have often felt that we work with students that everyone else has washed their hands of - now we work with the really outside the box stories that no one has thought of! I truly enjoy the challenge and nothing has ever shocked me. I think there is no way now we can be seen as a simple "grind school".

I'm looking forward to what this year brings and all the amazing young people I will meet along the way.

Dr. Naoisé

Expression Developist™


A Year in Perspective – 2012

I encourage everyone to do this - What did I learn this year? What did I do? One of my Idols Francoise Dolto ran a radio program across France for years, she was a household name, a little like our own Gay Byrne... but she would never accept people phoning in to ask questions. She insisted that everyone wrote in as she believed that by sitting down to write you were half way to working out the problem for yourself. The act of writing the letter had made you think about the situation in the same way I reflect every year! This is the key to development. You have to constantly think about where you have come from and where you are going....

January - I started the year with a full page in the Irish Examiner on Homework... A topic I was to be later introduced in November as a "leading expert on." This was never an aspiration of mine... it wasn't in the PhD! But  you can't start a year much better than a whole page in a National newspaper 🙂 The Homework Club was three which passed in a haze of activity!

February - This was the formation month of the Confidence Club and we were set to work in the background on the logo, web design and all the rest.

March - I wrote The The Purple View to start to bring all the methods and research of the last three years of the Homework Club together. 

One review for the book Review for The Purple View

I didn't go to Oprah for the sake of the school and the students .. accepting the opportunity would have meant upending the terms and evaluations of the mocks - when the results can out in August and September I was really happy with my decision! We also started the use of "sound" research in the background to put into place for May and June when everyone would be really stressed! We had a sound guru come to explain to the whole team what the difference frequencies of music do to our brain. I have now taken the work to use on ADD and Aspergers students to create outlets for stress. We are also using meditation to help with Confidence!

April - I was back on the radio to support French parents who were boycotting homework in France - French Primary school students are not suppose to get any! I couldn't agree more. There really is more to everyone's life than homework.

May - This was the start of the methods and environment creation going outside The Homework Club. I was part of a business workshop in Cork where we set up the room and the experence to suit all the different learning styles in the room! Really exciting to see the environment created for adults!

June - it goes without saying that the whole time all of these other "highlights" were taking place I was still running a school and looking after a large amount of students. We had survived the character crushing season of the mocks and were now in the throws of the exams. I had high hopes for everyone and though to be honest for the first time ever there were a few people who were so borderline we had to put all our efforts into keeping everyone positive. I think it was the worst year to sit the leaving in decades but everyone got through! and even the people who we worried most about made it on to a course ... a path for the future! We packed up the school, The Homework Club which was a hugely emotional time for everyone involved but I feel it was time to move on to the next stage and keep developing. 

July - no work as I got married! Though I did wake up on the morning of my birthday with the term Expression Developist™ - I don't fit in anyone else's box so I made a new one ...

August - I came back to head straight off to the London Olympics ... it was the most fantastic experience to be in London for this special occasion... I learnt so much and filled note books on what I saw which will all go towards the new book. For me it did inspire!

August also saw the start of the Confidence Club and being able to support students across the planet not just in a small area of Dublin...I also started formally working in the business world using my own brand of profiling to reinvent business people, Purple Profiling. This has meant me working across the globe and has increased my understanding of how the patterns I saw in a school in Blanchardstown are universal for all ages, cultures and environments! I can't wait to write the book! Of course the Leaving cert results were amazing - and I always wish I could tell the stories of determination and success. 

September - My favourite time of the year as it is Fringe Season! I had a ball as usual and my favourite show was "I'm not ADHD I'm just Bold". This was the month of the amazing Junior Cert Results - I see every year that it makes such a difference when we start working with people younger. We can really set people up for life rather than trying to get them through and find all the alternative paths ... It felt like together we had proven everyone wrong about what dyslexics in particular can and can't do!

I was part of my first training session at Croke Park and mentored my first athletes "outside" of the school environment .. setup the workshop environment for a training session at the University of Limerick... all really exciting on top of the Confidence Club and Business Profiling that has been ongoing since August!

October- Wrote a book proposal for the new book and am actively seeking a publisher! It seemed to be photo competition season... my other passion in life - I also finished a painting! It seemed to help me think away from the computer or pen! It's been about putting everything together that I have learnt to date...

November - Saw a return to radio a year since I had first started the debate on homework. There has been a radical change in how we now approach it too - since I haven't got it abolished yet, I'm working directly with parents to make it doable and reduce the time and stress spent on it. If you can't beat it conquer it! I also had several meetings that it has felt like I have spent two years prepping and working myself up to. I was filmed by RTE television as part of program to be aired in January ... This month has felt like the setup for next year!

December - will be London 12 12 12  .....


My Year Dr. Naoisé now an Expression Developist™ 



Expression Club™ November 17th 2012 Ages 7-11 Years

Expression Club™
November 2012 Ages 7-11 Years

Strictly only 10 Student places for each workshop

This November we are continuing with our Confidence Club workshops. The Workshop will be aimed at the age range 7 to 11 (we will as always match the best students to work together).

The Workshop will last 4 hours - our magic formula!

In order to be eligible for a workshop you must first complete our initial interview, this allows us to create an educational profile to match the student, to create a tailor made Workshop and to concentrate on their areas of strengths and weaknesses. We as always believe that everyone has their best way to take in information, process it and express it.

Book online by completing the Book Appointment for inclusion. There will only be 10 Student places.

The workshop will take place on a Saturday to allow students to travel from outside the Dublin area.

We are now moving to Workshops of intense time periods to allow us to focus on Written, Verbal, Media, Creative and Social Expression. We will use a number of different exciting mediums to work with and a broad range of topics. We want to see the students leave with a whole range of new found skills, self-awareness and Confidence. It will be how to present yourself to the world, not only in a school context but way beyond for life. We always focus on skills for life not just for school or exams! As always we will be focusing on each personal student and their Aptitudes Personality and Dreams.

Our aim of the workshop is to support all the students we are already working with and give them that extra boast of confidence in a group setting - a group they feel they belong too! We want every participant to feel more comfortable in who they are, what they are good at and to be able to complete their everyday school work easier and faster!

Look forward to meeting all our new students and some of our "old" friends....


Dr Naoisé O'Reilly

Expression Developist™



Why our new Workshops will be 4 hour sessions that see amazing results?

Our new Workshops that will start this August will take into account that we find the magic number to change a students life is 4! Yes in only 4 hours we have seen huge changes in the 500+ students we have worked with over the last 3 and half years at The Homework Club.

In suddenly 4 hours we have had students that have never been able to express themselves finally writing - they have learnt structure they never understood or comprehension skills or suddenly become motivated to enjoy learning - they have discovered who they are - they have made friends for the first time - they suddenly feel someone finally "gets" them - they have had the confidence to join clubs outside school for the first time - they walk into a room and say hi - they stand straighter - they smile!

The Confidence Club Workshops will take place at weekends allowing students to travel from greater distances and achieve huge results in once intense workshop setting - our aims will be much broader as we have always know that exam results are a very small part of the picture in developing lives - the results always just come when everything else is right! Our aim is for every studnet to know who they are and to feel they can be that person...

Dr. Naoisé


Confidence Club Workshop August 2012 – Primary to Secondary School Transition

Throughout work at The Homework Club for over 3 years we have become Experts in the challenges faced by students making a smooth transition from Primary school to Secondary. We have run a Workshop previously that has included much of the personality therory and learning style methods to enable students to be able to develop into the best learners so they can achieve their true educational potential starting Secondary school.

As the academic year progresses we will be running a variety of Workshops to suit the needs of students from 5 years of age right through to third level education at the times we know they need our support and unique skills to get the best from their potential.

The focus of the Confidence Club is now much broader and we wish students to learn a whole variety of new skills including networking, social, self branding, online profiling and media skills to allow them to start to develop their own careers at a much earlier age - we feel many people don't learn the skills they need for real life within the school system, while others feel they "fail" school and struggle to find their path in life. We would argue that school fails these students and that we need to teach people a much more modern skill set for modern success in todays world.

As with all our courses the places will be strictly limited to 10 and there will be an inital interview process to allow us to personalise each Workshop for the students attending. Everything we do is set up to work at 100+%. We achieve this by having a one to one interview and evaluation with the learner so they feel part of the process from the beginning. We set the goals and learning style for each particpant. Awareness of yourself is a key element of our success.

If you wish to enrol in our Workshop for this August - it will take place the weekend before the state schools recommence - allowing the students to put their new found skills into immediate practice and experience the results.

Please complete the appointment form for inclusion.





Welcome to the Confidence Club

One step closer to fulfilling a personal dream of mine - "to make school a happier, creative, more successful and enjoyable place for all students, regardless of their differences"... Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly

There is always a balance between making long term changes in education and supporting those people currently in the system!

One of the many reasons why Students attending The Homework Club become so successful is because of the awareness they have of their own Potential, Personality and Learning Style and how these effect their own educational success. Every Student at The Homework Club is set-up to work to their best abilities within the environment through an initial interview.

The Confidence Club now offers this service to everybody, especially those restricted through distance and who aren't able to attend our classes at The Homework Club.