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The Arrowsmith Program - Strengthening Learning Capacities

“Holy Trinity is such a wonderful home (for the Arrowsmith Program), amazing teachers, amazing staff…. It (The Arrowsmith Program) is being implemented at a really high level of excellence, I am thrilled” Barbara Arrowsmith Young 2016


Holy Trinity Parish Arrowsmith Program

The Arrowsmith Program was founded by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young over 30 years ago in Canada and now operates in many schools across Australia in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Holy Trinity Parish Arrowsmith Program was the first Arrowsmith Program in Victoria.  Holy Trinity Parish consists of the communities of St Catherine’s Moorabbin, St Paul’s Bentleigh and St Peter’s Bentleigh East.

The Holy Trinity Parish Arrowsmith Program began in 2015.  This three year ‘Pilot Program’ commenced with an enrolment of thirty children from Years 1 to 4 with three Arrowsmith Classrooms operating across St Catherine’s and St Peter’s.  Of these 30 children, 14 were already enrolled in one of the Holy Trinity Parish schools and 16 came from all around Melbourne and country Victoria.  After tracking the children and seeking feedback from classroom teachers and parents we saw significant shift in the children's cognitive development. We then sought approval from the Catholic Education Melbourne to continue post our Pilot.

In December 2016 the Archbishop Denis Hart DD and the Executive Director of the Catholic Education Melbourne, Stephen Elder, informed us that they were giving their approval for the continuation of the Arrowsmith Program within the Holy Trinity Parish once the Pilot has been completed at the end of 2017.

It is with great delight that we announce that from the end of this year, the 2018 Holy Trinity Parish Arrowsmith Program will be implemented at St Catherine’s Moorabbin in a newly refurbished Arrowsmith Centre.  


The application process for our 2018 intake has commenced with vacancies for 2018 available in Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4.  Please see the Enrolment section on this website for more details and to complete an ‘Expression of Interest’ form.  


The 2018 HTP (Holy Trinity Parish) Arrowsmith Program

In the HTP Arrowsmith Program the students will be enrolled at St Catherine’s Moorabbin and will be part of a mainstream classroom.  The students will be timetabled timetabled to be in their Arrowsmith Classroom for 4 sessions a day (each session is 40 minutes in duration). In the Arrowsmith Classroom, children work on cognitive exercises that are programmed for each individual student thus personalising their learning.  

A student’s individual Arrowsmith Program is developed from the initial testing and Cognitive Profile of the student. The program of exercises for each child is developed and monitored by Arrowsmith in Canada. The trained Arrowsmith Program teachers have 10 students in their classroom and work in consultation with each student’s classroom teacher to ensure the student has a well balanced timetable ensuring their social and emotional needs are met.  

The HTP has been authentic to the implement of the Arrowsmith Program.  We have an outstanding team of Arrowsmith Program teachers who are totally committed to each child reaching their full potential. All our HTP Arrowsmith Program teachers  have had significant experience in teaching and have a passion for supporting students who are in our HTP and they do an amazing job working in partnership with the classroom teachers and families.

What makes the HTP Arrowsmith Program different?

The benefit of having run a Pilot to begin the Arrowsmith Program within the HTP setting is that it has enabled us to constantly seek  feedback from parents, classroom teachers and students about how we can refine our processes and improve what we deliver to ensure we are delivering an outstanding Arrowsmith Program centred around personalising learning to support the students and their social and emotional wellbeing.  

Through the progress and growth we have made during our Pilot we are please to identify key aspects that help make the Holy Trinity Parish Arrowsmith Program a program of such high quality.  

These key aspects include:

Community Liaison Officer – HTP Arrowsmith Program established a position of a Community Liaison Officer that is responsible for:
- Supporting parents of students in the program with social gatherings and an ‘ear’ to listen
- Promoting the HTP Arrowsmith Program to the wider community through social media
- Apply for Funding  and Philanthropic  Grants to keep our runnings cost to a minimum

Homework Club – We have set up a ‘Homework Club’ at both St Catherine’s and St Peter’s school that is supervised by the parents or teacher aides to support the students and their families to complete homework 4 - 5 nights a week. This has been hugely successful and an aspect of our HTP Arrowsmith Program that enhances how we support our families outside of each school day.

Bring a Friend Sessions – To support student’s social and emotional wellbeing and their connectedness to their own peer level classroom we have regular ‘Bring a Friend’ Sessions where the students in the Arrowsmith Program bring a friend into the Arrowsmith Classroom for a session to show them how their cognitive exercises operate.

Open Mornings for Parents – On a regular basis we provide opportunities for parents to visit the Arrowsmith Classroom and to ‘work with their child’ on their cognitive exercises.

Students/Families having input into their timetable – Each child has an individual timetable that is developed in consultation with their families and classroom teachers.  We consult with classroom teachers to ensure elements of English and Maths are addressed in the classroom.  We consult with parents and children around which Specialist lesson (if any) the student will undertake each semester. Students in the Arrowsmith Program only participate in one weekly Specialist lesson as that is all the timetable allows.

Communication regarding your child’s progress – Families are presented with reports regarding their child’s progress throughout the year and have opportunities (PSG – Program Support Meetings & Parent Teacher Interviews) throughout the year to discuss their child’s progress.  

About The Arrowsmith Program

The Arrowsmith Program is founded on neuroscience research and over thirty years of experience demonstrating that it is possible for students to strengthen the weak cognitive capacities underlying their learning difficulties through a program of specific cognitive exercises.

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