For Schools

Partnering to support strong student outcomes

We understand that the needs of students can vary significantly within the classroom and teachers face competing demands on their time. That’s why Ardoch works with education partners around the country to support thousands of children and young people to enhance their learning outcomes.

In order to address the impacts of educational disadvantage in communities, Ardoch:

  • Trains and mobilises education volunteers
  • Delivers a range of programs to enhance;
    • Literacy
    • STEM
    • Wellbeing
    • Confidence and Social Skills
    • Career Aspirations
    • Educational Engagement

Where we work

Ardoch works alongside schools with an ICSEA (Index of Community Socio-educational Advantage) value below 1000. We deliver programs in Melbourne’s north, west and southeast and have expanded to Sydney’s west, as well as Brisbane, Perth and regional Victoria.

Our programs

Our programs are designed to help meet curriculum requirements and the FISO/NSW Wellbeing Framework.

We work closely with schools to deliver programs that address the needs of students, understanding that such needs may vary significantly between the communities we work with.

Education Volunteers

Ardoch’s Education Volunteers are placed in primary and secondary school classrooms and provide one-on-one or group literacy support.

Through targeted reading, writing and language exercises, our volunteers aim to help improve children’s confidence, engagement and interaction with literacy. Education Volunteers commit two hours a week for at least six months to the partner school they are matched to. We provide our volunteers with ongoing support and training to help them have the greatest possible impact in the classroom.

All Ardoch volunteers are screened, and trained.

Writer in Residence

Published authors deliver book-writing workshops to students at our partner primary schools. Children develop skills in writing, composition, and individual expression through creativity.

The weekly workshops extend over seven weeks during which the writer helps the children identify story ideas, build characters, pen their stories, edit them, create illustrations and put a story book together, or anthology of student works, which is then published and distributed to each child. The program aims to enhance students’ literacy and language skills, build confidence in their own voice, and enhance their aspirations for creativity, story-telling and writing.

Literacy Buddies®

Classes of primary school students (little buddies) are matched with workplace volunteers (big buddies) to improve literacy and inspire learning through the art of letter writing.

The Buddies exchange letters throughout the school year and visit each other twice, once at the school and once at the workplace. The program gives the children a real-life context in which to practice their writing and composition skills. The program also aims to build the aspirations of the children by bringing them into contact with successful working role models in a range of professions and jobs.

Numeracy Buddies

Classes of primary school students (little buddies) are matched with workplace volunteers (big buddies) from STEM fields and work together to solve maths problems through an online blog.

The Buddies blog every few weeks and meet once at the students’ school and once at the Big Buddies’ workplace The program helps children improve their maths skills by encouraging them to verbalise key concepts, and by building an understanding of how maths is used in different jobs and workplaces, making maths an interactive and fun activity. It also builds students’ aspirations by introducing them to positive working role models in various industries and professions.


Age-appropriate robotics kits and tech boxes are provided to partner schools, enabling students opportunities to learn coding, engineering and problem-solving in an applied context.

Robotics equipment is unattainable for many schools. Ardoch recognises the importance of STEM education for future jobs and provides an opportunity for students at our partner schools to learn about coding and engineering. The program encourages students to engage in teamwork and improve their collaboration skills. We also assist teachers to undertake professional development to improve their confidence in using the kits and support student learning.

Broadening Horizons’ STEM Programs

Students are given opportunities to engage in STEM inquiry through science-focused incursions and excursions.

Children can engage with interactive science and technology exhibitions, or learn about the wonders of the natural world, through both incursions and excursions.

These experiences are aimed at sparking curiosity, engagement and applied learning. The programs complement Ardoch’s Numeracy Buddies and Robotics programs, which share a focus on real life hands-on learning.

Broadening Horizons’ Culture, Social and Wellbeing

Students engage in a range of activities that support competencies in wellbeing and physical health, as well as exposing them to greater cross-cultural experiences.

Programs can be delivered both online and in the classroom, through incursions and excursions. They include initiatives like Project Rockit, which fosters respect, empathy, leadership and wellbeing and ALIVE, which covers mental health topics. Cultural experiences include excursions to Arts Centres and engagement in Indigenous Australian cultural activities.

Pathways Beyond School – Learning through lunch

Hospitality industry visits that involve a class of students attending a two-course fine dining experience and spending quality time with professional volunteers who share their career stories and life experiences.

Students and volunteers dine together with students asking questions of their mentors, who provide tips and advice on career options. Learning Through Lunch is often combined with Ardoch’s You-niversity program.

Pathways Beyond School – You-niversity

Partner universities invite students to visit a campus where they can meet the academics, hear from university students, participate in activities related to university life and take a tour.

This program aims to strengthen the links between higher education and students’ current schooling, building and supporting aspirations to undertake further study after high school. This can be especially important for students coming from families where no-one has attended university.

Pathways Beyond School – Industry Visits

Students get to visit industry workplaces to learn about the skills and training required in sectors with future employment growth. Industries they visit and learn about include retail, hospitality, technology, automotive and the health sector.

Pathways Beyond School – Speed Careers

Secondary and senior primary school students are connected with a variety of professionals to increase students’ awareness and understanding of the range of study and career pathways available to them.

During Speed Careers sessions, students rotate in groups to hear from each speaker, learning about careers in areas such as law, policing and engineering. The program supports students to imagine life beyond school and to engage with successful role models.

Pathways Beyond School – Mock interviews

In preparation for the competitive job market, young people participate in formal interview simulations with professional volunteer mentors, helping to build their communications skills, agility and confidence when interviewing for jobs.

Students receive helpful advice and can practice and build interview techniques that are crucial to securing employment, as well as encouraging them to consider their short and longer-term work options.

Costs and inclusions

Ardoch utilises funding and support from a range of sources to help make these programs as affordable as possible for the schools we partner with.  We provide three packages to meet the specific needs of schools. Our Education Partnership Coordinators are happy to explore options to see what might best fit these needs.

Please note where a school has multiple campuses each campus will need to have a separate membership


“Don’t give up and keep on trying. Put all your efforts in it and don’t be shy to show everyone your story. If you have an idea, don’t be shy to tell anyone.”


“We had the best time and we are so grateful for being allowed to participate in this amazing program.”


“I believe the day was a big success. Thank you for arranging this day- great experience for our students. Once again thank you so much for the amazing opportunities you are giving our students!”

Assistant principal

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