Our programs | Literacy Support | STEM Programs | Broadening Horizons | Pathways beyond school

Our programs

Ardoch’s education support programs aim to increase engagement in education, build aspirations and enhance learning outcomes for the children we work with. These programs support their education by developing skills in literacy and numeracy, providing positive adult role models and developing social skills in children and young people in need of additional support

Many children across our partner schools face issues that create barriers to education and affect children’s learning outcomes. These include:

  • Trauma
  • Domestic violence
  • Unemployment
  • Bullying
  • Language barriers
  • Family instability
  • Refugee and asylum seeker families
  • Family breakdown
  • Drug and alcohol addiction

Literacy Support

Ardoch’s Literacy Support provides early intervention programs to improve the literacy and language skills of children in their crucial school years.

Children are more likely to succeed when they enjoy their learning, so through Ardoch’s literacy programs we aim to make literacy fun to increase confidence and engagement with their education.

Education volunteers

Ardoch’s Education Volunteers provide in-classroom literacy support to engage children with reading, writing and language exercises aimed at improving their confidence, engagement and interaction with literacy.

Ardoch places screened and trained volunteers into school classrooms at the request of our education partners. Working one-on-one with a student or a group of students who need extra help with their literacy skills, our Education Volunteers become a valued addition to the classroom and a welcome relief for teachers.

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Literacy Buddies®

Ardoch’s Literacy Buddies® program matches classes of primary school students (Little Buddies) 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. This program gives children a real-life context in which to practice their writing and composition skills and aims to build the aspirations of the children by bringing them into contact with successful working role models from a range of careers.

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Writer in Residence

Ardoch’s Writer in Residence program sees published authors deliver book-writing workshops to engage children in literacy. The weekly workshops extend over four weeks with the writer helping students identify story ideas, build characters, pen their stories, edit, create illustrations and publish a story book, or anthology. 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.

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STEM Programs

Ardoch’s STEM programs help foster children’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills in fun, engaging and relevant ways.

Most of the current fastest growing occupations require STEM knowledge and skills. Children and young people who live in areas facing disadvantage are often require extra assistance to reach optimal education outcomes.

Numeracy Buddies

Ardoch’s Numeracy Buddies program matches students (Little Buddies) with workplace volunteers (Big Buddies) so they can 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.

This program helps children improve their maths skills by encouraging them to verbalise key concept. By building an understanding of how maths is used in different jobs and workplaces, this program makes maths an interactive and fun activity while building students’ aspirations by introducing them to positive working role models from various industries.

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Ardoch provides age-appropriate robotics kits and tech boxes to partner schools to give students opportunities to learn coding, engineering and problem-solving skills to prepare them for future careers. 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 supporting student learning.

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Broadening Horizons

Ardoch’s Broadening Horizons program provides children with inspiring learning and life experiences to positively impact their educational outcomes.

Students are engaged in a range of cultural, social, wellbeing and STEM experiences that enhance the curriculum and support positive learning outcomes. Ardoch enables students to visit places of cultural and educational significance that they may not otherwise be able to afford, such as museums, Arts Centres, science museums, zoos, and much more.

We also partner with a range of other organisations to provide programs focused on social wellbeing and cyber safety.

These programs complement Ardoch’s STEM programs such as Numeracy Buddies and Robotics which share a focus on hands-on learning and engaging students’ curiosity.

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Pathways beyond school

Ardoch’s Pathways Beyond School activities focus on building career and educational aspirations and preparing students for life beyond school.

Through engaging learning experiences that are designed to support students’ preparation for their futures, Pathways Beyond School helps to increase aspirations towards continued education and training, with a view to gaining long-term employment. It has the following components

Students engage in a range of unique experiences that give them opportunities to connect with people from diverse businesses, institutions and organisations as well as in the wider community, and to meet positive role models.

Learning through lunch

This unique hospitality industry visit involves a class of students attending a two-course fine dining lunch at a TAFE or hospitality training venue. Groups of students are seated with a workplace volunteer during the lunch who encourages them to talk over the meal about paid employment and further education. A tour of the training facility is provided to prompt thinking about post-school options and further education.

Mock interviews

This valuable experience helps prepare young people for the job market. Secondary school students are connected with working adult volunteers who take part in mock interviews with students, helping them to practice and build interview techniques which are crucial to securing employment.

Speed careers

Secondary and senior primary school students are connected with a variety of working adults in order to build students’ awareness and understanding of the range of job types, careers, and work/study pathways that exist. During Speed Careers sessions students rotate in groups to hear from each speaker, learning about careers in areas as diverse as law/policing, trades, community work, health, manufacturing, banking and the arts.

Industry visits

Primary and secondary school students have the opportunity to visit industry workplaces to learn about the skills and training required in sectors that employ large numbers of young people, such as retail, hospitality, technology and health.


Primary and secondary school students visit a university or TAFE campus where they meet staff and students and complete activities related to university life. Students’ aspirations for further study are developed as they increase their understanding of the links between learning, higher education and careers.

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