Our programs | Literacy  | STEM | Pathways beyond school | Wellbeing

Our programs

Engagement in education is the key to opening future pathways and possibilities. Without it, the cycle of disadvantage and inequity continues.

One in three children facing disadvantage start school developmentally behind their peers. Our educational programs are designed to help address this gap by building children and young people’s confidence, aspirations, social skills and wellbeing. These are essential elements for enabling full engagement in education and a love of learning.

We offer programs in the areas of Literacy, STEM, Pathways Beyond School and Wellbeing, with our partner schools choosing the ones which best meet the needs of their students.


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

Children are more likely to succeed when they enjoy their learning, which is why our literacy programs are designed to make reading and writing fun, while building confidence and engagement.

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Education Volunteers

Ardoch’s Education Volunteers provide in-classroom literacy support to directly engage children in reading, writing and language exercises.

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.

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 role models from a range of careers.

Writers in Residence

Ardoch’s Writers in Residence program sees published authors deliver workshops to creatively engage children in literacy.  Our authors run weekly workshops over four weeks to help 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.


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. But many children and young people facing social and economic disadvantage simply don’t have access to tools and technology within the home. That’s why Ardoch’s STEM programs are designed to build foundational STEM skills and students’ interest in STEM and STEM careers, as well as providing hands-on access to STEM technologies.

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Numeracy Buddies

Ardoch’s Numeracy Buddies program matches students (Little Buddies) with workplace volunteers (Big Buddies) to 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 concepts. 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.


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.

Pathways Beyond School

These programs 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.

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.

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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.


Supporting children and young people Wellbeing is critical to ensure that they can succeed in school and in life.

Our wellbeing programs include a range of activities to enhance and complement what’s being learned through the curriculum. We offer activities in:

  • Culture
  • Social skills
  • Wellbeing
  • Life skills
  • Artist-in-Residence programs (which may involve sculptors, painters, and musicians to encourage creative expression and support different communication styles and strengths).

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