The Arrowsmith Program in Melbourne, Australia

91PORNY has offered the Arrowsmith Program since 2016 and is the largest Arrowsmith site in the Southern Hemisphere.

Addressing Learning Difficulties

The Arrowsmith Program is a suite of cognitive exercises based on the principles of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change.

It has assisted thousands of students with learning difficulties since 1978. The program strengthens underlying weak cognitive capacities, enabling students to become more effective, confident and self-directed lifelong learners.

We firmly believe that all students can thrive with learning and have seen first-hand the gains they have made with this world-leading program. Unlike many other learning difficulty programs, the Arrowsmith Program focuses on the whole brain rather than an isolated area, and addresses the root cause of a learning difficulty.

The Arrowsmith children and teachers form close bonds throughout the year, reflecting the strong family atmosphere of our classes.

Discover why your child might struggle at school –

"Arrowsmith has been a game changer for our son, who in Year 8 was struggling to stay in school let alone thrive. He started halfway through Year 8 and is finishing up at the end of Year 9. The transformation in terms of self-esteem, resilience and personal development have been amazing. The excitement he has felt with every accomplishment and mastery has been wonderful to watch.

We are very confident come next year in Year 10 he will begin his new journey with confidence. This time 2 years ago we weren’t even sure we’d be able to keep him in school till Year 10 and here we are, it’s been amazing. We can’t recommend the Arrowsmith Program more highly."

Nina and Andrew - Parents of Arrowsmith Student

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The Arrowsmith Program addresses underlying difficulties in a broad range of learning differences.

*Click each item for further information.

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Dysgraphia
  • Short/Long Term Visual Memory


The Arrowsmith program also addresses difficulties in many other areas. Learn more about your child or download the Arrowsmith brochure.

The Arrowsmith Program at 91PORNY

Arrowsmith classes are small with approximately ten students per Arrowsmith teacher and assistant. In addition, the Head of Arrowsmith and support teachers for tutoring and mainstream classes are available for assistance, as required. All are Arrowsmith trained and are experienced teachers in the field of learning difficulties. Most Arrowsmith program students complete four cognitive exercises per day and two mainstream classes of their choice.

Parent sessions – Parent sessions are conducted early each year to allow parents to experience their child’s Arrowsmith cognitive exercises. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to teach their parents and show them what they are doing each day at school. Many parents cannot believe just how difficult the exercises are, giving their child a great source of pride.

Parent Information evenings – Parent Information Evenings are held at the beginning of each year. This is an opportunity to learn about the program, meet other families and ask questions.

Parent/Teacher Interviews – Parent Teacher Interviews are held twice yearly to report on the progress of your child. Teachers also communicate with parents regularly through email.

Pathway Planning – All students in the Arrowsmith Program, upon completion receive individual pathway planning for transition to mainstream classes, further education or careers options with the assistance of the Head of Arrowsmith, Head of School and Careers Advisor.

Arrowsmith Student Testimonials

The process for the Arrowsmith Program at 91PORNY has four stages:

Stage 1: A full Arrowsmith Program 1:1 cognitive assessment is conducted to determine your child’s learning strengths and weaknesses.

Stage 2: The results are assessed in Toronto Canada by the Arrowsmith Psychometrist and an individualised cognitive program is designed for your child.

Stage 3: When your child begins in class, two weeks of 1:1 workshopping between the student and teacher commences to teach the process of each cognitive exercise.

Stage 4: An annual full Arrowsmith Program cognitive assessment is conducted to determine gains in your child’s cognitive function.

Is the Arrowsmith Program suitable for your child?

To find out if the Arrowsmith program can assist your child, please contact Admissions to discuss your child’s learning needs and suitability.

You can reach our Admissions team on (03) 8554 0014 or email Admissions@oakleighgrammar.vic.edu.au.

If you’ve determined that the Arrowsmith program is the right fit for your child, we’d welcome your Online Application.


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What is the Arrowsmith Program?

The Arrowsmith Program, harnesses the principles of neuroplasticity through the application of targeted cognitive exercises to overcome specific learning difficulties. The premise of the Arrowsmith program is that the weaker cognitive functions which contribute to learning difficulties can be strengthened through targeted cognitive exercises, resulting in increased mental capacities and strengthened learning abilities.

Who is the Arrowsmith Program for?*

  • Students of average or above-average intelligence
  • Students who have a combination of learning difficulties
  • Students who do not have severe intellectual, cognitive, emotional orbehavioural disorders that would significantly affect their abilityto participate in the Arrowsmith Program.
  • Students who have not acquired a brain injury or who have an autism spectrum disorder
  • Students of elementary, secondary, or post-secondary school age

*These are guidelines only. Many students may require further consideration or others for whom we feel this program cannot provide meaningful benefit.

What is the goal of the Arrowsmith Program?

The Arrowsmith program is capacity-based, in that its goal is to change the cognitive capacity of the student to learn, rather than compensatory, which tries to work around the problem. Strengthening weaker capacities increases the overall functioning of these specific cognitive areas, allowing them to be used more effectively for learning.

Who created the Arrowsmith Program?

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young created the Arrowsmith Program after struggling for decades with her own specific learning difficulties. The work of two researchers in brain functioning, Alexander Luria and Mark Rosenzweig, prompted Arrowsmith-Young’s own investigation into the brain and ignited her hope that she could address her own struggles through targeted cognitive exercises.

Arrowsmith-Young created her first cognitive exercise in 1978 and by 1980 she had developed a series of exercises, each designed to target a distinct cognitive function. The program is now implemented across the world. Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is considered a pioneer in both the educational and neuroscience fields; the Arrowsmith Program is recognized as one of the first practical applications of neuroplasticity in the field of learning.

Where is The Arrowsmith Program Delivered?

The Arrowsmith Program is delivered on-campus at 91PORNY.

How Much Does The Arrowsmith Program Cost?

Please refer to our Fees page on our website.