About Arrowsmith

The Arrowsmith Program

Darling Downs Christian School is one of the first Australian schools to offer the ground-breaking Arrowsmith Program to students with learning disabilities.

We are proud to offer both a school-age (Years 3-12) and an adult program (full-time and part-time options available).

Arrowsmith has helped thousands of students diagnosed with learning challenges to achieve academic and professional success.

The program strengthens learning capacities in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics, comprehension, logical reasoning, visual and auditory memory, auditory processing, non-verbal learning, attention and executive function.

Arrowsmith founder, Canadian psychologist Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, is an internationally recognised pioneer of neuroplasticity—the idea that the brain is mouldable rather than fixed—who featured in the New York Times bestseller The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge.

A documentary, New Hope: The radical school helping kids with learning conditions rewire their brains, by 60 Minutes Australia highlighted Arrowsmith's astounding results and as a school we continue to be impressed with the increased learning capacities in our own students.

For more information or to find out if you or your child is eligible, please email us at arrowsmith@ddcs.qld.edu.au or phone (07) 4659 1111.


Arrowsmith deals with the root causes of a learning disability rather than managing its symptoms.

In the past, assistance for students with learning disabilities has come in the form of programs which simply compensate or find a way to work around difficulties they encounter in the classroom.

In contrast, the goal of the Arrowsmith Program is to identify and strengthen each individual student's area of dysfunction.

The Arrowsmith Program is suitable for students across a broad spectrum of mild to severe learning problems and has been successful with both primary and secondary students, as well as adults.


There are some students for whom this program cannot provide meaningful benefit. Our qualified Arrowsmith teachers carefully consider the learning profiles of each student before he/she is accepted for enrolment.

You can read more about student suitability in the Arrowsmith Program brochure.



Students enrolled in the Arrowsmith program at DDCS spend part of each day in a classroom with students of their appropriate year level. They also complete 4x45min lessons per day in the Arrowsmith classroom completing their own individually designed program to address their specific learning needs.

The length of time a student needs to spend in the program is influenced by the number of learning needs the student has and by the severity of these needs. Most students spend between 2 and 5 years in the Arrowsmith program.

There is also an option of completing 1 to 2 years in a full time Arrowsmith program between Years 10 and 11 to address learning needs before embarking upon the two final years of school. Students enrolled in this option complete six 45 minute Arrowsmith classes per day in the Adult Arrowsmith classroom.

Upon completing the Arrowsmith Program students will often need time to adjust to a full time academic curriculum. They will need time to learn to use their new cognitive capacities and will often benefit from tutoring. Ultimately, Arrowsmith students will be able to learn quickly to catch up with their peers.


Our adult program is open to students from 16-76+ years of age. Students complete an individual program designed to address their specific learning needs. Full-time and part-time programs are offered. Students in the full-time program complete six, 45 minute classes per day, 5 days per week. Students participating in the part-time program are able to choose the days and times they attend. Each exercise covered requires four hours class time per week. Students can choose to complete a program from 1 to 5 years in length.