Darling Downs Adventist College is one of the first Australian schools to offer the ground-breaking Arrowsmith Program to students with learning difficulties.  We also offer the Symbol Relations cognitive enhancement model for those wishing to improve and strengthen their cognitive capabilities. 

Access to the Arrowsmith Program facilitated by Darling Downs Adventist College is open to students currently enrolled at the college.  We offer a school-age (Years 3-12) program with full-time, part-time, enhancement and independent check-in options available.

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

The program strengthens learning capabilities 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.

For more information specifically about Arrowsmith at DDAC, please email us at [email protected] or phone (07) 46591111


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

In the past, assistance for students with learning difficulties has often 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 weaker cognitive capabilities.

The Arrowsmith Program may be suitable for students across a broad spectrum of average, mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties and has been successful with both primary and secondary students, as well as adults.

PLEASE NOTE… There are some students for whom this program may not provide meaningful benefit.  Our qualified Arrowsmith teachers carefully consider the learning profiles of each student before he/she is accepted into the program. 

You can learn more about the Arrowsmith Program, including latest studies, via the Arrowsmith Website. 


Students who access the Arrowsmith Program as part of their school day at DDAC, are first and foremost students of the College. 

Students enrolled in the Arrowsmith program at DDAC spend part of each day in a classroom with their cohort of students in their appropriate year level. 

Based on 7x45 minute periods in a school day, students working on a Full-Time Arrowsmith program, complete 4 of these 45 minute lessons each day in the Arrowsmith classroom completing their own individually designed program to address their specific learning needs.  Part-Time or Cognitive Enhancement Arrowsmith students complete 1 or 2 lessons per day in the Arrowsmith Classroom.  Students opting for the Independent Check-In model of delivery, work on their Arrowsmith exercise primarily in their own time outside school hours, but ‘check-in’ with the Arrowsmith teacher at school for 1 or 2 lessons per week. 

The length of time a student needs to spend in the program is influenced by their needs.  Cognitive Enhancement programs cover a school year.  Most students who have learning difficulties and enrolled as Full-Time or Part-Time Arrowsmith students spend 2 to 5 years in the Arrowsmith program. 

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


If you are interested in our school or joining the Arrowsmith program at our college, please first enquire via the enrolments contact at the college. 

To take part in the Arrowsmith Program, each student must be reviewed and accepted by the school.  Formal Arrowsmith assessments can be conducted before or after enrolment with the purpose of identifying cognitive strengths and weaknesses to assist in programming the students unique schedule of Arrowsmith exercises.

What to know which exercises your child may benefit from in the Arrowsmith program? Simply complete the Arrowsmith Cognitive Questionnaire. 

PLEASE NOTE… There are some students for whom this program may not provide meaningful benefit.  Our qualified Arrowsmith teachers carefully consider the learning profiles of each student before he/she is accepted into the program. 


We currently offer the following options in the Arrowsmith program:

Full Time

Part Time

Cognitive Enhancement – Facilitated or Check-In Model of Delivery

Stand-Alone Arrowsmith assessments – either full assessment (19 cognitive functions) or a single cognitive area

To find out about these options and the correlating fees, please contact the school. 


Krystal: Writing Improvements

I feel that having my children participate in the MSS Arrowsmith exercise this year, in year 2, has benefited them as they are now more confident, their handwriting is faster and neater, and they are less reluctant to write.    


Manni: The Power of Arrowsmith

One example of my improvements is I used to really find it hard to stay concentrated on particular tasks like writing, reading, and memory.  But through the power of Arrowsmith and God I have worked hard to impact my brain in the best ways, and now I can write extended assignments and timed tests with great outcomes, this is an amazing feeling…


Heather: Setting Goals

Having my son, in year 2, work on the MSS Arrowsmith exercise for a year has helped him in setting goals and with his concentration.  

Leah: New Realities

Janine: Happiness

The Arrowsmith program has been a complete saviour for my son, both academically and also personally, and it brings him a lot of previously unknown happiness.  As a child who just happens to have learning delays, he deserves to have the opportunity to be happy, and successful, and accepted…

Kerrie: From Struggles to Success

Grace: Organised to Study

… In this term I have noticed that I plan a lot more and study more than I used to.  In one word I am a lot more organized.

Andrew & Will: Newfound Skills and Confidence

Sarah: Year 11 Grades

Before starting Arrowsmith I was getting Ds for English, now for my 1st assessment task in senior English, I got an A! 

Michelle: Life-changing Transformations

Liam: From Anxiety to Confidence

… I have also improved in making friends in school by being confident in myself with anxiety and by facing it…

Glenda: Setting People Free

Dan: After Just 1 Year of Arrowsmith

My son is more aware of what's going on around him now and is also much more confident and won't be easily influenced by others. I'm more than happy with those results from Arrowsmith. 


Cathy: Others Are Noticing Changes Too

Many friends are really noticing how my daughter is thinking and rationalizing and making logical connections in conversations…