Arch Program

Year 9 Arch Program

When the students reach Year 9 they embark on a new educational experience. This innovative program has been developed to better meet the needs of young people who are living in a very different world to previous generations.


Active in their learning
Resilient, prepared to meet new challenges
Connected to their learning peers and community
Happy about being at school

The ARCH Program improves student connectedness to learning by:

Know how & why they learn

We include 150 minutes a week devoted to Thinking, Learning and Connecting.
Students & staff develop a core set of values for each class.
These values are used to provide feedback
TLC was designed to enable students to be at the centre of learning
We investigate learning preference

Believe all people can learn

The goals of the program are to develop independent learners and build positive relationships and this applies to staff as well. Staff model the core values and we have seen staff extend the way they approach learning. 

How we build a picture of the learner

  • Hermann Brain Dominance Theory
  • Understanding learning & learning styles
  • Myers Briggs Type indicator
  • 30 minute journal writing period reflecting on their learning throughout the week
  • Explicit teaching of thinking tools
  • Personal Learning Plans
  • Community Projects
  • Mentoring of Primary school students


Higher order thinking tools to solve problems

The core subjects are run as interdisciplinary units. The themes relate to personal development, community connection, sustainability and the wider world. Learning is linked to real world problems and investigations. E.g.: sustainability sees students make decisions about their own environmental footprint and the Tale of Two Cities sees students, investigate, compare and contrast a rural city with the City of Melbourne.

Seek feedback & reflect on learning

  • The ARCH program was developed to address the issue of low student engagement in middle years with a particular focus on Year 9.
  • Students were interviewed about their learning and the approach was developed in consultation with the students. Since piloting the program the approach has developed greatly and now links with our learning framework
  • Students give staff regular feedback through their weekly journal, we conduct student led interviews and students, staff and parents are able to share the learning journey.


Learning in a range of contexts

The program includes a full day where the teachers have their core for the whole day. Much of the learning in Year 9 is applied and students learn from their community, e.g. when studying forces students attend the Grand Prix, a unit focused on the wars allows students to visit the Shrine, RSL and the prisoner of war memorial. There are a range of opportunities for students to learn in the community.

Developing positive relationships

Each teacher has 50 students they work with in the year level as the program is based on building & sustaining relationships.