Hands On Learning

Hands On Learning

We’re excited to announce that Hands on Learning Australia (HoLA) and Save the Children have joined forces to make it possible for more young Australians to stay connected to school and improve their educational and life outcomes. HoLA and Save the Children share a bold vision – that all young people at risk of disengaging from school will have a genuine opportunity to receive and learn from a quality basic education.

The merger brings together HoLA’s long-term ambition to prevent early school leaving and Save the Children’s vision of a world in which every child attains the right to a quality basic education. To date, HoLA has successfully partnered with over 65 Victorian schools. And, through an innovative education program that caters to the different ways young people learn, it has helped in excess of 7,500 disengaged young people stay at school.

With the support of Save the Children – which operates in over 200 sites across Australia working to ensure children and young people are protected from harm and can access quality health and education services – we can expand the program’s footprint in Victoria and to other states and territories. Together we can provide greater student access to the HoLA method. 

Hands On Learning is an innovative education program that caters to the different ways young people learn.

The program fosters strong, long term relationships that help young people develop the skills and abilities they need to succeed in work and life like collaboration, problem solving, communication, resilience and empathy.

How it Works

Two artisan-teachers work collaboratively with small groups of cross-age students on authentic building projects that provide a platform for students to engage, grow confidence and achieve success at school. Students spend one full day out of the classroom every week

The impact of Hands On Learning has come under the microscope of some the biggest names in research as a proven solution that works to keep young people connected to education. Read about our cutting-edge involvement in a three-year Australian Research Council project with the University of Melbourne (Report) or this fascinating report on the socio-economic benefits of investing in the prevention of early school leaving (Report)

Any student can benefit.  HOL is open to girls and boys from different year levels with different talents, needs and interests.  Like any workplace everyone is expected to be safe, part of a team and to do the best they can. Students are referred by year level co-ordinators, school leadership teams and student wellbeing staff.  Many students also request their names are added to waiting lists to join HOL.

Students develop critical skills and abilities to succeed in work and life in the 21st Century such as:

  • collaboration
  • problem solving
  • communication
  • resilience
  • empathy
  • creativity

Self-esteem, friendships, and a sense of belonging grow as students become more content at school.  Motivation, focus and the ability to set goals increase when they return to class – building the platform for improvements in literacy and numeracy.

Where we Operate

Currently we operate Hands on Learning in more than 55 schools in Victoria with plans to expand beyond the state. There are also two schools in NSW (Bateman’s Bay High School and Murray High School in Lavington) running the program and even a further two schools in the United Arab Emirates!

From Frankston to Fitzroy, Werribee to Narre Warren and Rosebud to Epping, metropolitan Melbourne is the birthplace and headquarters of HOL. Thanks to a range of corporate and philanthropic partners, the program has rapidly grown to operate in schools around Geelong, Gippsland, Victoria’s South West, North East and Wimmera regions.