The Arrowsmith Program is a cognitive program that offers students who have high intelligence but unrealised potential; a different pathway to try and overcome difficulties in traditional academic learning.

Neuroplasticity in the Classroom

Developed by Barbara Arrowsmith Young, after her own struggles with learning, the program is based on the application of neuroscience research and the premise that it is possible to address a range of learning roadblocks by identifying and strengthening cognitive capacities.

The program identifies areas of learning strength and weakness through an initial assessment then utilises the science of neuroplasticity to design an individualised program that targets a students’ specific area of weakness.

Since the implementation of the BBC Arrowsmith Program in 2016, eligible students have worked closely with specialised teachers on targeted cognitive exercises to aid and strengthen the core skills that underpin their learning.

Exercises are based on the premise of neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to create and develop new neural pathways, through regularly engaging in challenging cognitive exercises. The principle of neuroplasticity has also been embedded in medical and sporting fields, with great success.

At BBC, this classroom-based program is run by dedicated staff, trained specifically in the areas of education and neuroplasticity. It is delivered in an environment conducive to supporting boys to develop the cognitive tools required to become effective, confident and self-directed learners.

Research and Findings

Recent research into the efficacy of the Arrowsmith Program has revealed significant and positive changes in the abilities of participating students, including meaningful changes in cognition, academic achievement and social/emotional behaviours.

Boys who have participated in the BBC Arrowsmith Program have shown:

  • Improvements in memory for instructions and facts
  • Improvements in reasoning and the ability to link ideas and present logical arguments
  • Improvements in vocabulary, reading, comprehension and maths
  • Increased interest in class and the ability to ask questions rather than keep quiet during lessons
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem.

Read more about our Learning Environments at BBC