The power of doing to build wellbeing and develop skills to thrive at school, at work and in life.

“The evidence is all there – from the kids who re-engage with education after joining Hands on Learning, the teachers who support them to grow, and the parents who see the positive changes in their children – this is a program that genuinely helps our future generations realise their passions and turn them to success” 

Daniel Ricciardo – HoL Ambassador

Fast facts

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86 per cent of parents said that since being in Hands on Learning their child’s confidence has improved.

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70 per cent of school staff said the ability of participants to work positively with a range of students and teachers has improved.

Positive pathways
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95 per cent of Hands on Learning students finish school, get an apprenticeship or get a job.

What we do and who we are

Hands on Learning is a 54reasons practical school program that builds wellbeing, engagement, and attendance by creating opportunities for students to discover their talents and experience success through significant and authentic hands-on projects. Save the Children provides training and support for partner schools who become members of regional networks sharing ideas and inspiration.

HoL pyramid nurturing wellbeing

Nurturing wellbeing

The four fundamental elements of Hands on Learning build the wellbeing platform for young people to grow in confidence, engage and achieve at school. Students engage with their learning by feeling safe and connected, having a sense of belonging, feeling that what they are doing at school is purposeful, and believing they are developing meaningful skills to thrive at school, within their community, and into employment.

25 years strong

Hands on Learning was first piloted at Frankston High School in 1999 by Russell Kerr, OAM. Students thrived engaging in tasks that were authentic and readily achievable – tasks that built self-confidence and self-esteem. HoL grew from this simple principle.

Daniel Riccardo


Australian F1 legend and 8-time Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo has joined Save the Children as an Ambassador with a special focus on Hands on Learning. Daniel loves connecting directly with young people and launches his new role with some answers to questions from Hands on Learning students from across Australia.

In the media

Learn about the power of Hands on Learning to unlock student potential as the media captures news from our partner schools.

In the news Jo Hall


Explore the achievements of students. Read about their teamwork, and how these young guns feel about the projects they create, the skills they develop, and their value add around schools and across local communities.

Videos and clips

Hear directly from students, staff and schools about the power of learning by doing. Discover how Hands on Learning works in a school and gain an insight into the self-esteem and confidence students develop.

HoL Cafe Spotlight hundrED

Save the planet

We can all make a difference.  Sustainability and a determination to discover the treasure in everything has been at the heart of HoL since its inception. Our culture of recycling materials and repurposing them into wonderful and varied projects is driven by a desire to tread lightly, conserve natural resources, and a discipline of operating with very small budgets.

The wHoLe story

Flip through our comprehensive guide that features student voice, parent and school feedback.  Unlock the details of the Hands on Learning methodology, the evidence, and the suite of tools and resources that make it possible for schools to hit the ground running with support and training right from the beginning.

Our supporters

Hands on Learning is made possible through partnerships between the Save the Children Hands on Learning School Support Team and our partner schools.  Partner schools delivering the HoL methodology directly employ the artisan-teacher staff who implement the program, while Save the Children provides ongoing support to schools and artisan-teachers to actively manage practice quality. We sincerely thank the below key supporters for making it possible for us to survive, thrive, and continue to support young people in our schools.

Hands on Learning acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work.

We pay our respects to Elders both past and present, and their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community.

We also pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children as our future leaders, Elders and Custodians of Country.