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Year 9 students have a year at Ivanhoe Grammar School’s University

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Exposing Year 9s to some of Australia’s most inspiring thinkers and researchers and building upon the school’s successful short-term program which ran for 10 years, Ivanhoe Grammar students will be given a taste of university life for a year commencing in 2019.

The school’s new Year 9 University Campus on the outskirts of La Trobe University in Macleod is now open for business and students from the school’s Ivanhoe and Plenty campuses will use the final weeks of Term 4 to settle into the new environment through an early commencement program.

Ivanhoe Grammar School Principal Gerard Foley says the evidence-based program is academically strong while encouraging innovation, entrepreneurism and inter-cultural understanding.

“We wanted to design a program that was unbelievably engaging for Year 9 students and took them to a higher level of learning, without them even knowing,” he says.

“In my 30 years of being in education, this is the single most exciting educational project I have been involved in. This is the only program of its type in Australia, possibly the world. It’s very exciting. The learning will be incredible.”

Foley says students will have “a vast array” of experiences but will also study core subjects such as mathematics, science and English.

For example, they will create and start a business through various entrepreneurial programs. They will also conduct in-depth studies on refugees, an international conflict and a passion project of their choosing.

“This experience will enhance their learning, increase their cultural understanding, help them to become global citizens and prepare them for their VCE or IB studies and their senior school years and beyond,” Foley says.

Developed through a unique partnership with La Trobe University, the campus sits on La Trobe’s outskirts in a renovated terrace.

Head of University Campus, Mrs Stella Batsanis, says this exciting development will bring students from both school campuses together for an entire year.

“University Campus will encourage students to make the most of a stimulating environment that will enrich all aspects of their learning,” she says. “It’s all about providing real world experiences. Year 9 students want more autonomy and we will help them develop resilience to go with that independence.

“Year 9 is often spoken of as a year of unique challenges, during this particular passage of adolescence. I see it as a year of unique opportunities for heightened learning arising from a spike in curiosity and a hunger for independence.”

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar says the opening of Ivanhoe Grammar School’s new campus reflects the University’s commitment to supporting and inspiring local students.

“By providing access to La Trobe’s state-of-the-art facilities and renowned academics, Ivanhoe students will have a secondary school experience unlike any other in Australia and which we hope will inspire them to continue their studies,” Dewar says.

“In years to come, Ivanhoe students and staff will also benefit from our $5 billion plan to create a University City of the Future at our Bundoora campus.”

University Campus
Ivanhoe Grammar School’s University Campus has open and flexible learning spaces, an R-Lounge for reading and reflection, an innovation hub and science and music rooms. Students will have access to La Trobe University’s media lab, radio studio, sport facilities, science laboratories and wildlife sanctuaries.

The curriculum incorporates university lectures exclusively designed for the students, plus a range of co-curricular activities. All this will expose students to the big cultural, social and scientific ideas that universities are known for.

Students will develop independent learning, problem solving, critical thinking, time management, decision making and life skills. Co-curricular activities include music, debating, theatre, sport, community service and global citizenship projects.

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