We believe that the physical environment plays an integral role in the education of our students, and take great care to ensure that our classrooms, communal areas and gardens are well-maintained, comfortable and appealing. This gives our students the ideal setting in which they can feel safe, happy and confident.
The St Michael’s campus houses a collection of buildings from each period of our 121-year history, from the School’s original 1895 Marlton House to The Gipson Commons, our newest, largest and most advanced facility.
St Michael’s accommodates students’ diverse learning styles, and many of our learning areas go beyond traditional educational environments.
The Allan Pizzey Building offers students in Preparatory to Year 6 many opportunities for seamless learning. Classes accommodate team teaching, and students can often move independently between areas, enabling teachers to observe and facilitate learning while students retain their sense of trust and autonomy. Breakout spaces are designed for students’ academic, social and recreational needs. Common areas, including computer facilities and communal spaces, are ideal for study and relaxation. The Allan Pizzey Building was constructed in consultation with the wider community, accounting for different learning needs and styles.
The Octavius Brown Kitchen Garden offers hands-on experience of growing produce. Featuring citrus trees, vegetable beds and chickens, the Kitchen Garden enables students to trace their food’s path from plant to plate. In the 2014 Victorian Schools Garden Awards, the Kitchen Garden won ‘Most Habitat-Friendly Garden’ and ‘Best Garden’.
Opened in late 2005, The Community of the Sisters of the Church Learning Centre, also known as the Sisters’ Building, is a purpose-built teaching and learning centre which provides a sense of space and community for students in Years 7 to 12.
Opened in April 1985, Frank Woods House is among St Michael’s most prominent and character-filled buildings. Today, it houses a number of curriculum subjects for students in Years 7 to 12, with a purpose-built photography darkroom and printmaking studio.
In keeping with the latest developments in technology, St Michael’s has replaced the traditional top-down library structure with something far more flexible and responsive.
Investigations are pursued in the classroom, focusing on the skills necessary to locate, gather, understand, utilise and share information to answer questions. The program enhances and fosters a love of literature and reading, exploring a range of different styles and genres.
The library within The Gipson Commons is called the Knowledge Commons, servicing Margaret Thomas House to Year 12. The Knowledge Commons supports the curricular, co-curricular, and recreational interests of the staff and student body. This rich environment provides students with access to materials from a variety of media, including eBooks and digital technology.
Students visit the Knowledge Commons for weekly Literary and Research lessons. During this time, they listen to, read and discuss a range of books and other materials; learn to use the library effectively; and explore strategies for finding and utilising information. Encouraged to borrow regularly from the self-serve checkout, the students become familiar with a wide range of genres and materials.
Alongside traditional library materials, digital media and the internet play a significant part in supporting the curriculum. To provide access to these, the Knowledge Commons utilises the School’s ICT infrastructure. St Michael’s students also have access to an extensive range of resources – including AV equipment, robots, and the 3D printer.
St Michael’s has a robust and scalable wireless network, used by staff and students to connect multiple mobile devices that best suit their learning requirements.
St Michael’s offers a range of desktop and tablet experiences, offering students experience of both environments. Computer laboratories cater for high-end video production and design courses, netbooks are available in the upper years, and iPad class sets enable media-rich learning experiences. Within the dedicated laptop program, student-owned PC and Mac notebooks are coordinated via the Helpdesk and a student software kiosk.
iPads are used by Support Services to assist students with literacy and numeracy. Health and Physical Education have also introduced iPads to record and display student performance in their sporting endeavours, allowing flexibility and providing instant feedback to athletes on technique and performance.
Computers are an essential part of the St Michael’s classroom. iPads are used by students from Years 6–8, while students from Years 9–12 use notebook computers.