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.
St Michael’s accommodates students’ diverse learning styles, and many of our learning areas go beyond traditional educational environments.
The much-loved St George’s Church has been reborn as the new Performing Arts Centre, St George’s.
The former St George’s Church occupied an important place in the St Kilda community and is listed on the Heritage Register because of its many outstanding features. Throughout the redevelopment, careful attention was given to the historical features that make our Performing Arts Centre unique. The magnificent, vaulted timber ceiling, the heritage organ by renowned organ makers Lewis and Sons of London, and the beautiful stained-glass windows, crafted by leading artisans at the end of the 19th century, have been fully restored.
The Performing Arts Centre, St George’s opened in May 2023 and boasts state-of-the-art facilities, providing our students with access to a theatre that is arguably among the best in Australia.
Both the sound and lighting are of the highest quality. The next-generation sound system L-ISA is similar to that installed in the refurbished Opera House, and the Performing Arts Centre is only the second venue in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere where the system is installed.
A specially sprung floor has been installed to make the space suitable and safe for dance, aerobics and movement across a range of genres. Electronically controlled blackout curtains will mean the space can be configured for a variety of performances. The seating is also flexible, featuring a main bank of raised seating for more than 200 with the additional capability to add almost 200 chairs at floor level, along with a special stand for a choir.
The opening of the Performing Arts Centre, St George’s, was an exciting step in a long-term plan to redevelop our campus to ensure that our students have the very best facilities to learn and flourish.
The development of skills and capabilities is enhanced in learning settings that inspire learners to think creatively and critically, and to actively investigate.
Officially opened in 2023, the Centre for Inquiry and Innovation (CII) invites self-direction and requires self-management, with carefully equipped areas where students have easy access to all materials to support their learning. They can choose to work independently or collaboratively, in quiet nooks or larger gathering spaces for robust discussion or reflection.
The CII is not a homogenous space, and during the design phase, we drew on research and our School vision to inform us on the agility and functionality of the spaces. At St Michael’s, we believe in fostering a culture where student voice and agency are at the core of our identity. Therefore, it was important that our students played a key role in influencing the design of the CII and how the spaces are used.
The CII is an environment that nurtures every stage of the inquiry cycle and inspires students to collaborate, wonder and learn.
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 is home to the Years 4 to 9 Art and Design studios.
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 our ELC 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.
St Michael’s Grammar School has several excellent indoor and outdoor facilities available for hire including:
For information about the facilities available, hire rates and bookings, please contact the Activities and Venue Hire Coordinator.
+61 3 8530 3200