The St Michael’s curriculum is divided into three sections – curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular. Curricular programs are part of the core content at St Michael’s; co-curricular programs, such as Sport and Outdoor Education, are also undertaken by all students.
The extracurricular program refers to the activities that students can partake in in addition to their regular studies for an additional fee. Encompassing all areas of interest, the many extracurricular programs available at St Michael’s, further add to the richness of a St Michael’s education.
The co-curricular program at St Michael’s is designed to introduce students to a broad range of experiences in areas including Outdoor Education, Performing Arts (Drama, Dance and Music), Sport (competitive and recreational), Public Speaking, Debating, Chess, and Sailing.
Students also have an opportunity to participate in a number of coordinated clubs, which meet regularly throughout the year. These include the Philosophy Club, Agora (Humanities) Club, Art Club, and COSMOS (Science) Club for students in Years 7 to 12; and Mad About Tuesdays, Chess Club, and Kitchen Garden Club for students in Preparatory to Year 6. (Some clubs are available to certain year levels only.)
The co-curricular program is divided into compulsory and non-compulsory events to ensure that students are exposed to a variety of different activities, and provided with the opportunity to extend themselves in areas of interest while building positive relationships with others at St Michael’s.
Outdoor Education ▾
Incorporating the beauty and vastness of Australia into the learning process, our Outdoor Education Program is an important part of the St Michael’s educational journey. The emphasis is on personal growth through outdoor experiences, focusing on self, others and the natural world.
The Exodus program begins in Year 3 with an overnight experience at the School. In Year 4, students travel to Camp Angahook on the Surf Coast at Aireys Inlet for a three-day Exodus, and in Year 5 they visit Camp Jungai Koori and Environmental Education Centre for a four-day Exodus. Year 6 students begin the year with two single-day Teamwork and Leadership gatherings; later in the year, they complete a five-day Exodus exploring the Marysville region and the Cathedral Range State Park.
Students in Years 7–11 experience a minimum of five days of Exodus each year. By the end of Year 11, students have visited 12 venues across Victoria – including the Mornington Peninsula, Wilson’s Promontory, Eildon, Wyperfeld, Lake Tyers, Hattah-Kulkyne, the Mitchell River, Mt Arapiles and Marysville – and taken part in activities including stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, abseiling, rock-climbing, mountain biking, bushwalking and whitewater rafting,
The highlight for many students is the spectacular Kosciuszko to Coast expedition, where Year 11 students spend 20 days snowshoeing, bushwalking and whitewater rafting from Australia’s highest peak to the Victorian coastline.
Students can also participate in the voluntary Skills Extension Program (SEP), which focuses on developing outdoor skills and friendships. Year 6 students can participate in activities including sailing, orienteering and indoor rock-climbing. For students in Years 7–11, SEP includes surfing, snorkelling, skiing and snowboarding. St Michael’s Adventure Race Team competes in the Hillary Challenge, Australia’s toughest outdoor adventure competition for secondary school students.
Performing Arts & Music ▾
The Performing Arts program is a carefully constructed whole-school journey that caters for a breadth of abilities, building students’ skills in many aspects of music, drama, dance and musical theatre. Our students work and collaborate with professional directors, choreographers, designers and stage technicians, drawn from our own staff and the broader arts community.
St Michael’s students are immersed in a vast range of artistic activities, including dramatic productions renowned for their professionalism, scope and spectacle. In addition to performance, many students have the opportunity to be involved in production elements, such as lighting and sound operation, set construction and painting, stage management, sound and makeup. We treat our young performers with respect, in a professional process that delivers a professional product – setting the benchmark for innovative, high-calibre performances.
Productions at St Michael’s often tackle highly challenging material, and are staged at some of Melbourne’s most iconic venues, such as the Melbourne Recital Centre, Hamer Hall, the National Theatre and Deakin Edge at Federation Square. St Michael’s is regularly nominated for the prestigious annual Theatre Guild awards, recognising outstanding achievement in music theatre.
St Michael’s provides a continuum of theatre experiences through multiple drama and dance productions staged from Years 5–12. These balance eclectic styles and genres of material, including:
- Works with an edge, such as an intense revival of Spring Awakening, Frank Wedekind’s classic work of adolescent heartbreak and betrayal.
- Groundbreaking theatre works such as The Flock and the Nest, a co-production with Red Stitch Actors Theatre, with students performing alongside professional actors in a play commissioned and premiered for St Michael’s.
- Spectacular classic musicals with a modern twist, such as West Side Story and Anything Goes.
- An annual student-led production, entirely managed, directed and performed by senior students – in 2016, students staged Punk Rock, while the class of 2015 staged The Dinner Table, written and directed by former student Maverick Newman.
Students are encouraged to join the following productions (auditions apply for most):
- Year 6 Musical
- Years 7–9 Musical
- Years 7–9 Play
- Dance Project (Years 7–12)
- House Drama Festival (Years 7–12)
- Years 10–12 Musical
- Student Production (Years 10–12)
- Years 10–12 Play.
St Michael’s offers an enormous range of performance opportunities, from the relaxed and family-friendly Twilight Concert held in the School grounds, to the Autumn Vibrations Concerto Concert at BMW Edge in Federation Square, which showcases the formidable skills of our young soloists and orchestra members.
The Music Program at St Michael’s provide highly engaging experiences for students from P–12, from the Prep to Year 2 Mini Music Works through to the Years 10–12 Stage Band, and everything in between. There is a clearly developed pathway within the instrumental music, strings and choral programs, where highly qualified teachers and conductors are able to bring out the best in every student. Catering for student interest is an important component, with programs such as the St Michael’s School of Rock and the biennial European Choir Tour providing scope for significant musical and life experiences.
Students are provided performance opportunities both at School and in some of the finest venues through Melbourne, even as far afield as Notre Dame in Paris, San Marco in Venice, and Reykjavik in Iceland (2016 Choir Tour). Regular instrumental soirees provide students with a supported performance experience where they can apply learning from their one-on-one lessons. The Choral program is particularly strong, with all students are able to participate in music making from Prep to Year 12. The repertoire across the range of choirs, bands and orchestras is highly engaging, in terms of performance outcomes as well as the learning process taking place every week. The Year 3 Instrumental and Year 5 Band programs offer a significant array of instrument choices to students, supported by able staff who launch students on a musical journey that often continues to their final year at St Michael’s.
Music students also take part in a variety of events and programs outside of the School, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra student development program (three St Michael’s students took part in 2016), Generations in Jazz (at Mount Gambier), Victorian Music Festival, China Music Tour, Regional and Interstate Tours, and the European Choir Tour.
St Michael’s also offers a wide choice of instrumental and choral opportunities, including:
- Mini Music Works (Years 1–2)
- Year 3 Instrumental Music Program
- Years 4–6 Strings
- Years 4–6 Band
- Drumline (Years 4–6 and Years 7–12)
- Year 5 Performing Arts Program (Dance, Band and Choir)
- Scholastica Band (Years 6–9)
- Grigoryan Strings (Years 6–12)
- Intermediate Strings (Years 6–12)
- Harrison Choirs (Years 7–9 and Years 10–12)
- Chamber Choirs (Years 3–4, Year 5, Year 6, Years 7–9 and Years 10–12)
- Chamber Winds (Years 10–12)
- Scholastica Band (Years 6–9)
- String Quartet, Piano Trios, Guitar ensembles and a Chamber Music group
- Mentorship Program
- Big Band (Years 10–12)
- Stage Band (Years 7–10)
- St Michael’s School of Rock – a program where students in Years 7–11 are mentored by rock musicians, leading to public performances and recordings.
Sport is an important element of each child’s wellbeing, as it nurtures health, fitness and team spirit. Our program promotes diversity within the School and in the community, leaving weekends open for students to engage in other fields of interest.
St Michael’s (Years 7–12) is a member of the ACS Association of Coeducational Schools, with weekly sport matches played against five other member schools. Perhaps our greatest point of difference over most other school sport associations is the opportunity for teams at all year levels to qualify and participate in Grand Finals.
St Michael’s (Years 5–6) is a member of the Coeducational Independent Primary Schools Sports Association (CIPPSA), with weekly sport matches being played against five other member schools. All teams also have the opportunity to participate in the Summer and Winter Lightning Premierships.
Weekly sport is compulsory for students in Years 5 to 11 during the Summer season (Terms 1 and 4) and the Winter season (Terms 2 and 3), while those in Year 12 have the option of playing in one or both sporting seasons.
St Michael’s sporting teams are coached by both teaching staff and external coaches, externally sourced through the Melbourne Sports Institute. All external coaches are highly credentialed and motivated professionals.
Sporting choices include:
- Years 7–12 Boys – Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Tennis, Basketball, Table Tennis, Cricket, Softball and Hockey.
- Years 7–12 Girls – Basketball, Netball, Table Tennis, Hockey, Volleyball, Softball, Tennis and Soccer.
- Years 10–12 have the additional options of Mixed Badminton, Mixed Beach Volleyball, Mixed Touch Rugby and Boys & Girls Futsal.
- Years 5–6 – Netball, Football, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis, Futsal, Sofcrosse, European Handball, Hockey and Softball. Recreational/Non-competitive sports are also available for 5–6, and during Term 1 for Years 10–12.
Many of our sports training and games are undertaken in leading professional facilities in the nearby Albert Park precinct, including two premier synthetic soccer fields, Ross Gregory Football Oval, Tennis World Albert Reserve, Footscray Hockey Club, Albert Park Indoor Sports, and the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC).
All students are provided with the opportunity to take part in House sport from Years 3–12, which involves events such as Swimming (MSAC), Athletics (Years 7–12 Lakeside Stadium/ Years 3–6 Duncan McKinnon), Cross Country (Fawkner Park), and House Aerobics (on campus). Years 5–6 also compete in House Shields, covering a number of sports throughout the year.
In our Early Years Area, Kindergarten – Year 2 students participate in an Early Years Athletics Carnival held at Albert Park, and Prep – Year 2 students also participate in the Early Years Swimming Carnival held on campus. These non-competitive events are a celebration of student learning.
Years 4–12 students will be selected for three Major Carnivals. Years 4–6 students will compete at SYDSA South Yarra District Sports Association, and Years 7–12 students will compete at the ACS in Swimming, Athletics and Cross Country carnivals, all with the opportunity to progress to state level.