Encouraging enterprising minds

Encouraging enterprising minds
Jack Hayes

From a focus on social justice and community service, to entrepreneurship and academic excellence, a typical day for students at Haileybury’s City campus offers a diverse and interesting experience.

Located on King St in Melbourne’s busy CBD, the 12-storey building is home to around 700 students from Early Learning and Care (ELC) to senior school. They are all part of a tight-knit community that makes the most of the remarkable learning opportunities that come with being close to Melbourne’s best cultural, historic, and sporting precincts.

“Recently there was live footage of a falcon nesting high up on a building near us in the CBD,”  Haileybury’s director of ELC Dr Rachel Pollitt said.


Our ELC students could watch the bird feeding, see the eggs hatch and see the baby birds. This sparked the children’s curiosity in learning about life cycles, collecting data about the birds in their local environment and looking at how they could expand their rooftop garden in school to attract more wildlife.


The city campus includes 1500 sqm of outdoor recreation space over three terraces, 1000 sqm of indoor sporting facilities and an expansive music, art and drama space. There are also state-of-the-art science facilities — but it is what happens within these kinds of spaces that has most impact on students, according to Melissa Allen, Head of Teaching and Learning (middle school).   

At any school, student wellbeing and quality teaching are paramount and are based on providing students with opportunities and building respectful relationships between students and teachers.

“Relationships are the foundation of quality teaching. Once you have a solid relationship built on trust and on honest and critical feedback, then students can engage in their learning and get the most from the teachers who are experts in their field,” Ms Allen said.

She added that quality teaching also provided students with challenges that were relevant, practical and related to real life. 

For example, Year 8 students take part in the Haileybury Startup program to develop entrepreneurial flair and skills like digital literacy, critical thinking, design thinking and teamwork. At the end of the program, students pitch their business ideas to parents and community members at a live event.

Fostering a strong social justice outlook is also important in 21st century classrooms with a focus on generosity, reconciliation, forgiveness, gratitude, and inclusion. 

“Our school is strongly committed to principles of fairness, equity and human rights. We believe we have a shared responsibility to contribute to positive social change locally and globally,” Haileybury CEO and principal Derek Scott said. 

Most recently, students volunteered with The Smith Family student2student reading program, meeting online twice a week to help a “buddy” from another school who needs support to improve their reading ability. 

Year 10 student, Dhimanya Dissanayake, has been helping a Year 4 student discover the pleasure of reading.

“The joy that comes with helping someone who wants help is beyond words,” she said. 

“This program is one which seems so simple, yet the reward that comes with it is
immense.” •

For more information: haileybury.com.au

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