ELTHAM’s City Experience consolidates learning from Year 7/8 to provide a strong preparation leading into the independence and responsibility required for VCE. This special program has been designed to respond to the learning and social needs of young people at a time when they are navigating their way to adulthood.

The City Experience challenges students’ personal and academic development, and offers a wonderful opportunity for students to be active citizens. An understanding about the value of ownership and accountability is fostered and key steps are taken towards greater maturity and life-long learning.


Year 9 students choose their program from a series of elective short courses and core studies, designed to utilise the city’s unique working environment as an extended classroom. Students work with their teachers to negotiate and develop a range of themes, academic tasks and experiences.

The short courses enable students to focus on the rich history, design, make-up and function of the city, and investigate their role in its broader global context. Students continue to learn core skills through specific subjects such as English, Maths, Language, Science and Global Studies.

The program also includes one week of Outdoor Education towards the end of the year at Wilson’s Promontory, with a focus on community and leadership. This complements their ability to learn in an urban environment with the ability to learn in a remote environment – encouraging them to become well-rounded young people.


Students spend four days a week at the City Campus (398 Lonsdale St) where they visit cultural and historical sites, confront urban environmental and community issues and meet and work with a range of people in the multicultural city of Melbourne. Tours, excursions, guest presenters and performers create lively exchanges and experiences. One day per week students return to the Research Campus to participate in additional language study, specialist technology subjects and interschool sport.
City Experience Handbook


Close bonds between students and teachers are an integral feature of the City Experience. Mentoring, positive relationships and the development of life skills are promoted by the teachers who provide a secure, caring and supportive environment in which students can grow and learn. A small, dedicated teaching team work with the students supporting their individual, group and class work as well as their involvement in community-based programs.