Geelong High School

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Geelong High School
Geelong High School crest. Source: (Geelong HS website)
East Geelong, Victoria
Coordinates 38°09′10″S 144°22′26″E / 38.1528°S 144.3738°E / -38.1528; 144.3738Coordinates: 38°09′10″S 144°22′26″E / 38.1528°S 144.3738°E / -38.1528; 144.3738
Type Public, Co-educational, High school
Motto Make a Good School a Great School
Established 1910
Principal Good Ol' Glenn
Staff 89 (68 teaching, 21 non-teaching)
Grades 7-12
Enrolment 893
Campus Suburban
Colour(s) Navy blue, maroon and gold
Nickname GHS

Geelong High School is a co-educational, public, secondary school located in East Geelong, Victoria, Australia. The school opened in 1910, making it one of Victoria's oldest state secondary schools, and moved to its current site in 1915.[1] The current principal is Glenn Davey.

It is situated on the corner of Garden and Ryrie Streets and backs on to Eastern Gardens, home of the Geelong Botanical Gardens. Both Eastern Beach and the centre of Geelong are within easy walking distance. Geelong High School accommodates students in Years 7–12 and has an enrolment of about 900.


On February 8, 1910, 79 students, together with eight teachers and an acting headmaster, began classes in a couple of disused rooms at the Gordon Institute of TAFE. John William Gray was appointed headmaster in April 1910. Twelve months later, enrollment had increased to 150, and 12 rooms were being used at the Gordon. The school was renamed the Geelong High School and as such became Geelong's first state secondary school. The current site was selected and the new school, to accommodate 450 students, was completed in August 1915.

In 2005/06, the school underwent some major reconstruction, providing new woodwork and metalwork studios, science labs, computer pods and a new gymnasium and library, in addition to a learning centre with a computer pod, classrooms and a theatrette. The work was done to accommodate and assist Year 7 students in their learning.

Geelong High School has been identified as one of the 50 "most needy schools" in Victoria, in an audit conducted by the Victorian state government. This has led to students sending letters to MHR for Corio Richard Marles, as well as other politicians, writing of "teachers and students working in classrooms with cracked walls, substandard heating and no cooling", pleading for funding to fix and upgrade the school.

In 2014, the school received funding for a rebuild. Planning is undergoing during 2015/16 with construction expected to start early 2017. It should be completed by the end of 2019. The upgrade will involve the refurbishment of the school's Hall, construction of a new 2 story Year 7 building on the Year 7 area and construction of new Music and Dance Studio on site, during 2017. Demolition of rooms 3-8 to make way for the new Year 7 courtyard, refurbishment of the old Kroger Wing and adding a second story to this building during 2018. Refurbishment of the Vague Wing to create new Art rooms, refurbishment of the top floor of Winstanley for new Year 12 classrooms and demolition of the office building in 2019. Removal of all school portables in 2020. The refurbished CA Love Hall is expected to be completed by 2018. It will be used as temporary 6 classrooms while the Kroger Wing is refurbished, before being used as its intended purpose in 2019. The School currently consists of the following Buildings:

The main Kroger Wing, centre part built in 1915(rooms 1,2,9,11,11a,12,13 & 14) 1930's extension (rooms 3,4,5,6,7 8), Second story 1940's(rooms 10 & 10A, Staffroom) VCE study centre in the 1960s and the Admin office 1970's.

Winstanley Wing was built in the 1960s, originally housing Science and cooking rooms, it now has Cooking and Art rooms. It was refurbished in 2014. (Rooms 17, 18,19,21,22 & 23) R.J. Vague Wing was built in 1979 and refurbished in 2006. It contains the Library and Year 7 Learning Centre (rooms L1, L2, L3, L4, 26 & 27) The Science Wing and GYM, built in 2005, (rooms 27, 28, 29, 30 & 31) The Wood and Mrtalwork rooms built in 2004( rooms 32 and 33) Various different portable classrooms installed over the past 10 years. (Rooms 34' 35, 36, 36A, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 & 43)


Geelong High School operates a Year 7 program which is independent of the main curriculum structure. Year 7 students are situated in groups, each with two teachers who cover science and maths, and English and humanities. The program is designed to help students better manage their transition from primary into secondary education.[2]

In 2003 the school introduced the ILP programme,[3] in which students in Years 8–10 can choose their own subjects.

In 2008 the school commenced teaching the Japanese language to Year 7 students, later extended to all years.[4] The language was introduced as a replacement for Korean as a LOTE subject, which had been taught since the mid-1990s but was removed from the school curriculum at the end of 2006. The school also offers German as a LOTE subject.

Geelong High school offers a number of senior study pathways for Year 10, 11 and 12 students, including Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) and Vocational Education and Training (VET).

Vocational Education and Training[edit]

VET, as part of the VCE program, combines a student's general studies with vocational ones in Year 10, 11 or 12. The aim is to give participating students an advantage when applying for full-time apprenticeships in trade areas. Geelong High School teaches in VET Information Technology as well as VET Dance.[5]

School-based apprenticeships[edit]

Students in Years 10 and 11 have the opportunity to undertake part-time traineeships which include paid work placements and the opportunity to complete VET studies in each student's chosen area.[6]


Performing arts[edit]


During 1994, the school purchased some former church buildings on the corner of Ryrie and Garden Streets, and converted them into what is now the Shenton Performing Arts Centre.[7] This complex hosts a fully equipped theatre, in addition to music classrooms, dance studios and performance spaces.


Geelong High School offers Classroom Music and an Instrumental Music program to its students. Classroom Music is offered through the ILP program.


The VET course Certificate II in Dance is offered to provide students with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to establish a career in dancing. As part of their assessment, all first and second year VET students annually perform their own group compositional ensemble piece in the Splash Dance festival showcase at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre. The school offers this course to all other students in Geelong.[8]

Artist in residence[edit]

In 2002 the school was involved in the Artists in Schools program, under which an artist in residence helped students make their own books while also learning more about their city.[9]


The sports the school offers include cricket, baseball, softball, tennis, volleyball, golf, football, hockey, soccer, basketball, netball, table tennis and badminton.

Student exchange[edit]

Geelong High School offers language studies in both German and Japanese, with an established exchange program in both of those languages, giving students the opportunity to visit and live with families in these respective countries for a period of time.

Notable alumni[edit]


In 2006, the school became the subject of national focus after the banning of 'touching' and 'hugging' amongst students. The move was the subject of some criticism and was featured on shows such as Today Tonight, A Current Affair and Sunrise.[citation needed]^

In 2009, the discovery of broken asbestos-cement sheeting in the school hall was publicised in the local media. The problem has since been resolved.[18]


  1. ^ Peter Begg (1990). Geelong - The First 150 Years. Globe Press. ISBN 978-0-9592863-5-9
  2. ^ Geelong High curriculum - official website Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  3. ^ Individual Learning Pathways (ILP) Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  4. ^ "Geelong students send peace symbols to Japan". Geelong Advertiser. June 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  5. ^ Geelong High School Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  6. ^ Geelong High School Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  7. ^ Geelong High School - History Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  8. ^ Geelong High School Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  9. ^ Minchin, Liz (June 19, 2002). "Program taps into schools' artbeat". The Age. Melbourne: Archived from the original on 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  10. ^ J.W. Cherry biography Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  11. ^ J. Grant Trinity College exhibition Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  12. ^ G. Howard biography Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  13. ^ "Mr Geoff Howard". Members Information. Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  14. ^ R.G. Lyon obituary Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  15. ^ R. MacKenzie biography Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  16. ^ "Mackenzie, Roderick Alexander". Re-Member. Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  17. ^ W.R. McNicoll biography Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite
  18. ^ Geelong High fined $10,000 after students, teachers and tuckshop mums were exposed to asbestos - Geelong Advertiser Archived January 12, 2011, at WebCite

External links[edit]