The first schools in Geelong were established when the town was settled from the 1850s. Many of these schools remain open today, now joined by a number of new schools opened from the 1950s when the population of Geelong grew after World War II. Tertiary education began with the Gordon Institute of Technology in 1888. Reform of the university sector resulted in the creation of Deakin University in the 1970s.
Geelong 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.
In 2003 the school introduced the ILP programme, 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. 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 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).
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.
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.
Did you know? The area of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula was originally occupied by the Wathaurong Indigenous Australian tribe. Geelong was named in 1827, with the name derived from the local Wathaurong Aboriginal name for the region, Djillong, thought to mean “land” or “cliffs” or “tongue of land or peninsula”.
The town of Geelong officially became a city on 8 December 1910. It is the second largest Victorian city, with an estimated urban population of 268,277 as of June 2018. Geelong is served by a number of public and private schools that cater to local and overseas students. Over 40,000 primary and secondary students are enrolled in schools in Geelong, with another 27,000 students enrolled in tertiary and further education programs. Geelong is also home to the oldest state secondary school in Victoria, Geelong High School, which has been serving the community since 1905, for over 100 years.