‣ Disclaimer
This article contains information that is for general information only and should not be used for the basis of making any decisions regarding education or anything else. It is solely the writer’s opinion of the writer’s experience of one open day at the school and the writer’s interactions with the people present on that day. The writer’s article is purely subjective. Facts and information may or may not be complete, accurate, reliable or valid reflection of the school in question.

I encourage you to personally tour the school and meet the educators and students, form your own opinion and leave a comment here.

Best of luck with your search for the perfect school!

Tour Details

Tour was a secondary school tour ( years 7 to 12 )

Tour was taken on a Wednesday morning 

Tour was taken entirely by students with no official presentation at the beginning or end.

1-2 students took small groups of 3-6 visitors around 

There were several teachers and staff available for Q&A at various times of the tour

There no opportunity to speak with the principal

Vibe at Caulfield Grammar School

Driving into Caulfield Grammar School, Wheelers Hill campus feels like driving into a small walled city.  The school gate is located in a quiet street in suburban Wheelers Hill / Glen Waverley. Driving past you may only see the gate and signage, however, inside are huge expansive grounds with multiple ovals and outdoor courts and an extensive car park.  

There are only around 1000 students on the Wheelers Hill campus ( 1446 according to an official YouTube video dated 2021 ) which incorporates ELC to year 12.  For a school with such ginormous grounds, the student numbers are actually quite low.  Buildings are surprisingly cosy and intimate with the interiors not overly spacious or modern.  The extensive outdoor ovals and courts are incredible though and must be some of the biggest grounds of any school I’ve seen.

The student who took us around was a year 12 student who had been at the school her entire education.  She was very mature, quietly confident and well spoken.  She spoke very highly about the school often mentioning how “comforting” and “supportive” the school had been during her time there.  

There was no official presentation by the school leadership which was surprising.  It made it a little difficult to get a sense of their philosophy behind the education and what kind of education they hope to create for their students.  However, from what I can gather from the tour, aside from academics, there are myriad opportunities to be involved in any kind of extracurricular activity including many music, performing arts and sporting activities as well as clubs of all kinds.

Although it seems like a primarily academic school, students are given every opportunity to experience and participate in a multitude of extras.  I was particularly impressed with some of the real world experience Caulfield offers such as running the café in year 9 and obtaining a food handling and safety cert.  There are also opportunities to learn about podcasting, music production, business and financial literacy to name a few.  

I asked a teacher if many students elect to go a vocational pathway and she said a small but growing number are taking that path, doing food tech etc.

Admission to Caulfield Grammar School

I asked admissions about their reputed long wait list.  She assured me that starting to look now for year 7 entry in 2028 is not too late and it’s not impossible to get a spot ( as is rumoured ).  She said it was important to keep in touch with the school over the years and check how it’s going.  

The interviews and offers for entry in year 7 go out the year prior, around mid year.  She also said it’s important to have a back up plan in case you don’t get an offer.  

Students are interviewed upon entry.  An interview doesn’t guarantee a spot, but it’s highly likely that you will get an offer. 

Learning mentors / Class sizes at Caulfield Grammar School

One point of difference at Caulfield Grammar is their “learning mentors”.  

Learning mentors are assigned to year 7 and 8 classes.  Each class’s learning mentor follows the class around to their subjects.  These learning mentors are qualified teaching staff and act as a kind of classroom teacher that help students transition into secondary school life.  As they follow the group of around 30 students around for the entire year, they get to know the students very well.  They assist in teaching the class, occasionally take the classes ( depending on what kind of teacher they are ) and also act as a social and emotional support and first port of call for any issues.

There are about 25-30 students x 6 classes in year 7 ( one class per house ).  Each class is looked after by two qualified teachers – I believe what that means is the subject teacher plus the learning mentor.

Sports at Caulfield Grammar School

Sport is the only subject that students are separated into gender from 7-10 ( until VCE sport which is co-ed ).  

Although the student who took us on the tour didn’t seem overly involved with sport and so didn’t go into depth, it seems like there are all manner of sports catered for.  The campus has at least two huge grass ovals, outdoor courts, gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, rock climbing center, weight training room etc.  They also do some sports like basketball off campus at community facilities.  Our student did Pilates as a sport in year 12. 

More information on the types of sports offered here.

Caulfield Grammar is part of APS sports and AGSV.  Sport participation is compulsory from years 5-12.  Students train on Tuesdays during school time, some elite level students also train after school on Thursdays, and they compete on Saturdays against other schools. 

Music / Performing Arts at Caulfield Grammar School

Every student has instrumental classes in year 7 during classroom music with instruments provided by the school ( at that point ).  There are a huge number of opportunities to join bands and ensembles to play and to perform.  There are also opportunities to learn about music production with an on site recording studio. 

Caulfield-Grammar-School-theatre

View full gallery here.

Our student played the cello and casually mentioned that she will be going on a performing tour to Europe with the string ensembles of Caufield Grammar this year!  She said it’s an annual occurrence now that Covid is over and every year some groups travel to Europe to perform which sounds like an incredible opportunity. 

The auditorium looked like a reasonably large professional theatre, complete with orchestra pit and looked like it could seat hundreds of spectators.

Art at Caulfield Grammar School

Our tour leader said that art was a big part of Caufield as she lead us into the art building.  They had some great student art on display.

Caulfield-Grammar-School-exhibit

Science at Caulfield Grammar School

Classroom science is compulsory up until year 10.  

In years 11 and 12 they become elective.  The sciences offered are the main sciences of chemistry, biology, physics as well as psychology.  There is another subject combining outdoor activities with science.  

We were taken to the science building which was surprisingly small with a few labs we could see. 

IB at Caulfield Grammar School

In Junior and Middle schools, learning is guided by the International Baccalaureate PYP ( primary years program ) and MYP ( middle years program ).  There seems to be no intention to offer the IB diploma in years 11 and 12 in the near future.  

When I asked what the difference is between IB and the standard teaching at schools, the teacher we spoke to said it was more collaborative learning rather than didactic ( paraphrased ) and they looked at learner profiles of students.

Wellbeing at Caulfield Grammar School

Our tour leader mentioned that there were counsellors that were very supportive when she went to see them.  She mentioned that there are “Thrive” classes which is related to wellbeing but didn’t go into detail.  There are times when students can elect to do subjects such as podcasting ( which our tour guide was doing ), financial literacy, music production which she felt aided her wellbeing, especially in year 12 where she found it relaxing.

caulfield-grammar-school

Student Run Cafe at Caulfield Grammar School

In Year 9, there is a new 8 day program introduced two years ago where the students learn to run an on site café.  They learn skills like food preparation and barista skills and can get a certificate of food safety and handling.  The teacher who spoke about this said that in year 9 they may be considering getting a part time job and having the certificate puts them in a good position to be hired by hospitality businesses.  The café serves food to students at lunch time ( along with the tuck shop ) and apparently year 12s sell coffee there too!  

Guests on the tour were given student made choc chip cookies at the end which I can confirm, were delicious. 

Caulfield-Grammar-School-library

Camps at Caulfield Grammar School

  • Year 7 and 8 camps take place at their Yarra Junction campus which has a working dairy farm
  • Year 9 camp is a month in Kakadu 
  • Year 10 camp is an “Odyssey” adventure camp where there is a choice of several tours eg skiing, canoeing, hiking, rockclimbing, bicycle tour

Unfortunately our tour leader missed out on several camps due to Covid and wasn’t able to tell us much about them.  

Diversity at Caulfield Grammar School

I asked a staff member about neurodiversity.  She was a junior school staff member.  She said that in junior school they have learning strategists who work with the students to work out a plan.  If required, they have a 1:1 case manager who helps them along with their classroom teacher.  She said that Caufield Grammar is an open entry school and all students are welcome and they have the resources to work with all kinds of students there.  

A significant proportion of students seem to come from Asian descent, probably reflecting the ethnic diversity of the nearby suburbs.  

Our tour leader mentioned there is a LGBTQI club at the school, however I didn’t many LGBTQI activism posters as I’ve seen at other schools. 

I didn’t have the opportunity to ask about bullying.

Caulfield-Grammar-School-library

Religion at Caulfield Grammar School

Caulfield Grammar is an Anglican school with a small chapel on site.  Our tour leader was quick to reassure us that although the school is Anglican, they are taught about many other religions in school and all cultures are celebrated. 

Clubs at Caulfield Grammar School

Our tour leader said there are many clubs at the school for anything you can think of.  She mentioned an LGBTQI club, robotics, music, theatre mostly run by students.  

Mobile Phone Policy at Caulfield Grammar School

The student tour guide said that during middle years ( 7-9 ) the school is stricter on mobile phones and students need to leave them in their lockers throughout the day.  She didn’t know what kind of consequence there was if a student was seen using one.  

However in senior years ( 10-12 ), mobile phone policy is relaxed so students are allowed to use them during lunch and recess times.  Mobile phones during classes are still not allowed, but apparently students are allowed to have the phone on them.  

Student Comments

I only spoke with the student who took us around. 

  • “ I think the core of the school is academic.  Because for anything outside of academics, you have to open the door yourself.”
  • “ The school isn’t pushy ( about academics ), they are only supportive in the best possible way.” ( when I asked if she found the school pushed her to achieve a high score )

Final words

Caulfield Grammar School is probably the school with the most expansive grounds I’ve seen to date.  Its sporting and music facilities are also undeniably impressive.  

There are some facilities that I haven’t seen available even in other similarly priced private schools I’ve toured ( eg. rock-climbing center, recording studio, indoor pool ).  While facilities are only one aspect of a school, it does represent the opportunity to partake in these activities during secondary education, something that may not be so readily available in the real world ( how many people will be able to perform in an auditorium with an orchestra pit! ).  Even though the grounds are large, there is still a cosiness to the interior of the buildings and there aren’t a huge number of students. 

There seems to be thought put into wellbeing and integrating years 7s and 8s into secondary school with a learning mentor.  However, perhaps due to the structure of the tour with no presentation by leadership, it was harder to understand the guiding philosophy behind the school.  It’s clear that students are given many extra curricular opportunities as well as some real world experience and skills on top of academic study.  The student who took us around said that she felt well supported and cared for in her years at the school. 

Do you have any experience, questions or comments about this school? Let our community know and add a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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