‣ 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 took place on a Wednesday at 9am

There was a short welcome at the start by Principal Karen Jebb

The large group was divided systematically into smaller groups of about 15 visitors 

Each small group was taken around the school by several students guiding the tour

Vibe at Emmaus College

Emmaus College is located on busy Springvale Rd.  It’s a school I drive past most days but haven’t heard much about personally.  


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Entering the school from the side street, you’d never notice it was located on a busy road.  The buildings are set way back from Springvale Rd and there is no entry from the main road.  This gives the school a very calm and quiet vibe.  The buildings were clean and tidy and even with school in session, it seemed very quiet.  Students were seen quietly sitting in classrooms with teachers teaching out the front.  

Our tour was taken by the Vice Captain of the school who was in year 11 and two other students – both year 10s I believe.  They seem to have prepared for the tour with notecards with what they were going to say.  The students lead the tour confidently, however stuck to themselves mostly while walking rather than chatting to the group.  Our tour group didn’t have many questions for them either.  

The school has around 1200 students with about 200 students per year level.  Even for a relatively large student number, the school seems quiet and calm.  There seems to be a physical separation of the junior years 7 and 8 and the senior years of 10-12 with separate areas for both groups to use.  The students explained that this ensures that the kids in younger years aren’t intimidated by the older students and have time to settle into secondary school.  

Religion seems to be a significant part of student life at Emmaus.  This may seem an obvious statement as Emmaus is a Catholic school, however from the few religious schools I’ve visited, Emmaus seems to incorporate the religion into their studies and every day life more than others. 

Enrolment at Emmaus College

As Emmaus is a Catholic College, Catholic families are prioritised first.  There information about enrolment criteria here: https://www.emmaus.vic.edu.au/enrolment/application/enrolment-criteria/  

The Principal mentioned that the school shares “the list” with other Catholic schools in the area.  Students who put other schools first will be placed in other schools to “give everyone a chance at Catholic education”.  I assume this means you need to put Emmaus first on your preference list if your child wants to specifically go to Emmaus rather than another Catholic school in the area.  

I asked the school registrar about non-Catholics going to school and she says that although Catholic families are prioritise there are a handful of families each year of Emmaus that aren’t Catholic.  Although it will always depend on the demand each year from Catholic students, she mentioned about 50 out of the 250 or so students in each year level would be from non-Catholic schools. 

Religion at Emmaus College


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I think it would be fair to say that religion is a significant part of education at Emmaus.  There are number of symbols and mentions of religion around the school.  Religious studies is compulsory through the entire education from year 7 to year 12, although the students mentioned it tapers off towards the senior years.  

In junior years years 7/8, religion is taught three sessions per week.  In senior years, religion is still taught three sessions per week, but apparently for less time each session.  Students can take religion as a VCE subject at Emmaus.  The subject is “Texts and Traditions”.

Students study Catholicism and how to live out the teachings in the real world, but they are also taught about other religions.

Year 9 at Emmaus College

Year 9 has a separate campus in Burwood.  This small campus is dedicated to year 9s only.  

In year 9, life skills such as resume writing and mock interviews are taught and public transport know how with a city experience.  Drug and alcohol education also take place.  

There is also a camp to the NT which must be applied for and a choice of one week experiences to choose from. 

The students spoke fondly of the year speaking of the tight friendships with other students and teachers they made at the small campus.  It seems like year 9 is a year of learning life skills and bonding with peers. 

Science at Emmaus College 

Science is compulsory from years 7-10.  In year 9 they cover earth and space.  The female student who took us on the tour said how much she enjoyed science at the school and hoped to make it a part of her career one day either in radiology or some other kind of health science. 

Music at Emmaus College


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In years 7 and 8 students are required to learn an instrument at the school.  If students want to continue learning instruments after year 8, they pay for it privately.  

There are many bands to participate in for any skill level and soiree nights are held every term.    

Learning diversity / neurodiversity at Emmaus College

I had a chat to the Learning Diversity leader after the tour.  She said that learning support is well resourced at Emmaus, especially under the new Principal Karen Jebb.  She said that neurodiversity and learning support is well resourced at the school and what support is given depends on the assessments shared with the school.  

She said that there is a learning diversity leader for each year level of students at Emmaus.  She is not only the overall Learning Diversity Department Leader, but also the Learning Diversity leader for year 8 level.  


Pathways at Emmaus College

Our students mentioned that there are many pathways through years 11 and 12 that are supported at Emmaus including VCE, unscored VCE, VM and VET.  

It was mentioned several times that the school puts effort into keeping the students in school until the end of year 12. 

Mobile phone policy at Emmaus College

Mobile phone policy seems strict.  Students said that mobile phones aren’t allowed to be used during the school day at all, not even at lunch or recess and must remain in their lockers.  If caught with using a phone, there are consequences such as warnings and eventually detention.  


I asked if uniforms were strict.  The students said it’s reasonably strict but there is a lot of variety in what they can wear.  For example, the female student chose to wear pants instead of a skirt.  The tour leaders said that a lot of emphasis is based on student comfort.  

Interestingly the male students on the tour both had various earrings which I think says the school is not excessively strict on uniform.  

Performing arts at Emmaus College


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Emmaus seems to have a great tradition of performing arts putting on a theatre show each year.  The last few years have included very professional looking productions of Anastasia, Hairspray and Little Women ( 2023 ). The media studies areas also seem very well equipped with recording studio and green screen.  

Emmaus seems to be regularly up for Lyrebird Awards over the years for excellence in performing arts.   

Canteen at Emmaus College

The canteen has a card booking system designed by students and implemented by the school after listening to the students’ voice.  


To avoid crowding in front of the canteen, students use their ID cards to tap on a sensor and reserve a place in line. The numbers come up on an overhead screen.  The canteen is cashless and parents can volunteer to help at the canteen.  

Food seems like standard canteen food, however one of our students spoke very highly of the delicious chicken burgers.   

Student comments 

I asked the students what the liked and didn’t like about the school.  The struggled to come up with anything they didn’t like.  

“ I like the fact that it’s co-ed.  I think it prepares us better going into the real world.  I have older sisters so I was able to go to school with them.”

“ I really like science and definitely want to do something science related at university – like health sciences or radiology”

Final words 

What stood out to me after the tour of Emmaus is their learning diversity support.  It seems like an area that is well supported and well resourced with learning diversity staff allocated for each year level.  Another stand out point is Emmaus’s performing arts shows.  The school is proudly successful with their annual productions, regularly winning the Lyrebird interschool awards for various aspects of performing arts.    

Emmaus is probably the school that has had the most religion incorporated into the student curriculum with three sessions per week all the way through from years 7 to 12.  This may suit some families while putting others off.  

As the tour was mainly student lead, it was difficult to gain an understanding of guiding philosophy of the school. 

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