An independent Anglican co-educational boarding and day school, Geelong Grammar School boasts a reputation as a pioneer of modern education. From its origins in 1855, the School has always had a distinctive character. After outgrowing several Geelong locations the School moved to a 245-hectare site on the edge of Corio Bay in 1914, creating the unique learning and living environment that exists today. In 1953 it established Timbertop, a remote campus in the foothills of the Victorian Alps inspired by the philosophies of German educator Kurt Hahn. Timbertop exposes the School’s Year 9 students to intellectual, physical and emotional challenges under demanding environmental conditions, where they connect to their personal strengths, develop confidence and learn the value of co-operative endeavour. The School became co-educational in the early 1970s, preparing students for the dynamic of the modern world through enabling boys and girls to live and learn alongside each other. It is now Australia’s largest co-educational boarding school. Spread across four campuses, it has a non-selective enrolment policy and approximately 1,500 students from Early Learning to Year 12, including more than 800 boarders.
The School introduced its transformational Positive Education programme in 2009. Developed from the science of Positive Psychology in collaboration with Professor Martin Seligman and his team from the University of Pennsylvania, Positive Education focuses on cultivating positive emotions and character traits, encouraging students to find purpose and lead engaged and meaningful lives. More than 300 Geelong Grammar School staff have taken part in intensive residential training courses and Positive Education is taught at each year level, at every campus and across all aspects of school life. Explicit teaching is delivered in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 through specific Positive Psychology programmes written by the world’s leading research psychologists and developed in collaboration with experienced classroom teachers. Studies over the past 20 years suggest that these explicit Positive Psychology programmes lead students to have increased levels of creativity, better critical thinking skills and increased levels of positive emotion. They also have significant impacts on depression, anxiety and adjustment disorders.