The Clunes program combines the College’s timeless principles of learning – learning to know, learning to do, learning to live with and learning to be – in a unique residential context.

The learning program at Clunes follows the Year 9 curriculum, the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (MYP). The curriculum blends experiential learning, social and emotional learning, community engagement, the arts, sustainability and interdisciplinary learning with practical life skills.

Where learning takes place

Learning in the community Teaching and learning takes place across the day in a variety of spaces at Clunes, including historic buildings and the student houses, the township and the diverse natural landscape of the surrounding district. Newly developed learning studios, woodwork shop and a demonstration kitchen have been purpose-built for the Clunes program. Students learn on the job in a variety of local businesses. They learn to get their hands dirty in the vegetable garden or on the farm and they learn to push themselves outside their comfort zone with a multitude of experiences.

Learning for life

Student chopping up a cucumberStudents develop important and practical life skills at Clunes including household budgeting and decision-making, food planning and safe preparation, monitoring weekly energy and water consumption and cleaning. Cooking classes are held three times per week with support from a cooking instructor on nutrition, menus, food handling and safe use of kitchen equipment.  Living and learning together helps students understand and appreciate negotiation, collaboration, tolerance and conflict resolution.

Exploring self and identity

Clunes Overnight Sleepout At a key period in adolescent development, the Clunes experience facilitates an exploration of self. The curriculum provides distinct programs for girls and boys to focus on personal growth, self-awareness and an understanding of the various dimensions that make an individual. One of the highlights of the program are our student gatherings, in which parents or significant role models share their knowledge and wisdom to answer student questions about life, identity and personal journeys.

Interdisciplinary learning

Student learning together

The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program puts inquiry-based interdisciplinary learning at the heart of the Clunes experience.  Students complete a significant 'PAC' research project  (Passion, Agency, Connection) during their time at Clunes. Taking inspiration from the Clunes community, township and the local surrounds, students identify a research question and draw on primary resources to explore the issue and find solutions to real-world problems they witness locally. Previous project topics have included; the impact of introduced species in the local area, values and ethics of farming practices, and light pollution and the effects on the night sky.

Students at Clunes continue their foreign language studies and complete a standalone Mathematics project to ensure continuity and progression in their learning across all key disciplines.


Community Service

The Year 9 experience at Clunes does not isolate students in a remote setting, but rather deliberately embeds them with the local community to help develop compassionate, caring young people with a strong sense of service to others. Students visit and volunteer their time with local organisations and businesses, such as the Clunes Senior Citizens’ Centre, the local animal farm, the Clunes Community Health Centre, the butcher, bakery, and cafe. Students develop an understanding of the value of living in a rural community and the importance of local organisations and the people within the community.


Clunes Music Program

Students at Clunes select from a range of MYP electives, including:

  • food and cooking
  • music
  • trail running, cycling and cross-fit training
  • bushwalking
  • woodwork and leatherwork
  • community activities
  • art-based activities.
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