Established in 1991, MLC Marshmead was ahead of its time as one of the nation’s first environmentally focused, hands-on education setting. The MLC Marshmead philosophy centres upon the concepts of personal sustainability, community sustainability and environmental sustainability. Students experience a low energy lifestyle and become increasingly carbon conscious.
All campus buildings incorporate energy-efficient design elements, a remote area power supply system maximises the use of renewable energies and the campus features its own water and waste management systems. While staying at MLC Marshmead, students encounter relevant, practical learning and gain life skills such as independence and self-reliance, as well as an approach to sustainable living that is directly transferable to their urban lives.
MLC Marshmead is not a compulsory program. Each year some Year 9 students choose to participate in the alternative Melbourne Term.
MLC Marshmead is a small village, where students learn and benefit from their involvement in a supportive, collaborative and connected community. Within nine self-contained student houses, each featuring comfortable bedrooms, a living area, kitchen, bathroom and solar hot water unit, students manage their own cooking, cleaning, heating and cooling.
These experiences encourage students to build on their relationships with others while improving their communication, decision-making and interpersonal skills. Wellbeing is paramount at MLC Marshmead. All students support one another through the eight-week experience of living away from home, with dedicated staff and a Home Group teacher helping them through this process.
At MLC Marshmead students undertake a range of integrated units that tie in with the Kew-based Middle School curriculum and key learning areas. Students attend formal classes and the curriculum studied makes use of the village infrastructure, local environment and communities.
An on-site, working farm doubles as a learning precinct. During their stay, students manage key elements of farming including the vegetable garden, composting and the chickens.
Students participate in expeditions, outdoor activities and recreation, as well as a physical education program that promotes regular exercise, health and wellbeing. Outdoor skills and activities extend on those introduced at MLC Banksia in Years 5 to 8 and include navigation, sea kayaking, canoeing and bushwalking. Students extend their camping skills and participate in two rewarding three-day expeditions.