Partnerships and Professional Development

The University High School story dates back to 1910, when The University Practising School opened in a former primary school at the corner of Lygon and Lytton Streets in Carlton. The special purpose of this school was to provide a place where undergraduates of the recently established Diploma of Education course at Melbourne University could observe good science teaching and practise their own skills.

With overcrowding and a view of very unsatisfactory conditions under which the teachers of science were being trained, the Principal, Mr Sharman proposed a new and larger building be constructed within close proximity to the University. The most suitable available site was the old Horse Market site in Story Street. This is where the school stands today. Over the years, the school has naturally evolved and it became the co-educational select entry school to compliment the select entry boys and girl’s schools in Victoria. The University High School was a year 9 to 12 co-educational select entry school for many years until 1971 where it became and remains today a local neighbourhood year 7 to 12 high school.

The University High School continues to have a dynamic, forward thinking and progressive partnership with DEECD, The University of Melbourne and Bio 21 Institute. The Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences is another example of the cutting edge approach to teaching and learning that both The University High School and University Of Melbourne are committed to developing.

The inception of the Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences was conceptualised from the DEECD Maths and Science Strategy, Energising Science and Mathematics Education.

This approach is directed at Victorian schools, teachers and students. It aims build on our growing science infrastructure in Victoria, and focus on four key areas:

  1. Workforce capacity To provide additional incentives to attract more qualified teachers to science and mathematics, and increase support and learning opportunities for current teachers to ensure that science and mathematics education is engaging and contemporary in every school.
  2. Infrastructure To significantly expand the network of specialist science facilities to foster contemporary teaching and learning practices. In particular, we will establish three new Science and Mathematics Specialist Centres as beacons of excellence, building on the experience of the current Specialist Centres.
  3. Strategic partnerships To encourage and support schools to build and sustain partnerships with industry, business, research and higher education institutions. This will enable the expansion of student, teacher and parent knowledge of careers and the contemporary application of science and mathematics.
  4. Resources to support a contemporary curriculum We will continue to expand the provision of high-quality teaching, learning and assessment resources that strengthen teacher practice and engage student interest in science and mathematics. We will make access to these resources easier through significant new investment in ICT infrastructure and outreach programs. DEECD website
The Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences provides an opportunity for academically motivated rising young science and mathematics students to conduct university level research in state of the art laboratories, alongside some of the sharpest scientific minds in the country. We want to harness the talents of our students and take full advantage of the invaluable skills, knowledge and passion that scientists from our University of Melbourne / Bio21 partners possess. Our goal is to empower our students to take science to the next level.

Our work with the University of Melbourne and the Bio 21 Institute not only provides a unique and rich learning environment for students but it offers unparalleled professional learning opportunities for visiting teachers to re-connect to disciplines in a way not possible through standard professional development. Our pedagogical approaches are leading edge and we have a professional responsibility to engage science teachers across Victoria with explicit professional learning sessions. The strength of partnership with the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne will enable us to continue to develop and promote excellent science curriculum and pedagogy for teachers throughout Victoria.

Our vision

The Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences is a branch of The University High School that has been designed to cater and engage young people in years 11 and 12 who have a passion and the potential for success in the fields of Science and Maths. The Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences has been designed in partnership with DEECD, University of Melbourne and Bio21 and will expose students to the latest innovations and excellence in the teaching of contemporary science and mathematics.

Students enrolled in the Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences at The University High School will be provided with a rigorous academic program focussed on the sciences and mathematics in a very supportive and engaging environment. Students will be mentored by University of Melbourne post graduate students from Bio21, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) or other Science, Engineering and Mathematical Institutes in our precinct, who will guide them to maximise their learning opportunities.