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Prep 2025 at ELTHAM College

At ELTHAM College, children learn to think for themselves in preparation for a future of exciting possibilities. Early childhood learning offered in our Prep year is just the beginning for our Junior School students.

Our philosophy is that education is a daring adventure, where a love of learning is nurtured in a caring community. We teach our students to be increasingly self-confident, resilient and responsible, with an understanding of themselves as team members and community builders.

ELTHAM College teachers create classrooms and year level groups (what we call Neighbourhoods) with curious and actively engaged citizens, a strong, respectful student voice, collaborative learning and opportunities beyond the classroom in our extraordinary environment.

Above all else, ELTHAM is about ‘growing hearts and minds’.

As an independent, co-educational and non-denominational private school, we are constantly adapting to the changing needs of young people and their world. 

ELTHAM College students thrive beyond the classroom

Our Junior School specialist curriculum offers students the chance to try new things and explore. By building athletic, creative, and community-minded experiences, we respond to their intellectual and personal diversity. Students are encouraged to be brave and curious. This holistic approach to education is how we authentically educate the whole student.

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With a unique school comes a unique culture and community

Our teachers (who operate on a first name basis with our students) forge a caring and professional bond with their class, grounded in mutual respect. Students enjoy the benefits of conservative class sizes, where independent thinking is cultivated through applied learning and a strong connection to the world beyond the four walls of a classroom.

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Students at ELTHAM College learn in a unique environment

Our exceptional campus, purpose-designed and built facilities, and beautiful natural surroundings of the Yarra Valley provides an inspiring place where young people are encouraged to confidently establish their concept of the world, with positive flow-on effects on their physical health and emotional wellbeing.

We understand the importance of academic excellence

Authentic learning experiences are tailored so that each student can achieve their personal best and develop their individual abilities to the fullest. Prep students at ELTHAM College are immersed in literacy, numeracy, inquiry, wellbeing and specialist curricula from day one.

Positive Transition to School

Our Prep students are known and understood for their individual qualities before they start at ELTHAM. Prep students experience four sessions with teachers in the classroom before the start of school, and individual interviews take place as part of the application process. We invest this additional transition support in each student and family to build a successful start to school.

Prep students lead their own art exhibitions. Throughout the year student-led exhibitions invite families into the Prep Neighbourhood space. Students share with their family their learning achievements, taking responsibility for their successes and identifying and articulating responses to what they have learnt.

Student Wellbeing

If we are seen, heard, and connected then we have a strong sense of belonging. Prep families have access to ongoing assessment of their child’s learning and wellbeing throughout the year. This supports your child with a strong partnership between home and school.

Prep students spend time with Year 1 and 2 students once a week, consolidating their sense of belonging, expanding their friendships and feeling of safety across the Junior School. Prep to Year 2 time is used for individual wellbeing and social interactions. During this time they also explore cyber safety.

Students have access to qualified psychologists on campus. Learning support is available to students who learn differently or require an individualised approach to their learning.

Whichever unique qualities your child brings… An ELTHAM College education is the gift of a bright future.

Starting school is a significant milestone and exciting time for our families and students. At ELTHAM College, our students can continue to grow and develop their independent learning journeys through diverse streams. Some of our highlights include:

Learning With Nature at ELTHAM College Bush Reserve

Prep students develop a connection to the land at our beautiful Bush Reserve, experiencing a Welcome to Country with Indigenous Elders. Inquiry-based learning happens through exploratory play. Learning about Indigenous cultures and storytelling is supported by the Prep Library Program, taught across our beautiful Junior School Library and the Bush Reserve.

Music and Drama

All Prep students are introduced to performance, musical instruments and basic music theory, laying the foundation for engagement with the ELTHAM College Instrumental Music Program which is available from Year 1. Drama activities take advantage of the College’s Harold Mitchell Performing Arts Centre.


Language curriculum begins in Term 1, delivered through dynamic and interactive activities, play-based learning and practical application of vocabulary. Students are encouraged to make connections between English and Chinese and also enjoy cultural events and experiences.

Physical Education

Prep students at ELTHAM College enjoy sport, perceptual motor program (PMP) and weekly swimming lessons on-campus at the ELTHAM College stadium sports facility. The program’s activities and events promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle, teamwork and engaging in physical fitness. Prep students will also participate in their first Junior School House Athletics Carnival, House Cross-Country and Swimming Carnival.


Prep students explore their world through art, using drawing, painting, collage, sculpture and printmaking. Our students share their work and learn how to explain their ideas.