Year 9 is typically the year when students become disengaged from school and their studies, not so at Ivanhoe Grammar School, where they are kept busy and stimulated throughout. On three separate occasions during the year, all formal classes cease and students participate in experiential learning outside the classroom.
There are a number of different programs on offer. These include the La Trobe University program, where students are exposed to big ideas from the world of science and explore topics of interest by visiting academics to pose questions and learn about current research projects; the Urban History program, where students visit locations and conduct interviews around Richmond as they discover how the inner suburb has changed over time and what makes it thrive today; and the After9 program, where students learn about the adult world of work and develop understandings about earning a wage and other aspects of financial literacy.
Students also have the opportunity of becoming immersed in a different culture with trips being offered to China, India, Thailand, Cambodia and Bali.
The year 9 program encourages students to learn by experience, to be independent, and to interact with adults other than teachers. They enjoy being treated as young adults and being able to make choices. Some of the programs relate back to the curriculum of their formal classes but others encourage and allow students to develop skills in time management and decision making and a wide variety of other areas that they will carry with them into the Senior Years but also into adulthood.