Wednesday 01 July 2020


This year’s IGNITE Program was a big success with students rising to the challenge of completing the bulk of their work from home due to COVID-19 and learning a lot about themselves and their capabilities along the way. The program, that encourages students to work independently on a passion project, was first launched last year at Ivanhoe Grammar School’s dedicated Year 9 Campus at La Trobe University⁠—University Campus. The School’s partnership with La Trobe University gives students access to La Trobe academics, world-class facilities and an early taste of university learning that challenges, inspires and prepares them for their Senior Years and the next stage of life.

The IGNITE program allows students to work on a project that they are passionate about for an extended period of time. They are encouraged to become an expert in, make, create, research or learn about their chosen topics.  The first group of students in 2020 have now finished their projects, particularly impressive when most the work was completed independently while at home during COVID-19.

“The idea that students can spend an extended period of time learning about anything they like, something they are passionate about, came about from a proposal from La Trobe academic Dr Rochelle Fogelgarn, from Teacher Education. We trialled it last year and had over 300 people attend the Showcase. This year, due to COVID-19 things looked a bit different. Drawing on the Ivanhoe Grammar School Learning Attributes we had to be Creative and Courageous so decided to ask students to continue to prepare their endeavours from home. We are really proud to be able to share their work with you via a dedicated IGNITE website. It is not just the end product we are celebrating, but the learning journey, the ability to find a way around the challenges thrown at us, and many students have done just that,” said Year 9 Learning Facilitator Ms D’Elia.

From 60’s fashion to stop motion animation and podcasts, students let their imaginations run wild, enthusiastically researching their subjects and creating some very impressive work.  Even though there were limitations with students completing their projects from home in isolation there were also some unexpected benefits such as students having more time to work independently at home, which forced them to draw on their inner resources.

Take a look at IGNITE 2020

Student Reflections


Due to COVID-19 IGNITE was moved to online lessons. This was beneficial for my project because all my sport was cancelled I have had much more time to focus on my project however I definitely think it is much easier to talk to your teacher and discuss ideas with your friends at school however if I ever had a question I didn’t hesitate to contact my teachers so I think Corona Virus had a somewhat positive impact on my project. Covid-19 also did not cause an issue with access to materials because I bought all of my materials before COVID-19. I really enjoyed Ignite because It let me explore and try something I have never done before. If I never had Ignite I would have never found any time to try sewing and now I am going to continue making things with the sewing machine apart from pyjamas. 


I learnt to not only paint acrylic but all about the history and about the different painting techniques. I did not change my topic because I found it interesting and fun. I learnt that it is easier to learn when you are interested, or you are doing something inclusive or appealing. Covid-19 has not exactly affected me in a good way, it is a lot easier to get distracted and concentrate it would be better if I could be more social and I think it is easier for most people to learn face to face. If I had a chance to do this again, I would choose something more exciting. I have learnt about time management and different ways to express creativity.