Pentridge Prison

Established in 1851 and closing in 1997, Pentridge Prison is a heritage listed former state prison that has undergone adaptive reuse over the last decade. Following the closure of the Old Melbourne Goal in the 1920s, Pentridge became the primary remand centre for metropolitan Melbourne. The long history of the site and the changing social, political and legal circumstances of the people who both worked and were incarcerated within its walls are the foci of a new educational program by NTV Education.  

Commencing in late Term 2, 2023, these programs are aligned with the Victorian curriculum for history, legal studies and sociology. Our education programs utilise the latest in immersive technologies, including soundscapes and audio-visual displays. Students will hear recorded interviews with past inmates, guards and lawyers and can observe artefacts dating between the early 1800s to late 1900s.  

The National Trust is a leader in the delivery of experiential learning: learning through seeing, doing and feeling, connecting different knowledge centres created across a person’s life. The NTV Education programs at Pentridge Prison provide a unique opportunity to move beyond the theoretical approach to learning and experience the setting and implications of social, economic and environmental change borne out in our shifting legal system through time. 

Secondary History and Civics and Citizenship program

The subject focus of this program is Civics and Citizenship and History, discussed through the curriculum themes of Government and Democracy and Laws and Citizens. This program is suitable for students in Year Levels 7 to 10. The program explores the changing nature of law, justice and freedom, and how each of these concepts is defined by the society in which they were, and are, enacted. As a society and culture change over time, so do their perceptions of what is right and just, influencing the appropriate scale of punishment for different crimes.  

 

Key themes within this program include: 

  • Explaining how Australia’s legal system aims to provide justice, including through the rule of law, presumption of innocence, burden of proof, right to a fair trial and right to legal representation; 
  • Discuss the key principles of Australia’s justice system, including equality before the law, independent judiciary, and right of appeal.

 

Further program details
Year Levels 7 – 10 
  

Curriculum link examples

Civics and Citizenship 

Level 7 and 8: Government and Democracy – VCCCG019; Laws and Citizens – VCCCL022 

Level 9 and 10: Laws and Citizens – VCCCL03, VCCCL034 

 

History 

Level 7 and 8: Historical concepts and skills – VCHHC100; Historical Knowledge – VCHHK110 

Level 9 and 10: Historical Knowledge – VCHHK151, VCHHK152 – VCHHK156 

 

 

Available: 

 

Each week day during school terms  

 

Duration: 

 

45 minutes  

 

Numbers: 

 

15 – 30 students 

 

Resources: 

 

Teacher’s resource pack is included with the incursion. 

 

Cost:

 

$12.00 per student 

 

Safety:

 

Click here to access the Pentridge Prison Task Risk Assessment document.

 

Bookings: 

 

Online booking form is here or email or phone: (03) 9656 9889 

VCE Sociology and Legal Studies program

This program is designed around the VCE Study Design for Legal Studies, linking in to Unit 2 of the Sociology program. The Legal Studies Study Design – Unit 1: guilt and liability, Unit 2: sanctions and remedies, Unit 3: rights and justice and Unit 4: the people and the law – comprehensively linking to the Pentridge Prison site and its history. Unit 2 in the Sociology VCE program runs parallel to this, exploring deviance and crime and its implications.  

The program is very flexible and could be taken either as a single visit at any point in the year, or as a returning program featuring multiple visits to address different aspects of the site. As students move through the curriculum for these Study Designs, they explore content such as legal frameworks, changing concepts of guilt and innocence, sanctions and rights. They also complete studies specifically on the national and state justice systems, and it is here that exploring specific case studies will be ideal. 

The diverse and versatile content developed for the programs and the flexibility in how it can be delivered will allow the Trust to implement an immersive experiential learning program for Study Areas which currently have very few options for excursions. Pentridge Prison presents a truly unique opportunity to explore the specific themes of the Study Design within the real world and will be highly sought after.

 

Further program details
Year Levels VCE 
 

Curriculum link examples 

Sociology 

Unit 2: Social norms: breaking the code 

 

Legal Studies 

Unit 1: Guilt and liability 

Unit 2: Sanctions, remedies and rights   

Unit 3: Rights and justice   

Unit 4: The people and the law  

 

Available: 

 

Each week day during school terms  

 

Duration: 

 

45 minutes  

 

Numbers: 

 

15 – 30 students 

 

Resources: 

 

Teacher’s resource pack is included with the incursion. 

 

Cost:

 

$12.00 per student 

 

Safety:

 

Click here to access the Pentridge Prison Task Risk Assessment document.

 

Bookings: 

 

Online booking form is here or email or phone: (03) 9656 9889 

VCE History program

The Pentridge Prison site lends itself towards a VCE level History education program, linked to the unit on Power and Resistance (1788 – 1913). Students explore the complex, dynamic history between power and resistance across this time period, and the prison, with operations across 1851 to 1997, will allow students to have tangible experiences with real-world implications. The emphasis within the curriculum on the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples linked to power and resistance can also be uniquely explored at the Pentridge site, and linked in to other National Trust properties such as the Old Melbourne Gaol and the city watch house.  

Historic (and in many examples, still contemporary) issues such as struggles for improved workers’ rights and conditions, the push for women’s equality and demands for LGBTIQA+ rights can be actively addressed at the Pentridge Prison site, linked to the increasing awareness and acceptance of social movements and protests as a feature of Australian democracy. 

Further program details
Year Levels VCE 
 

Curriculum link examples 

Power and resistance (1788–1913)  

Power and resistance (1957–1998)  

 

Available: 

 

Each week day during school terms  

 

Duration: 

 

45 minutes  

 

Numbers: 

 

15 – 30 students 

 

Resources: 

 

Teacher’s resource pack is included with the incursion. 

 

Cost:

 

$12.00 per student 

Safety: 

Click here to access the Pentridge Prison Task Risk Assessment document.

 

Bookings: 

 

Online booking form is here or email or phone: (03) 9656 9889