Established in 1896 at Brighton-Le-Sands, Scots has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1600 students from Kindergarten to Year 12, including 240 boarders from Years 4 to 12. Students attend Scots from all regions of the greater metropolitan area and New South Wales country regions.
The college is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA), the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA), the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, and is a founding member of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales (AAGPS).
The Reverend Arthur Aspinall, who became the first Principal, was minister to the Forbes Parish from 1874 to 1887. An educated man himself, with a love of learning, he saw the need to educate the sons of the pastoralists of the area. His dream was for a boarding school in Sydney to which these very isolated farming families could send their children. Ms Lillyan MacDonald of the Church Records and Historical Society (Uniting Church in Australia, NSW Synod) writes:
The Presbyterian Church was not happy with the proposal to start the school. Mr Aspinall became the guarantor, advancing the capital required, while the possibility of starting the school was still a matter of bitter contention within the Church hierarchy. Thus Scots opened as a private enterprise. Once the school was established and functioning, the Church Assembly saw no reason to continue to oppose the idea of the school. In 1906 Mr Aspinall sold the college to the Church for seven thousand pounds and so it became part of the Presbyterian education system in New South Wales.
The period when the school opened was a time of depression. The first few years for the school were difficult. There were 55 boys enrolled at the school when, in 1895, (soon after a racecourse had opened nearby) the school moved to its current location in Bellevue Hill.
James Bee, a New Zealander, continued the growth and expansion of the college. When he retired in 1934 there were 450 enrolled students. This is quite remarkable considering that the 1930s Great Depression was not yet over.
Alexander Knox Anderson saw the Depression end only to be followed four years later by World War II. During World War II, the school and its student body relocated to a purpose-built campus at Bathurst, to the west of the Great Dividing Range. This was due to the proximity of the Bellevue Hill campus to the coast, and the fear of Japanese naval bombardment, a fear justified in May 1942 with the Japanese mini-sub attack on Sydney Harbour.
The Bathurst campus remained part of the school for a short period after the war, before splintering off and becoming the independent The Scots School, Bathurst.
In 1979, a fire gutted most of the school's Main Building, resulting in a major reconstruction and renovation of school facilities.
In 1988, the school opened its outdoor education campus, 'Glengarry', in the Kangaroo Valley. Attending Glengarry is compulsory for all Year 9 boys, who live on-site in one of four dorms for six months. The year group is split into two intakes, that attend in terms 1 and 2, and terms 3 and 4 respectively.
Glengarry has faced controversy due to its potentially hazardous outdoor curriculum. It has had a total of two fatalities, both occurring to Scots College students during Parent/Son hikes.
Most of the Council members are elected by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in New South Wales.
|1892–1913||Rev Arthur Aspinall|
|1935–1955||Alexander Knox Anderson|
|1955–1967||A. E. McLucas|
|1993–2006||Dr Robert Iles|
|2007–Present||Dr Ian Lambert|
The campus consists of three ovals (Kirkland Oval; Fairfax Oval, which is used primarily by the Pipes and Drums as a parade ground, and Scots Main), four general class buildings and due to new classrooms to the Prep there are now 12 portable classrooms, five boarding houses, a 25 m Swimming pool, a gymnasium, grandstands, tennis courts, basketball courts (indoor and outdoor) and the school amphitheatre.
The general class buildings are the Centenary Centre (Music, languages, and economics/business), the Senior Studies Block (Science, PDHPE and Mathematics), Scots Main (English, Religious Studies, Design and Technology, Visual Arts) and the Stevenson Building (Stevenson Library, History and Geography).
The Stevenson Building also houses the Year 12 Common room, the Black Watch Tuckshop-Cafe, the Prefects' Room, the College Shop, and the school's two main function rooms (the Founders' Room and the Old Boys' Union Room). Scots Main houses the Auditorium and main school administration, whilst the Centenary Centre contains the school's primary Lecture room, the Coote Theatre and various music facilities and musical instruments.
The college quadrangle has recently finished reconstruction to provide additional change rooms and wheelchair accessible facilities such as an elevator for the Main Building. A new Mathematics/Science building is under planning and completion is expected at around Easter 2008. In 2007 the new "Ginahgulla" classrooms were completed. These classrooms house years five and six located at the Senior campus, Victoria Rd.
Scots.NET now also incorporates all day-to-day school administration functions, including rolls, detentions, homework merits and demerits, behavioural reports, school report releases, discipline records, subject selection, student timetables, assessment marks, attendance records, subject resources, SCOOGLE (an advanced subject forum server based on a combination of Open Source course management technologies, allowing students and teachers to communicate easily online and transfer documents and information), and software not usually available at home. In addition to student accounts, Scots.NET also features parental accounts. These allow students' parents to gain access to school publications (such as the The Clansman newsletter, which has recently ceased to appear in any but electronic form; academic and pastoral reports; assessment marks; academic documentation; school publications; and so forth. A feature of Scots.NET is that students and parents are able to access Scots.NET from any computer with internet access.
As part of this shift towards electronic learning, Scots has digital projectors, speaker systems and DVD/VCR systems in the majority of its classrooms and halls, in order to better facilitate media presentations by staff and students.
In 2006 Scoogle, a more upgraded version of Scots.NET became available and was trialed in some courses primarily as a homework receive/upload system. In 2007 Scots.net was taken down from the internet and Scoogle was fully integrated and being used in every course for assessment information, task uploads, study resources, a basic instant messenger for teacher-student communications which did not fully materialise, and also still having all the older features of the outdated Scots.NET under the new system.
As with most Australian schools, The Scots College utilises a house system. Scots has 13 student houses, of which 5 are boarding houses. Each year the houses participate in multiple academic and sporting competitions, spread across the school year, and are awarded points according to their placings. This point system determines the winner of the House Championship each year (announced at a final assembly). The day boy houses contain between 90 and 95 students each, whilst the boarding houses have between 50 and 65 apiece.
Macintyre House is located by the Macintyre tennis courts and contains the College clinic. The house contains all the Year 7 boarders who go to other boarding houses after Year 7 and does not compete in any house competitions.
Kirkland House is located next to the gym, and its jersey blue and white. Motto: Strength of character through character and good sense.
Aspinall House is located between the Chapel and the dining hall, its house jersey is mostly white with a little dark green and it is named after former principle Arthur Aspinall. Motto: Honour before honours.
Fairfax house is situated on the hill above Kirkland oval and the Ginagulla classrooms. Because it is on a hill the boys in the house sometimes call it "The House on the Hill". Motto: Steadfast and United.
Royle house is located across the road from Macintyre house and the Macintyre tennis courts, and its house jersey is dark green and blue. Motto: Not merely for ourselves.
Former students of The Scots College are known as Old Boys, or alternatively Old Scotsmen, and may elect to join the school's alumni association, The Scots College Old Boys' Union (OBU). The OBU was formed in 1900, and today supports the school with financial assistance, whilst working to facilitate communication and interaction between the College and its Old Boys through events and activities, such as alumni and sporting reunions. Reunions are also held in various states of Australia and overseas.
Amongst the schools notable alumni are Dr. Peter Jensen, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Admiral Sir David James Martin AO, former Governor of New South Wales, Hon. Peter McCallum Dowding S.C., former Premier of Western Australia, and Graeme Milbourne Clark AC AO, pioneer of the multiple-channel cochlear implant.