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The Scots College NSW, Australia 3 - 18
years
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The Scots College
Sydney
1,000 pupils, ages 12-18 | Boys only | Day and Boarding

Middle School and Senior School

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Founded in 1893, The Scots College is a multi-campus independent Presbyterian day and boarding school for boys, famous for combining rigorous academics with, in the middle school, a residential outdoor programme for Year 9 students. ‘Brave Hearts Bold Minds’ is the College’s philosophy of education.

Where?

The middle school (Years 7-9) and senior school (Years 10 to 12) is on the main Bellevue Hill campus in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The Early Learning Centre for Cubs (three-year-olds), Lions (four-year-olds), Kindergarten and Year 1 is located a 15min walk from the middle school and senior school, and across the road from the junior preparatory school. The senior preparatory school campus is located across the road from the middle school and senior school. 

It’s a five-minute drive to Bondi Beach, 15 minutes to the centre, Sydney CBD. Parking is easy and the campuses are on several bus routes, plus the college provides its own bus service. Scots has one major renovation in progress: the John Cunningham Student Centre, for boys in Years 7 to 12. 

Other campuses include the Rose Bay Early Years Centre for three- to four-year-olds and Brighton Preparatory School, for Kindergarten to Year 6; and Bannockburn, the college’s ‘Active Learning’ site for overnight science stays, cadets, sports training and the study of food biodiversity.

Head

Dr Ian PM Lambert has been principal since 2007. He oversees all aspects of College life and is closely involved with all campuses. His father was a Scots Old Boy, and his sons went to Scots as well so he knows the system from a pupil perspective too.

Admissions

The designated entry point for the middle school is Year 7. For newcomers, the school is non-selective; however, being placed on the register doesn’t guarantee a place. The pre-enrolment process begins two years before entry. Children hoping to join sit an assessment and have an interview with the head of campus. 

If space is available, parents can enrol in any year from Cubs (three-year-olds) to Year 12 at the Bellevue Hill campuses, or from Kindergarten to Year 6 at the Brighton preparatory school. 

Senior scholarships are available for academics and music in Years 7 to 11. Means-tested bursaries are available and typically provide 25 per cent of tuition (and possibly boarding) fees. The Indigenous Education Programme provides for up to 20 Indigenous boys from across Australia to board at Scots from Year 7. They are looking for boys with a positive attitude who will make the most of every opportunity.

Academics and university destinations

No IB on offer here; instead, pupils study for the Higher School Certificate (HSC) or an Applied Entrepreneurship Programme, which delivers a blended model of New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA) subjects across the HSC program that also combines 100 hours of industry-placement experience with an enterprise-skills programme. The Applied Entrepreneurship Programme is partnered with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), which enables students to get into the university course that suits their potential career. 

To qualify for the HSC, students study 10 units, including business studies, legal studies, English studies and software design and development. 

From 2024, the College has expanded their provision of qualifications in Years 9 and 10 with the Cambridge Assessment International Education and their International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) qualification model. This is an internationally recognised qualification designed to extend and enrich the curriculum for students in the years before HSC qualifications. 

The majority of leavers carry straight on to university in Australia (typically, The University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and University of New South Wales); others continue their education abroad. Past offers have included Harvard University, John Hopkins University, University of California and University of Chicago in the US, and Durham and Oxford universities in the UK.

Co-curricular

There’s no skimping on the latest whizz-bang technology here, and the art department – which includes a very popular TV and media division – is especially impressive. The music department is huge, and across the college a large percentage of boys are involved in musical activities or join the renowned Pipes and Drums programme – beyond their mandatory classes. 

In most sports, Scots is the school to beat. Every pupil has to be in at least one team, which plays on Saturday mornings, from Years 2 to 12. We’re told that watching the first rugby team at Scots’ main oval is a highlight of many parents’ social calendars in the winter term. The Scots College is a member of the Athletic Association of the Greater Public Schools (AAGPS), which provides opportunities for boys to compete in Australia’s oldest and most prestigious inter-school competitions. In 2023, Scots became premiers of the AAGPS Athletics Championships, Rifle Shooting WS Josephson Shield, 3rds XV Rugby and 2nds Volleyball. 

Skiing is also excellent: there’s the Snowsports Academy – a 10-week programme offered to around 25 boys from Years 7 to Year 11, who head off to Perisher to train with a ski instructor (they do school work from 4-9pm daily). The Snowsports team has won the Interschools Snowsports Championships (which covers the whole of Australia) in the male-school section most years for the past two decades. 

Playing fields are limited on site, so most matches are played at other locations a bus ride away. In the middle school and senior school, the wide range of sports on offer includes water polo, rifle shooting, sports fishing, basketball, cricket, cross-country, sailing, swimming and tennis.

One of the big draws to Scots is the compulsory residential programme called Glengarry – a campus set in 700 acres of bush land in Kangaroo Valley (two hours south west of Sydney), where Year 9s spend six months taking part in an outdoor programme. There are dorms, classrooms, a gym and a theatre (in January 2020, the bushfires that swept through Australia destroyed two of the dormitories but within six weeks they had been rebuilt). The programme is rigorous with Tough Mudder-style team exercises; the ‘24-hour Rogaine’, involving orienteering and long-distance cross-country navigation; and the three-day solo expedition, where boys camp and cook on their own. No screens or computer games are allowed and boys can only communicate by letters to parents. At the end of the six months, boys hike, bike and canoe more than 200km back to Bellevue Hill, where they are greeted by the Pipes and Drums band and middle and senior school students.

Boarding

In the middle school and senior school, around 240 boys board in five houses (there are also eight day houses); some Years 5 and 6 boys board as well. Flexi boarding is an option, particularly for Years 10 onwards and there are no restrictions on students going home for the weekend. Boys enjoy age-appropriate recreational activities to reduce screen time.

School community

Pupils come from far and wide across Australia, plus there are international students too. 

Year 12 prefects also undertake a peer-mentoring programme that involves one-on-one structured sessions with pupils who may find certain aspects of school more challenging than others. In the middle school and senior school, Scots runs a daily tutor system by year group. In these, boys have access to teaching staff who can offer additional academic and pastoral support. 

Parents can dip in as much or little as they want. There are plenty of opportunities to help out, from running the sausage sizzle at the brighton preparatory school’s weekend sport matches to volunteering in the canteen. There’s also a Women’s Association, which organises coffee mornings and lunches for mums.  

Day pupils may bring a packed lunch from home or order from the canteen; boarders eat together in the dining room located in the heart of the school. A note on the dress code: Scots is very strict about haircuts. Anything other than a short back and sides is a no-no.  


And finally....

A fantastic school with strong academics that is renowned for producing community-minded boys with integrity – and its unique outdoor programme.

Gallery See All

The Scots College gallery image
The Scots College gallery image
The Scots College gallery image
The Scots College gallery image
The Scots College gallery image
The Scots College gallery image
The Scots College gallery image
The Scots College gallery image
The Scots College gallery image
  • Admissions

    Parents enquire about enrolment. Enrolment information is sent. Parents return or complete an online Application for Enrolment form and other requested information, including the non-refundable Registration Fee. Application is processed and acknowledged. Student is placed on the requested Enrolment Register. The College undertakes a pre-enrolment assessment (Years 5 to 11) and interviews (all students). The College considers application and enrolment determination is made. The College makes an offer or advises if the application was unsuccessful. Parents accept or decline the offer. Parents accept the offer by signing a copy of the Offer of a Confirmed Place as acknowledgement and acceptance of the College’s Conditions of Enrolment, and by paying the non-refundable Entrance Fee. Once these are received the student has a confirmed place at the College.
  • Academic results

  • University Destinations



    A majority of students go on to university - both in Australia and overseas (UK, USA most common). These include the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and Australian National University, as well as the University of California, University of Chicago, Durham University and Pembroke College, Oxford.
  • Sports

    Athletics
    Basketball
    Cricket
    Cross country
    Dance
    Gymnastics
    Martial Arts
    Rowing
    Rugby
    Sailing
    Shooting
    Soccer
    Swimming
    Table tennis
    Tennis
    Volleyball
    Surfing, water polo, sports-fishing
  • SEND


    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    The Scots College has an active inclusive policy for all students with special education needs and provides a network of support to boys and teachers through its Directorate of Student Care. Boys are educated in mainstream classes with support, according to diagnosed and presenting needs, from Learning Enrichment, Gifted and Talented, Counselling and Clinic staff as outlined in boys' Learning Profiles. Learning Enrichment across all campuses consists of highly educated and passionate teachers with Special Education qualification or other relevant training and experience. They work with boys and their teachers to ensure full access to the mainstream curriculum and assessments through accommodations and differentiation. In some cases, if the student has a significantly complex disability, he may require a highly adjusted or even life skills program in the senior years. If boys have a diagnosed or imputed disability at secondary level, Exam Provisions are able to be accessed provided that diagnostic information has been documented. Exam provisions are approved following strict NESA guidelines and can take the form of rest breaks, reader, writer, extra time and access to timed medications.


  • Transport Links

    Nearest mainline train station: Edgecliff Train Station
    Nearest international airport: Sydney Airport
  • School Updates

    • Nation and State Beach Indoor and Beach Volleyball Champions!

      The Scots College is now the premier Beach and Indoor Volleyball school in NSW and Australia!
    • Immersing Students in Adventure

      The Scots College Adventure Academy program is truly an exciting and innovative program that aims to immerse students in challenge, adventure and real-life learning.
    • Year 3 Boys Thrive in an Ever-Changing World

      Fostering the joy of learning is one of The Scots College’s priorities for Year 3 students. We offer a holistic approach to nurturing young boys’ growth and learning inspired by a deep understanding of what boys need to thrive. The College has crafted a program in the Junior Preparatory School (Years 2 to 4) that cultivates academic excellence, fosters character development and encourages a true love for learning.
    • The Deeply Anchored History of the Scots Boatsheds

      Of Summer Sport offered to Scots boys, Rowing remains a popular choice since its introduction to The Scots College over a century ago.
    • The Way Boys Play

      Our aim in everything we do at Scots is to embed our character focus for the boys. Building awareness, good judgment, assessing risk and building courage and creativity have all happened in the playground in fun, personalised lessons. Our investigation of rules continues, wrapped in delight and play.
    • How is Scots Reinventing Boys' Learning?

      At The Scots College, we asked ourselves: How have we been helping our staff reinvent education within the College and best prepare our students for the future?
    • Nature Vs Nurture

      How Your Son Can Discover Himself at Boarding School.

Essentials

Address
53 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, Sydney NSW 2023

Contact
admissions@scots.college
(+61) 2 9391 7600

Website
scots.college/visit-scots/campuses/senior-school/

Term Dates

Open Days

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