Toowoomba Preparatory School

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Toowoomba Anglican College and Preparatory School
Toowoomba Preparatory School.jpg
Sola Nobilitas Virtus
Toowoomba, QLD, Australia
Type Independent
Established 1911
Enrollment ~450
Campus Toowoomba
Colour(s) Gold, Navy and Maroon               

Toowoomba Anglican College and Preparatory School (formerly Toowoomba Preparatory School) is a private co-educational primary and secondary school located in Toowoomba, Queensland, Until 2013 the school was a Preparatory School only and has an average enrollment of approximately 500 students. The school is an Anglican school, and a member of the Brisbane Anglican Diocese. The school's legal entity is the Corporation of the Synod of the Diocese of Brisbane. It was founded in 1911 and celebrated its centenary in 2011.

The school has a small village atmosphere at its 12-acre campus [1] on the edge of the Dividing Range, and has developed a variety of facilities on its East Toowoomba location. These include three sporting ovals, an outdoor 25m swimming pool, a multipurpose court, and the St Aidans School Chapel. It also has a large multi-purpose venue with bleacher seating called the Millennium Centre, where assemblies and other sporting events are held such as volleyball, basketball and netball.

In 2012 the school's enrolment was expanded to include a pre-school kindergarten for the first time.


The school was founded in 1911 by one of the masters from Toowoomba Grammar School, Mr Ernest Gill. As an interim measure when the school was founded, the school "borrowed" the name, colours, and crest of Toowoomba Grammar School and was known as the Toowoomba Grammar Preparatory School during this time. This interim measure in fact lasted several years [1911-1926], at which time the school changed identity to Church of England Boys Preparatory School and aligned itself with the Brisbane synod of the Church of England. The school then changed its name to the Toowoomba Preparatory School, which has remained its name since.[2]

Original enrolment comprised 17 boys. The school was founded and grew with a boarding focus to service the geographically isolated areas of Southern and Western Queensland. The focus on boarding has remained through the school's history. By 1958, under the extensive stewardship of the third Headmaster Mr Norman Connal, the enrollment had expanded to include 160 boarders and 83 day boys. The number of boarders at the school was for many years significantly larger than the day student population. The current ratio is approximately one third boarders, and the school remains the largest preparatory school boarding establishment in Australia.[3]

In 1927 the campus was expanded with the purchase of the adjacent Stoneleigh House, which was used for boarding students. In 1942-43 the School grounds were commandeered by the Army as a result of World War II, and the school was evacuated to Southport on the Gold Coast. In 1972 the enrollment was expanded to incorporate girls from The Glennie School, and Prep became co-educational. In 1986 Stoneleigh House was demolished to make room for sporting facilities. The turret (known as the Bell Tower) was salvaged through the efforts of the Past Students Association, and to this day is sited between the sporting ovals that replaced Stoneleigh.

In 2006 Prep finished construction of a new boarding house, refurbished library and construction on its new health centre. At that time the School also went under construction once again renewing the existing boarding houses. Two new class rooms were also built with air conditioning and electronic white boards.

Further classroom development occurred in 2010, including a new school canteen, undercover play areas and new rooms for junior school years.

2011 saw Toowoomba Prep celebrate its centenary with a variety of ventures.

In 2014 the school started secondary schooling for the first time in its history and will have its first class of Year 12's in 2018. Mr. Simon Lees was appointed Foundation Head of School for the newly formed K- 12 Toowoomba Anglican College and Preparatory School.

Heads of School[edit]

  • 1911-26 Mr Ernest Albert Gill
  • 1927-28 Rev Aldington Hunt
  • 1929-58 Mr Norman "Boss" Connal
  • 1959-73 Mr Edgar "Blue" White
  • 1973-79 Mr Robert "Bob" Smith
  • 1979-92 Mr Robert Brewster
  • 1993-95 Mr Tim Waley
  • 1995-09 Mr Bruce Howden
  • 2010-2013 Mrs Sandra Hawken [4]
  • 2014–present Mr Simon Lees


The school has a day house system for internal competition, and a different house system for boarding.

There are three day houses: Gill (Maroon), Connal (Gold) and Fairfax (Navy).

There are currently three boarding houses in operation: Brewster, Arnott and Bligh. Brewster is for boys in years 7 and 8, Arnott for girls in years 7 and 8, Bligh is for children in K to year 5. Bligh Boarding House was built in 2006. Founders House is an additional boarding facility which was completed in 2007.


The school is an affiliated Queensland GPS Junior School, and competes for Boys in selected fields of this competition against Churchie, BBC, Terrace, Nudgee, TSS, Ipswich Grammar and Toowoomba Grammar.

The school also competes in the Andrews Cup for Girls against Fairholme College, the Glennie School, Ipswich Girl's Grammar, Somerville House, St Hilda’s, St Aidan’s, St Margaret’s, Clayfield College, and Moreton Bay College.

Sports offered at the school include

  • AFL
  • Athletics
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Cross Country
  • Soccer
  • Rugby Union
  • Rugby League
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Touch Football
  • Volleyball

Sporting facilities at the school include three junior sized ovals, four tennis and netball courts, an outdoor pool and a gymnasium.


Toowoomba Prep has an extensive music program. The program includes a music exposure system where all students undertake activities using musical instruments such as violin. The result is extensive participation in small music ensembles through all age groups. Prep enters the annual Toowoomba Eisteddfod amongst other regional competitions, and typically enjoys significant success. The selective Toowoomba Preparatory School Chapel Choir is noted for its consistently high performance standard.

The school also encourages participation in an annual musical production. The musical is a large production with participation of all students from Grade 4 to 7 in all aspects from staging, music and management.


All previous students are able to join the Past Students Association.

Notable alumni include:

  • Aeneas McDonnell [International art critic; recoverer of stolen artwork in post World War 2 Nazi Germany] (1911–16) [5]
  • Air Vice Marshal Don Bennett CB, CBE, DSO, RAF (1919–20)
  • Charles Copeman AM, Rhodes Scholar 1953 [Mining industrialist] (1941–42)
  • Jon Stephenson [Geologist, Antarctic Explorer, Academic] (1943) [6]
  • Frank Haly AO [Business & Finance] (1944–47)
  • Bernie Pramberg [Rugby League Referee, Sports Journalist] (1952–60)
  • Steve Haddan [Sports Journalist] (1964–70)
  • Alex Smith [TV reporter & journalist] (1972–73)
  • Pippa Savage [National Rower] (1988–93)
  • Sally Kehoe [Olympic Rower] (1992–98)[7]


  • The Toowoomba Preparatory School Council
  • The Prep Foundation (funds scholarships, building programs, school benevolence through the Prep Fund)
  • Parents & Friends Association
  • Past Students Association

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°33′28.15″S 151°58′36.5″E / 27.5578194°S 151.976806°E / -27.5578194; 151.976806