Pembroke School, Adelaide

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For other schools of the same name, see Pembroke School (disambiguation).
Pembroke School
Pembroke logo.png
Kensington Park, SA
Coordinates 34°55′19″S 138°39′18″E / 34.92194°S 138.65500°E / -34.92194; 138.65500Coordinates: 34°55′19″S 138°39′18″E / 34.92194°S 138.65500°E / -34.92194; 138.65500
Type Independent, co-educational, day and boarding
Motto Latin: Ex Unitate Vires
(Out of Unity, Strength)
Denomination Non-denominational
Established 1915 (Girton Girls' School)
1923 (King's College)
1974 (amalgamation)
Chairman Elizabeth Game
Principal Luke Thomson
Employees ~153[1]
Enrolment ~1,545 (ELC-12)[2]
Colour(s) Royal Blue, Green & Gold

Pembroke School is an Australian independent co-educational and non-denominational day and boarding school located in Kensington Park, a suburb 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) east of the centre of Adelaide, South Australia.

The school is on two campuses catering for approximately 1700 students from the Early Learning Centre (ELC) to Year 12, including up to 125 boarders in Years 7 to 12.[3] Pembroke provides specialist education for a small number of hearing-impaired students, with the school's "Hearing Unit".[4]

Pembroke School is affiliated with the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference,[5] the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[6] the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia,[7] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA),[8] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[9] and is a member of the Independent Schools Sport Association (ISSA).


Pembroke School was established in January 1974 through the amalgamation of two smaller neighbouring single-sex independent schools, King’s College and Girton Girls' School.[10]

Girton Girls' School[edit]

Girton Girls' School was an independent school for girls established in 1915.[10] Pembroke's junior and senior schools are located on what is now called the Girton campus.

King's College[edit]

King's College was an independent school for boys founded in 1923 as a joint venture between the Congregational Church and the Baptist Union in South Australia.[11] Pembroke's middle school is located on what is now called the King's campus.


In October 2003, arsonists targeted the school's drama building. The structure was damaged and students' art and drama projects destroyed.[12]

In 2006, Pembroke became the first school in South Australia to be granted an exemption from anti-discrimination laws in order to accept a greater number of girls than boys. The exemption was required because a gender imbalance which had arisen in lower year levels had to be redressed. The exemption was extended for a further three years in August 2009.[13]

Pembroke continues to embark upon ambitious building projects, funded in part by donations and fundraising. In November 2007, plans to build a multimillion-dollar visual arts and centre and auditorium were announced.[14] The building was completed in March 2009 and officially opened in May.

With the advent of the Building Education Revolution, the heritage-listed Angove House on the Girton campus was refurbished and restored. Work on the junior school established new classrooms and the new Early Learning Centre.

School structure[edit]

Bills House, King's Campus

Pembroke is divided into three "sub-schools":

  1. Junior School (Early Learning Centre - Year 6)
  2. Middle School (Years 7-10)
  3. Senior School (Years 11-12)

In the junior school, students are allocated into one of four "houses", Torrens (Blue), Yorke (Yellow), Spencer (Green) and Flinders (Red), which are used for sporting events.

Upon entry into either the middle or senior schools, students are allocated one of the school's eight houses: Hill (Red), Wright (Dark Green), Smith (Light Blue), Yates (Yellow), Mellor (Dark Blue), Medlin (Purple), Reeves (Orange) and the school's newest house, Oats (Lime Green).

In the middle school, houses define tutorial groups and have a significant effect on students' subject teachers.

The houses play an important role in the organisation of pastoral care, intra-school sport and other activities.

Upon entry into the senior school students remain in the house allocated to them in middle school but do not remain in the same house allocated tutorial groups. Students are placed in a tutorial with one of their subject teachers. Students stay in this group for their two years in senior school, even if their tutor is no longer their subject teacher.


Angove House, Girton Campus

The Pembroke School curriculum follows a framework covering the eight nationally recognised key learning areas: English, mathematics, science, humanities, languages, arts, health and physical education and technology. Within each of Pembroke's sub-schools there exists a branch of the "Hearing Unit" which offers specialist assistance and support for hearing-impaired students.

From the ELC to Year 6, students follow the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP) and commence studies of a second language with Spanish. Foreign language studies continue with a broader range of options in the middle school up to Year 10.

In the senior school, a full range of South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are offered, as are a select and broadening number of Vocational Education and Training (VET) modules. The VET component allows students to gain double credit for work completed at school and may be applied towards Technical and Further Education(TAFE) certificates.[15]


Outdoor education[edit]

Pembroke has an outdoor education program designed to promote respect for the outdoors and provide students with skills and knowledge of the environment.

In the junior school, students visit places such as Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, Roses Gap, Victoria and Aldinga.

The base of the program in the middle school is "Old Watulunga", a 17 hectares (42 acres) property on the Finniss River, 75 kilometres (47 mi) south of Adelaide. Students participate in camps based at "Old Watulunga" and participate in activities such as canoeing, sailing, bushwalking, rock climbing and orienteering.[16]


The sporting program at Pembroke is designed to encourage participation at all skill levels. Students may participate as members of teams in inter-house and inter-school competitions.[17] Inter-school sporting competitions are facilitated through Pembroke's membership of the Independent Schools Sports Association (ISSA), the Independent Girls' Schools Sports Association (IGSSA) and the Junior School Heads Association of Australia. Pembroke has competed in inter-school matches against Westminster School since 2005.

Sports on offer include athletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, cross country running, Australian rules football, hockey, netball, orienteering, rowing, Rugby Union, soccer, softball, squash, swimming, table tennis, tennis, touch football, triathlon, volleyball, water polo and wrestling.[17]

Other activities[edit]

Since 1986, when then teacher Campbell Whalley began the program, Pembroke students have participated in teddy bear making classes. Students construct bears by hand and donate the products to disadvantaged individuals. Over 3000 bears have been made over 20 years. By 2002 the program had spread as far as the Aboriginal community in Marree.[18]

Cookery book[edit]

Green and Gold Cookery Book, 1933 edition

The Green and Gold Cookery Book is a heritage icon for both Pembroke School and Australia. The book was first compiled in 1923 as a form of fundraising for King's College. The school community contributed recipes and purchased advertising space in the book in order to cover the cost of publishing its first edition.[19]

The book is now in its 36th edition[20] and more than 400,000 copies have been sold in Australia, Canada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. The book is regarded as a classic Australian recipe book.[19]

Notable alumni[edit]

Former students of Pembroke School, Girton Girls' School and King's College are known as "Old Scholars" and may elect to join the Pembroke Old Scholars’ Association.[21] Some notable Old Scholars include:

Fulbright Scholars
  • Angas Holmes, Headmaster Caulfield Grammar School, Melbourne 1977-92
Entertainment, media and the arts
Politics and the law

Teaching staff[edit]

  • John Moody AM, former Co Principal Pembroke School and Headmaster Guildford Grammar School, Perth 1979-95

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual Report 2006" (PDF). Pembroke School. 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Pastoral Care". Pembroke School. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  3. ^ "Pembroke School". South Australia Central. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  4. ^ "Hearing Unit". Pembroke School. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  5. ^ "International Members". HMC Schools. The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2008. 
  6. ^ "AHISA Schools: South Australia". Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. April 2007. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  7. ^ "Pembroke School Inc". Association of Independent Schools of South Australia. 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Pembroke School". Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. [dead link]
  9. ^ "JSHAA South Australia Directory of Members". Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  10. ^ a b "Origins and History". Pembroke School. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 27 July 2007. 
  11. ^ The Friendly Years. Adelaide: King's College. 1944. 
  12. ^ Riches, S, and Chapman, J. "A heartless act", The Advertiser, 23 October 2003.
  13. ^ "Top school in SOS for girls", The Sunday Mail.
  14. ^ Coultate, A. "Pembroke's multi-million dollar centre", The East Torrens Messenger, 7 November 2007.
  15. ^ "Curriculm- Overview". Pembroke School. 2007. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  16. ^ "Outdoor Education". Pembroke School. 2007. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  17. ^ a b "Sport". Pembroke School. 2007. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  18. ^ Jory, R. "Bear threads a full life", The Advertiser, 17 June 2006.
  19. ^ a b "Green and Gold Cookery Book". SA Memory- South Australia: past and present, for the future. 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  20. ^ "2002 BankSA Heritage Icons". National Trust South Australia. 2002. Archived from the original on 28 August 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  21. ^ "Old Scholars". Pembroke School. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  22. ^ Australia Council. Major Performing Arts Board Members. Retrieved on 6 February 2007.
  23. ^ Famous alumni on Latham's hit list Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.,, 14 June 2006, accessed:26-06-2007
  24. ^ From No 2 to bank boss, The Advertiser, August 2007, accessed:05-09-2007
  25. ^ WINTER, Joseph Ian Norman, Officer of the Order of Australia, 26 January 1986. Citation: For Service to the Community
  26. ^ "Guide to the Papers of Margaret Barbalet". National Library of Australia. 2001. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  27. ^ "Sheffield Doc/Fest". 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  28. ^ "Nuala Hafner". Seven News. 2007. Archived from the original on 29 August 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  29. ^ Network Ten. New host for Ten Motorsport. Retrieved on 6 February 2007.
  30. ^ Goodfellow, N. "Superhero takes on his biggest challenge", The Advertiser, 20 September 2002.
  31. ^ Austlit Agent. Marcie Muir. Retrieved on 6 February 2007.
  32. ^ McDonald, P and Yeaman, S. "From here to the stars", The Advertiser, 3 December 1999.
  33. ^ "Sally Sara". 
  34. ^ "Victoria Taylor". Australian Art Gallery. 1992. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  35. ^ Freeborn, A. "Farm boy at heart", The Advertiser, 22 November 2001.
  36. ^ "Obituary: David Lewis Jones". The Medical Journal of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  37. ^ Liberal Party of Australia (SA Division). Vickie Chapman: State Election Candidate Details. Retrieved on 6 February 2007.
  38. ^ Ransley, P. "Canberra's Girl-wonder", Sunday, 8 March 1998.
  39. ^ Liberal Party of Australia (SA Division). Stephen Wade: SA Shadow Cabinet Profile. Retrieved on 6 July 2008.
  40. ^ "Salute to our heroes", The Advertiser, 22 August 1996.
  41. ^ Main, L. "Alison jumps one tour, lands another", The Advertiser, 11 April 1987.
  42. ^ Yeaman, S. "First Ashes Test", The Advertiser, 9 June 2001.
  43. ^ Rielly, S. "Master Monfries, top of the class", The Age, 1 April 2005.

Further reading[edit]

  • Davis, J.R. 1993. A Remarkable Match: A Short History of Pembroke School 1974-93. Pembroke School, Adelaide.
  • Davis, J.R. 1991. Principles and Pragmatism: A History of Girton, King's College and Pembroke School. Hyde Park Press, Adelaide. ISBN 0-9590276-2-9.
  • Jolly, A. and Thomas, G. 1996. Willingly To School: Memories of Girton. Pembroke School, Kensington Park, South Australia. ISBN 0-9590276-4-5.
  • Harris, D. Tribal Territories: A Six Stage Tour with Ghosts of King's Campus.
  • Harris, D. and Thomas, G. Fun Without Games: Autobiograffiti of a Teacher.
  • 1923. The Green and Gold Cookery Book. King's College, Adelaide, South Australia.

External links[edit]