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Sydney Church of England Grammar School

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Sydney Church of England Grammar School
Sydney Church of England Grammar School.png
North Sydney & Northbridge, New South Wales
Australia Australia
Coordinates 33°50′22″S 151°12′19″E / 33.83944°S 151.20528°E / -33.83944; 151.20528Coordinates: 33°50′22″S 151°12′19″E / 33.83944°S 151.20528°E / -33.83944; 151.20528
Type Independent, Day & Boarding
Motto Vitai Lampada Tradunt
(Lucretius, De Rerum Natura: "They hand on the torch of life")[3]
Denomination Anglican
Established 1889[1]
Founder Rev. Alfred Barry
Chairman Reverend S.J Holman
Headmaster Dr T. A. Wright
Chaplain The Reverend P. Dudley
Gender Boys
Enrolment ~1,600 (K–12)[2]
Colour(s) Navy blue and white         

Sydney Church of England Grammar School (also known as the Shore School, SCEGS or simply Shore) is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school for boys, located in North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Established in 1889 by the Church of England,[3] Shore has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1600 students from kindergarten to year 12, including 200 boarders from years 6 to 12.[2] The school is co-educational from Early Learning Centre to year 2, and these students are housed on separate campus in suburban Northbridge.[1]

The school is a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[4] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[5] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA),[2] the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference,[6] and is a founding member of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales (AAGPS).[7]


Shore building, 1930

The Sydney Church of England Grammar School was founded on 4 May 1889, and was the initiative of Bishop Dr. Alfred Barry of the Sydney Diocese of the Church of England.[8] The site of the school's first building stands on that of the Victorian mansion of the famed gold prospector Bernhardt Holtermann, a German migrant who discovered the Holtermann Nugget in the Australian gold fields. He used his new-found wealth to build a magnificent home in North Sydney which is now a boarding house of Shore. His sons were among the first students enrolled at Shore.

The school officially has two names, the "Sydney Church of England Grammar School" and the Shore School has long been known by the latter, however it was not until the early 1990s when the name "The Shore School" was officially adopted. The name came about at sporting matches where supporters could not chant 'Grammar', as this was already done by the students of Sydney Grammar School. Another reason for the name change was that Sydney Church of England Grammar School was shortened to S.C.E.G.S, which sounded similar to S.C.E.G.G.S (Sydney Church Of England Girls' Grammar School), the sister school of Shore. The name comes from the school being located in Sydney's North Shore region.


The St James' School Compensation Trust Act (1886) provided for the foundation of:



The present headmaster of Shore School is Dr Tim Wright. He was previously headmaster of All Saints College in Bathurst and holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry.

The school is also governed by a council jointly appointed by the Old Boys' Union and the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. The deputy headmaster is Rod Morrison, with the previous deputy headmaster Graham Robertson having retired after 27 years.

Former headmasters

Period[3] Headmaster[3] Other positions held[3]
1889 – 1900 E.I. Robson BA (Cantab), MA (Melbourne) Classical tutor of Ormond College, Melbourne
1900 – 1910 C.H. Hodges MA (Oxon) Headmaster, Townsville Grammar School
1910 – 1922 W.A. Purves MA, (Oxon) Headmaster, Toowoomba Grammar School
1923 – 1958 L.C. Robson CBE, MC, MA (Oxon), BSc (Sydney) Senior mathematics master, Geelong Grammar School
1959 – 1984 Basil Travers AM, OBE, MA BLitt (Oxon), BA (Sydney) FACE Headmaster, Launceston Church Grammar School
1984 – 2002 R.A.I. Grant AM, BEc (Sydney), DipEd (UNE), BEd (Melbourne), MACE Deputy headmaster, Canberra Grammar School
2003 – present Dr. T.A. Wright PhD, DipEd, BSc (Hons), FACE, MRACI, CChem Headmaster, All Saints College, Bathurst, Second Master Trinity Grammar School, Summer Hill


The Sydney Church of England Grammar School is situated on two campuses:

  • North Sydney [incl. land formerly belonging to "Graythwaite"] (8 ha)
  • Northbridge (9 ha) - ELC to Year 2 and sports grounds

North Sydney

In the senior school, in addition to the administrative centres and classroom blocks there are:

View from the North Sydney campus, 1931
  • Four boarding houses:[10]
  1. Barry House
  2. Hodges House
  3. Robson House
  4. School House
  • Fourteen day houses:[10]
  1. Anderson
  2. Burrell
  3. Burns
  4. Colebrook
  5. Dixon
  6. Eldershaw
  7. Emery
  8. Gilmore
  9. Gillespie
  10. Mathers
  11. Pascoe
  12. Sawkins
  13. Tiley
  14. Whight

The Preparatory School, originally constructed in 1926, was completely renovated in March 2006.

The gym and 25 m swimming pool are also in need of an upgrade. In 2016 the school announced plans for an updated gym, squash courts, basketball court, an indoor/outdoor 50 m pool and new classrooms.[11]


An Early Learning Centre (ELC) for boys and girls in the two years prior to starting Kindergarten, as well as a Kindergarten to Year 2 learning facility for boys and girls, was opened at the Northbridge campus in 2003. With Long Day Care facilities, the ELC is open 48 weeks per year.

The school's main sports facility is also at Northbridge, on land bought in 1916. The school was given a choice of either buying the neighbouring "Graythwaite" property (the former home of Thomas Allwright Dibbs), or the land at Northbridge. The school chose the land at Northbridge as playing fields, of which the school was in desperate need. This campus now features six full-sized ovals, tennis courts, pavilions and dressing rooms. The grounds were opened in 1919 as a memorial to the 880 old boys who served, and the 122 who died in the Great War.

Northbridge has been redeveloped as the previous grandstands had become severely dilapidated. The $9 million redevelopment includes a new grandstand and changerooms, and was officially opened on 11 November 2008.



Shore eight-oar crew, 1932

Shore students may participate in a variety of sports, mainly within the GPS competition. Sports include rugby union, soccer, cricket, tennis, taekwondo, basketball, rowing, cross country running, athletics, shooting, surf lifesaving and snowsports. Furthermore, the school is currently trialing new sports such as Australian rules football and hockey.

Until the arrival of Headmaster R.A.I. Grant (1984–2002), the choice of sports available to students was very limited. For example, during the winter months, there was only rugby union unless a medical exemption was available. That changed after 1984, with sports such as tennis and soccer being made available to all students.

The school's boatshed and pontoon for its rowing club is at Gladesville on the north shore of Sydney's Parramatta River. Shore was the third Sydney school to take to the water (after Grammar and Riverview) and has been rowing in the GPS competition since the late 1890s.

Performing arts

Shore has a comprehensive performing arts program, including Music Ensembles and Drama productions. Music ensembles include two concert bands, two stage bands, an orchestra, three string groups and the Shore Chapel Choir, as well as a number of other smaller ensembles.

Recent musical productions include West Side Story, Anything Goes, A Peculiar People (World Premier), Les Miserable, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying


The school has a weekly publication, The Shore Weekly Record, which, along with informing boys and parents of upcoming happenings and sporting fixtures and results, gives certain boys the opportunity to express their writing and artistic talents in their own section, usually the inner part of the publication. Over the years this variously-named "inside section" has fostered the satirical talents of the Chris Taylor from The Chaser, and provided a unique perspective on the school and the wider world.

Other publications are the Shore Reports (quarterly) and the Torch Bearer (yearly).

Notable alumni

Shore alumni are commonly referred to as 'Old Boys', and may elect to join the schools alumni association, the Shore Old Boys Union.[12]


See also


  1. ^ a b "Shore School". New South Wales. School Choice. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  2. ^ a b c "Shore School (Sydney Church of England Grammar)". New South Wales Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "General Information". The School. Sydney Church of England Grammar School. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  4. ^ "AHISA Schools: New South Wales". Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. April 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  5. ^ "JSHAA New South Wales Directory of Members". Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  6. ^ "International Members". HMC Schools. The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  7. ^ "AAGPS History". Info. Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b "Houses - Sydney Church of England Grammar School". Retrieved 2015-12-05. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Welcome to the Shore Old Boys Union". Home. Shore Old Boys Union. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 

External links