Scots All Saints' College

Scots All Saints College is a multi-campus independent Presbyterian Church co-educational early learning, primary, and secondary day and boarding school, with two campuses in Bathurst and one located in Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. Formed in 2019 through a merger of The Scots School, Bathurst (commonly referred to as Scots) with a history dating back to 1946, and the former All Saints' College in Bathurst with a history dating back to 1874, the College provides a religious and general education to approximately 700 children covering early learning through Year K to Year 12.

Scots All Saints College
Scots All Saints College
Location in New South Wales

TypeIndependent co-educational early learning, primary, and secondary day and boarding school
  • January 2019 (2019-01)
    (as Scots All Saints College)
  • 1946–2018 (72 years)
    (as The Scots School)
  • 1874–2018 (144 years)
    (as All Saints' College)
HeadmasterJohn Weeks (since 2019)
YearsEarly learning; K-12
  • In Bathurst:
    • 70 Eglinton Road
    • 4173 O’Connell Road
  • In Lithgow: 1 Col Drewe Drive
Campus typeRegional

The College is administered by a board appointed by the Trustees of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in New South Wales.


The Scots School

Before Foundation

The property on which the Bathurst campus of The Scots School was built in the late 1860s and early 1870s. Originally called "Karralee", it was owned by cattle and horse breeder John Lee. It is located in Kelso, New South Wales. It was bought by William Arnott of Arnott's Biscuits in the 1930s as a home for his daughter.


In 1942, The Scots College in Sydney leased the property for the relocation of its students from Bellevue Hill, Sydney, because of the fear of Japanese naval bombardment. The Scots College operated in Bathurst until 1945 when it moved back to Sydney. However many boys from central New South Wales were enrolled in the school and their parents asked the Trustees of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in New South Wales to continue the school at Bathurst. Consequently, the Trustees bought "Karralee" and established the Scots School, Bathurst.


In 1997 the school changed from a high school (Years 7-12) to also cater for primary school students, and opened the preparatory school in the old Cooerwull boarding house, thus becoming K-12. In early 1997 the school Board decided that the school should change from being a boys only school to being co-educational, and the first female students were admitted in term 4 1997.[1]

All Saints College

Early years to 1900s

In 1873 Canon Thomas Smith of All Saints' Cathedral, Bathurst, with the support of Bishop Samuel Marsden began the process of starting the School. The following year, on 27 January, the Bathurst Church of England College opened its doors to seven students under the headmastership of Henry Kemmis. Renamed All Saints' College, the school officially came into being in mid-1875 when it moved to its permanent site on the corner of Piper and Hope Streets after a successful fund raising campaign and the Bishop's donation of land.

In 1888 Edward Bean, the Senior Classics Master of Sydney Grammar, and father of C.E.W. Bean, succeeded Henry Kemmis. During the eleven years of his headmastership, the College enrolment grew significantly. Bean produced the badge and motto, designed the uniform, commenced the Bathurstian (the school year book), introduced the prefect system, cadets, debating, dancing and carpentry, as well as opening a library and the Prep School.

The third Headmaster was Frederick Tracey. During his tenure representatives of the College attended meetings in 1892 to set up the Athletics Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales; the College didn't proceed to active membership of the GPS and has never taken part in any of its activities. In 1893 the Old Bathurstians' Union was started. With their support, Tracey purchased the school from the Church, thus becoming its proprietor, a position he maintained until 1919 when he sold the land and buildings to the NSW Government.

1900s to 1950s

Originally the Assistant Master under Bean and Senior Master under Tracey, the fourth Headmaster was Mr Britten. During his tenure the College became involved in rugby, football and cricket; several boys went on to play for NSW and Australia. He also persuaded the Old Bathurstians' Union to finance the building of a Chapel which they later moved brick by brick to the College's present location on the then Ophir Road, now Eglinton Road.

In 1911 Britten was succeeded by George Stiles. A linguist and an amateur boxing champion at Oxford University, he promoted French and German and brought boxing to the College. With the coming of war in 1914, enrolments dropped, staff became difficult to obtain and prices soared. On 30 June 1919, Stiles resigned and the College closed.

In 1923 the headmaster of Monaro Grammar School, Cooma, Lindsay Watson, and one of his staff, Cameron McLeod, sought permission to re-open the College on its present site after purchasing Esrom House and 20 acres (8.1 ha) of adjoining land. The nearby Travellers' Rest Hotel was purchased for additional classrooms, and Walmer House on the river was leased for boarders.

In 1925 the OBU moved the Chapel from the schools' original location to its current site on the existing school grounds.

In 1946 Lindsay Watson retired and was succeeded by Alan Catley, who resigned in 1948 and was succeeded by Ted Evans as headmaster, for fifteen years. During this time the College grew from a student population of 108 to 315.

1960s to 2000s

In 1963 Roy Dent, founding Headmaster of Sydney Grammar Preparatory School, took over from Evans. He oversaw the inauguration of the Avern Award (for meritorious service to the College) and the republication of the history of the College.

In 1966 there were three headmasters: Roy Dent resigned, Vic Tunbridge of Geelong Grammar took over as acting Headmaster, and later in the year the Council appointed Peter Gebhardt as the tenth Headmaster. He introduced programmes including Eastern-Western Week (work experience), Outdoor Education and Arts and Artists Week, most of which continue today. He also initiated the building of the H.R. Richardson Memorial Library and Watson College (now Watson Boarding House).

Dan Massey was appointed Headmaster in 1975. He introduced co-education in 1976, and was instrumental in the College amalgamating with Marsden Girls School in 1977. In 1982 the Junior School was reopened under Doug Finlay.

Dan Massey resigned at the end of 1983 and Deputy Headmaster Bruce Clydsdale, took over until Robert Bickerdike was appointed in 1985. Previously Principal of Girton College and Head of Geelong Grammar's Timbertop, Bickerdike was headmaster for eight years, during which buildings were added and student numbers increased.

Doug Finlay left as Master of the Junior School in December 1989 and was succeeded by Jock Bidwell in January 1990.

In 1993 Timothy Wright, formerly Second Master at Trinity Grammar Sydney, became headmaster. During his time as Headmaster, formal Pastoral Care Structure was developed and implemented within the College timetable. Wright oversaw the development of College facilities such as the building of the Foundation Block and the Evans Block, and the refurbishment of the Science Labs. The second stage of the Junior School Development was also completed during his time. In 1998 the inaugural Transition to School class commenced with a full complement. Dr Wright was appointed to Shore (Sydney Church of England Grammar School) in 2003.

2000s to closure

Jenny Williams joined All Saints' College from Snowy Mountains Grammar at the start of 2003. She continued the development of the College, overseeing the refurbishment of Britten House, the Dining Room, the Music and IT Centres and the front of Esrom House. Williams remained as Head of College until 20 March 2008 when she accepted the position of Head of Samuel Marsden Collegiate School in Wellington, New Zealand.

During the interim period following Williams' departure and the arrival of the present Head, Stewart Ross (Head of Senior School) took over as Acting Head of College.

At the end of 2007 Jock Bidwell resigned as Head of Junior School after 18 years in post; he and his wife left travelled to Tanzania to work at the School of St Jude. Christopher Jackman took up the role of Head of Junior School from the start of the 2008 academic year.

Peter Miller was appointed Head of College at the start of Term 3, 2008. He had previously been Head of Middle School at Barker College, Sydney. Miller had received a Rowing Blue at Sydney University and represented Australia in the Senior B Lightweight Four. Steven O'Connor started as Head of College at the start of Term 2, 2016.

Performing Arts Academy

In a first for regional NSW schools, students can access a complete blended experience in the core disciplines of Music, Drama, Media and Dance within the Scots All Saints College learning environment.

Scots All Saints College Performing Arts Academy encourages energy, passion and hard work to achieve individual and team goals. Students have the opportunity to learn an instrument, sing in a choir, perform on-stage, thrive and excel in performing arts as part of everyday learning. In addition, students can choose co-curricular activities in Pipes and Drums, Highland Dancing, contemporary dance, songwriting, and technical components of stage such as lighting, sound recording and film.

Scots All Saints College presented 42 music performances at the 2019 Bathurst Eisteddfod who were awarded 36 places altogether including 19 first places across many genres which was an exceptional result for the College.


Choirs, Ensembles and Bands

Offering the largest range of ensembles and choirs within regional NSW schools, there are currently 42 symphonic orchestras, choirs, concert and big bands, rock and pop bands, chamber music and the pipes and drums. All students have the opportunity to sing in music classes, join a stage choir and perform at local events and Eisteddfods.

Contemporary Music

There are 28 weekly allocated sessions for rock and pop bands to work with professionals in our on-campus Music Centres. Staff, including current performing and recording artists, work with students to prepare, record, produce and perform their original works and covers. A collection of our contemporary school bands perform across the region and some such as the band 'Ricky's Breath' have been Triple J unearthed. Each term, the Big Night Out for Senior and Middle School students encourages these ensembles and solo acts to perform for their peers. The annual Battle of the Bands night is a popular event for the whole community.

Amadeus Academy

Scots All Saints College launched the Amadeus Academy in 2019 for gifted and talented students with a masterclass workshop and concert featuring internationally acclaimed Australian pianist, Aura Go.

As part of the commitment to inspire young musicians to continue to excel, the Amadeus Academy aims to take the music abilities of students to new heights as a dedicated music enrichment program to inspire our very committed musical students to focus their talents, share their passions with others and literally reach for the stars. This is an exciting program which we believe will support even greater achievements in music in regional NSW.

Elite musicians are gathered by application into the Amadeus Academy for extension and performance work. Staff work with individuals and small ensembles producing the very finest so and chamber music. The annual recitals are exceptional and display the diligence and extension available to gifted students.


Musical Ensembles, Theatre and Dance

Extensive music, dance, drama and performance activities are offered to engage and challenge all students. Opportunities are available to be involved in a film or in a choir, play a riff on a guitar, dance or act.

Perform in a Musical or Drama Production

Students are able to audition for the annual musical and drama productions as a lead role, chorus, dance troupes or production team. These productions combine all elements of the Performing Arts Academy.

• Scots All Saints College Musical – Years 5-12 with an annual alternating Middle and Senior School alignment. In 2019, students performed Disney’s Beauty & The Beast to strong crowds at the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (BMEC) and in 2020, students will perform Annie.

• Junior Students (K-4) audition for roles in the Junior School Musical. In 2019, students performed Disney’s The Jungle Book.

• Drama Production is held- bi-annually for Years 5-8 then Years 9-12 to complement the musical.

• Theatre Sports and Drama Club – Weekly on both campuses for Years 5-12 with an annual Theatre Sports Competition.


• Students dance individually, in troupes or as a HSC subject covering diverse styles.

• Weekly troupes rehearse for the Big Night Out each term, events, performances and the annual showcase.

• All Musical cast members participate in dance classes during the tenure of the show.

• Highland Dancing is offered as a co-curricular activity within the school grounds. Join a collection of troupes and staff in the traditional Scottish style.


Media and Technical Performance

Scots All Saints recognises that not every student wants to be on stage however, they can make a valuable contribution to any performance. It is a unique program, for Years 5 to 12 students by application, providing access to industry professionals, contemporary equipment and development opportunities.

This team has a significant role to play in the:

• Co-ordination of all PA and sound system needs of the College for performances, assemblies and functions.

• Production of annual musicals and plays including lights, sound, stage management.

• Film workshops and courses for editing and production for major events and functions.

• Years 9-12 manage the recording studio producing students’ compositions, creating the annual composition, promotional support.

Co-curricular activities


Scots All Saints College Equestrian Program is a co-curricular program designed to allow students who have their own horses to train and compete during the summer periods. It is offered as a co-curricular activity throughout the year. Students can also be involved in the equestrian program and participate in other co-curricular activities[2].

Debating & public speaking

There are many opportunities to engage in debating and public speaking at Scots All Saints College. This provides an opportunity for students to sharpen their critical thought, persuasive techniques and public speaking, all vital skills in our ever-changing world.

Scots All Saints College competes in the HICES Debating competition, fielding eight teams for students from Year 5 to Year 11.

Both All Saints’ College and The Scots School have achieved great success in debating and Scots All Saints College continued this success in 2019. Scots All Saints College also hosts an annual Inter-House debating competition.[3]

Cattle Team

The Scots All Saints College Cattle Team is offered as a co-curricular activity for students from the end of Year 7. Students are involved in the breaking in and preparation of both school stud cattle, school-bred steers and donated steers for regional competitions.

Students work together to manage and train the cattle and along the way build leadership skills mentoring junior students. Our Mentor program helps new students learn the skills associated with working and showing cattle at an elite level. The success of this program has resulted in the awarding of both Grand Champion, along with Most Successful Exhibitor, at the Sydney Royal Easter Show for the past several years.[4]

Outdoor Education

At Scots All Saints College, outdoor education involves using the outdoors to educate students to live and work together, set goals and co-operate to achieve those goals, while at the same time learning to love, respect and appreciate Australia’s natural environment. The camp program also links experiences in the outdoors to aspects of the classroom curriculum.

Scots All Saints College offers a diverse, tailor-made outdoor education program for students from Year 3 through to Year 10. The program is sequential and provides our students with experiences that become increasingly challenging across the years.

Each camp is designed to not only physically challenge our students but also build character and enhance personal attributes. The camping skills developed through the program include cooking, sleeping out, navigation and teamwork. Each camp is held in a different location with the view to providing different but connected outdoor experiences. Full details of each camp, including equipment lists, travel arrangements and camp focus are provided to students ahead of the relevant camp.

The college visits some of the most pristine and often challenging areas in New South Wales, including Wollombi National Park, Kangaroo Valley, and Kosciuszko National Park.

Year 9 and Year 10 camps form part of the Duke of Edinburgh program which will also offer additional opportunities to our senior students.

Other weekend style activities are organised on a Boarding House basis. These camps may range from relaxing in the bush to abseiling, water-skiing, canoeing, caving, surfing or cross-country skiing.

Notable alumni

All Saints' College

The Scots School

See also


  1. The Scots School - History (accessed:20-07-2012)
  2. "Equestrian – Scots All Saints College". Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  3. "Debating, Drama & Public Speaking – Scots All Saints College". Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  4. "Cattle Team – Scots All Saints College". Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  5. "NSW Rhodes Scholars" Archived 24 January 2008 at the Wayback MachineUniversity of Sydney list, (retrieved 16 April 2007)
  6. Pearce, Suzannah, ed. (17 November 2006). "BARTLEY Anthony John". Who's Who in Australia Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd.
  7. "Is Bathurst's Sam Hutchins The Mole?". Western Advocate. 3 July 2013.
  8. Brother (band)
  9. "1939-59". Brett Whiteley's Life & Times. Art Gallery of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 22 July 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2007.
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