The Scots School History
The Scots School History is rich and diverse, with the schools beginnings at Karralee Homestead.
Karralee, the home of John Lee (1824 - 1909), was built in the late 1860s and the early 1870s and was one of the finest homes in Kelso. John Lee was a breeder of some of the finest cattle and thoroughbred horses in the State. His pure bred shorthorn cattle were some of the finest in the world. He was a superb horseman and the originator of the yearling sales in Sydney and his horse Bylong, won the first Metropolitan Stakes run in Randwick. Towards the end of his life John Lee was thrown from his horse when the stable boy jumped off the railing of the yard.
Karralee passed out of the hands of the Lee family in the early 1930s when it was bought by William Arnott of Arnott's Biscuits, for his daughter.
The Scots College, Bellevue Hill Sydney, leased the property in 1942 to evacuate its primary students after the Japanese submarines came into Sydney Harbour. The Scots College Branch School remained until the end of 1945 when it returned to Sydney. However, by this time there were a number of boys from regional and rural New South Wales who had enrolled at the school because of its location in the Central West. The parents of these boys successfully asked the Trustees of the Presbyterian Church of New South Wales to allow the school to continue and so The Scots School Bathurst was born when the Trustees finally purchased the property from William Arnott.
In the Karralee Homestead a system of bells existed to summon servants and can still be found in the ceiling today. Pieces of wood were fitted to the staircase in the 1960s to stop the boys, who were boarding upstairs, from sliding down.
Throughout the past sixty years, the school has enjoyed a reputation as being a school for the children of the Central West of New South Wales and many other parts of the state. It has also welcomed students from a number of countries around the Asia-Pacific rim. It has maintained a good academic record, strong sporting and co-curricular activities and is particularly known for its award winning Pipes and Drums which were formed in the late 1950's.
The school had originally accommodated Preparatory-age boys but this had fallen into decline during the 1960's. The Preparatory School was reopened in 1997 and has grown steadily since that time.
During 1997 the Board of the school decided to make the change from an all-boys school to a co-educational one and the first girls were first admitted to the school in Term 4, 1997. In 1998 girls were admitted to the Prep School and to Year 11. The demand from parents for full co-education was such that girls were admitted to all years, Kindergarten to Year 12, in 1999. Since that time, coeducation has become firmly established with boys and girls taking roles in all aspects of school life, academic, sporting, co-curricular and leadership.
The Pre-Prep was commenced in 2000 to allow a transition from Pre-School to Kindergarten. Its philosophy of learning through play and its structured approach to preparation for school years has been extremely well-received with enrolments very close to capacity. Students are then able to proceed into Kindergarten at the Prep School.
Throughout its history, the school has enjoyed the full support of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in New South Wales who own the school. The governance of the school is administered by a board, appointed by the Trustees of the Church. The board is composed of parents, former students and members of the community both in Bathurst and beyond.