Caulfield Grammar School is
an independent, co-educational, Anglican, day and boarding
school, located in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Founded in 1881 as a boys'
school, Caulfield began admitting girls exactly one hundred years
later. The school amalgamated with Malvern Memorial Grammar
(MMGS) in 1961, with the MMGS campus becoming
has three day campuses in Victoria, Caulfield (Years 7–12), Wheelers Hill (Kindergarten–Year 12), and Malvern
House (Kindergarten–Year 6). It has an outdoor
education campus at Yarra Junction, and a student centre in Nanjing, China where
the Year 9 internationalism programme is conducted.
Caulfield is the only Melbourne-based APS school to provide
for both boys and girls,
with 95 boarding students, and is one of the largest schools in
Victoria, currently catering for approximately 2,800
The original buildings on Caulfield
Campus's current site, circa 1910
Caulfield Grammar School was founded on 25 April 1881 by the
Reverend Joseph Henry Davies with just nine pupils. Davies, who had
been a missionary to India, he bought the site for the school—a
25 on 16 April and employed his sister and
two brothers as teachers. Davies' aim was "that the School should
be a thoroughly Christian
looked to render "Christian service". The school, originally
located adjacent to the Elsternwick railway
, is believed to have been named Caulfield Grammar
School because Caulfield was the regional locality, although the
geographical boundaries of Melbourne's suburban areas were not
strictly defined or precisely named at the time. Also, the vicar of
St. Mary's Church in Caulfield had provided Davies with support
when opening the school. Davies had gone to India under the
auspices of St Mary's, having been a member of the church for
several years before that. He later went to Korea as a missionary under
the auspices of the Victorian Presbyterian church, having been
ordained as Presbyterian minister at Scots' Church,
Melbourne on 5 August 1889; he had broken from the Church of
England and, through this act, also broken from the Church Missionary
A year after opening, the school had 32 students enrolled. To house
the growing student body, the school then moved to a nearby small
building nearby, destroyed in a fire in 1890. In 1896, the school
amalgamated with Hawksburn Grammar School, a smaller local
Christian school after Hawksburn's headmaster, W. Murray Buntine,
was appointed as headmaster at Caulfield. Hawksburn's 55 students
subsequently transferred to Caulfield. The current site, a
property near Sir Frederick Sargood's Rippon Lea Estate on what is now Glen Eira
Road, St Kilda
East was purchased in 1909.
Classes began on the
site on 9 February 1909 and the school's boarding house opened in
the school's 50th anniversary, attendance had grown to 500 students
but Caulfield was still considered small compared to schools such
College and Melbourne Grammar School.
To celebrate the Golden Jubilee
, a Jubilee Fair was held at
the school in May. In the same year, the school moved from private
ownership to a registered company governed by a School Council, an
organisational structure still used today, with formal affiliation
with the Church of England
1958 Caulfield joined the exclusive Associated Public Schools
schoolboy sporting competition. Caulfield was
Victoria's fifth largest school in 1959, with over 800
Valentine's Mansion at Malvern
In 1961, Caulfield affiliated with Malvern Memorial Grammar School.
Malvern Grammar School opened in 1890 as a boys-only secondary
school and in 1924 moved into the Valentine's Mansion, formerly the
home of Sir John Mark Davies
relation to the school's founder), a Victorian Cabinet minister
mansion was built in 1892 and contains a large ballroom
. Valentine's Mansion has been listed as a
place of historical and architecture significance by both the
and the Register of the National
. The school was renamed Malvern Memorial Grammar School
in 1947 to honour old boys who had fought in World Wars I
Memorial Grammar School amalgamated with Shaw House in 1971 and
became the Malvern Campus, a primary
located in the Valentine's Mansion, and its students
began to wear the Caulfield Grammar School uniform. From 1949 to
1979, Caulfield had operated Shaw House, its primary school located
in Mayfield Street, St Kilda East, offering kindergarten and
schooling from Years 1 to 3.
During the 1960s and 1970s, student
saw changes in the school's policies relating to
students. Appointed prefects
replaced in 1970 by an elected School Committee to represent the
student body, the publication of a student newsletter
aspects of the school—was allowed, religious education
classes were made
voluntary for senior year levels, the position of school chaplain
was abolished, and Caulfield was the only APS school to allow its
students to participate in
protesting the Vietnam War
on 8 May 1970.
school's centenary year, 1981, marked the appearance of the first
girls at Caulfield, as a second senior school campus opened at
Hill on 26 April.
Caulfield had purchased the
land for a future project in 1969, and a new campus was established
to celebrate the centenary. Wheelers Hill began as a coeducational
school for all year levels. In 1993, the other campuses opened to
girls, making Caulfield fully coeducational.
The school established a computer network in 1997 with all students
and staff having individual log in details, email accounts, and
file space. Unlike other Australian independent schools, Caulfield
Grammar School has not followed the trend of making laptops
compulsory for students. However, the school
provides an online login system or Intranet
for students and staff that is accessed via existing entry
passwords and usernames. This capability is referred to as the
School's sixth or "virtual" campus, and enables access to email and
files from the school network over the Internet.
Caulfield Campus' historic War Memorial Hall, built in 1958, was
burnt down in an electrical fire on 14 November 2000—a Melbourne Cup public holiday—Caulfield Grammar School began to
plan the construction of major halls at both Caulfield and Wheelers
Hill campuses, naming the project "The Twin Halls".
Memorial Hall at Wheelers Hill was officially opened on 28 July
2005 and the Cripps Centre at Caulfield Campus opened on 25 October
2005. Each hall seats 650 people; the Wheelers Hill hall including
a new chapel fitted with a multimedia centre and Caulfield hall
including a music/visual art department.
Caulfield Grammar School now has over 2,800 students throughout its
three day campuses. It is the only Melbourne-based school in the
APS to provide boarding
boys and girls, with nearly 100 boarding students from rural
Australia, Melbourne and overseas. For non-international students,
fees range from AU$
AU$18,000 per year for day students, and in excess of $30,000 for
boarding students. Caulfield received AU$2,134,444 as estimated ERI
(federal funding) in 2000, which increased to AU$6,573,791 in 2004.
As with most Australian independent schools, Caulfield is not a
full fee paying institution; full fees apply only to international
students, who are not subsidised by government funding.
Cover of Outside the
The 125th anniversary of Caulfield's founding was marked in 2006
and various events were held in commemoration. On 26 April 2006,
the school community held a day of celebrations (ANZAC Day
—a national public holiday—is held in
Australia on 25 April, the actual anniversary of the founding).
Staff and students at all five campuses of the school—with student
groups visiting both the Nanjing and Yarra Junction campuses at the
" at their respective campuses and an
celebrations during the year included a 125th Anniversary Ball at
Casino for past and present staff and parents, as well as
past students. The annual Founders' Day service at St Paul's
Cathedral was attended by guest of honour, Governor of Victoria Dr. David de Kretser, a past parent of the
The School Council commissioned author Helen Penrose
to write a history of the school entitled Outside the
, which was released in 2006.
The school is a member of the Associated Public Schools
(APS), and is affiliated with the Headmasters' and
, the Association of Heads of
Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), the Junior School Heads
Association of Australia
(JSHAA), the Australian Boarding
Schools' Association, and the Association of Independent Schools of
Yarra Junction Campus
a country centre opened at Yarra Junction on land donated by the Cuming family.
House was the first outdoor education campus for an Australian
school, set in the Australian bush and close to the Yarra River.
The Yarra Junction Campus today allows
students to live in sustainable eco-cabins with rainwater tanks and
solar power technology. The Earth Studies Centre, Wadambawilam
(Aboriginal term for 'learning place'), operates on wind and solar
power, and uses many environmentally-sound practices to teach
students about long-term environmental sustainability. Also on
campus is a commercial dairy which produces over 1 million litres
of milk annually. On United Nations
World Environment Day 2001 the Yarra Junction Campus won an award
for Best School Based Environment Project for its energy-saving
school opened a fifth campus in Nanjing, China in
1998, with a residential campus constructed on property owned by
the High School Affiliated to Nanjing Normal
Main entrance of the Nanjing
This became the first overseas campus for
an Australian high school, and the first campus established by a
foreign secondary school in China.It is staffed by six full-time
Australian teachers, as well as four trainees selected from the
school's annual graduating Year 12 class who complete 12 month
placements. Most Caulfield Year 9
students take part in five week internationalism programs and are
based in Nanjing.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard
and then-Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett
both sent formal congratulations letters to Caulfield on the
campus' establishment, and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Alexander Downer witnessed the
signing of an agreement to build the campus in 1996; also present
were the Mayor of Nanjing, the Principal of the High School
Affiliated to Nanjing Normal University, and Caulfield's principal Stephen Newton.
The Governor of Victoria
officially opened the campus
on 6 May 1998. Caulfield focuses on Mandarin Chinese
as its major Language
Other Than English, with the language first offered as a senior
school subject in 1963, and later becoming the sole Asian language
taught as it had higher student enrolments than Indonesian
. It has been taught at every
year level across all three campuses since 1994, and the
establishment of a campus in Nanjing allowed the school to
strengthen its ties with the region. Nanjing was selected
as the campus' location in part because Jiangsu province, of which Nanjing is the capital and
largest city, is Victoria's sister-state, and Nanjing
University had previously established an Australian studies
Controversy arose in June 2001 when a group
of six Caulfield students at the Ming Tombs were found to have graffitied this site, writing their full names on a
wall near to the tomb entrance.
The story was reported on
the front page of Melbourne's major newspapers, The Herald Sun
and The Age
, after the students were returned home
to Australia. The school, in conjunction with Australian consular
officials, resolved the issue with the Chinese government.
When a global outbreak of severe acute respiratory
(SARS) occurred in 2003, and had the highest confirmed
cases in China, the school postponed all scheduled trips to China
in 2003 indefinitely. The group which was in China at the time of
the outbreak — March and April 2003 — travelled to Xi'an instead of
Beijing to avoid the peak areas of infection, and returned to
Australia via Tokyo's International Airport several days before the scheduled departure on the
advice of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and
The remaining groups returned in the second
half of 2003 to participate in shortened three-week
On 5 May 2008, Caulfield celebrated the 10th anniversary of the
Nanjing Campus and held two concerts hosted at the High School
Affiliated to Nanjing Normal University.
Caulfield offers students a full range of subjects in its academic
curriculum. All students study Mandarin Chinese
— the school's major
Language Other Than English, taught because of China's developing
importance in the Asia-Pacific region — from primary school to Year
8, and German in Years 7 and 8, and may continue these languages as
electives thereafter. The school awards scholarships for a range of
fields, including academic excellence, theatre, music, art and
Middle School structure
Caulfield has reorganised the early years of secondary school,
which had previously been overshadowed by the VCE (Years 10–12) and
attempts to upgrade programmes for senior students. Years 7 through
9 make up the middle school, and operate differently to the later
VCE years. New initiatives at the middle school include a learning
programme, introduced in 2004 at the
Year 8 level, and expanded to Year 7 in 2005. This provides every
class with two teachers to around 30 students. Each class is
assigned a learning mentor, who attends all of that group's lessons
and assists each student with improving their own learning style.
The mentor focuses on both academic and pastoral issues, while the
designated subject teacher is responsible for preparing and
teaching the set curriculum.
Year 9 at Caulfield is seen as a year where students prepare to
undertake the VCE (Years 10-12). Students do not have examinations,
as would happen in any other senior school year at Caulfield, but
rather focus on their classroom studies and the Learning Journeys
programme. Learning Journeys is a combination of various subjects
previously studied in Year 9 — history, geography, religious
education and personal development — with students working in
groups of around 15 pupils to one teacher. Classes last for one
full school day each week, and students regularly participate in
numerous excursions as part of the subject's curriculum.
Year 9 is also the year in which most students participate in the
China internationalism programme at the Nanjing campus.
Approximately 300 students attend the campus annually; students who
do not take part in the programme study international culture in
Australia and are based in Melbourne. Students study five key
themes of Chinese culture during one of six five-week programmes
offered throughout the year: heritage, work, family, education and
environment. Students are based at the residential campus
in Nanjing, and also
spend three days in Shanghai, one day in
Suzhou, and four days in Beijing,
with lessons based around visits to sites such as the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden
City and the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum.
They also complete two day homestay visits
with students from the High School Affiliated to Nanjing Normal
University, and participate in English and Mandarin language
lessons with their homestay partners. In addition to the Year 9
programmes, a two-week study tour for Year 11 students studying
Chinese as a Second Language is held annually in the break between
Term 3 and 4. These students travelling to the Nanjing
campus for language lessons and activities, including a homestay
visit with students from the High School Affiliated to Nanjing
Normal University, and also spend time in Shanghai and Hangzhou.
Victorian Certificate of Education
Caulfield Grammar School senior students study for the Victorian Certificate of
(Caulfield does not offer the International Baccalaureate
achieved after graduating from Year 12. While the VCE is usually
completed over two years, in 2003 Caulfield began to encourage Year
10 students to take as many as three VCE Unit 1/2 courses usually
studied at Year 11. This programme is seen as giving students a
taste of the VCE a year earlier, thereby giving them a chance to
prepare for what is to come; it also allows Year 11 students to
undertake Unit 3/4 studies, so that they effectively begin part of
their Year 12 course a year earlier, maximising their ENTER
studying up to six subjects over this time. By beginning VCE Unit
3/4 courses in Year 12, students may only study five subjects,
which results in fewer subject scores being calculated in final
Year 11 students studying Mandarin may return to China on a
two-week language-focused study tour at the Nanjing campus. For
students studying German, there are places available for exchanges
to Germany during the
Caulfield achieves highly in statewide rankings of schools offering
the VCE - both campuses ranked in the top 30 schools in Victoria
. Caulfield also has associations with Australian
universities which have led to the introduction of annual awards
for VCE students at the school. One Year 12 graduate from the school is
awarded a Collegiate Partnership Scholarship to attend Bond
University, with 50% of
tuition for an undergraduate degree provided.
A Monash University
bursary is also awarded
to the top student in Year 11 at each campus to help pay for the
cost of Year 12 studies.
The Yarra Junction campus hosts student camps at various year
levels: Year 3 students attend for one day, Year 5 students for
three days, Year 7 students have one week camps, and Year 8
students have 11 day programmes including a three day outdoor
camping activity. At each of the camps involving overnight stays by
students, student leaders currently in Years 10 and 11 accompany
groups for the duration of their programmes. Year 10 and 11
students wishing to act as leaders attend a leadership camp at the
campus at the end of the previous school year, and a number are
then selected to take part in student camps. As part of various
camps, students stay in eco-cabins and must monitor their use of
both water and electricity. Lessons also take place at Wadambawilam
and at the campus dairy.
Caulfield offers a comprehensive extracurricular activities
programme for students. The major components of the programme are
sport, music and the Arts.
Caulfield Grammar School has played in school sporting competitions
since its establishment in 1881. Students from Years 5 to 12
participate in school sport as part of the APS
was one of the founding members of the Schools' Association of
Victoria in 1982, but when the legitimacy of the association's
amateur status was questioned, Caulfield
Grammar School formed the Schools' Amateur Athletic Association of
Victoria in 1911 (renamed the Associated Grammar
Schools of Victoria in 1921), and were joined by other
Melbourne private and church schools in the competition.
1958, Caulfield accepted an offer to join the Associated Public Schools
. The APS was Victoria's most competitive school
sporting association, and after initially poor results the school
introduced compulsory involvement in sporting teams in 1958 in an
attempt to improve its performance. Caulfield currently holds an
APS record for winning 12 consecutive APS Boys' Athletics
Championships from 1994 to 2005, and has won numerous 1st Division
premierships throughout its history. The First XVIII football team
won 18 consecutive premierships from 1913 to 1930 - the longest
championship run for a Caulfield Firsts team.
For students from Years 5 to 12, inter-school sport is a compulsory
activity. Teams usually train twice a week, often travelling
between Caulfield and Wheelers Hill or to other sporting venues,
and play matches against other APS schools on Saturdays. Sports
played include cricket
. A United Kingdom Cricket and Tennis tour
every three years sees Caulfield Grammar students play matches
against students from such schools as Eton College and The King's School, Canterbury.
The main facilities for sport are shared over both Caulfield and
Wheelers Hill campus. At Caulfield, the Lindsay Thompson
Centre is used for indoor
sports such as basketball and netball, and the Alfred Mills Oval is
the traditional home of the First XI cricket and First XVIII
football teams. The oval has been a venue of matches in the 2004
Commonwealth Bank Under 19 Cricket Championships, and the venue for
a match between the England
women's cricket team
and the Victoria Spirit
in January 2008. Wheelers Hill includes four sports ovals, AstroTurf
tennis and hockey courts, and outdoor
Primary students in Year 2 learn to play either the violin
, and for most
students this is their first introduction to the Caulfield music
programme. Year 4 students choose one of a number of woodwind or
brass instruments to learn for a year. Year 7 students also take
part in compulsory music tuition where they may choose one
instrument to learn as part of a small group, with a range of
musical groups represented including guitars, brass, woodwind,
keyboard and percussion. Students who wish to learn an instrument
in private lessons may do so from prep through to Year 12, and many
of these musicians go on to join various musical groups available
at Caulfield. School bands, choirs and orchestras are open to
students from Year 3 onwards, and many of these musical groups are
on show at the annual Caulfield Grammar School Concert at
Melbourne's Hamer Hall
. Senior choirs and
bands also take part in such events as the Kodaly Choral Festival
and Melbourne Bands Festival.
Caulfield's most senior orchestral group is the Galamian Orchestra,
which is primarily a string group, but expands to add other
instruments when required. The group went on a small tour to
England and Austria in June and July 2000. In 2006, the "No String
Attached" stage band and the senior concert band toured European
nations, and was featured in the Montreux Jazz Festival
on 5 July
2006. School music groups rehearse regularly in the music
departments at each of the three campuses, and students from
Wheelers Hill and Caulfield perform together in the three premier
groups at Caulfield Grammar - the Galamian Orchestra, the No
Strings Attached stage band, and the Chamber Choir. These groups
perform at major school events such as the annual year-ending
Speech Night presentations, the Founders' Day chapel service, and
the School Concert, as well as performing at music festivals in
Melbourne and on tours. In 2005 renowned Australian jazz musician
with the "No Strings Attached" stage band at Monash University
Caulfield also competes in the Debaters Association of
Schools competition, and Caulfield Campus is the host
venue for the Caulfield regional competition. Five debates are held
each year, and Caulfield teams debate against other Melbourne
schools on various current interest topics. Students are also
involved in mooting, where teams argue
legal matters based on evidence and precedent, and compete in the Bond
The school's theatre department produces productions at both
primary and secondary level across all three metropolitan campuses.
Previously, students have performed in drama tours to European and
All past students of the school are members of the Caulfield
Grammarians' Association (CGA), which coordinates reunions, alumni
sporting teams and other activities for alumni, known as Caulfield
Grammarians. The CGA was formed in 1885, and is believed to have
been in continuous operation since 1906, the year of the 25th
anniversary of Caulfield's founding. The Caulfield Grammarians
Football Club competes in the Victorian Amateur
, and has been represented by notable
former Australian rules
players, including Dean
and Duncan Kellaway
(both past students of Caulfield), as well as Glenn Archer
and Anthony Stevens
A number of Caulfield alumni have made significant contributions in
the fields of government, sports, music, business and academia
among others. Among those who have had involvement in
politics, Peter Dowding (Western
Australia) and Lindsay
Thompson (Victoria), have served as state premiers.
and John Schultz
have both been awarded the
for the best and
fairest player in the Victorian/Australian Football
, and John Landy
has held both
the men's mile world record in athletics and the office of Governor
of Victoria. John Clifford
became the first Victorian Rhodes Scholar
after graduating as the
of Caulfield Grammar School in 1895.
company that first created and sold Vegemite
, an Australian spread and cultural icon
The band The Birthday
was formed by Nick Cave
and Phill Calvert
while they were students at the
school in 1973, and Cave and Harvey would later form the band
Nick Cave and the Bad
, which released Top 10 albums in Australia and the United
Kingdom. Cave and Harvey had been a members of the school choir
under the direction of Norman Kaye
became a noted actor and musician after working at Caulfield as a
music teacher and choirmaster.
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