Schools building student relationships ahead of merger

UNITED: Head of Scots campus Tracey Leaf, student Gabrielle Boshier, head of All Saints campus Chris Jackman, student Bradley Gardiner and headmaster David Gates together on Monday. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 080718cmergr2
UNITED: Head of Scots campus Tracey Leaf, student Gabrielle Boshier, head of All Saints campus Chris Jackman, student Bradley Gardiner and headmaster David Gates together on Monday. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 080718cmergr2

THE Scots School and All Saints’ College are working hard to unite the students ahead of the merger between the two schools in 2019.  

At the end of August, 2017, the Presbyterian Church of Australia in NSW – owner of The Scots School, Bathurst – purchased All Saints’ College, with it later revealed that the two schools would merge as one. 

From next year, the school will be known as Scots All Saints College and operate from the two existing campuses in Bathurst. 

On Tuesday, the two schools held integration activities to give young students the opportunity to play together and build relationships before they become part of the same cohort next year. 

Headmaster David Gates said the day was one of a number of integration opportunities afforded to students recently. 

“There’s been a number of excursions; we’ve had a music excursion, drama, biology, we’ve had a ski trip, design and technology.

“So there have been a number of excursions that have been conducted, particularly with the current Year 11s, and then there have been integration activities that have been organised.

“Our junior school had a couple of days already where Scots kids have come [to All Saints’] and All Saints’ kids have gone over to Scots’ campus, and we’ve got a whole series of integration activities planned in the next few weeks for the currents Years 8, 9 and 10.”

Mr Gates said students embraced the merger “from day one” and have been able to build stronger relationships through the activities. 

“They play each other in sport, many of them mix socially in town, so they’ve been able to do that very easily, very comfortably,” he said. 

The school merger is progressing well, with the two schools now trying to finalise staffing, the curriculum and timetables for next year. 

There will be three schools making up the college, a junior school for kindergarten to Year 4, middle school for Years 5 to 8 and a senior school for Years 9 to 12. 

Head of the All Saints’ campus and director of the middle school, Chris Jackman, said a middle school structure was new to the area, but present a “unique educational advantage” for students.

“Our middle school will really provide compassionate, caring nurturing for these children at this age, so we’re going to continue some of the structures you have in primary school,” he said.

“We’re not going to discount the fact that students in lower secondary really need academic rigor and specialist teachers teaching their subjects, so that is going to be maintained as well, but the core is that it is going to be student-centred.

“We want students not to get left behind at this very challenging part of their life, and to feel valued, and to be challenged and engaged at school.”

The junior and middle schools will operate from the All Saints’ College campus on Eglinton Road, while the senior students will attend the Scots campus at White Rock.