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Founded in 1890, Kingswood College is a mainstream coeducational independent school with a long and proud history of delivering an innovative, collaborative and engaging program for girls and boys from Kindergarten to Year 12.
Our ethos is to encourage and support each student to achieve their personal best, to be self-aware, enquiring and resourceful, a well-rounded individual with an independent mind who respects and empathises with others.
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Kingswood College traces its history back to New College, which opened its doors on 4 February 1890. New College is established as a boys’ school for day students and boarders in Rose Street Box Hill. Box Hill was then an isolated agricultural community but was beginning to boom with the establishment of a train line in 1882.
In 1902, New College changes its name to Box Hill Grammar School (BHGS) (however it reverts to New College again between 1907-1920).
Re-badged as New College, the school launches its popular, handwritten magazine The Tatler.
School excursions are part of the curriculum and include the Colonial Sugar works at Yarraville; Mitcham tile works; Melbourne Observatory, and the Herbarium.
The school has a choral society, debating and literary societies and a chess club and its dramatic society proudly produces a scene from The Merchant of Venice.
The school is in the shadow of WW1 and Stephenson’s son is killed in the Battle of Pozieres.
A new state school opens nearby so Gravenall changes the name back to Box Hill Grammar School as he fears prospective students could be directed to the wrong school.
The school is listed for auction in December 1921, but just three weeks later it is revoked and new headmaster Rev Charles Zercho arrives in the new year.
A parents and friends council is established to ensure that the school is no longer solely controlled by the headmaster.
In 1928, the Council enters negotiations with the Methodist Church about relocating from Rose Street.
In June 1929, the Methodist Church buys Gwynton Park – the new home of Box Hill Grammar School – for the sum of 10,000 pounds a sprawling 9.8 hectares (24 acres) in 1929 on the intersection of Piedmont and Station Streets.
A new school building – the Cato Block – is built in 1930 and the school moves from Rose Street with 25 students including three boarders.
1933 sees girls admitted as boarders and the school becomes fully co-educational – a move that is almost unheard of in mainstream Australian church schools.
During the Depression and WW2 years, Gwynton Park evolves into a self-sufficient farm which also provides students with a rich educational curriculum.
Many children’s lives are disrupted by war but sanctuary is found in the family atmosphere provided by C.F Walker, his family and the BHGS staff.
83 boys and 52 girls are enrolled at the school. For four shillings per week day students can join the boarders for a hot midday meal.
Between 1963 and 1968 enrolments more than double.
At the close of 1964 the school (with the exception of the kindergarten) reverts to being a boys-only school.
In 1965 the school is renamed Kingswood College. From the mid 1960s, the curriculum meets traditional academic demands but broadens to allow each student the space to develop individual skills and potential.
In 1966, the school becomes a foundation member of the Eastern Independent Schools of Melbourne – the largest sports association of any independent school grouping in Victoria.
Junior School opens.
Coeducation is the new education platform for Senior College and proves a popular choice with growing enrolments. A defining feature of the school is a focus on care for the individual.
To more effectively nurture students, three separate sub-schools are formed: Junior School, Middle School and Senior School.
New Year 10 building is completed.
Coeducation is re-introduced and offered in Prep and Years 1 and 7 then subsequent years until the school is fully co-educational in 1984.
Construction of the Stephenson Resource Centre and the gymnasium building.
In the 1990s the Early Learning Centre is opened for three and four year-olds.
Official opening of the Food Technology Centre in the Cato building.
CD-Photography, electronic storybooks, computer animation and desk-top computer newspaper productions were exciting new additions to the media program.
Work commences on the design and construction of the new Technology Centre with the opening on 30 May 1996.
The College enters the Human Powered Vehicle race in Maryborough for the first time.
Middle School Centre opens.
The new Multimedia Centre opens in December 2008.
The Annette Bennet Science Centre, a world class purpose-built facility, opens in March 2009.
In 2011 a state-of-the-art Hospitality Trade Training Centre opens, complete with a commercial kitchen and dining facilities.
In 2014 Kingswood College announces the launch of a vibrant new approach to education delivery – the Learning And Teaching Through Innovation, Collaboration, Engagement (LATTICE) framework.
Kingswood College celebrates its 125th anniversary with the vision of being a 21st century, world-class school ‘where potential soars’.
In 2016 Kingswood College welcomed our first Indigenous student into the Senior School.
In 2017 we welcomed several Indigenous students into the Middle School from the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School. We also welcomed our first cohort of international students from Gaoxin No. 1 Middle School in Xi’An China into Year 9. LATTICE 2.0 an evolution of the LATTICE framework was also implemented across the curriculum.
In 2018 Kingswood College was awarded Best Large Business AND Best Overall Business in the City of Whitehorse. The College was also a finalist in the Australian Education Awards Innovation in Curriculum Design for the LATTICE framework.
In 2019 the College undertook a review of the Secondary School and a series of recommendations were endorsed including moving Year 10 to become part of the Senior School in July 2021. An enhanced focus on student wellbeing that encompasses physical, mental and digital wellbeing for students across the College was also supported by the decision to implement an activewear wardrobe for all students in 2021.
The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic engulfed the world and hit Australia in March 2020 and the College moved to online learning and teaching from home for all students and staff at the College. The use of the video screening platform Zoom allowed teachers to continue teaching their classes via video and able to see all their students on-screen. There were two extended periods of lockdown and online learning in 2020.
In July 2020, Kingswood College was thrilled to be recognised in the United Nations Action Solidarity Awards as one of the 50 most inspiring stories of solidarity. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College held a House food drive and students were asked to donate items. The contribution from the Kingswood College community was overwhelming – more than 1300 items were donated. The College was selected by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Campaign as one of the featured stories for the Solidarity Awards.
2021 The activewear wardrobe was launched and students started wearing new items from the range in Term 1 2021. The activewear wardrobe was overwhelmingly endorsed by the general public and the College community applauded for leading innovation in education.
After an extensive redevelopment of what was previously the driveway through the school grounds, The Forum is a new modern outdoor piazza, with seating areas, performance amphitheatre, wyvern mosaic centrepiece and recreational spaces for students to relax, and was officially opened at Open Evening in 2021.