The Anglican Church Grammar School (ACGS), commonly referred to as Churchie, is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school for boys, located in East Brisbane, an inner suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
|Anglican Church Grammar School|
Latin: Alis Aquilae
On Eagles Wings
|East Brisbane, Queensland, Australia|
|Type||Independent, Single-sex, Day and Boarding|
|Founder||Canon W.P.F. Morris|
|Chaplain||Fr. Bryan Gadd|
|Colour(s)||Blue and Grey|
|Publication||Eagles' Wings (quarterly)
The Viking (yearly)
The Anglican Church Grammar School (ACGS), commonly referred to as Churchie, is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school for boys, located in East Brisbane, an inner suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Founded in 1912 by Canon William Perry French Morris, Churchie has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1,750 students from Reception to Year 12, including 150 boarders from Years 7 to 12. It is owned by the Corporation of the Synod of the Diocese of Brisbane.
Churchie is a founding member of the Great Public Schools Association of Queensland (GPS), and is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA), Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) and the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA).
Churchie, widely recognised as one of Australia's most prestigious schools, is among Australia's richest based on earnings and donations from alumni. In 2009, the school raised $30.9 million in fees, charges, parent contributions and other private sources, 26.5 per cent more than any other school in southeast Queensland. In the same year, Churchie also received $7.7 million in donations, primarily from alumni. This figure was the second highest in Australia, surpassed only by the donations to Sydney Grammar School.
Canon Morris assigned Saint Magnus, a Viking earl, as the patron saint of the school and had hoped that the students would be referred to as "Magnates". It is said that he did not like the nickname "Churchie" at first, however when it had become commonplace by the 1930s and respected around Queensland he accepted the change.
The school's name was changed to St Magnus Hall Collegiate School For Boys and then to The Cathedral School early in 1913 following the move to a new site at St John's Cathedral in the Brisbane central business district. Thirty-three boys completed the school year that year. In 1916, the land that the school currently stands on was purchased and, in 1918, the foundation stone was laid on the school's current site. From 1916 to 1985, the school was officially known as the Church of England Grammar School (CEGS). Prior to the 1985 school year, the school name was officially changed once again to the Anglican Church Grammar School (ACGS), in order to reflect the 1981 renaming of the Church of England in Australia to the Anglican Church of Australia. However, the school continues to be popularly known as "Churchie".
On the afternoon of 7 December 2007, a fire started in the Lanskey Building between two Year 7 classrooms. The automated fire system set alarms off, and just after 4:30 pm the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service arrived to find two classrooms badly damaged.
In late 2009, the school began extensive construction work to upgrade its cultural and sporting facilities. Over two years, three new complexes were built at the school's East Brisbane campus: the Barry McCart Aquatic Centre, the David Turbayne Tennis Centre and the $9.9 million Sir John Pidgeon Sports Complex, opened by Governor Penelope Wensley in 2010. In 2011, Morris Hall, the school's "spiritual heart", was upgraded and expanded and the adjacent quadrangle, Magnus Quad, was also relandscaped.
Churchie celebrated its centenary in 2012.
Canon Morris based much of the school's ethos on its patron saint, St Magnus, a Viking earl known for his strength of character and his qualities as an educated Christian man. The Viking tradition is reflected in the school crest, with its shield and battle axes symbolising Viking courage, and its crossed axes signifying self-sacrifice and St Magnus' martyrdom. Many of the school's rowing boats are named after Viking figures, and the school mascot, 'Eric', is also a Viking effigy.
|1912 – 1946||Canon W.P.F Morris OBE|
|1947 – 1969||Henry Roberts OBE|
|1970 – 1973||The Hon. Charles Fisher|
|1974 – 1986||Bill Hayward OAM|
|1987 – 1997||Christopher Ellis|
|1998 – 2003||David Scott|
|2003 – 2013||Jonathan Hensman|
|2014 – present||Dr Alan Campbell|
Churchie's twenty-two hectare campus is located in inner-city Brisbane. The school occupies the entire eastern side of Oaklands Parade, a street in East Brisbane, and extends all the way down to the banks of Norman Creek, a tributary of the Brisbane River. The first building on the site was the old boarding house, erected in 1918. Most of the school's buildings are built in the Gothic Scholastic style, characterised by 'decorative, half-timbered gables, red brick face-work, gargoyles and terracotta tiles'. Churchie is the only GPS school in Brisbane that has all of its sporting and cultural facilities—including ten playing fields, three swimming pools, two basketball courts, seven tennis courts and gymnasium—on the one campus. The Graham Fowles Boathouse is located approximately one kilometre away in Mowbary Park.
Notable buildings and facilities on the Churchie campus include:
|The Anglican Church Grammar School Campus|
Churchie offers ten subjects to students in the Middle School (Years 7 to 9): English, Mathematics, Science, Study of Society and the Environment (SOSE), Modern Languages (French, Chinese or Japanese), Health and Physical Education, Religious Education, Design and Technology, Expressive Arts (Visual Arts, Drama, Media Studies and Music) and Information and Media Studies (IMS). High-achieving Middle School students are selected to participate in the Aquila Program, which allows students to take part in various national and international conferences, competitions and projects.
In addition to the school's formal academic program, Middle School students must also undertake a compulsory two- to three-week long course in Social and Emotional Development, known as SED. A central component of this course is an extended Outdoor Education (OE) experience, where boys take part in an expedition that generally includes hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and camping. Outdoor Education lasts for three days in Year 7, four days in Year 8 and five days in Year 9.
Year 10 subjects at Churchie are precursors to the authority-registered subjects offered in Years 11 and 12. Compulsory core subjects are English, Mathematics (A Prep or B Prep), Religious Education, Social Science (History and Geography) and Natural Science (Biology and Geology) or Physical Science (Physics and Chemistry). Year Ten students must also choose three additional elective subjects from the following list: French, Chinese Mandarin, Japanese, Health Education, Physical Education, Agricultural Science, Commerce, Design and Technology, Drama, Graphics and Design, Information and Technology Studies, Media and Design Technologies, Music, Studio Art and Visual Art. The Pathways Program is an alternative course for Year 10 students aged fifteen interested in pursuing vocational education. It offers courses that give students pre-vocational qualifications through TAFE and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.
For students in Years 11 and 12 who ultimately wish to receive an Overall Position (OP), Churchie offers twenty-six electives in addition to the mandatory English and Mathematics A or B. Four of the following electives may be chosen:
Alternatively, students may continue with the vocational education offered by the Pathways Program.
Churchie yearly OP results are well above the annual Queensland averages. In 2012, 35% per cent of OP-eligible students received an OP1-5, 68% of OP-eligible students received an OP1-10 and 87% of OP-eligible students received an OP1-15. Churchie's five-year (2008-2012) average of OP1-15 results is 89%.
Churchie offers a range of sporting and cultural activities to all students. The school is a member of the Great Public Schools (GPS) sporting competition and competes in most available sports. Boys of all skill levels are given the opportunity to participate in numerous sports, including: Australian rules football, basketball, chess, cricket, cross-country, debating, football, rowing, rugby union, sailing, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball and water polo. Churchie also offers leisure sports which operate out of school time, such as golf, scuba diving and canoeing. Churchie has been highly successful in the GPS sporting competition winning the top GPS school premiership over all competitions 3 years in a row, in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This premiership was known as the Bauman Cup which was first awarded in 1953 and discontinued in 1977. Churchie was awarded the Bauman Cup a record 16 times.
Churchie's rowing history dates back to its establishment in 1912. Rowing was initially based at the Toowong Rowing Club, near school's original grounds. Later, in 1917, the school built its own boatshed and rowing facilities at Norman Creek. Shortly after the opening of the Norman Creek boatshed, the school began a rowing competition between day and boarding students, held over a 5/8 mile course, which has been held sporadically since 1920. In 1936, the Elder Hunter boatshed was built on the banks of the Brisbane River in Mowbray Park, East Brisbane. The school's rowing program now operates from the Graham Fowles Boathouse, built in 2005 on the site of the old boatshed.
Since 1918, Churchie has entered both quads and eights in the Queensland Head of the River, Queensland's premier high school rowing competition. From 1918 to 1954, the O'Connor Cup for the Open 1st VIII race was contested in quads. Churchie won the cup six times in quads (1922, 1926, 1936, 1939, 1940 and 1941). Since the introduction of eights in 1955, Churchie has won ten times (1963, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1998, 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2012). The School has won the Old Boys' Cup, awarded to the school with the greatest number of points, a total of six times (in 1990, 1991, 1999, 2004, 2005 and 2006) since the award's inception in 1988.
Initially, rugby league was played by the GPS schools; only in 1928 did they convert to rugby union. With sixteen premierships as of 2012, Churchie has always been one of the strongest schools in the rugby competition. Only Nudgee College has won the premiership a greater number of times. Churchie's last undefeated premiership-winning side, the 2005 1st XV, contained two future Australia players: David Pocock and Quade Cooper. Twenty-four Churchie students have been selected for the Australian Schoolboys national rugby union team, the highest level of schoolboy rugby in Australia, since the team's inception in 1973. In 2010, the school was identified as one of the 'nurseries of Australian schoolboy rugby' by the Australian Schools Rugby Union (ASRU). In all, sixteen Churchie boys have gone on to become Wallabies:
The school's music program includes a symphony orchestra, an assortment of bands and choirs and a choral dectet. Individual tuition is available for students studying an instrument or voice and speech. Churchie also provides the choristers for St John's Cathederal. In July 2000, the Churchie Symphony Orchestra was performed the prelude music and the national anthem at A Service for Australia in Westminster Abbey, London, to commemorate the Federation of Australia.
Churchie runs annual musical productions in conjunction with Somerville House. Recent productions have included Oliver! (2012), Beauty and the Beast (2011),The Wiz (2010), My Fair Lady (2009), Fame (2008), Bye Bye Birdie (2007) and Back to the 80's (2006). The Stage Crew is a group of school students who work on productions, assemblies, service events, dances and other activities that require technical organisation. Stage Crew is broken up into four departments: lighting, audio, mechanics and vision.
Each year, the school showcases the work of its Film, TV and New Media students at the Churchie Awards in Media (CAM). Similarly, Visual Art students display their work at CART, the Churchie Art showcase.
Community service, along with scholastic attainment, spiritual awareness and personal growth, is one of the four tenets of the school. Churchie students are regularly involved in a number of charitable events including doorknocks, fundraisers (especially for the Leukaemia Foundation's World's Greatest Shave), nursing home visits and mobile Blood Bank donations. Each year, approximately twenty senior students take part in an annual service trip to Samoa organised by the school, where they assist local schools and villagers. On the final day of Term Two, a Prep School Billy Cart Race is held to support World Vision. One of the most important service activities for the year is the Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp Program, where students from Years Eleven and Twelve care for a child with special needs during the September Holidays. In 2012, Churchie won the Queensland Community Foundation's Corporate Community Philanthropist of the Year Award for donating over $2 million over the past two decades to charitable foundations.
As with most Australian schools, Churchie utilises a house system. Each student is a member of one of its eleven houses, and competes in inter-house events. Churchie's inter-house competition includes swimming, cross-country, track and field, trivia, lightning chess and singing. Points are awarded based on a house's participation and position. In addition to the Inter-House Cup awarded at the end of the year, shields are awarded to the house that comes first in each event. Canon Morris started Churchie's house system in 1935.
There are nine day boy houses.
Biggs house was named after E.E. Biggs, a member of the first school council. He attended the school from 1918-1923. The Biggs family's association with the school continues to the present day. The house motto is Semper Conemur ('Always Striving'). Colours: Blue and White.
Casey house was founded in 1971 and named in honour of Richard Gardiner Casey (1890-1976), later Baron Casey of Berwick, a distinguished Australian diplomat, politician and Governor-General of Australia. The house motto, Vis et Unitas, is usually translated as 'Progress Through Unity'. The house coat of arms incorporates themes from Casey's own coat of arms, with the addition of the crossed Viking swords. Colours: Gold and Royal Purple (Baron Casey's own colours).
Grenfell, founded in 1935, was one of the first four day houses at Churchie. It was named after Sir Wilfred Thomasson Grenfell, who was born at Parkgate, England, in 1865. Grenfell was a doctor whose love of the sea and interest in boating led him to becoming a master mariner. A lecturer of his suggested he join a large fishing fleet as their doctor. Within five years he had encouraged the fishermen to stop drinking alcohol and Queen Victoria's interest in his successful persuasion of the crew led to her presenting the fleet with its first hospital boat. In 1891, Grenfell sailed to Cape St. John in the North Atlantic. He was mobbed by people who needed medical attention. The following spring he returned to Labrador with two doctors and nurses, where he set up two hospital bases for the Eskimos who populated Labrador. A third hospital was set up at St. Anthony in about 1898. Sir Wilfred Grenfell gave the school permission to use his personal motto, Loyal Devoir, and coat of arms when the house was established. Colours: Red and Gold.
Hillary house was named by the late headmaster Charles Fisher, who looked for men who had achieved success in their chosen field. He chose Sir Edmund Hillary, who, in 1953, was one of the first men ever to climb Mount Everest. The house colours and crest were chosen by the first students of Hillary from designs submitted by students. The crest incorporated the symbols of knighthood—a knight's helmet, a castle, and a fist pointing upward. The house motto is Semper Sursum ('Ever Upward'). Colours: Black and Gold.
Kingsley was one of the original four houses. It held both day and boarding students until 1950, when the two boarding houses were created. In 1971, Kingsley House was divided to create Biggs and Hillary houses. Canon Morris chose Charles Kingsley, a man he considered a Christian with a Viking's courage, as the house's patron. History revealed Charles Kingsley to have been a man who practiced his Christian beliefs and followed his social conscience to help the less fortunate, with whom he chose to live. The Kingsley house motto, Age Quod Agis, translates loosely as 'Do What You Do Well'. Colours: Black and White.
Magnus was one of the original four day houses. The house is named after St Magnus, Churchie's patron saint. The house's coat of arms is a simple shield with St. Magnus holding a sword and a palm of martyrdom. This image of St Magnus is from a stained-glass window in St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney and dates back probably to the thirteenth century. The house motto is Sibi Fidelis ('Be Faithful To Oneself'). Colours: Maroon and Royal Blue.
Mansfield was named after Sir Alan Mansfield, a distinguished barrister and former judge, Chief Justice and Governor of Queensland. Sir Alan attended the school when it was known as St. Magnus Hall. The house crest borrows heavily from the Mansfield family coat of arms. The house motto is Steadfast. Colours: White and Blue.
Mawson house was named after Sir Douglas Mawson, a distinguished geologist and Antarctic explorer, who became famous for his discovery of the South Magnetic Pole in 1908 and his ill-fated second journey to Antarctica in 1911. He continued to visit and explore Antarctica up until 1931. The house motto is Alis Austri ('On the Wings of the South Wind'). The Mawson coat of arms includes the vessel Mawson used on his voyages south and the Southern Cross. Colours: Red and Green.
Nansen was one of the original four houses, named after Fridtjof Nansen, a scientist, explorer and humanitarian. The Nansen house crest was established at Churchie in 1938; inscribed on the crest is the motto Fram, which means 'Forward'. Colours: Green and White.
There are two boarding houses, both based on the school grounds.
Gerald house was opened in 1934, as the need for new boarding accommodation grew. Prior to 1959, boarders took part in competitive sport as members of a day house. This changed in 1950, when the boarding houses became sporting competitors in their own right. The house was named after Gerald Sharp, Archbishop of Brisbane (1921–1933). The house crest shows the Bishop's mitre which symbolises the connection with Archbishop Sharp; the large star signifies God; the two smaller stars king and country, and the five small stars signify truth, honesty, duty, comradeship, and charity. The house's motto is Fideliter Et Constanter, meaning 'Faithfully and Constantly'. Colours: Green and Yellow.
Goodwin house was opened in 1928, and named after Lieutenant General Sir John Goodwin, most famous for his medical work in World War I. Goodwin took interest in the progress of the school while he was Governor of Queensland. The house motto is Fide et Virtute, meaning 'By Faith and Courage'. The Goodwin house crest is the family crest of Sir John Goodwin, who suggested it be adopted by the house when he granted permission for it to be named Goodwin. Colours: Red and Gold.
In 2006, Churchie lessened the number of school houses in the inter-house competition. Five houses—three day and two boarding—were abolished, reducing the total number of houses from sixteen to eleven. The three day houses removed were Alban (dark blue and sky blue), Schonell (red and blue) and Halse (gold and light green). Donaldson (blue and gold) and Strong (gold and black) are the two former boarding houses.
In May 2004, Frederick Roy Hoskins, a former teacher and boarding house head, pleaded guilty to sixteen child sex offences committed against seven victims aged nine to fifteen between 1947 and 1955. He had taught at the school for forty years.
During April 2008, there was community debate when students were disallowed from inviting male partners to the school formal. The school's Headmaster referred the matter to the School Council, which released a statement saying that it 'strongly supported the headmaster's position on the school's education programs in social settings'.
In October 2009, the deputy head of the preparatory school, Chris Klemm, was stood down due to 'serious allegations' made against him. The Headmaster issued letters to all parents regarding the matter, but kept the allegation, which was revealed in the mid-semester holiday break, confidential. In November 2010, Klemm was convicted of child sex offences and received a jail sentence of five years.
A number of student and leadership groups exist at the school. The Prefect Body is a group of seniors selected by the students and teachers of the school to lead the student body in all aspects of Churchie life. It is led by the three school vice-captains and the School Captain, who are collectively known as the Student Executive. The Head Boarder is the leader of the boarding students. The Student Council is a student organisation, led by the Speaker of the House (a school vice-captain) and the two managers-of-business, consisting of the assembly and the cabinet. The Middle School Leaders are a group of students selected within the middle school to work with students in grades seven, eight and nine. Service Coordinators is a group of seniors selected within their houses and led by the President of Service who encourage service within the school.
Since 2008, boys in Year Nine must participate either in weekly community service, scouting or the Tri-Service Cadets program. Boys must commit to these until the end of Year Nine. The school also operates the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards.
A number of notable individuals have taught at the school over the years. Some current and former teachers include: