Cnr Alison Road and Cook Street (PO Box 190), Randwick NSW 2031 Phone 9398 6310 Fax 9398 3697

The Coogee Prep Story

Coogee Boys’ Preparatory School (Coogee Prep) opened its doors in July 1914. On that day, 27 boys began their education in rooms adjacent to the Randwick Presbyterian Church on Alison Road. After 95 years, Coogee Prep remains the only privately owned boys’ preparatory school in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

Mr William Nimmo, the School’s Founder and first Headmaster was a dedicated educator who believed that boys should be given a solid all-round education that incorporated academic, physical and social aspects of schooling. He introduced speech and drama as a way for students to develop self-expression and self-confidence when speaking in public from an early age.

Mr Nimmo saw his School as a preparatory school for both Sydney Grammar School and The Scots College. He combined the colours of both these schools – the black and gold of Sydney Grammar and the blue and gold of Scots College – to create the Coogee Prep colours of black, gold and blue. The ‘A’ of the school crest is taken from the first letter of the Greek alphabet – Alpha – and is there to signify Coogee Prep's role as the first step in a boy’s education.

After Mr Nimmo’s retirement in 1965, Mr. Nicholas Brown (a former student) became Headmaster. Under his leadership, enrolments grew and the House system was introduced in order to foster a greater understanding of teamwork and cooperation among the students.

In 1995 Mr John Dicks was appointed Headmaster. The School became single stream – Kindergarten through to Year Six, the curriculum expanded and additional sports were introduced.

In 2010 Coogee Prep underwent a significant renovation. New, larger classrooms and a Library/IT space were built and a multi-purpose hall was developed. This renovation marks the beginning of an exciting new era for Coogee Prep.  The School looks forward to celebrating its Centenary in 2014.


The Coogee Prep House System

Coogee Prep has three Houses, each representing a colour in the School crest:

Nimmo (Gold)
McKeown (Black)
Storey (Blue)

The House system was introduced in 1967 and each House is named in honour of an individual who contributed to the life to Coogee Prep.

Each House has a banner produced in the House colour and contains a crest with meaningful images relating to the individual that each House is named after. The School crest appears in each House banner as a reminder of the important role that these individuals have played in the history of Coogee Prep.

Nimmo House is named after the founder and first Headmaster of Coogee Prep, Mr William Nimmo who grew up in the Blue Mountains in NSW. He was a scholarly man who had a great love of the law as well as teaching. A man of great vision he saw the need to establish an independent preparatory school in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney that would feed into the many large secondary schools in the area, such as The Scots College, Sydney Grammar and Cranbrook. He was a man of his time, conservative and traditional who believed that Coogee Prep would produce boys who were Gentlemen Scholars and Sportsmen.

McKeown House is named after Reverend Vernon McKeown. He was the Minister of Randwick Presbyterian Church from1949 – 1967. Reverend McKeown was a friend of Mr Nimmo’s and a supporter of Coogee Prep, conducting services in the Randwick Presbyterian Church and attending to the pastoral needs of the School community. He was of Scottish heritage and had a great love of sports – in particular rugby.

Storey House is named after Lady Ruby Storey. She was a close friend of Mr Nimmo’s and a generous benefactor to the School. She valued highly the gentlemanly behaviour displayed by the Coogee Prep boys. Lady Storey had a great love of the creative and practical arts - in particular debating and public speaking.