A rich and progressive history

A visionary foundation

The story of International Grammar School begins with Professor Reg St Leon. A linguist. A visionary. A pioneer. A man with a bold dream to establish the nation’s first bilingual school and the bravery to see it fulfilled.

A school founded on the simple vision of a multilingual curriculum, and the broader aim of uniting a multicultural society, St Leon’s ambition would ultimately revolutionise the way language was taught in this country.

IGS opened its doors on 3 February 1984 in the Stanley Street premises of the Little Sisters of the Poor, Randwick. The School’s modest enrolment of 44 students ranging from Kindergarten to Year 11 grew to 123 students by the end of that first year — and by first term in 1985, enrolments had grown to 231.

Several years later, having lost the lease at Randwick, the School moved to the former Elizabeth Arden cosmetics factory in Riley Street, Surry Hills. The old buildings were converted into a school in the space of just six weeks.