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Meet Charlie Hawthorn, a current Year 11 boarding student at The Scots College – located in Bellevue Hill, Sydney.

Charlie enjoys various subjects and sports at the College, studying: Advanced English, Business Studies, Design and Technology, Maths, Physics, and Sport Lifestyle and Recreation Studies.

Charlie plays the Tenor Drum in the Pipes and Drums and represents the College at Rugby and Cricket.

A boarder’s perspective: Charlie Hawthorne (Year 11)

Where does your family come from?

“My family comes from Ardlethan, a small town in the Riverina which is around an hour drive north of Wagga Wagga.”

What year did you start boarding at The Scots College?

“I started boarding at Scots in 2017 when I was in Year 9.”

How did you feel about the opportunity of boarding in the city?

“I was very excited about boarding in Sydney, but also quite nervous. I knew there would be plenty of new opportunities for me at Scots, but it would also be a big change that would take a while to get used to.”

When you arrived at the College what is the first thing you recall thinking?

“The first thing I remember thinking when I arrived was how big the school was and how many people there were. I came from a school where there were only about seven kids in my class, so from that to 200 kids in my year group was a big change.”

Home versus Scots

What is your daily routine as a boarder and how does this differ from home?

“The daily routines of boarding in the city and living at home are entirely different. At Scots, a weekday daily routine consists of a 7:15am wake-up and then straight down to the Dining Hall for breakfast.

Lessons start at 9:00am and go until 3:00pm; then it is generally sport training, co-curricular activities or free time until 5:30pm when dinner starts. I normally do homework from 6:30pm to 8:45pm.

Weekends always start with sport on a Saturday morning, from then, your choices are fairly unlimited. You can go on leave with your parents if they are in Sydney, or with friends, or you can just stay in the boarding house for the weekend.

When I am at home it is in the holidays, so I am mostly working or finding things to do around the farm.”

What reminds you of home when boarding at Scots?

“Things like having pictures on my wall are good ways of reminding me of home.”

When you feel homesick what do you do?

“Homesickness is only really something a person would experience during maybe the first term of starting boarding school, although it can be longer for some people. I found that I only felt homesick in the first two or three weeks. It took me around a term to feel  properly settled into boarding life.

The thing I find most beneficial to deal with any homesickness is to interact with all the other boys, whether that is through playing touch footy on the oval, having a chat or even just being around them in general.

I found that when I was by myself, such as chilling out on my bed, it could sometimes make me feel homesick.

I think that it is very important that you interact with the other boarders and don’t isolate yourself too much.”

College Life

What are some of the activities or opportunities you’ve experienced at Scots that you would otherwise not get?

“If I was not at Scots, Glengarry would be a big experience I would not have had. The Glengarry program provides very unique activities and opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else. I am also going on mission trip to Vanuatu, and attending the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland, as a part of the Scots Pipes and Drums program – both experiences I wouldn’t have been offered anywhere else.”

What are your goals once you graduate?

“I am still unsure of what I want to do after I finish school. I am just trying to focus on my schoolwork and doing well in my subjects.”

What do you enjoy doing in the local area during free time?

“In boarding there are many places that you are allowed to go to after school has finished, including Double Bay and Rose Bay, and Bondi Junction on weekends. These are all popular places to go to buy food and spend time away from the boarding house. There are also the options of going to Redleaf Beach, which is just two minutes down the hill from Scots, and Bondi Beach on the weekends.”


Learn more about the Scots boarding experience, download a copy of the Boarding Prospectus.

The Scots College is a proud member of the following associations.

The Presbyterian Church (New South Wales) Property Trust T/A The Scots College, Sydney Australia
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William Elder


Mr Alan Elder was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents at a young age. He attended The Scots College for all his schooling, graduating in 1944. He played 1st XI Cricket and was a member of the College Cadet Unit. After leaving school Mr Elder studied accountancy and retained a life-long love of the College, especially the Pipes and Drums. Mr Elder never married, however the significant bequest he left will allow his Scots family to remember him through the Lang Walker Business Centre.