Ivanhoe Grammar School was originally known as St James Church of England Grammar School for Boys. Less than twenty students constituted the initial enrolment in 1915 however by the end of 1919 there were plans to relocate from the local parish hall, where the founding Headmaster, The Reverend Sydney Buckley, was also Parish Priest.
In preparation for the move to Ivanhoe House located on The Ridgeway, purchased from parishioners Mr and Mrs Horace Wilcox, Sydney Buckley commenced advertising the School as Ivanhoe Grammar School, formalised the School crest and motto and introduced brown and white as the School colours. From the commencement of the 1920 School year at the new location, enrolments grew strongly and the School Council recognised a further need to expand the facilities of the School. Locksley House was built in 1924 and became the principal place of learning until 1960.
For two years during World War Two the School relocated to Yea, in central Victoria, although some students remained in Ivanhoe attending classes back at the old parish hall. Hundreds of the School’s alumni and many staff served in the war and Ivanhoe continues to acknowledge this each year on ANZAC Day.
The opening of the Memorial Junior School in 1955, to honour those past students who gave their lives in World War Two, provided a new home for primary aged students. It has remained at that location ever since, although it has been completely rebuilt to cater for twenty-first century learners. It is now called Buckley House.
In 1990 the new campus at Mernda opened with around 70 students and in 1992 the decision was taken that Plenty Campus should become co-educational. Today, the School is proudly co-educational at all Campuses.
Ivanhoe’s success is derived from its capacity to adapt to changing circumstances and educational priorities while retaining the core values that have always been at the heart of the School’s philosophy, in particular service to the community. Its membership of the International Round Square Association of Schools has provided an outstanding platform for Ivanhoe to deepen its international mindset and increase opportunities for its students to prepare for life and work in a more global environment.
The School’s centenary year in 2015 has been an occasion for the School and wider community to gaze affectionately at the journey travelled, from its humble beginnings in the local parish hall to the formidable centre of learning it has become.