Situated in the Adelaide foothills on some 6.5 hectares of land, our grounds initially formed part of Springfield Estate, with the green open space the major attraction for the Sisters of Mercy.
The property was initially acquired by John Duncan who had the gracious family home Strathspey built for his family. Today, Strathspey is the Reception and Administration Centre of Mercedes College.
In 1927 the property became a residential college for the University of Adelaide, yet by 1936 student numbers were insufficient to sustain the site and it was sold to Adelaide businessman Frederick Cornell.
The Cornell family restored the house and established it as an artistic centre. Many internationally renown artists, actors and musicians were guests during this period. In the early 1950s, and following the death of her husband, Marjorie Cornell sold the property.
Having outgrown the St Aloysius College campus in Adelaide, and searching for a new day and boarding school for girls, the Sisters of Mercy bought the property in 1953. This realised their vision of finding an environment where students could flourish.
Some 5,000 people gathered for the laying of the Foundation Stone on 2 August 1953 ahead of Mercedes College opening on 9 February 1954 as a day and boarding school with more than 140 students from Year 1 to Year 11.
In the mid-1970s the boarding house closed, ahead of Mercedes College becoming coeducational in 1976. More than 30 students from the Asia Pacific region were welcomed to Mercedes College in 1983, marking the start of our award winning International Student Program. In 1990 the International Baccaulaureate (IB) Program was adopted for Year 11 and Year 12 students.
The program has since been extended, making it available to our students from Reception. In 2002, Mercedes College established three schools within one campus – Junior, Middle and Senior Schools – with all teaching the Australian curriculum through the IB framework.
Today Mercedes College is South Australia's only Catholic school offering the IB curriculum from Reception to Year 12, and one of just a handful of schools delivering the program at all three levels.
From Reception to Year 5, students participate in our IB Primary Years Program. From Year 6 to Year 10 they study our IB Middle Years Program and students in Years 11 and 12 may choose to complete either the IB Diploma Program or the South Australian Certificate of Education.