St. Andrew's Scots School was established by a group of Scottish settlers determined to educate their children in their language, their culture and their faith. On the 1st of September 1838, thirteen years after the arrival of those settlers, a tiny school was opened in the Presbyterian Church, at Piedras 55 in the city of Buenos Aires. The first pupils were girls, but the school rapidly became co-educational.
The founders sought to integrate Christian faith and practice with academic distinction. In their eyes, education was an instrument of moral training, directed to its highest purpose when it is made not merely an exercise of the mind but a training of the opinions, disposition and habits. In character undoubtedly lie the essential elements of human happiness or human misery.
In 1885 the opening of the Avenida de Mayo led to the pulling down of the Scottish Church building. The growing school was moved to the Constitución district, to Ituzaingó 530, where, as it proudly stated, it catered for 135 pupils drawn from various nationalities: Scottish, English, Irish, French, Spanish, Italian and Argentine. The Church, meanwhile, moved to Avenida Belgrano and Perú, where it remained to this day.
Some of the well remembered Headmasters of the school in those early days were Rev. William Brown, Rev. James Smith and, for a short period, Alexander Watson Hutton, who figures more generally in Argentine history as the pioneer of football in the country. In 1947, with the continual migration of the English-speaking community to the northern suburbs, the school was moved to Olivos. The premises at Nogoyá 550 were, in fact, inaugurated as an all-boys school.
Over the years the school became firmly inserted in the wider Argentine community and in order to teach English to children who did not speak the language at home, in 1963, a kindergarten in English was opened in Olivos. St. Andrew's Scots School for Girls was opened in 1966 with the vision of preparing women to follow careers of their own choice. The school decided to return to co-education in 1980 and the boys' and girls' schools were fully integrated. That same year a second primary school and kindergarten were inaugurated in Punta Chica to make room for a growing student body.
In order to extend its long experience of striving for quality and innovation in teaching successive generations of students, in 1988 St. Andrew's moved into the field of higher education and opened the Universidad de San Andrés (University of St. Andrew's), with the purpose of bringing new ideas to that field in Argentina and offering a broad and challenging education to a diverse and talented student body.
St. Andrew's has now stabilized as a school of approximately 1900 students who receive a fully bilingual education. All its students are expected to complete seven IGCSE exams (Cambridge University) in year 10 and receive an International Baccalaureate diploma in their last year at school. This challenging education prepares its graduates to enter excellent universities all around the world and, more significantly, should provide them with the disposition and habits that allow them to become thoughtful and caring citizens.