Sydney Boys High School
Sydney Boys High School (SBHS), otherwise known as The Sydney High School (SHS) or High, is a government-funded single-sex academically selective secondary day school for boys, located at Moore Park, New South Wales, a suburb within the City of Sydney, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
|Sydney Boys High School|
Sydney Boys High School, as seen from Moore Park West
|Type||Government-funded single-sex academically selective secondary day school|
|Motto||Latin: Veritate et Virtute|
(With Truth and Courage)
|Established||1 October 1883|
|School district||Port Jackson education area of the Sydney Region|
|Educational authority||New South Wales Department of Education|
|Principal||Dr Kim A. Jaggar OAM|
|Area||34,400 square metres (370,000 sq ft)|
|Colour(s)||Chocolate brown and sky blue|
|Athletics||Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales|
Established in 1883 and operated by the New South Wales Department of Education, as a school within the Port Jackson Education Area of the Sydney Region, the school has approximately 1,200 students from Year 7 to Year 12 — a number greater than most, if not all, other selective state schools — and is situated adjacent to its "sister school", Sydney Girls' High School. The school is a member of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales (AAGPS).
The school regularly ranks highly among schools in New South Wales in terms of academic achievement, ranking 5th in the state in the 2017 Higher School Certificate, and has produced numerous notable alumni, or "Old Boys".
Although Fort Street High School was established in 1849, Sydney Boys High School is the first state high school in New South Wales created under Premier Henry Parkes' public education system in the early 1880s, following the Public Instruction Act 1880 (NSW). Whereas Fort Street Model School as it was founded took primary and secondary students neither Sydney Boys nor Sydney Girls High School has ever had a primary education division and are thus the first NSW state high schools founded for the express purpose of secondary education.
Alternatively known as The Sydney High School, due to its being the first state high school, Sydney High School was established as two single-sex schools sharing a single building, with boys and girls on separate floors. The first day of instruction, for 46 boys, was October 1, 1883 and was at a building located in Castlereagh Street in the Sydney central business district, which was designed by Francis Greenway and constructed by convicts. From 1883 to 1892, Sydney Boys occupied the lower floor and entered from the Castlereagh Street side of the building, whereas Sydney Girls occupied the upper floor and entered from the Elizabeth Street side. In 1924, this building would be demolished and both schools would, in 1921, have relocated to Moore Park. Presently, this site is home to the Elizabeth Street store of David Jones.
In 1906, Sydney Boys High School became a member of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales (AAGPS or GPS). (The term "public school" here has the meaning as used in the United Kingdom; that is, a private school.) It is the sporting association's only government school member.
In 1928, the school moved to its current location at Moore Park, on the fringe of inner-city Sydney. This site was designed by George McRae, who also designed the Queen Victoria Building. This site was previously the Moore Park Zoo, which was relocated to Mosman as Taronga Zoo.
The Sydney Boys High School Year 7 intake is of around 180 students, but prospective students in higher years may matriculate to the school if vacancies exist. Offers of admission and matriculation into the school in Year 7 are made on the basis of academic merit, as assessed by the Selective High School Placement Test.
In Years 7 to 8, the cohorts consist of 180 students in each year; in Years 9 to 12, however, the cohorts consist of 210 students in each year. The size of these cohorts are described by the 2001 SBHS Enrolment Policy.
Once admitted and matriculated, students are further grouped according to their strengths and/or weaknesses, or to their abilities, such as a weakness in English relative to mathematics or "general ability", as estimated by the Selective High School Placement Test, or a proven proficiency in music, as demonstrated by a formal qualification (e.g., Australian Music Examinations Board grades) in music.
Sydney Boys High School, like other academically selective schools and given the nature of its selective admissions criteria, has been historically known and is known for its academic achievement in the Higher School Certificate.
The following table shows High's rankings relative to other schools in the state. The rankings are based on the percentage of exams sat that resulted in a placing on the Distinguished Achievers List (highest band result) as shown by the NSW Board of Studies (now BOSTES NSW).
Grounds, buildings, and facilitiesEdit
The current Moore Park site hosts the Great Hall, other school buildings, tennis courts, a gymnasium, the Junior Quadrangle, and the Flat, a common low-lying area of land between Sydney Boys and Sydney Girls' High Schools. The school buildings include approximately 60 classrooms, two change rooms, the Junior Library (for Years 7–9), and the Senior Library (for Years 10–12). Nearby to the school are a number of sports facilities, such as the tennis courts opposite to the Sydney Boys and Girls High Schools, located on Cleveland Street, and the facilities at Centennial Park.
Sydney Boys High School is affiliated with other facilities such as the Outterside Centre (the school boatshed located in Abbotsford) and the ANZAC Rifle Range. In addition to this, the school owns a number of vehicles, which it utilises to travel to sporting events, such as the annual The Armidale School versus the High School sporting exchange Armidale and the Head of the River at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.
Co- and extracurricular activitiesEdit
Debating and public speakingEdit
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2013)
SBHS also competes in the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition and the GPS debating competition. The SBHS First Grade debating team have won the GPS Debating premiership 19 times, most recently from 2015-2018.
Sydney Boys High School has a long tradition of sports, in addition to academic scholarship and, stipulating that students must participate in sports until Year 11, offers students a wide range of sports, including:
Sydney Boys High School is the sole state-operated member school of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales since 1906. It therefore competes against other GPS schools in many of the aforementioned sports; most notable among the traditional English public school sports of cricket, rowing, and rugby union. Accordingly, and unusually for a state school, the school possess rowing facilities at the Outterside Centre at Abbotsford, which includes a dormitory, boat sheds, and three pontoons; playing fields at Centennial Park, with the Fairland Pavilion and the McKay Oval, a fenced cricket ground; and, facilities at the ANZAC Rifle Range, which are managed by the Sydney High School Rifle Club.
In recent years, Sydney Boys High has had disappointing results in rugby union, due in part to a shift to association football ("soccer") and mismatches in size and abilities between it and its competitors. In the 2007 season of GPS rugby union, Sydney Boys High lost 7 of 7 games it had played to date before withdrawing from the remaining six games. Of this, GPS rugby convener Mark Ticehurst said, "Mr Ticehurst said: "It was the safety issue that saw Sydney High withdrawing. It's an opportunity to develop their rugby, and although they will still be in a very tough competition, the pressure is off them to perform at the First XV level".
In contrast to Sydney Boys performance in rugby, both historically and in recent years, numerous students have represented the school at the Eastern Suburbs Zone and Sydney Eastern Regional levels.
Each student at Sydney Boys High School is placed into one of six houses, and each year is evenly divided into these houses. These houses, named after early Old Boys who have significantly contributed to and served the school, are:
|Eedy (E)||Sky blue||Arthur Malcolm Eedy, a student in the first intake (1883–1886)|
|Fairland (F)||Red||Charles Adam Fairland|
|McKay (M)||Yellow||Robert Thomas McKay|
|Rubie (R)||White||Cecil Edward Henning "Cec" Rubie, a student (1925–1928) and President of the Old Boys Union (1965–1966)|
|Saxby (S)||Green||George Campbell Saxby, a student in the second intake (1884–1887) and the fifth headmaster of the school|
|Torrington (T)||Navy blue|
As of late, these houses, as at the Year 7 intake, have been grouped according to the strengths and weaknesses of the students, with an outrider class, English skills enhancement class, music proficiency class, sports proficiency class, and language preference class. In addition to these, an English enrichment group and a general abilities group may also be formed.
Sydney Boys High School has, from time to time, caught the attention of the media and/or the general public. Like other schools, it has seen several (then) minorities matriculate to it and graduate from it, including non-British, non-Irish European minorities, such as Italian Australians, Maltese Australians, and Greek Australians. In 2002, the school had the attention of the media over comments made by Old Boys made in regard to its ethnic composition — mostly East Asian and South Asian.
In 2002, "[Sydney Boys High School] wanted a more sophisticated admissions process, and more freedom to choose its own students." In 2002, it was proposed that, of the 180 Year 7 places, 30 places would be allocated each year on the basis of the Selective Schools Entrance Test (with no extended writing requirement), a detailed curriculum vitae, two school reports, and their achievements in civic, sporting, community, and leadership involvement, similar to the manner by which students are admitted to some private schools.
In 2013, the school was again featured in the media for its proposal to modify its selection criteria. This proposal involved reserving 30 places of the annual Year 7 intake of 180 places for local boys who live within 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) of the school. Connolly stated that "any racial undertones to earlier campaigns were a thing of the past" and that "the benefit for the school this time is about tying it to its local community". The proposal would, in theory, reduce the load on overcrowded local high schools. However, this proposal was rejected, as stated in a Sydney Morning Herald article. and would be a short-term resolution to the problem.
As of the 2012 edition of the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities statistics, more than 80% of the students enrolled at Sydney Boys High School have a language background other than English; however, this is not to suggest that these students and their parents or guardians are all recent immigrants or not proficient in English or, broadly, that the school is not necessarily lacking in diversity.
In recent years,[when?] an increasing number of "sport[s] imports" have been admitted in latter years, to bolster the school's ability to more competitively participate in sports against other members of the AAGPS. This drew allegations of Sydney Boys High School of being unmeritocratic in its selection process. Furthermore, in part due to the English public school nature of the school and the AAGPS, of which the school is a member, claims of nepotism and other favouritism have been levelled against the school. Brothers, sons, and grandsons of students or Old Boys have been allowed to enrol, though they may not have met the rigorous selection criteria. Some old boys, however, argue that where former graduates living in the community have sons and guardians at the school there is greater parental involvement at the school.
In 2017, The Sydney Boys High School Prefect Body posted a pro-feminism awareness video on Facebook. The video gained more than 400 000 views on their page, and over 25 000 000 views in totality, being shared amongst notable Facebook pages including BBC 4 News as well as George Takei. This video was criticized by two Sydney Girls' High School prefects in an open letter. The video was criticised by some as tokenistic and that it did not address the problem of sexism in schools, and also criticized for appropriating women's voices. However, "[Pushback] is a point that [Sydney Boys High School School Captain Hugh] Bartley acknowledges, saying that one of the reasons the video has made an impact is the "incongruity" ... It has, he says, a shock value that would hopefully get people talking."
One eminent alumnus of the school, James Spigelman, former Chief Justice of New South Wales, himself an Australian of Polish-Jewish descent and a practising Jew, said, in an address at the school dated 16 February 1999, that:
... Our careers are particular manifestations of the ability of this school, by reason of its tradition of selection on the grounds of academic excellence, to make available opportunities to persons from backgrounds which may otherwise restrict such opportunities. The ability to obtain an education which is pitched at a level appropriate to the capacities of particular students, is the basis for the equality of opportunity, to which I have referred. ...
Sydney Boys High School has produced numerous prominent alumni, referred to as "Old Boys". Many graduates are active in alumni organisations, such as the Sydney High School Old Boys Union (OBU), the High Club, and High Rugby Friends.
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