In this High School Guide, we profile Sydney Boys High School - one of NSW's highest performing selective schools in the HSC.
Interested in finding out more about Sydney Boys High School? In this overview, we look at its history, famous alumni, past performance and HSC subjects offered.
All of our information is sourced from the NSW Department of Education website: Sydney Girls High School.
We’ve created this Guide to provide information to parents and students so they can make an informed decision about applying for Sydney Boys.
Sydney Boys High School is a single sex-selective school that has consistently ranked in the top 10 of NSW schools in the HSC. The school is built on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, who are its Traditional Custodians. Sydney Boys High School has gained a reputation for debating, having won the Hume Barbour and Karl Cramp trophies more times than any other school. And also for sports, as a member of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of NSW (AAGPS or GPS) and the Combined High School Association, which they’ve won premierships in basketball and rugby several times in the past.
Students can gain entrance into year 7 through the Selective High Schools Test, while a smaller portion of students are admitted in years 8, 9 and 11 by applying directly to the school.
Sydney Boys High School was established on 1 October 1883, making it the first state high school in New South Wales founded solely for the purpose of public secondary education under the Public Instruction Act 1880. Then, it was known as The Sydney High School and consisted of two single-sex schools (now referred to as Sydney Girls and Sydney Boys) on separate floors in a single building designed by Francis Greenway and constructed by convicts.
This building was located in Castlereagh Street in the Sydney CBD, where the Elizabeth Street store of David Jones now stands. Up until the boys’ school was relocated to Mary Ann Street in Ultimo in 1892, Sydney Boys occupied the lower floor and entered from the Castlereagh Street side of the building, while Sydney Girls occupied the upper floor and entered from the Elizabeth Street side.
This building was demolished in 1924 after both schools were relocated to Moore Park in 1921. The school is still situated in Moore Park, but on a different site designed by George McRae — the architect of the Queen Victoria Building (QVB).
Sydney Boys is amongst a handful of schools in NSW that have always been academically selective. Sydney Boys High School, as we know it today, prides itself in facilitating student sporting achievement as well as academic performance, and has been a member of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of NSW (AAGPS or GPS) since 1906. Note that the term ‘Public Schools’ here is used to mean ‘private schools’ as is conventional in the United Kingdom, and Sydney Boys remains the sporting association’s only government school member.
Sydney Boys is responsible for producing some significant public figures in a wide range of disciplines.
|Nicholas Whitlam||Chief executive of the State Bank of NSW|
|Matt Comyn||CEO of Commonwealth Bank Australia|
|Henry Halloran||Major property owner and developer in NSW|
|Scott Morrison||30th Prime Minister of Australia|
|Sir Earle Page||11th Prime Minister of Australia|
|John Willcock||15th Premier of Western Australia|
|John Mason||31st Opposition Leader of NSW|
|Jon Isaacs||1st Opposition Leader of Northern Territory|
|Peter Anderson||NSW Minister for Health (1986–88)|
|Paul Landa||NSW Minister for the Environment and then Education (1976-1983)|
|Sir Howard Beale||Ambassador to the United States (1958–1964)|
|James Wolfensohn||9th President of the World Bank|
|Peter Wilenski||Awarded Order of Australia in 1994 for service to international relations and to public sector reform|
|Sir John Crawford||Adviser to the World Bank, Chancellor of the Australian National University (1974–1984), Australian of the Year (1981)|
|Sir Leighton Bracegirdle||Australian military commander and an Official Secretary to Australian governors-general|
|Sir Roden Cutler||Australian diplomat, 32nd Governor of New South Wales and awarded the Victoria Cross|
|Sir Richard Kingsland Kt.||Decorated World War II Air Force pilot|
|Hon. John Halden Wootten||Justice of Supreme Court of New South Wales (1973–83), awarded Order of Australia in 1990 for service to human rights, to conservation, to legal education and to the law|
|Sir Gordon Wallace||Supreme Court of New South Wales judge (1960–1970), President of New South Wales Court of Appeal (1966–1970), Acting Chief Justice of New South Wales (1968–1969)|
|Sir Frederick Richard Jordan||9th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales (1934–1949)|
|Hon. James Spigelman||16th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales (1998–2011)|
|Hon. Bryan Beaumont||Justice of the Federal Court of Australia (1983–2005)|
|Hon. Marcus Einfeld||Justice of the Federal Court of Australia (1986–2001) and President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission|
|Mervyn Wood||Olympic gold medalist at 1948 Summer Olympics in single sculls, NSW Commissioner of Police (1977–79)|
|Stan Rowley||Olympic gold medalist at 1900 Summer Olympics 5000 metres team race|
|Sam Robson||England test cricketer and player for Middlesex County Cricket Club|
|Colin Love||Chairman of the New South Wales Rugby League, Australian Rugby League and Rugby League International Federation|
|Daniel Arzani||Football player for Australia and Melbourne City FC|
|Vivian McGrath||Australian Open Singles Champion (1937) and Doubles Champion (1935)|
|Dr Graeme Clark||Pioneer of the multiple-channel cochlear implant; awarded the Fellow of the Royal Society, Australian Father of the Year award (2004) and Centenary Medal (2003)|
|Sir Henry Harris||Professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, pioneering work on cancer and human genetics in the 1960s|
|Dr Alfred van der Poorten||Number theorist and former president of the Australian Mathematical Society|
|Dr Kelvin Lancaster||Mathematical economist and Professor of Economics at Columbia University; co-developed the Theory of the Second Best|
|Dr John D. Pollard||Professor of Neurology at the University of Sydney, former Chair of Executive and Head, Department of Medicine, University of Sydney|
|Sir John Cornforth||Awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for work on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalysed reactions (1975)|
|Russell Crowe||Oscar-winning actor (2000)|
|Daniel MacPherson||Actor in Neighbours, The Bill, City Homicide and Wild Boys and television presenter for Dancing with the Stars and The X Factor|
|Ben Miller||Film producer for Happy Feet, Mad Max trilogy, Babe|
|Dr George Miller||Film director for Happy Feet, Mad Max trilogy, Babe|
|Jack Thompson||Actor in Wake in Fright, Sunday Too Far Away, The Man from Snowy River and Breaker Morant|
|George Levendis||Head of International for Syco TV (joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment)|
How many students go to Sydney Boys? What are their post-school destinations? How does they perform? Let’s take a look.
The student population consistently consists of around 1200 students (all boys).
|Year||Total number of students|
Over the past 5 years, almost all students have attained an HSC and progressed to university study upon graduating.
The full list of school rankings can be found here.
|Year||Rank||B6/E4 results||Unique B6/E4 students||State ranks||Success rate (%)|
Note: If you want to learn more about what high school rankings, including what Unique B6/E4 students and success rates mean, check out our Beginner’s Guide to High School Rankings.
|Science and Health|
|Creative and Performing Arts|
|Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE)|
Now that you know a little bit about Sydney Boys, do you want to attend it? Well, in the next article, we go through the entrance requirements for Sydney Boys High School! Read now.