A VISION OF EXCELLENCE
The handsome 19th-century edifice of Sydney Grammar School is an impressive landmark in its namesake city’s centre – set opposite Hyde Park and alongside the Australian Museum and St Mary’s Cathedral. The school’s rich legacy and enduring ethos ensure that it stands out as a centre of excellence, preparing each of its boys to achieve their best, both in their education and in the world at large.
The school opened in 1857, and from the outset it was closely tied with the emerging University of Sydney, serving as a nurturing ground for future undergraduates. “This was one of the school’s founding aims,” says the current Headmaster Richard Malpass. “An early meeting of trustees asserted that the school’s objective would be ‘that it furnishes a superior general education, not a professional education. Its object is not to prepare its scholars for any determinate occupation, but to communicate such information, and such intellectual training, as may best assist them in the subsequent acquisition of special knowledge, and in the efficient discharge of their social and public duties’. We remain true to our trustees’ historical vision and, indeed, with our practical, contemporary purpose.”
Malpass is clear about the qualities that make Sydney Grammar such an exceptional place to study. “Individuality of thought, ambition and action is such a defining quality of our boys, and the same can be said of our masters,” he says. He points to a collective passion and dedication to high achievement across a rich range of fields, including academia, sports, music, art and drama.
“I can recall one assembly in which we celebrated a star rugby player, applauded a boy who had been named captain of Australia’s national schools’ debating team, and ended the assembly with a musical performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue as rearranged and played by our own boys,” says Malpass. “What our boys have in common is that they emerge from Sydney Grammar as articulate, confident individuals who have had the rare chance to take their personal academic and co-curricular interests as far as they can.”
Such potential and ambition is further supported by the school’s outstanding facilities, as well as its diligent approach; cutting-edge technology is embraced wherever it genuinely enhances the students’ learning and focus. “We have a true commitment to the essential dynamic of the classroom,” says Malpass, “in which boys are enthralled and guided by their teachers.”
The school’s superlative resources are reflected in its reach. “While being an inner-city site means that space is at a premium, we operate three theatres, the newest of which is now considered one of the most iconic performance halls in Sydney,” says Malpass. “International speakers and orchestral groups regularly seek access to our facilities. Similarly, our sports complex at Rushcutters Bay has become a go-to destination for teams such as the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australian Wallabies rugby union teams. Such professional associations allow our boys to meet people and professionals who might be able to provide further inspiration to them as they progress through the school.
“Ultimately, we are proud of our tradition of producing independent, often pioneering young men,” he concludes, “with the drive and confidence to make the most of opportunities and to make a difference in the world.”