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Best schools in Sydney Australia

A snapshot: schools in Sydney considered (but not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expats.

Schools with a full GSGI review are noted with  next to their names.

 (pending) means that the school is on our list to review.

By full GSGI review, we mean school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final reviews take the good with the bad, warts and all, but we look for a preponderance of good before we drill down for in-depth details and descend on the school for an exhaustive visit. We are aware of the other schools on this page and we continually add or remove schools, as deemed appropriate.

Sydney schools are very good, judged to be very rigorous and are also difficult to get into, particularly for the expat arriving for a shortish stay. Most seem to prefer students who are there for the long haul, so this is one city where early planning and investigation are crucial.


Schools in Sydney reviewed or pending review by The GSGI.

Ascham School

New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,100 students

Founded in 1886, making it one of the oldest girls’ schools in Australia, Ascham follows the ‘Dalton Plan’ in senior school, an educational philosophy created by Helen Parkhurst in 1916. Located in the prestigious eastern suburbs, with large grounds and lovely harbour views. The academics are rigorous and girls head off to top tier universities. ​

Click here to read our full review of Ascham School

Cranbrook School

PYP/ New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 3-18; co-ed (lower school), boys (middle and senior school),; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,400 students

Established in 1918 in Bellevue Hill, overlooking Sydney Harbour. The junior school (K-Year 6) is on two campuses. Non-selective but as one of the best schools in the Eastern suburbs, the first challenge is securing a place. Drama, art, music and games are all compulsory with sport playing a large part in Cranbrook life. Commendable results with the majority moving on to universities in the city and only around 5-10 per cent going overseas.

Click here to read our full review of Cranbrook School

Kambala

New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 950 students

Founded in 1887, located for the last 100 years on a campus between Rose Bay and Vaucluse, completed by astonishing views. Charming buildings with great modern additions. Praise for teachers with impressive results both in HSC and from the small number of International Baccalaureate Diploma candidates. Majority of students are Australian, with a few girls from overseas. Non-selective, with places sought after and scholarships available.

Click here to read our full review of Kambala.  

 

King’s School (The)  (pending)

New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; boys; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,700 students

The oldest, and one of the largest, Australian boarding schools, founded in 1831. Located in North Parramatta. The school, set in 300 acres is described on the website as ‘boy heaven’. Famous, traditional school with house system, a military based uniform and a cadet corps with its own Marching Band. Impressive HSC exam results with the majority gaining ATARs over 80

Pymble Ladies College

New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 5-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 2,280 students

Expanded exponentially from the original 60 to 2,250 girls, on a beautiful site in the green North Shore commuter belt. Junior school operates as a separate unit with its own facilities and there is a senior school centre providing five separate schools on one campus. Consistently ranking in the top performing schools in Sydney and top of the non-selective schools in New South Wales. Fantastic sporting opportunities and a serious music school.

Click here to read our full review of Pymble Ladies College

Queenwood 

New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC/ IB Diploma; ages 5-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,500 students

Founded in 1926, on two campuses, in the desirable waterside suburb of Mosman. The senior school, complete with library and 600 seat theatre overlooks the harbourside beach of Balmoral, whilst the junior school is in a nearby residential area. Non-selective, entry open all year round although places are not always available. Commendable results in HSC but excellent International Baccalaureate Diploma average scores.

Click here to read our full review of Queenwood School for Girls

Reddam House

New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 800 students

Founded in 2000 by South African, Graeme Crawford, an educational empire builder. The early learning, primary and middle schools are located in the Woolahra site in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs with the university style campus of the senior school based in Bondi. The school has become more diverse and now teaches students from over 40 nationalities. Recently, HSC results have surged up the rankings.

Click here to read our full review of Reddam House

St Catherine's School

New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 5-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,000 students

The oldest girls’ Anglican school in Australia, founded in 1856 in the village-style community of Waverley, catering mainly to local families from Randwick, Bronte and Bondi. The school still has a strong Christian ethos, with weekly chapel services. Entry mainly into Kindergarten and years 5, 7 and 11. HSC results are more than respectable, placing them in the top 10 per cent of the state. Some international boarding students.

Click here to read our full review of St. Catherine's School

SCEGGS Darlinghurst  (pending)

New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 3-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 900 students

Founded in 1895 and expanded from a sole pupil, taught by one teacher in a terraced house, to close on 1,000 girls enjoying a smart, modern campus and taught by a large faculty. Located in the eponymous eastern suburb of Sydney. Despite being non-selective, the school achieves impressive academic results and has turned out some outstanding alumnae.

The Scots College 

New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; boys; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,950 students

​Established in 1893 to educate the children of early Scottish settlers. The school soon moved to its current prestigious location in Bellevue Hill in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs where a road separates the juniors from the senior school and boarding houses. Non-selective with entry points at pre-school, infants and years 3 and 7. Academic schooling combined with a rigorous outdoor activity programme.

Click here to read our full review of The Scots College.

These schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.

Abbotsleigh School

Anglican; ages 5-18; Reggio Emillia/ New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,400 students

Balgowlah Heights Public School

Non-denominational; ages 4-11; New South Wales; co-ed; day; state; 625 students

Barker College

Anglican; PYP/ New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; boys; co-ed (classes 10-12); day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 2,000 students

Beauty Point Public School

Non-denominational; New South Wales; ages 4-11; co-ed; day; state; 215 students

Beecroft Public School

Non-denominational; New South Wales; ages 4-11; co-ed; day; state; 710 students

Brigidine College St Ives

Catholic; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 12-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 850 students

Double Bay Public School

Non-denominational; New South Wales; ages 4-11; co-ed; day; state

Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner

Non-denominational; Rudolf Steiner/ New South Wales; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; private non-profit; 500 students

Hills Grammar School (The)

Non-denominational; PYP/ New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; co-ed; independent; private non-profit; 1,100 students

International Grammar School Sydney

Non-denominational; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,000 students

Kincoppal-Rose Bay School

Catholic; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 960 students

Knox Grammar School

Uniting Church; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; boys; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,900 students

Loreto Kirribilli

Catholic; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,040 students

Loreto Normanhurst

Catholic; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 12-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 900 students

Lycée Condorcet – International French School

Non-denominational; French curriculum/ OIB; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,070 students

Marist College North Shore

Catholic; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 12-18; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 660 students

Masada College North Shore

Jewish; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; co-ed; independent; private non-profit; 640 students

Meriden School

Anglican; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 850 students

Middle Harbour Public School

Non-denominational; New South Wales; ages 4-11; co-ed; day; state; 510 students

MLC School

Uniting Church; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,300 students

Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Catholic; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 12-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,030 students

Moriah College

Jewish; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,600 students

Newington College

Uniting Church; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; boys; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,600 students

Northbridge Public School

Non-denominational; New South Wales; ages 4-11; co-ed; day; state; 600 students

Pittwater House School

Non-denominational; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 800 students

Presbyterian Ladies College

Presbyterian; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,600 students

Pymble Public School

Non-denominational; New South Wales; ages 4-11; co-ed; day; state; 890 students

Ravenswood School for Girls

Uniting Church; PYP/ New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,140 students

Redlands

Anglican; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day and homestay; independent; private non-profit; 1,600 students

Roseville College

Anglican; PYP/ New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 820 students

Roseville Public School

Non-denominational; New South Wales; ages 4-11; co-ed; day; state; 620 students

St Aloysius’ College

Catholic; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 8-18; boys; independent; private non-profit; 1,190 students

St Andrew’s Cathedral School

Anglican; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,030 students

St Ignatius’ College Riverview

Catholic; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 10-18; boys; day and boarding from year 6; independent; private non-profit; 900 students

St Ives North Public School

Non-denominational; New South Wales; ages 4-11; co-ed; day; state; 900 students

Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore School)

Anglican; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; boys; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,600 students

Sydney Grammar School

Non-denominational; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,800 students

Trinity Grammar School

Anglican; PYP/ New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; boys; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,900 students

Wenona School

Non-denominational; New South Wales/ New South Wales HSC; ages 4-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 815 students

Government Selective

Places at these non-denominational, state, day schools are only offered to permanent Australian residents. The selection process is rigorous, leading to extremely high academic standards.

More information: www.education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/selective-high-schools-and-opportunity-classes

Baulkham Hills High School

Co-ed, fully selective since 1995. 1,180 students

Fort Street High

Co-ed, established in 1849 (Fort Street High is the oldest selective high school in New South Wales). 920 students

Hornsby Girls' High

Girls, founded in 1930. 715 students

James Ruse Agricultural High

Co-ed, selective (agricultural curriculum since 1959). 850 students

Normanhurst Boys' High

Boys, opened in 1958, fully selective since 1994. 715 students

North Sydney Boys' High

Boys, established in 1912. 915 students

North Sydney Girls' High

Girls, established in 1914. 925 students

Sydney Boys' High School

Boys, established in 1883 (Sydney Boys' High was the first state secondary school and shares a site with the girls' school). 1,150 students

Sydney Girls' High School

Girls, established in 1883 (Sydney Girls' High is the oldest state girls school in New South Wales). 920 students

For more information on the schools above, please go to each school’s individual entry on The Good Schools Guide International search.

 

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