Co-curricular Programs

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Army Cadets

The Sydney High School Cadet Unit has an impressive history, being established in 1883 at the same time that the school was founded. Boys are eligible to join the unit in the year they turn 13. Parades are held on Tuesday afternoon between 3:30 and 5:30 pm, and incorporate a range of military and adventurous activities including drill, navigation, first aid and bushcraft. Other activities include weekend bivouacs, adventurous training such as ropes courses and abseiling as well as a state-wide annual camp held in the September holidays each year.

Chess Club

Each year Sydney Boys High enters several teams, of four players each, in the NSW Junior Chess League’s Schools Competition. Teams compete at junior, intermediate or senior level, depending on age. We compete against schools in our local region on a round-robin basis and then progress to a state-wide knockout. High has produced several state-champion teams in recent years. Matches are played on Fridays after school in Term 2 and the competition can extend into Term 3. Matches must start by 4:30pm and are played both at High and at other schools. Games usually last about an hour.

Community Service

The school encourages student participation in charitable works and community service.  Sydney Boys High School students work with students from Bourke Street Public School and Cleveland Street Intensive Language Centre in order to assist with learning in those schools. Boys raise funds within school for charities such as 'Jeans for Genes', Youth Off the Streets, the Lak Saviya Foundation and Stewart House. They do this with school barbeques and mufti days. Students also volunteer to collect funds externally for Red Cross, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Starlight Foundation, The Roden Cutler Foundation and Legacy Day. 


There is a fine tradition of debating at Sydney Boys High School and for the last five years, over 250 students have taken part in the coaching after school on Friday afternoons.  Debating coaching starts in week 3 of Term 1 and runs for three terms. Teams are coached by dedicated, highly proficient debaters, many of whom are university debaters and/or Old Boys. We compete in a range of competitions, including Eastside, the Friday Evening Debating Competition, GPS and the Premiers Debating Challenge and we regularly achieve considerable competitive success. In addition we have strong Legal Debating and United Nations Debating programs.   The Debating Supporters Group (DSG) was established in 2001 to assist with the suppers at home debates, to raise funds through parking and to organise the end of season dinner. We always welcome new parents to join the DSG.

Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme

The Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme (DofE) encourages students to undertake a series of activities over an extended period of time to achieve goals, commencing at the bronze level and finishing at the gold level.  The program is entirely voluntary and participants are free to choose their own program of activities.  Students must be at least 14 years of age before commencing the award scheme and can remain within the program until their 25th birthday.  Participants are required to select activities in the areas of skills, physical fitness, community service and expeditions.  Training and co-ordination of activities is integrated within the life of the school. 

Music Tuition

To support the full and active ensemble program, the school has a team of instrumental tutors teaching the boys one-to-one before and after school. The school carefully selects and monitors the tutors, and parents are actively encouraged to communicate regularly with the music tutors. Parents have the opportunity to meet the tutors at Music Recruitment Night and hear them perform at the Music Tutors Concert held in term three.The instruments that the school provides tutors for include: piccolo/flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, guitar, violin, viola, cello and double bass.

Musical Ensembles
Sydney Boys High has a developmental ensemble program that caters to the needs and standards of all students- from beginner level to very advanced. The program is structured around four concert bands. Training Concert Band (beginners), Junior Concert Band, Intermediate Concert Band (students with 1-2 years of experience), and Senior Concert Band (advanced instrumentalists).  The string ensemble allows experienced string players to perform music that is challenging and demanding. The beginner String Orchestra has been instigated to give inexperienced string players the opportunity to develop confidence and ensemble skills before progressing to the Symphony Orchestra.  The Symphony Orchestra includes boys from the Intermediate Concert Band.

The jazz ensembles at the school are an extension of the concert band program.  There are three jazz bands, a String Quartet, and Guitar Ensembles. Regular performances include the Winter Festival, Spring Spectacular, Tutors Twilight Concerts and elective music class soirees (two per year). The students are recognised for their musical efforts at the Annual Music Awards Assembly held in December for all boys and parents involved in the program.

The Sydney Boys High Choir caters for all voice types. The music they learn and sing provides a challenge, but is accessible for beginners and advanced singers. Boys are encouraged to join the choir. The students involved in singing are coached by a highly qualified tutor. The choir performs at school musical evenings and at special occasions.

Music Camps
The performance program is enhanced by the annual music camp attended by students from all the ensembles except the beginner musicians. More experienced musicians attend camps and workshops throughout the year. These give students the opportunity to develop their skills in an intensive musical environment. It also gives them a sense of involvement and appreciation of the music-making of their fellows. Camps conclude with a concert on the final evening, allowing parents to hear the value of time spent in musical pursuit.

Public Speaking

Each year we enter competitors in the Sydney Morning Herald Plain English Speaking competition, the Legacy Junior Public Speaking award, the Lawrence Campbell Oratory competition, Eastern Suburbs Public Speaking, Rostrum Voice of Youth,  Sydney Eisteddfod,  Performing Arts Challenge, Plain English Speaking Award, Trinity Invitational and the United Nations Youth Association Junior Public Speaking Competition. In 2015 we held the inaugural  SBHS Public Speaking Competition with a Junior and Senior Division.

Dramatic and Musical Productions

Sydney Boys High has an established tradition of co-productions with Sydney Girls High in musicals, recitals and dramatic presentations. Currently, the two schools are engaged in the 'Word and the Note' - an evening of music and drama. Musical ensembles from both schools perform. Drama groups from both schools act out their thematic pieces and vignettes. The highlight of the evening is a rendition of a briefly rehearsed piece by the massed senior orchestras of the two schools. Sydney Boys High encourages student performances at all major functions and assemblies held at the school.

School Prefects

The Prefects at High are expected to set the highest example in dress, attendance, conduct and involvement in school affairs. Their duties include assistance in the canteen, attendance at school functions of all kinds, and conducting assemblies. Each prefect is assigned a specific duty including welfare roles within the school. They are also assigned responsibilities connected with particular activities, including sports, music, and debating. Prefects are entitled to wear a badge, and a navy blue plain tie, and should have the Prefect Pocket added to their blazers.

The Student Representative Council

The Student Representative Council exists to provide opportunities for students to address the interests and concerns of students and to develop leadership skills. A teacher acts as adviser/coordinator. Training in proper meeting procedure is provided. Motions are put forward, debated, and voted on. Minutes are recorded. Fundraising and charity work are undertaken by the SRC in conjunction with the Charities Committee (a separate entity dedicated to charity work both within and outside the school). SRC representatives take an active role in the School Council and have voting rights.

Social Justice

The People and Animal Welfare Society encourages boys to learn about animal welfare issues. The group meets every week and has raised money for animal charities such as Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, learnt about topical issues such as the live greyhound baiting scandal and had guest speakers in from groups such as The Orang-utan Project. In addition, the group participates in voluntary work at the Cruelty Free Festival every year and takes parts in an excursion to the Cat Protection Society.

Social Justice Society
The social justice society engages students in learning about and campaigning on human rights issues. We follow the Amnesty International Schools Program, which encourages students to discuss issues such as torture, refugees and women’s rights and take action by signing petitions or writing emails. The Social Justice Society also participates in events such as Fairtrade Fortnight, 40 Hour Famine and attends workshops and conferences. Students run Amnesty International’s greetings card campaign in December every year, getting the wider school community to send cards to victims of human rights abuses around the world.

Special Religious Education (SRE - Scripture)

Special religious education (SRE) is education in the beliefs and practices of an approved religious persuasion. Pursuant to the Education Act 1990, NSW government schools are required to provide time for special religious education. SRE is delivered by authorised representatives of approved religious groups to students who have nominated that religion.

The SRE providers approved by the Department of Education and operating at Sydney Boys High School are: Anglican Diocese of Sydney, Buddhist Council of NSW, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, Hindu Council of Australia and Islamic Council of NSW

For further information, refer to NSW Department of Education, Religion and Ethics.