St Andrew's Cathedral School

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What makes us different?

St Andrew’s Cathedral School is a place unlike any other… for more than 130 years we have been Sydney’s quintessential city school, a place as diverse, changing and future-focused as the CBD that surrounds us.

Our Christian tradition means we have essential convictions about the dignity of every student – each one unique, loved by God and gifted for a purpose. This determines the School’s priorities and drives a thoughtful, wholistic view of education.

We resist cultural assumptions that use a limiting lens to measure a human being’s worth, for example by assessing an individual’s ‘capacity’ or ‘usefulness’. Our starting point is that we view each person as of infinite value, not because of external factors such as ability, achievement, social status or physical attributes, but because they are made in God’s image. The recognition of the immeasurable value of every child, independent of any standard of performance or achievement, drives a commitment to every child, built on the formation of expertise and character. 

We offer a wide variety of co-curricular opportunities, including a particular commitment to the performing arts, drawn from our history as a chorister school.

We always seek to care for the whole child – considering their intellectual, physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and development.

Christian approach 

We want our students to be able to think and debate about the things that matter most: why we are here, how we should live our lives, and how we should relate to others.

By encouraging critical thinking and thoughtful analysis, we foster a lively intellectual curiosity about the world. 

Schools, whether they are conscious of it or not, are built on a particular view of the world and the human person. There is no such thing as a ‘neutral’ education.

The Gospel of Jesus provides the ‘larger story’ out of which we seek to make sense of the world and our place within it.

We are thoughtful about what we do, with a wholistic view of Christian education that sees community, curriculum, character and systems as inextricably linked. For more information, see Christian Development classes.

Character formation 

The development of character is fundamental to our pursuit of academic excellence and is at the heart of our teaching and pastoral care.

We teach it both explicitly and implicitly through habits and routines, role-modelling, service opportunities, leadership and relationships.

We are an IB World School where our approaches to learning skills (ATL) and the IB learning dispositions have been incorporated into our approach to teaching character.

Striving for excellence

Our vision of human excellence and academic rigour comes out of a belief that we are called to invest our individual gifts and talents well in order to bring good to the world.

We have high expectations of all our students because we believe that each student matters. Research shows that student wellbeing and growth in character are tied to the experience of successful learning, and therefore we believe in the importance of a disciplined, challenging and stimulating classroom environment. 

Dynamic learning communities 

Our Junior School and Gawura teachers construct teaching and learning opportunities which are based on current educational research.

We promote best practice by encapsulating the best of explicit teaching, inquiry-based learning and cognitive science, all combined with the aim of fostering deep learning.

Underpinning the entire programme is the intention to foster higher order thinking, where a visible thinking culture is the routine. Our learning process intentionally prepares students for the Middle Years Programme in Years 7 – 10

Our teachers take a systematic approach to pedagogy, using explicit instruction and discovery at the right time while making connections with the real world in order that our students become proficient and are able to move to inquiry-based, independent problem solving, thinking for themselves and evaluating diverse ideas.

We are an IB world school: Middle Years Programme and Diploma 

All Middle School students undertake the International Baccalaureate MYP Programme. We teach global mindedness: an openness to the world, so that our students learn to appreciate difference and recognise their deep interconnectedness with others.

The framework also teaches higher order thinking, helping our students be more reflective about the process of learning (to ‘learn how to learn’) and therefore more skillful in their thinking. We also build interdisciplinary connections rather than teaching subjects in isolation, helping students to see the connections between their subjects and the real world. This approach ensures the middle years of schooling build valuable skills for the senior years.

Our senior students have the choice between studying the HSC or the IB Diploma. We enjoy outstanding results in both the HSC and the IB.

Consistently more than 95% of our Year 12 graduates receive offers to universities in an enormous diversity of course preferences, with others preferring pathways into private business, music/performing arts colleges, TAFE or international study options.

A coeducational environment 

The idea that human beings are relational beings, made in the image of God, underpins the priority we give to building a diverse community that enables belonging for all.

Within this community both genders are a positive influence on each other, learning mutual respect and the social skills of healthy interactions that will set them up well for life after school. 

At home in the city

We have a diverse student body, drawn from over 234 suburbs, across Sydney. Our students are equipped to be empathetic, flexible thinkers who thrive in a connected community.

They enjoy an enriched, global curriculum and immediate access to dynamic relationships with cultural and tertiary institutions, innovation, hubs, and business and social entrepreneurs. 

Aware of the need to prepare our students to thrive in a complex, uncertain and ever-changing world, our expert teachers teach an enriched, global curriculum. We are an IB World School where our approaches to learning skills (ATL) and the IB learning dispositions have been incorporated into our approach to teaching character.

A focus on enterprise skills 

Our approach to curricula allows our students to apply a deep understanding of key concepts to real-world problems with an attitude of flexibility and openness to change.

Our enterprise learning programmes feature cross-disciplinary areas of development including entrepreneurial skills and design thinking applied to product and business creation. 

While our approach to learning prepares our students to be ready for a rapidly changing world, our location—in the heart of Sydney’s CBD—also allows our students to enjoy specific opportunities to develop their enterprise capability through programmes such as StartUp

A commitment to First Nations education 

Our award winning ‘school within a school’, Gawura, is changing the conversation about urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.

All of our students benefit from the wisdom and cultural generosity of our First Nations staff – who lead the school in improving cultural understanding and competency.

We have high expectations of First Nations students, whose literacy and numeracy results are routinely well above the national average. We want First Nations students at our School to flourish, enjoying the same opportunities as any other student in our school community. All primary school students learn Wiradjuri from Year 3 and our Secondary School has a Wiradjuri Club. The School’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is entering the final stages of development.

Leadership in educational excellence

We have a rich professional learning community that is supported by high quality evidence and coaching resources, to inform practice and measure progress.

Our staff are experts who are known as innovators in their chosen fields, and their knowledgeable, thoughtful opinions are widely sought within the educational world.  

A school that is highly relational

Our staff enjoy the highly relational nature of teaching, and are fully engaged in the character development of each child both within and outside the classroom.

The distinctive, inclusive nature of our School creates a network of enduring relationships that enriches our community.

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