Redeemer Baptist School

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Redeemer Baptist School
North Parramatta, NSW, Australia
Type Independent
Motto To hear is to obey
Established 1981
Principal Mr. Jonathan Cannon
Grades Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12
Enrolment 420
Campus 10 hectares
Colour(s) Navy and White         
Affiliations Redeemer Baptist Church, Association of Independent Schools NSW, Australian Association of Christian Schools

Redeemer Baptist School, commonly known as Redeemer, is a private school in North Parramatta, Sydney, Australia. It was founded in 1981 as a community school with a church base. The School is committed to a Christian worldview in education and renowned for its academic standards. Redeemer seeks to create a learning environment which is thoughtful, free, sharing and respectful rather than competitive, tense, self-serving and fearful. The School is a ministry of Redeemer Baptist Church. All staff are members of the Ministry Order of the Church. The sacrificial life of this religious community forms a base for a teaching and learning environment where people may discover friendship, pray for each other and help the weakest. Individual learning is encouraged without usurping the responsibility of care for each other. The School's vision for Redeemer students is that they will contribute to individuals and society in good and strong ways with lives formed by the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love.


The school was founded in 1981 in the context of the Christian Community Schools movement, which began in the mid 1970s. Various Christian schools were set up as people felt there was a need for an alternative to the state school system and established schools as a ministry of a local church congregation. Families in the Redeemer Baptist Church dedicated their lives to God in the ministry of Redeemer Baptist School. The pattern of ministry that the Redeemer Baptist Church followed was influenced by the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Houston, Texas, from which the church and school takes its name.

One of the school's founding Directors and long-serving Headmaster (1986-2008), Dr Max Shaw, stated in the school's first Annual Service of Worship: "Surely in education we're endeavouring to prepare young people so that they are able to be shapers and formers of their world as they live life. Christian schooling must have at its centre the desire for young people to have their minds so transformed that they will not be blind followers to the present world patterns, but will truly be able to know what is good and acceptable and perfect".

The School Crest[edit]

In 1981, the school was situated on the grounds of St David’s Presbyterian (later St David’s Uniting Church) at Thornleigh. At the centre window of that church was a stained glass featuring the burning bush, which was subsequently given to the School. The stained glass window, now situated in the N F Cannon Library, served as a basis for the crest as a reminder of the school's roots and as an inspiration for the life of faith that the school seeks to foster.

The Burning Bush and Abandoned Boat[edit]

The burning bush and abandoned boat both recall the encounter of Moses with God and of the Apostles with Jesus Christ. They contain the rich symbolism of the holiness of life and vocational calling that comes from God to each man, representing the possibility of that encounter that all people can have today.

The School Motto[edit]

The school motto 'To Hear is to Obey' refers to the encounter of Moses and the Apostles with God and the faith that led them to pursue their vocational calling.


The School has two campuses. The main campus in North Parramatta is a magnificent heritage site with easy access to public transport. A comprehensive range of subjects and extra-curricular activities is offered for all students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, including vocational education options in the Senior School. The School also has a vocational campus, the historic Castle Hill House at Castle Hill.

North Parramatta[edit]

The main campus is located on 10 hectares of parklands in North Parramatta, about 30 km from the centre of Sydney. This campus is bounded by James Ruse Drive, Pennant Hills Road and Masons Drive. The campus is located on property formerly owned by Sir James Burns who founded the Burnside Presbyterian Homes in 1910 on land which has now become the campus of a number of education institutions including Redeemer Baptist School, The King's School, Tara Anglican School for Girls, Burnside Public School, Garfield Barwick School for hearing impaired children, Alan Walker College of Evangelism, and Uniting Theological College.

The staff of the School live as a Christian community in the Burnside Gardens Estate in the suburb of Oatlands, a short walking distance from the School's North Parramatta campus. The North Parramatta campus includes: a Science & Technology Centre with science laboratories, food and textiles technology facilities, computer and design laboratories, and an industrial technology workshop; the N F Cannon Library; heritage buildings providing homes for each Stage of School education; the Robertson playing fields surrounded by a range of classrooms; a 25 metre swimming pool; and Sargood Hall.

Hills Regional Skills Centre[edit]

The predominant building at the Castle Hill campus is Castle Hill House, circa 1844. The Hills Regional Skills Centre is based at the Castle Hill campus and focuses on the delivery of Vocational Education courses from Certificate I to Graduate Certificate level in the Australian Qualifications Framework. The heritage restoration and adaptive re-use of Castle Hill House was a ministry of Redeemer Baptist Church, involving in excess of 120,000 volunteer hours. The quality of the restoration project was recognised with NSW Master Builders Association awards. The generous assistance of a couple of Redeemer Baptist Church families provided seed funding for the project.

Students involved in scientific research & technology[edit]

Redeemer has a culture of excellence in scientific research and technology which has been recognised by

  • Science Teachers Association of NSW Young Scientist Competition
  • MYDA technology awards
  • BHP Billiton Science Awards
  • NATA Young Scientist Award
  • Powerhouse Museum
  • NSW Board of Studies HSC DesignTECH and Texstyle exhibitions
  • Intel ISEF (USA)
  • UNSW Solar Car Challenge
  • ABC New Inventors
  • Australian and International Standards Organisations.

The Australian Minister for Science and Research wrote in 2009: 'I congratulate Redeemer Baptist School. It is very pleasing to see young students take such an avid interest in science and research.'

Excellence in Literacy[edit]

Redeemer is consulted as a model school in multi-sensory literacy instruction based on phonemic awareness and incorporating traditional grammar. Recognition for excellence in literacy has been provided by:

  • Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation Thumbs-Up Award
  • CSIRO science writing competition
  • Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards
  • NSW Board of Studies WriteOn
  • U3A Writing Competition
  • NSW Attorney General

WRAP — A Writing Approach to Reading[edit]

WRAP is an ASQA accredited literacy training program for parents, aides, teachers and tutors which was developed by Members of the Ministry Order of Redeemer Baptist Church and is delivered through The Hills Regional Skills Centre. WRAP was developed to provide Australian-based training for those who assist students in learning to Spell, Write and Read using explicit and systematic instruction. The Hills Regional Skills Centre has joined with the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation to provide access to WRAP courses in remote towns and communities throughout Australia. WRAP literacy training is a multi-sensory approach based on phonemic awareness and incorporating traditional grammar.


Redeemer Baptist School has a reputation for excellence in sporting achievements including association championships in swimming, athletics, cross country, softball, soccer, cricket, netball, oztag and touch football. Redeemer students have represented the CIS state teams in various sports and have won gold, silver and bronze in CIS state athletics competition. All students achieve Royal Life Saving swimming & resuscitation awards, and Workcover approved Senior First Aid certificates.

Leadership in Community Outreach[edit]

Public recognition for Redeemer's contribution to leadership and community service includes:

  • First prize in Australian Government Volunteering Video Competition for Young People
  • Hills Shire Excellence in Youth Awards
  • UWS Vice-Chancellor's Leadership Scholarship
  • Aspire Future Leaders Program
  • Mitchell Youth Leadership Forum (MYLF)

The NSW Parliament acknowledged Redeemer's assistance to Aboriginal communities in 2009 in Parliament's Hansard: 'It gives me great pleasure to speak about these two remarkable projects from one school that has helped to meet the needs of our Indigenous people. I thank the school, its students and the church for all they did.'

The Australian Minister for Mental Health and Social Inclusion congratulated Redeemer students in 2012 for a video submitted by students on the School's voluntary contributions to community needs: 'Their video truly captured the values of young volunteers, those of compassion, helping the disadvantaged and working together – it is fantastic that the entire year of students makes contributing to their local community and communities around the country a priority.'

And the Member for Parramatta commended the School in a speech in the NSW Legislative Assembly in 2013, which is recorded in Hansard: 'I commend Redeemer Baptist School for all its humanitarian work in Papua New Guinea and certainly for its strong educational and pastoral care for the Parramatta community. It is one of the area's outstanding schools. The School's performance and leadership is a community beacon.'

See also[edit]


  • [1] NSW Parliament Hansard
  • [2] NSW Parliament Hansard
  • [3] NSW Parliament Hansard
  • [4] NSW Parliament Hansard
  • [5] NSW Parliament Hansard
  • [6] Australia's Teachers: Australia's Future (Australian Government report, see pages 35-36 of Main Report)
  • [7] ABC radio program on Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Prize
  • [8] STANSW Young Scientist Awards
  • [9] Intel ISEF Excellence Team Award
  • [10] BHP Billiton Science Awards
  • [11] BHP Billiton Science Awards
  • [12] BHP Billiton Science Awards
  • [13] BHP Billiton Science Awards
  • [14] BHP Billiton Science Awards
  • [15] NATA Young Scientist Awards
  • [16] STANSW Young Scientist Awards
  • [17] STANSW Young Scientist Awards
  • [18] STANSW Young Scientist Awards
  • [19] STANSW Young Scientist Awards
  • [20] STANSW Young Scientist Awards
  • [21] STANSW Young Scientist Awards
  • [22] STANSW Young Scientist Awards
  • [23] Best Australian Science Writing 2012
  • [24] Deakin University (especially pages 28-30, 68-70)
  • [25] Board of Studies Write On 2013

External links[edit]