Baulkham Hills High School

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Baulkham Hills High School
Baulkham Hills, New South Wales
Coordinates 33°45′5″S 150°59′26″E / 33.75139°S 150.99056°E / -33.75139; 150.99056Coordinates: 33°45′5″S 150°59′26″E / 33.75139°S 150.99056°E / -33.75139; 150.99056
Type Selective, public, Co-educational, Day school
Established 1971
Principal Dr Jeanne Bathgate
Teaching staff 83[1]
Grades 7 - 12
Enrolment 1206[1] (2015)
Campus Urban
Colour(s) Olive Green & Burnt Orange

Baulkham Hills High School (colloquially known as Baulko) is an academically selective high school located in Baulkham Hills in Sydney's Hills District. The school was established in 1971 by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training, and currently caters for approximately 1200 students from Years 7 to 12.[2][3]

The school is noted for its outstanding academic results. They are noted as being one of the top 10 secondary schools in New South Wales in this aspect. In the 2013 HSC, they were placed 2nd in the state overall. In 2010, Baulkham Hills High School was ranked the most popular school in NSW for high school applications.[4] The school celebrated its 40th anniversary in June 2010.


Baulkham Hills High School was established in 1971 as a public comprehensive high school. It was officially opened on 23 March 1974 by the then Governor, Sir Roden Cutler.[5] For the first year, students and teachers at the school were relocated to nearby Castle Hill High School whilst Baulkham Hills High School was still under construction. Later, the students were accompanied by students from Model Farms High School as their school was still being built, despite Baulkham Hills High still being incomplete at the time. The school's first selective cohort was in 1990, with all grades being selective by 1995. Over time, the school's academic ranking has improved and in 2009 was ranked 2nd by the Sydney Morning Herald for total number of Distinguished Achievers (DA) for examinations resulting in over 90%.

The school was built on the site of a former orange orchard, with the region having once been a major orange producing area of Sydney. This history is acknowledged by the use of an orange on the school logo. The use of the word 'Persevere' as the school motto encourages students to persevere in all their studies. Acknowledgement of the agricultural history of the area is also reflected in the naming of the four intramural sports houses of the school, which are named after four prominent early European settlers in the area: MacDougall (red), Suttor (blue), Meehan (yellow) and Hughes (green).

Admissions and enrolment[edit]

Total enrolment - per year group - in junior years (7-10) is approximately 180 students, and around 200 in senior years (11-12). The total number of enrolments, as of 2015, is 1206 students.

As a selective school, entry into the school in Year 7 is based upon results in a statewide examination known as the Selective High Schools Test. As of 2015, students must achieve a score of at least 235 in this examination to be accepted at the school. Entry into vacant places in later stages is based on a reserve list and other criteria - mainly reports and academic achievements from previous years.



Staff Rooms[edit]

There are eleven staff rooms for all of the faculties.

  • English (upstairs C Block)
  • History (downstairs D Block)
  • Industrial Arts (upstairs F Block)
  • Languages Other Than English (upstairs D Block)
  • Mathematics (upstairs B Block)
  • Music (upstairs G Block)
  • PDHPE (new Science Block)
  • Science (new Science Block)
  • Social Sciences (upstairs D Block)
  • Support Unit (downstairs C Block)
  • Home Economics and Visual Arts (downstairs G Block)


The school has a large gymnasium which contains one full-sized basketball court or three volleyball courts. The school also has two full-sized sporting fields, as well as two outdoor basketball courts which were recently resurfaced. There is also a weights room with gym-style equipment for PD/H/PE classes, Year 11 and Year 12 students.

In December 2012, a new steel shelter was constructed over the basketball courts to provide cover from rain.

Multipurpose centres[edit]

The school has three multipurpose centres, all of which were built recently.

  • The Houliston Centre, constructed in 2009-2010 is used for examinations such as the Higher School Certificate and NAPLAN, as well as internal assessments and examinations. It is also used for grade bonding activities such as welfare and leadership workshops.
  • The Senior Study Room, constructed in 2011, is available for Year 12 students to study during recess, lunch and also study periods. It is also used for grade meetings and examinations such as HSC special provisions. The senior study also has a fully functional kitchen.
  • The Tiered Learning Centre (TLC), which was renovated in 2007 is used for grade meetings, bi-annual Recognition Assemblies, performances and lectures.


The school's new gymnasium was built in 2007, and the old hall was renovated and converted into the Tiered Learning Centre, a multipurpose theatre and lecture hall. The new hall was built twice the size of a standard school hall, in order to accommodate the large student population.

Technological and Applied Studies[edit]

Technological and Applied Studies (TAS) subjects (Food, Textiles, Timber and Metal Technology) are compulsory for students in Years 7-8, where each subject is studied for one term per year. In Years 9-10, these subjects are offered as elective subjects, with the addition of Electronics, Graphics and Information/Software Technology. There is a staffroom which is shared with Home Economics and Art teachers and one Industrial Arts staffroom. The following facilities are offered for TAS students:

  • Two rooms for timber technology, comprising machinery such as CNC lathes and bandsaws
  • One metal technology room, comprising machinery such as welders and milling machines
  • Two kitchens with gas and electric stoves, plus a food preparation room
  • One textiles room with 25 sewing machines
  • One technical drawing room
  • Two dedicated computer laboratories for computing classes and research for other subjects
  • Seventy-two computers in the library for general use and research during class time

Creative and Performing Arts[edit]

The Tiered Learning Centre is used for theatre-style performances showcasing students' musical and artistic talents. The school also has three rooms for Visual Arts, and a photography darkroom. The school gymnasium is used for the annual Baulkham Hills High School Art Show, where students from Year 7-12 display their artworks in a gallery-style setting.


In 2007, the school canteen was renovated, providing new food preparation areas. The canteen is leased to an external business, Atrium Catering Services, which provide both hot and cold meals, drinks and snacks for students and staff.

Support Unit[edit]

The school has a Support Unit consisting of 5 classes through which students with mild and moderate intellectual disabilities as well as Asperger's Syndrome and other forms of Autism spectrum receive extra support and lessons designed to equip them for active participation in the wider community upon graduation. These students are also encouraged to take part in all aspects of school life and are an integral part of the school community. Each of the classes have one class teacher out of which one is also the Support Unit Head Teacher and one teacher's aide known as a School Learning Support Officer (SLSO) who help the teacher and students.


The school is also noted for performing exceptionally well at sport. The school holds annual sports carnivals for swimming, cross country and athletics. Selected students compete in wider regional competitions, from Zone and Area to the CHS (Combined High Schools). The school has an excellent record in these carnivals. There are 2 teachers who are the sports organisers overseeing sport.

"Baulko" 2015 team colours

Tri-School Tournament[edit]

The Tri-School Tournament was first held in 2011 between Baulkham Hills, James Ruse Agricultural High School and Girraween High School. Teams from each school participated in basketball, soccer and touch football. Baulkham Hills obtained first place in both the 2011 and 2012 tournaments.[6]

Quad School Tournament[edit]

Starting 2013, Penrith High School joined the sporting tournament previously known as the Tri-School Tournament between Baulkham Hills High School, James Ruse Agricultural High School and Girraween High School. In addition to basketball, soccer and touch football, Penrith hosted table tennis in 2013. Again, Baulkham Hills High School won the tournament.[7] The competition returned in 2014, with Baulkham Hills hosting basketball, Girraween hosting touch football, James Ruse hosting soccer and Penrith hosting volleyball. Again, Baulkham Hills High School won the tournament. In 2015 and 2016, the Quad School Tournament continued and both years were won by Baulkham Hills High School.

Sporting Houses[edit]

  • Hughes - Named after landowner J. T. Hughes, whose property was close to Castle Hill shopping centre.
  • Meehan - Named after James Meehan (1724-1826), an ex-convict who became Deputy Surveyor-General in the colony. He surveyed many roads, including Windsor Road, which passes by the front of the school.
  • Suttor - Named after George Suttor, who was granted 186 acres which he called "Chelsea Farm" (at the bottom of the Windsor Road hill near Roxborough Park Road). He then became a successful orchardist in the district and had a large orange orchard.
  • Macdougall - Named after Andrew Macdougall (1766 - 1824), a native of County Roxburgh in Scotland. He was granted 150 acres when he arrived in the colony and named the property "Roxburgh Place". It is likely that he was responsible for the name "Baulkham Hills" (after Buckholm in Scotland).

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Baulkham Hills High School offers a broad range of extracurricular activities to students, run by teachers, student groups, or external organisations. The school is recognised for its strong contributions to community and charity events and activities.


Due to Baulkham Hills High School's high level of academic excellence, a variety of academic extra-curricular activities are offered, in various subject areas.


In addition to sporting competitions and tournaments such as Zone, Area and CHS, the school offers additional sporting activities to selected students, including:

Run Fit is offered to all students, where senior students organise before and after school exercise programs, including running around the local area. It also provides students with cross-country training.

Creative and Performing Arts[edit]

The school offers various activities in the field of creative and performing arts, including:

  • School Bands, including Beginner, Junior, Senior, Concert and Stage Bands
  • Orchestra
  • School Choir
  • Music Nights
  • Variety Night
  • Creative Arts Festival
  • Drama Club
  • Theatre Sports Group
  • Photography Club
  • Art Club


Baulkham Hills High School provides every student with many opportunities to develop and enhance their leadership skills through various external programs such as Cadets and Duke of Edinburgh, as well as internal leadership teams such as peer support, the SRC, and prefects.

Community Awareness and Welfare[edit]

The school is well known for its involvement with the community, through programs such as:

  • Baulko Outreach (student community/charity outreach program)
  • Baulko Green Group (environmental awareness)
  • High Resolves
  • Legacy Week
  • Social Justice

Other Activities/Groups[edit]

  • Baulko Bulletin (student-run magazine)
  • Chess Club
  • Soul Purpose (religious group)
  • Mahjong Club
  • Anime Club

Baulkham Hills High School Army Cadet Unit (BHHSACU)[edit]

The cadet unit at Baulkham Hills High School was established in 2000 and parades at the school every Thursday afternoon. In recent years, its posted strength includes around 140 to 180 cadets from the school, with rising levels of enthusiasm and dedication from junior students. The cadets focus on leadership and team-building within a school and military environment.

Cadets are instructed by fellow students from the school in the topics of:

  • Drill, Dress and Bearing
  • Leadership
  • First Aid
  • Navigation
  • Survival
  • Living in the Field
  • Weapons
  • Ceremonial rifle drill
  • Australian military history
  • RATEL (Radio telecommunications)
  • Physical training (PT)

BHHSACU has been actively involved in community events such as the City of Sydney ANZAC Day Parade, Castle Hill RSL ANZAC Dawn Service, Commemoration Sunday events at Castle Hill RSL, and ceremonial parades at local primary schools. The school-based unit is also involved in statewide Army Cadet activities, including Annual Field Exercise, National Adventure Training Award (NATA), leadership promotion courses, and the Chief of Army Cadet Team Challenge.

Notable teachers[edit]

  • Gordon Smith - Wrestler, representing Australia in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada
  • Dr Louise Wakeling - Poet, author of Small Rebellions (1984), Medium Security (2002) and Paragliding in a War Zone (2008)
  • Jacob Groth - Athletics Australia sprinter representing Australia in the 100m & 200m sprint at the International Junior Athletics Championships


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "School Profile: Baulkham Hills High School" (PDF). School profile. BHHS. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Gerard Noonan (2002-11-19). "More than maths adds up to success". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  3. ^ "Lure of opportunity makes it worth going the distance". Sydney Morning Herald. 2005-11-28. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  4. ^ Anna Patty (2010-08-17). "Sydney schools that top the popularity contest". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  5. ^ "History: Baulkham Hills High School". 
  6. ^ "Hills News: Baulkham Hills High finishes in first place". Hills News. 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  7. ^ "Daily Telegraph: Baulkham Hills High School win inaugural quad-school". Daily Telegraph. 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 

External links[edit]