About the College


Holy Cross College, Ryde

Quality Catholic education in the tradition of the Patrician Brothers.

History and Tradition

Holy Cross College is a Catholic school established in the tradition of the Patrician Brothers.

In 1808 Bishop Daniel Delany established in Ireland the Congregation of the Brothers of St Patrick and sought to have the youth of his native land instructed in the principles and lifestyle of the Gospels.

The Patrician Brothers arrived in New South Wales in 1883, opening a Boarding College at Ryde in 1891. The College moved to its present site in 1896. The great sandstone edifice which is now a landmark of the district gradually rose on the heights above the Parramatta River.

Now in its third century, Holy Cross College has established a long and rich tradition of academic, cultural and sporting success. Community life in the College is imbued with the Patrician charism of welcome, hospitality, hard work and care for others.

Motto and Crest

The crest was designed in the early days of the twentieth century.

The original crest can still be seen today, installed in a stained glass window of the Brothers' Oratory in the Br Fintan O'Neill Building, the iconic heritage building of the College.

The crest features the Waratah and Shamrock entwined, symbolising the shared Patrician Apostolate of Australia and Ireland. The Latin motto 'In Cruce Salus' means 'In the Cross is Salvation'.

The quarters of the crest symbolise:

  • The Bishop's Mitre, for Bishop Daniel Delany, founder of the Patrician Brothers.
  • The Heart, as the universal symbol of love of God and mankind.
  • The Book of Learning, the embodiment of the Scriptures, the humanities and the sciences.
  • The Harp, the national emblem of Ireland, the country of origin of the Patrician Brothers.

Principal’s Message

In Holy Cross College, you will find a community for you and your son that lives and works by the charism gifted to us by the Brothers of St Patrick.

The charism of the Patrician Brothers is marked by a commitment to seeing the face of Christ in all we meet in our daily lives. The school remains committed to this Patrician ideal. It translates into school life that:

  • welcomes all, seeking to build a community of hospitality and inclusion
  • expects high standards in academic work and student behaviour
  • challenges all in the school community to develop a real spirit of justice that makes a difference to the way we live our lives
  • celebrates and sanctifies life and everything in school life that is life-giving.

With expansive grounds, heritage buildings and a long and proud sporting and academic tradition, Holy Cross continues to serve the Sydney Catholic community as an outstanding day school for boys, Years 7-12.

Learning - The Whole Person

Holy Cross College strives to provide students with experiences across a broad curriculum. Students are supported by dedicated and experienced teaches with a desire to develop the full potential of each individual. The College has a long and proud tradition of success in many sports. Cultural and recreational activities are also provided, with many students involved in music, drama, debating and public speaking.

Cultural activities include:

  • a Social Justice group
  • participation in the Catholic Schools Debating Competition public speaking
  • opportunities to learn a musical instrument
  • individual performance is also encouraged
  • membership of stage bands and other musical groups choir and singing groups.

The College offers a wide variety of subjects across all Key Learning Areas to enable students to work towards completing the School Certificate and Higher School Certificate and meet the requirements set out by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES).

'to develop the full potential of each student'

Co-Curricular Sport

Renowned for its strong sporting tradition, Holy Cross College participates in the Metropolitan Catholic Colleges Competition in rugby league, football, cricket, basketball, swimming, athletics, cross country, tennis, squash and golf.

In addition, all students have access to a wide variety of non-competitive sports on Thursday afternoons. Affiliated sporting clubs offer weekend competitions in rugby league, football, and cricket.

Outdoor Education

The College's outdoor education programs give students the opportunity to participate in a broad array of activities including:

  • abseiling
  • canoeing
  • hiking
  • camping
  • mountain biking
  • rock climbing
  • bushwalking
  • white water kayaking and rafting orienteering
  • caving
  • skiing and snow boarding.

Students can access these activities through Year camps, the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, ski trips, caving trips or through specially organised excursion depending on the particular interests of students.

The various programs give students the opportunity to experience activities that they would not normally undertake.

It provides students with the opportunity to take advantage of the rich natural environment of Sydney's surrounds and develop an appreciation for the diverse and fragile ecosystems that make up the Australian wilderness.

Our outdoor education programs facilitate holistic development of students. Activities are designed, through the kind of adventure that boys love, to facilitate both leadership skill development and personal growth, exposing students to unfamiliar situations and environments.

Pastoral Care

Holy Cross College strives to build a community that respects the rights of each individual.

Clear expectations are outlined to all students in relation to acceptable standards of behaviour and dress. The College seeks to produce Patrician men who understand that to live life as one for others will help them to reach their full potential and lead deeply satisfying lives.

Time is provided to formally address pastoral issues within the classroom. Each Year group is lead by a Year Coordinator who works with a team of Holy Cross Talk (HCT) Teachers. The Learning Support Department has a special role to extend gifted students and support students with specific learning difficulties. Counselling services are provided for students who are experiencing difficulties or who require support due to family circumstances.

'I have come that you may life and have it to the full'

JOHN 10:10

Catholic Life and Spirituality

Inspired by the call of the Patrician charism to see the face of Christ in all we meet each day, life and learning at Holy Cross College sees Christ at its core.

The values of the Gospel inform and guide the selection, preparation and presentation of all learning programs. The College welcomes families of all faith traditions who are supportive of the development of their son within this Catholic school culture.

Formal Religious Education classes, College prayer life, liturgies, retreats and reflection days form the basis for the development of the faith life of students. Respectful of the diversity of boy's differing points on their personal faith journey, we invite al l students to learn and grow from the richness of the Catholic tradition. Each year, important landmarks in the lives of the students such as senior graduation and the significant days in the liturgical calendar are proudly celebrated in the tradition of the Catholic faith.

The College places a strong emphasis on Social Justice issues, and students are encouraged to engage actively in some form of community service.

'to see the face of Christ in all we meet'

Information Communication Technology (ICT)

With sophisticated equipment supporting teaching and learning, Holy Cross College is a leader in ICT in education.

Higher School Certificate results in ICT have in recent years been up to ten points above State average. The College possesses extensive computer facilities, including a new state-of- the-art Technology and Applied Studies (TAS) complex. Notebook computers are widely used by students throughout the school,with the option of a purchase/lease program to assist families who wish their son to have a personal notebook for home and school.

Middle Schooling Program

Students entering the College in Year 7 will have a core teacher who will work with them in at least three subjects, thus easing the transition into high school.

The team of core teachers work together to meld the curriculum outcomes across the several subjects they teach, thus 'buying back' class time and providing greater opportunity to engage in project-based learning, using notebook computers especially reserved for the Year 7 cohort. This approach to junior secondary schooling allows teachers to know students and their needs well and thus better cater for them. This approach to learning also encourages boys to 'learn how to learn', equipping them better for the greater independence and autonomy that come in the later high school years.

A Rich and Varied Curriculum

Students are able to select from a wide range of subjects as they move through their secondary years of schooling at Holy Cross College.

Year 7 and 9 students study a fixed program. Choice in subject selection is made for Years 9 and 10, with very broad subject choices available in Years 11 and 12, in both traditional and non-traditional subject areas.

The College has a strong program of Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses and Technical subjects, utilising a state-of-the art Technology Centre.

'Holy Cross College is committed to educating the whole person.'