The school was largely the brainchild of Michael and Wilma Barratt. Michael has said of those exciting times: "The vision of a school of high academic and cultural pursuits unashamedly grounded in the person and work of Christ would only succeed with his blessing and we threw ourselves into it as though there was no tomorrow."
The school began in 1983 with 14 students, in 1984 moving to the present site, an old laterite gravel quarry in Cranebrook which was purchased for $200,000.Adrian Lamrock was appointed Principal in mid 1983 replacing Mr Joe Zarb who had been acting Principal. In 1984, too, the buildings now called The Hall and Science Block were built. In 1985, there was a student enrolment of 360 students and the first batch of eight students sat for the HSC. In that year, the first school captain, Dean Wright, was appointed,. Ruby Holland was appointed principal in 1987, the year the school’s enrolment passed 500. Stephen Codrington replaced her in 1989, the year the beautiful mudbrick school library was completed. That year, Mandarin Chinese was made a compulsory subject for all students from Kindergarten to Year 7. 1990 was the first year that student tree-planting on the school property began, each student in Year 7 being responsible for a tree.
In 1992, the International Baccalaureate Diploma became part of the school program and the mudbrick Administrative Block was completed. In 1993, the Junior School opened with the Rev. John Campbell as Head of the Junior School, there being 285 Junior School students enrolled that first day. That year, too, the first of many student tours of China took place and the first students to complete the IB Diploma graduated. In 1994, the student population achieved the milestone of 1000 student enrolments.
In 1997, The Centre (our multi-purpose sporting facility) was opened and John Collier replaced Stephen Codrington as principal. The school rural fire brigade commenced in 1998. In 2001, the school introduced Vocational and Educational Training courses and in 2002, the Junior School Library (now The Inquiry Centre) was opened. In 2003, the official launch of the International Baccalaureate from Kindergarten to Year 12 took place. In 2006 the first stage of our The Arts Quarter was opened (Performing Arts precinct) and in 2007 the second stage was opened (Visual Arts precinct ).
What changes have taken place in the last 25 years for the students? When there were 14 students in 1983, everyone knew everyone in a way that is not now possible. But division into small tutor groups of some 18 students in each group now means that there is a closeness to some students in this school of 1000 students. There is now a wide range of facilities, technological expertise and resources, academic excellence and choices through both the board of studies and IB programs and highly skilled resourced staff and an array of extra-curricular activities that could not have been expected to be available in the early days. But the present success of the school is due to the incremental improvements made over 25 years. All this is in a tranquil garden setting of Australian native plants, developed gradually by students and staff on what had been unpromising land.