Newtown High School of the Performing Arts

Newtown High School of the Performing Arts

St George's Hall

Previously Newtown Boys High School and Petersham Girls High School
Established 1990
School type Public (Selective Performing Arts)
Motto Equality, creativity, excellence
Principal Stephen Gray
Deputy Principal Peter Shields
Location Newtown, New South Wales
Enrolment 800+ Students (Years 7 to 12)
School Colours Blue and Red
Website Click Here

Newtown High School of the Performing Arts (NHSPA) is a state government school located in the suburb of Newtown in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is one of the leading Performing and Visual Arts schools in Australia. All the students that attend the school are able to study Drama, Music, Dance and Visual Arts and are required to study them as part of the school’s curriculum for the first year of secondary school. The school participates in concerts, performances and workshops both on and off school grounds in all types of Performing and Visual Arts as well as Video, Technical, Costume and Design.

The school is run by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training.



The school was founded in 1990 as the first state selective high school for performing arts in New South Wales. NHSPA was formed from the merger of the nearby Petersham Girls' High School and Newtown Boys' High School on the latter's King Street site. Newtown's foundation principal was Robin Amm, formerly the principal at Petersham Girls.

The school remains open and accessible to the local population, however a larger percentage of prospective students from outside the local acceptance boundaries can audition to obtain a place at the school.

It is also the sister school of the nationally recognised Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.


The campus is located on King Street, Newtown and bounded by Newman and Whitehorse Streets. The campus has a large paved playground and a grass oval. The various faculties within the school are located in different areas ranging from A to F Blocks and the gymnasium located near the school oval. The school also has an operational theatre, known as the Studio Theatre, that it uses for its biannual Showcase concerts and other productions. The school also manages the adjacent St Georges Hall which is used for larger productions and school activities.

Cafe next to one entrance to the school


The student body is estimated to be in excess of 1000 students, This equates to roughly 150 students per school year and 200 students in each of the final two years (Year 11 and 12). A significant proportion of the student body is now recruited through a selective and highly competitive audition process, although local families retain the right to send their children there. Students can audition to gain entry to the school in Years 7 and 11 and make up roughly 75% of the school's student population.

Prefect Body

The Prefecture at NHSPA consists of Yr 12 students who are elected by both their fellow students and teachers. Its primary role is act as role models for other students and represent the school at any public event. The Prefecture is also responsible for assigning fellow Prefects to a faculty at the school, which that Prefect must represent and raise the profile of. The Prefecture is also the sole body who votes for the School Captain. Only members of the Prefecture may be a candidate for the School Captain and Vice Captain. In previous years, the Prefecture has organised the NHSPA Talent Quest which was immensely popular amongst students, and the proceeds raised from the Talent Quest went towards the cost of the Year 12 Formal.


The faculties in the school include:

Extracurricular activities

The most notable extracurricular activities available to the students of the high school are the ensembles and companies in the Music, Drama and Dance departments. These form to prepare short performances to be included in the following "Showcase" concerts, staged in the Studio Theatre.


The school focuses primarily on drama, dance, music and visual arts. In addition, students can obtain experience in the technical side of the performing arts including technical theatre, video, costuming and design.

Notable alumni

External links

Coordinates: 33°53′58″S 151°10′43″E / 33.89948°S 151.17851°E / -33.89948; 151.17851

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