Our story

Humble Beginnings

Al Zahra College began in 1998 as an independent primary school, operating from two modest houses adjacent to, and leased from, the Al Zahra Mosque. By the end of the year, the Al Zahra College 20-Year Plan was launched at the University of New South Wales Roundhouse in Sydney.

Planning for a Better Future

The ultimate goal of Al Zahra College is to accommodate approximately 600 students in a modern primary and secondary school and provide high quality secular and Islamic education that will equip them with virtue, and the academic and social skills necessary for effective participation as successful Muslims in Australian society.

Finding A Place

With a master plan in action, the next challenge was to find a suitable location to call our own. A process of application and persuasion began, followed by high hopes and disappointments. Numerous appeals for what seemed to be ideal locations, such as Bexley, Arncliffe P.S, and the receipt of notifications of properties likely to be disposed of by NSW Government agencies, continually fell flat. A contingency plan was put into place with the purchase of several buildings owned by the Al Zahra Mosque on the corner of Wollongong Rd and Martin Ave, Arncliffe. The prospect of a place of our own could finally be realised.

Our Own Primary School

Charles Glanville Architects developed plans for the two-storey primary school facility in 2000 incorporating a decidedly Islamic-Australian design, reflecting elements of traditional dome structures, decorative metal filigree and Aboriginal colours and lines.

In 2002, well ahead of schedule, classes began in the newly-built single stream primary school. Al Zahra College, an independent primary school was born. Initial enrolments of 227, from a waiting list of over 500,soon gave the building life and Sydney’s South-West Islamic children a true place to call their own.

The success of AZC over the first decade has ensured an emphasis being placed on the next two important missing pieces of the puzzle: an early years program, incorporating a preschool;and establishing a secondary school. Coinciding with these priorities was the need to ensure a truly international curriculum that provided continuity for our students.

Discussions and research of the IB programs, and the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in particular, were initiated in 2002. Importantly, the ethos and mission statements of the IB programs and AZC held many similarities. In particular, the students as the central focus, the requirement of a

second language, a curriculum than spanned 3 -18 years and a international reputation for rigour, along with personal experience, confirmed our plans to seek authorisation inall three programs.

IB and AZC

AZC became an Interested PYP school in 2008 and an Interested MYP school in 2009. AZC achieved PYP Candidate School status in 2009 and MYP Candidate School status in 2010.
AZC became an IB World School in December 2011, authorised to offer the Primary Years Programme ( PYP ). In 2013, AZC also became an authorised Diploma Programme ( DP ) School.