Sheffield High School (South Yorkshire)

Sheffield High School (South Yorkshire)

Sheffield High School (SHS) is an independent girls' school in Sheffield, United Kingdom, part of the Girls' Day School Trust (GDST).


In February 1878 a meeting was held at the Cutlers’ Hall seeking support for a proposal to set up a girls’ school in Sheffield. On March 12, 1878 the school accepted its first 39 pupils in its town-centre premises, the old Surrey Street Music Hall.

In 1887 the school moved its premises to 10 Rutland Park where it resides today. In 1917 the school purchased Moor Lodge to be used as a girls' boarding house. In 1939 with the onset of war, the school was evacuated to Cliff College, Calver, Derbyshire.

Present day

The school premises can be seen to be split between two sites; one on Melbourne Avenue consists of the canteen, school uniform shop and Infant and Junior department. The sixth form centre is located further up Melbourne Avenue overlooking the astroturf.The Senior School is located just across the road on Rutland Park; consisting of the sports hall, old gym, School House, Ash Grove, Moor Lodge and Main School. Both sites share the sports facilities and canteen. The school has around 1000 pupils aged four to eighteen. The school has examination pass rates of over 99% at A-level, AS level and GCSE. [ [ Sheffield High School (GDST), ISBI Site] ] However, the school only admits around 75% of the pupils who sit the school's own entrance exam Fact|date=December 2007. Almost all the girls proceed to higher education, with over 90% obtaining a place at their first choice of university. The declared destinations on the school's website show that, of the 69 leavers of 2007, seven went on to either Oxford or Cambridge universities, six took a gap year, one went straight into employment and the remainder went on to Higher Education courses.

Although not officially connected, the High School has some informal links with Birkdale, a nearby independent boys' school. Pupils from both schools travel jointly by coach service to areas such as Wickersley and Worksop. Throughout the year eleven balls are organised involving pupils from both schools. Sports tournaments such as Girls versus Birkdale charity netball matches are also arranged.

Recent changes to the school

In 2007 the school acquired No.4 Melbourne Avenue as a new infant building thus enlarging the Junior building to incorporate a new library. In 2007 the science block underwent a total refurbishment of the chemistry, physics and biology laboratories. In 2006–7 the Art department within Moor Lodge was refurbished and extended; two new art rooms and a new ICT suite were created.

125th birthday celebrations

The school had a giant party in 2003 to celebrate the school's 125th birthday. A calendar was made with a different photo for each month. For the front cover, Shaun Bloodworth (a parent of one of the pupils) set up a camera on top of the science block with an image painted onto the lens. Prefects were sent onto the field below with bags of pegs and string and were shouted instructions from the rooftop until the numbers 1, 2 and 5 were laid out.

Each pupil was given a bone china mug with a cartoon (called 'Girls Through The Ages') of different uniforms worn in the high school, drawn by art teacher, Miss Hanlon.

A ceremony was held at the Octagon Centre, Sheffield on March 11, 2003.


* Ash Grove (Music)
* Canteen
* Main Building (Maths, English, History, Languages)
* Moor Lodge (Year 11 base, Geography, ICT, RE, Business, Art)
* School House (Drama, PSHE [] )
* Sixth Form Centre
* Sports Hall
* The Infant and Junior Department is now housed in two adjacent buildings —in Melbourne House and in the newly-refurbished premises at No. 4 Melbourne Avenue


* Miss M Alger (March–December 1878)
* Mrs E Woodhouse (1878–1898)
* Miss A E Escott (1898–1917)
* Mrs A Doncaster (1917–1919)
* Miss M Aitken (1919–1926)
* Miss D L Walker (1926–1936)
* Miss M E Macauley (1936–1947)
* Miss M E A Hancock (1947–1959)
* Miss C M Lutz (1959–1983)
* Miss D M Skilbeck (1983–1989)
* Margaret Houston (1989–2003)
* Valerie A Dunsford (2004 to present)


The Senior school is split into four houses named after the four founding members of the school Maria Grey, Mary Gurney, Emily Shirreff and Lady Stanley of Alderley. Their portraits are displayed on the stairs by the reception.

Houses in the Infant and Junior Department reflect this system. Grey is known as 'Amethysts', Gurney is called 'Emeralds', Shirreff is known as 'Sapphires' and Stanley is called 'Rubies'.A pupil is allocated a house when they join the school; this may be affected by preferences of the pupil or the houses of other siblings already in the school.

Numerous events and competitions are organised each year; these include netball, rounders and athletics events, art competitions, Year 7 Mathematics Day and House Charities Week.House captains for the year are democratically elected by the members of each house. Captains for winter and summer sports are picked and take a pivotal role in the annual sports day which is held at Don Valley Stadium.

ixth form

Approximately 200 pupils attend years 12 and 13. Girls study for academic AS and A2 levels, including more specialist subjects such as geology, Latin and Russian. In year 12, girls undergo an enrichment process where they can choose what activities they wish to participate in including:
*The Young Enterprise award
*Learning Mandarin Chinese
*Peer education (teaching younger girls PSHE)
*Helping with the school magazine
*Charity work

Sixth form do not wear uniform and may leave school during the day if they wish—a privilege not granted to younger pupils. Students may bring cars to school as the Sixth Form Centre has its own car park. Each year has its own common room and sixth form assembly is held in the hall once every two weeks.

Award for sport

* Winner of the Daily Telegraph/Norwich Union Award for Best Independent School for Sport 2005. The award was made at a ceremony in London in December 2006 and the School displays the logo related to this award within its website.

chool magazine

Each year girls from the school help to write and publish the magazine, High Times. This was edited by Mr Nichols until 2006, and is now edited by Miss K. Henderson, and features articles, photos and art work from the pupils. Volunteers from years 12 and 13 edit the magazine as part of their enrichment programme.

Awards ceremony

An annual awards ceremony is held at the [ Octagon Centre] to celebrate the school's achievements.

Notable alumnae

* Deborah Ann Barham [ [,12723,945759,00.html Obituary: Comedy writer Debbie Barham] "The Guardian", April 29, 2003. Retrieved 14 December 2007]
* A. S. Byatt, [ [ A S Byatt] "The Independent on Sunday". Retrieved 15 March 2008] novelist
* Margaret Drabble, novelist, sister of A.S. Byatt
* Angela Knight [ [ GDST Associates and Honorary Associates] Girls' Day School Trust. Retrieved 15 March 2008]
* Naomi Siddall, England national netball team


External links

* [ School website]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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