Oxford High School (Oxford)

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Oxford High School GDST
Motto Ad Lucem
(Toward the light)
Established 1875
Type Independent day school
Headmistress Judith Carlisle
Chairman of Governors Margaret Shannon
Location Belbroughton Road
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX2 6XA
England
Local authority Oxfordshire
DfE number 931/6093
DfE URN 123310 Tables
Staff 120
Students 952
Gender Girls
Ages 4–18
Website www.oxfordhigh.gdst.net
View of the main entrance at the top of Charlbury Road.

Oxford High School is an independent day school for girls in Oxford, England. It was founded by the Girls' Day School Trust in 1875, making it the city's oldest girls' school.

History[edit]

View on Banbury Road with No. 21 on the right, next to the current Oxford University Computing Services.

Oxford High School was opened on 3 November 1875, with twenty-nine girls and three teachers under headmistress Ada Benson, at the Judge's Lodgings (St Giles' House) at 16 St Giles', central Oxford.[1] It was the 9th school opened by the Girls' Public Day School Company. Pupils were given a holiday when the Assize Judge visited. The school moved to 38 St Giles' in 1879 and then to 21 Banbury Road at the start of 1881, in a building designed by Sir Thomas Graham Jackson, just south of the location of another Jackson building, the Acland Nursing Home.[2]

Rapid expansion led to the ultimate removal of the school to Belbroughton Road in 1957. It became a direct grant grammar school in 1945 under the Education Act 1944 and chose to become independent in 1976 after the scheme was abolished. The junior section was opened in 1989 and further expanded in the 1990s to meet the growing demand. It absorbed two preparatory schools, Greycotes and The Squirrel, which meant girls could now be educated at Oxford High School from age 3 to Sixth Form.[3]

Academics[edit]

Oxford High School regularly ranks as one of the country's highest single-sex independent schools in terms of examination results.[4][5] The school was ranked first in the South East in a Sunday Times survey based on exam results and "value for money".[6] In the 2011 examinations it was ranked amongst the top 20 independent schools nationwide for GCSE results and the best performing girls' school in the A Levels.[7][8]

In 2001, the school was threatened with a lawsuit by the Freud family, who accused the administration of excluding their daughter because her academic results were not of a high enough standard, when the junior school refused her admittance to the Senior Department.[9] In 2006, the school became the first in Oxfordshire to make Mandarin a compulsory subject. Pupils will study it for at least a year and can choose to either continue or learn another language.[10]

Houses[edit]

The girls in the senior department are divided into four houses, each named after an Ancient Greek deity:

Headmistresses[edit]

  • Ada Benson 1875–1879
  • Matilda Ellen Bishop 1879–1887
  • Lucy Helen Soulsby 1887–1897
  • Edith Marion Leahy 1898–1902
  • Rosalind Mabel Brown 1902–1932
  • Margaret Gale 1932–1936
  • Violet Evelyn Stack 1937–1959
  • M.E. Ann Hancock 1959–1966
  • Mary Warnock 1966–1972
  • Elaine Kaye 1972–1981
  • Joan Townsend 1981–1996
  • Felicity Lusk 1997–2010[11]
  • Judith Carlisle 2011–[12]

Notable former pupils[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°46′24″N 1°15′34″W / 51.77333°N 1.25944°W / 51.77333; -1.25944