The Queen's School, Chester

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The Queen's School
Established 1878
Type Independent day school
Headmistress Sarah Clark
Chair of the Governors Marion Ardron
Location City Walls Road
England Coordinates: 53°11′28″N 2°53′49″W / 53.191°N 2.897°W / 53.191; -2.897
Local authority Cheshire West and Chester
DfE number 896/6020
Students 614 (2011)
Gender Girls
Ages 4–18
Former pupils Old Queen's Girls

The Queen's School is an independent day school for girls aged 4–18 located in Chester, England. Founded in 1878 as "The Chester School for Girls", Queen Victoria, who was the school's first patron, issued a royal decree naming the school as "The Queen's School" in 1882, the only school in England to have this distinction. It is a member of the Girls' Schools Association.


Founded in 1878 by a group of prominent Chester citizens as The Chester School for Girls, the school owes its royal name to Queen Victoria. In response to a request from the Duke of Westminster, an early benefactor of the school, in 1882 she graciously commanded “that the School in question shall be styled the Queen’s School”.

The school originally had its home at 100 Watergate Flags, a handsome 18th century house built upon the site of an extramural Roman bathhouse. However, as pupil numbers grew swiftly, it soon became evident that the school needed larger premises and by 1881 it was decided to look for a suitable alternative.

Once again, the Duke of Westminster supported the school by offering the trustees a piece of land which had once been the site of Chester’s city gaol and house of correction, together with a gift of £500 towards the building of a new school. This site, right on the city walls of historic Chester and within walking distance of the city’s centre, still exists today as the home of the school’s senior pupils. More recently, further buildings have been constructed or acquired, so that the school inhabits a mixture of elegant Georgian and Victorian buildings as well as modern ones.

The Queen’s Lower School was originally based in two large Victorian houses set in spacious grounds at Liverpool Road. Today, it also includes a purpose-built hall, library and science facilities, together with a state-of-the-art computer suite, which is used from pupils from age 4 upwards.


Girls are taught a range of subjects including languages, mathematics, the sciences (separately), technology, the humanities, PE and the creative arts. All pupils in Year 7 are required to learn Spanish and Mandarin Chinese and may choose a language of their choice from the two or French and German the following year.[1]

The Queen's School regularly appears in league tables as one of the regions top independent schools based on examination results.[2][3] Pupils perform well in both the arts and sciences.

The Queen's Lower School was one of three independent schools in Cheshire to be named in The Sunday Times' top 100 schools for 2011 based on SAT results.[4] The school now monitors girls' progress through a range of different methods but does not undertake external SATs.

The 2011 ISI inspection rated both the Lower School and Senior School curriculum as "excellent" in all areas [5]

The Queen's School is the only independent school in the north of England to be recognised and designated "Advanced Confucius Classroom" status by Hanban for excellence in teaching Mandarin Chinese.[6]


Extra-curricular activities are offered at both the Lower and Senior Schools. Lower School activities and clubs: fencing, book club, Glee club, ocarina, dance, flute, dodgeball, horse riding, skiing, choir, meditation, podcast/media, swimming, chess club, film-making, zumba, hockey, puzzle club, arts and crafts, French, quiz club, netball, ravenspell, judo, journalism club, football, rhythmic gymnastics.

Senior School extracurricular activities and clubs: fencing, skiing, astronomy, Greek, life sciences, computers, debating, wildlife, podcast, philosophy, psychology, literary club, Christian Union, cricket, chess, creative writing, Latino dance, Chinese culture, geography, Spanish conversation, theatre club, spelling, drama skills, women’s history, cognitive chemistry, language film, karate, dance, ballet, rowing, sailing, spinning, tennis, badminton, Spanish conversation, rounders, cricket, hockey, lacrosse, swimming, dressage, golf, design technology and art, food technology, debating, textiles, Combined Cadet Forces, Young Enterprise and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Educational trips to extend learning take place every week to theatres, museums and both local and regional sites of interest. Trips abroad to locations such as China, Africa, America, Latin America and Europe also take place several times a year.

Music lessons are available to individuals or groups, and the school has Junior and Senior Orchestras, jazz bands, string quartets, clarinet sextet, flute ensemble, brass ensemble, Junior and Senior Choirs and a Chamber Choir which is often invited to perform at local events. The school organises a large variety of music and drama productions and a significant number of girls achieve LAMDA awards. The school hosts the Chester Youth Symphony Orchestra once a week which is also attended by a number of Senior School pupils. The Lower School Young Voices choir were recent semi-finalists in the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year.[7]


  • Vivienne Faull, Dean of York Cathedral and only female cathedral provost in Church of England history
  • Sarah Kelly, founder of the UK's Neuromuscular Centre for muscular dystrophy
  • Frances Patterson British High Court judge.
  • Beth Tweddle MBE, Olympic gymnast and three times Olympian
  • Lindsay Skoll, British High Commissioner to the Seychelles
  • Ann Clwyd, Welsh Labour Party politician

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