Cheltenham Girls High School
|Cheltenham Girls' High School|
Truth, Unity, Concord
|Cheltenham, New South Wales
|Type||Public, Secondary, Single-sex, Day school|
|Years offered||7 to 12|
|Colour(s)||Maroon, Pink & Navy Blue
Established in 1958 and operated by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training, the school has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1,260 students from Years 7 to 12.
In the 2006 Higher School Certificate, the National Education Directory of Australia named Cheltenham Girls High School the sixth best performing school, and the best non-selective public school in Sydney's Hornsby region.
The school is well known for the distinguished pink uniform.
Cheltenham Girls High School was founded in 1957–1958 by Bessie Mitchell who also acted as the first Principal. The School is located on the former residential estate of the Vicars family, who had donated the land for the only purpose of building a school. A leadlight window from the original house is now situated in the administration foyer, as well as a larger window of a ship being located in the E block. The ship is used in the header of the school newsletter, Yarrabee
The first students of the school were accommodated at Epping Boys' High School buildings during 1957, as the school was poor and had no money to buy their own property. The Epping boys playground was separated, one side for the girls, one for the boys. The boys were caned if they were seen in the girl's playground. These students finally moved to new buildings on the Cheltenham site in 1958, and comprised four classes of second year students and 10 classes of first year students. A common myth associated with the school is that the colour of the uniform comes from a bequest, the terms of which stated that the uniform must be pink. In fact, it was not Bessie Mitchell as some think, who decided the uniforms should be pink dresses; it was the Vicars family who previously owned the land. These dresses are still worn today and are noted throughout the area.
One highlight of the Cheltenham school year is the annual Presentation Day, which is held at the Sydney Opera House each year. The majority of students, staff and parents travel to Circular Quay station in a special train reserved for this occasion (the "Cheltenham Express").
In 2016, teachers of the school became required to refer to students using "gender-neutral" terms or be considered unwelcome and homophobic.
Cheltenham Girls' High School is registered and accredited with the New South Wales Board of Studies, and therefore follows the mandated curriculum for all years. The school provides two years of compulsory subjects (Years 7–8); two years of compulsory subjects, plus three elective subjects for the School Certificate (Years 9–10); and two years preparing for the Higher School Certificate (HSC) (Years 11–12). In Years 11 and 12, a minimum of 12 units Preliminary and 10 units HSC must be studied, with English the only mandatory subject. Additional courses are also available through TAFE NSW, the Open High School, Saturday School of Community Languages and other providers.
The school is a comprehensive high school, and typically performs well in the HSC, outperforming some public selective schools. In the 2006 HSC, the National Education Directory of Australia named Cheltenham Girls the sixth best performing school, and the best non-selective public school in Sydney's Hornsby region.
Students are divided alphabetically into six house groups. School carnivals in swimming athletics and cross country are organised on a house basis.There are also sport prefects mostly from the senior years, but a few from the juniors in each sport house that lead the houses into house and school spirit chants and organise house meetings and do various jobs. The houses are:
- Bookoola (light blue) — "wise owl"
- Mirrabooka (dark blue) — "Southern Cross"
- Coolaroo (yellow) — "Stars"
- Petarli (white and black) — "The Moon"
- Dulkara (red) — "Rainbow"
- Wirreanda (green) — "Tall Trees"
School prefects are elected from year 11 by staff and peers in years 10 to 12 in June each year. The captain, vice captain and senior prefect are elected by the prefects.
Transport prefects are elected from year 11 and support the safety, welfare and conduct of each student as she travels to and from school. Transport prefects report misbehavior, problems etc. to the head welfare teacher.
The SRC is a representative body comprising students from each year 7 through 12. Years 8 to 11 elect their six representatives from a whole year. Each year 7 class elects its own representative and if there happens to be a tie between two people, both of them become a member of the SRC. Elections are held in the first semester(late in Term 1 or early in Term 2). The SRC organises many events, sometimes along with other non-elected student body groups.
- P & C Association: Cheltenham's Parents and Citizens' Association takes an interest in the welfare and education of its students. The annual general meeting of the P&C takes place at the beginning of each school year and regular meetings are held each term. One highlight of the school year is the annual Art & Craft Show, which is held at the beginning of the second term. This event is run by the P&C and is the major fundraising event for the year.
- Cheltenham Old Girls Association: The Old Girls Association promotes ongoing contact between former students and supports the school with fundraising efforts.
- SRC: this is a panel of girls from each grade in the school who help with raising money for charities and helping girls have their say on what is needed around the school.
- Barbara Darling, second woman to become a bishop in the Anglican Church of Australia
- Meredith Oakes, playwright and music critic.
- Louise Robert-Smith, headmistress of Ascham School.
- Christine Piper, writer, Winner of the The Australian/Vogel Literary Award for her novel After Darkness.
- Chris Ronalds AM SC, barrister, author of "Discrimination Law and Practice" 
- Greer Skinner, Annette Harada, Angela Blackshaw and Naomi "Batti" Battah, members of ARIA nominated rock band Skulker.
- Kylie Kwong, celebrity chef
- Lily Serna, mathematician and co-host of SBS Television's Letters and Numbers
- Chantelle Kerry, figure skater, ice dancer, Olympian
- Fiona Clifton, previous deputy headmistress of Cheltenham Girls High School
- Monica McDonald, 1988 Olympian, figure skater
- Jenny Coupland, Miss Australia 1982
- Jaclyn Moriarty, bestselling author, freelance Journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer
- Sophie Ferguson, professional tennis player
- Catherine Cox, netball player
- Lucille Everett, actress, television presenter
- Julie Goodwin, winner of Masterchef Australia
- Jane Asby, author, writer, essayist
- Beverley Dunn, set decorator, Oscar Award 2014 for The Great Gatsby
- Amy Witting, novelist and poet, winner of the Patrick White Award (1993) and The Age Book of the Year Award (2000) and twice short listed for the Miles Franklin Award (1990 and 2000)
- Thea Astley (taught as Thea Gregson) novelist and poet, 4 times Miles Franklin Award (1962,1965,1972,1999)The Age Book of the Year Fiction Award (1975, 1996)OAM 1980, OA 1992,
- "Cheltenham Girls High School". School Locator. New South Wales Department of Education and Training. 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
- "Top HSC Schools by Region - Albury to Newcastle" (PDF). The National Education Directory of Australia. 2006-12-21. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
- Exclusive girls' school bans teachers from calling students 'ladies' or 'women' - telling them to use 'gender-neutral' labels instead
- "Pattern of Study". Curriculum. Cheltenham Girls High School. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
- Patty, Anna (2007-07-30). "Lessons in choice". News and Features. Sydney: The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 14. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
- "Who’s Who in Australia 2010" page 1817
- "Who’s Who in Australia 2010" page 1837