Colchester County High School

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Colchester County High School for Girls
Norman Way

, ,

Coordinates51°53′08″N 0°52′32″E / 51.8855°N 0.8755°E / 51.8855; 0.8755Coordinates: 51°53′08″N 0°52′32″E / 51.8855°N 0.8755°E / 51.8855; 0.8755
Typegrammar academy
MottoWisdom Giveth Life
Local authorityEssex County Council
SpecialistScience and Languages
Department for Education URN137515 Tables
Chair of GovernorsAllan Blundell
HeadteacherGillian Marshall
Age11 to 18

Colchester County High School for Girls is a selective girls' grammar school with academy status in Colchester, Essex. The school consistently scores highly in the league tables for the UK.[1][2] It was fourth in the country in the 2013 secondary GCSE league tables,[3] and ninth in the country in the 2015 A-Level league tables.[4] Entrance to Year 7 is by an academic selection test, the Eleven Plus. Entrance into Year 12 is by GCSE grades, although priority is given to pre-existing pupils.


The school was originally located in the Albert Hall in the High Street (now the Co-operative Bank), until its intended premises at the top of North Hill (now the Sixth Form College) were completed. Later, the lower school moved to Greyfriars on East Hill and, in 1957, moved to new buildings in Norman Way, off Lexden Road. Most of the buildings are unchanged, but an extension, including new Science laboratories and Sixth Form facilities was added in 2002. The 'mSchool' was added between 2006 and 2009, with new facilities for Music, Mathematics and the Mind; its 'iLab' (innovation laboratory) is one of the few in the UK outside a University.

Currently, the school is undergoing a 'Big Build'. The project includes a dining hall extension, which was completed in 2016; new classrooms, including a new healthy living studio, and a new sixth form centre with a lecture theatre and an IT suite, both completed in 2018; and a new sports hall and 25-metre indoor swimming pool with changing rooms, which are both currently being built. In 2017, the top floor of the science block, or 'S-block’, was refurbished to facilitate the Colchester Teacher Training Consortium (CTTC).

It was founded in 1909 as a girls' school for Colchester, and subsequently became a grammar school admitting girls from North East Essex and beyond on the basis of an 11+ selection test. The school is situated a mile to the west of central Colchester, and celebrated its centenary in 2009–2010.


The school was one of the first Science Specialist Schools in the country. It later became a specialist Modern Language school too, teaching French, German and Spanish as well as Latin.

School motto[edit]

Wisdom Giveth Life has been the school's motto since the school opened in 1909.[5] This reading is still included in the traditional school assembly at the start of each academic year:

Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.
For Wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the days of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

— -Ecclesiastes, chapter 7, verses 11–14

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ BBC News Education – recent performance at GCSE and A/AS level vs National Average
  2. ^ "DfE Schools and Local Statistics". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  3. ^ "BBC News Education – Secondary league tables 2013: Best GCSE results". Archived from the original on 30 July 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  4. ^ Gurney, Josie (17 August 2015). "A-level results 2015: results from 400 state schools". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  5. ^ "CCHS – about Colchester County High School for Girls". Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  6. ^ Anon (2008). Davies, Prof. Christine Tullis Hunter. Who's Who (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.246675. closed access publication – behind paywall (subscription required)