Colchester County High School

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Colchester County High School for Girls
Motto Wisdom Giveth Life
Established 1909
Type grammar academy
Headteacher Gillian Marshall
Chair of Governors Allan Blundell
Location Norman Way
51°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
Local authority Essex County Council
DfE URN 137515 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 784
Gender Girls
Ages 11–18

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.

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

Subjects taught[edit]

Subject Taught at KS3 Taught at GCSE Taught at A Level
Art Yes Yes Yes
Biology Yes Compulsory Yes
Chemistry Yes Compulsory Yes
Classics No No Yes
Creative and Critical Thinking Yes Yes No
Dance No No No
Drama Yes No No
Economics No No Yes
English Yes No No
English Language No Compulsory Yes
English Literature No Compulsory Yes
Extended Project Qualification No Yes Yes
French Yes Yes Yes
Further Mathematics No No Yes
General Studies No No Compulsory
Geography Yes Yes Yes
German Yes Yes Yes
Healthy Living Yes No No
History Yes Yes Yes
Information Technology Yes No No
Latin Yes Yes Yes
Mathematics Yes Compulsory Yes
Music Yes Yes No
Philosophy and Ethics Yes Yes Yes
Physics Yes Compulsory Yes
Physical Education Yes Yes No
PSHE Yes No No
Psychology No Yes Yes
Religious Education Yes Yes No
Spanish No Yes Yes

Students have to complete the English Baccalaureate, which means at GCSE one language must be taken and at least one of Geography and History.

Notable former pupils[edit]