Heathfield School, Pinner

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Heathfield School
Heathfield Pinner logo.jpg
Beaulieu Drive

, ,

TypeIndependent day school
MottoLatin:Vincit qui se vincit
("She who prevails over herself is twice victorious")
FounderMiss Edith Gayford
ClosedFriday 11 July 2014
Local authorityHarrow
HeadmistressMrs Anne Stevens
Age3 to 18
Colour(s)Burgundy, Navy, Cherry & White                 
Former pupilsHOGA:Heathfield Old Girls Association
AffiliationsGDST, GSA, IAPS
Brother SchoolJohn Lyon (Up to 2006)

Heathfield School was an independent day school for girls in Pinner in the London Borough of Harrow.


Heathfield School, Pinner [1][2]

Heathfield was founded by Miss Gayford in 1900 in a house at the foot of Byron Hill in Harrow, with just thirty pupils. A year later it transferred to a large house in College Road.

In 1921, the school was bought by Miss Norris, who set about a programme of modernisation and enlargement which continued under the supervision of succeeding headships. New buildings and facilities were added at College Road and in 1930, the Sixth Form was added.[3]


When Miss Norris retired, after seeing the school through almost half a century, there was a need to find a new site. In 1982, under the guidance of Mrs Ribchester, Heathfield moved to the former Pinner County Grammar School nine-acre site with a purpose-built school building (where the likes of Elton John and Simon Le Bon had roamed the hallways during their school years) in Beaulieu Drive, Pinner.[4]

Five years later, the school was taken into the Girls' Day School Trust. A junior wing and nursery were added in 1990.

In the year 2000, under the headship of Miss Juett, a new indoor swimming pool, sports hall, fitness studio and senior library were opened. A new drama and dance studio was built in 2004, followed by a new junior playground, and a new sixth form centre (the Pinner Leadership Centre),[5] added in 2008. Work was later completed on a new building for music, ICT, careers and physics. A new dining room and kitchen were built and existing areas for art, maths, textiles and design technology were refurbished.

In 2018 the school hall has been the set location of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Media sensation's inspirational videos by Jay Shetty, featuring pupils from the first state Hindu faith secondary school in the United Kingdom, Avanti House School. They are being hosted on the current Pinner High site while its permanent building on the Whitchurch playing fields is constructed.[6] Every Parent, Student And Teacher Needs To Hear This Before You Feel Pressure

Heathfield school was rated "excellent" in nearly all aspects during the 2010 ISI inspection.[7]

Heathfield had enjoyed a strong rivalry in both academic and non-academic areas against North London Collegiate School (the first girls' school in the United Kingdom to offer girls the same educational opportunities as boys), until the merger with Northwood College in 2014 (whose rival is St. Helen's School).

Up to 2006, Heathfield maintained strong links with its former brother school The John Lyon School (founded in 1876 by the Governors of Harrow School for the education of local boys, in belated keeping with the wishes of John Lyon, Harrow School's founder. The John Lyon School still maintains its historic ties with Harrow School). However, very little interaction took place between the two institutions other than co-hosting a Sixth Form Prom and an invitation to participate in the annual theatre production, which suited the more dramatic students. Subsequently, JLS (not to be confused with the English X Factor boyband, JLS) made links with Northwood College with a programme designed to enable boys and girls to interact. Such events include joint quizzes, debates, book discussions, cookery workshops, theatre trips, gallery visits, careers evenings, newsletter and inter-school competitions.[8]

Northwood merger[edit]

On 9 September 2013, it was announced that Heathfield GDST would merge with Northwood College.[9] There was much opposition to this as Heathfield was a high performing top 5 GDST school (out of 26), with a strong reputation for producing well rounded happy girls with high self esteem, as can be seen in this petition by The Parents of Heathfield- Save Heathfield School. As a result of the merger the Beaulieu Drive site closed,[10][11] and Heathfield school ceased to exist after nearly 113 years.[12] In September 2014 all girls moved to the newly merged school in Northwood,[13] renamed Northwood College for Girls GDST.[14][15]


  • Miss Carrie Sage[16] [Harrow Day and Boarding School for Girls] (unknown–1900)
  • Miss Edith Gayford[17] (1900–1921)
  • Miss Marian Norris[18][19](1921–1964)
  • Miss J.H.S. Johnson (1964–1974)
  • Mrs Wyn E Ribchester (1974–1988)
  • Mrs Jean Merritt (1988–1996)
  • Ms. Christine Juett (1997–2010)
  • Mrs Susan Whitfield (2010–2011)
  • Mrs Anne Stevenson (2011–2014)


EYFS Learning Journeys - A Teachers Perspective at Heathfield GDST[20]

GCSE, AS, A-levels and Open University extension programme were offered at Heathfield. There were 21 GCSE and 24 AS/A-level subjects to choose from. Most sixth formers selected 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level. Out of the sixth form 40% would take science A-levels; 30% would take arts/humanities and 30% would take both.

There were special provisions set up to help pupils and some of the teachers even offer extra tuition.

There were a variety of languages offered at GCSE, AS and A-level such as Chinese, French, German, Latin and Spanish. There were regular French, Spanish, Chinese and German trips. There were also French and Spanish nationals in school as assistants.

ICT was taught both as a discrete subject and across the curriculum. There were 187 computers for pupil use, all networked and with email, internet and portal access. In 2008 sixth-form pupils had school laptops for home and school use. In 2013, iPod Touch devices were given to students with relevant apps uploaded in order to incorporate technology in class, in the name of e-learning.[21]

Staff List


There were four houses at Heathfield School. From Lower Kindergarten (nursery) upwards, right through to the Sixth Form, each girl belonged to one of our four houses: Brontë, Curie, Nightingale and Pankhurst. This encouraged social contact between the age groups and formed the basis for competitive sports events and inter-house competitions in Music, Dance and Drama, Swimming, Netball, Lacrosse, Rounders, Athletics (Sports Day held at Harrow School) and Public Speaking. House meetings and house assemblies were also held periodically.

The houses represented powerful pioneering women, whose stories were repeated to the girls every year, thus serving as role models to students. Moreover, as a GDST school, female empowerment was integral to the fabric of the school, with the majority of assemblies and the curriculum tailored around women growing up in a stable environment with an understanding the significance of the sacrifices by the Suffrage Movement, achievements by different women in society in each subject area, and how to enhance their prospects in order to break the glass ceiling. This in turn resulted in highly articulate well-rounded young women, of whom a higher percentage chose a STEM subject at A Level, well above the national average. House Points were awarded by teachers in the form of Commendations which were signed by the Headmistress and returned to the pupils at registration.

House Named after Colour
Curie Marie Curie      Yellow
Brontë The Brontë Sisters      Red
Nightingale Florence Nightingale      Dark Blue
Pankhurst Emmeline Pankhurst      Green

Extracurricular Activities[edit]

The famous local indie band, Scouting for Girls (Queensmead),[22] have captured the loud, bubbly and well-rounded nature of Heathfield School for Girls and others alike in the popular festival anthem - Posh Girls[23] "...we used to 'follow' the girls from Heathfield School. We never, ever spoke to them of course, nor they to us. We just walked behind them at a respectful distance..." (Harrow County Memoirs)[24]

There were many opportunities to be involved in interest clubs and non-academic pursuits. Girls have taken part in competitions such as the International Science Olympiads and national public speaking competitions.[25] Other activities which were available include the World Challenge Expeditions, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Super Camp and charity drives.

There were also a variety of school teams and clubs, such as tennis, rounders, netball, lacrosse, swimming, cricket, athletics, football, badminton, available. Other activities include computer, social service volunteers, public-speaking, speech and drama, chess, Young Enterprise, art and craft, ballet, first aid and debating.

Up to 25% of pupils learnt a musical instrument and instrumental exams could be taken in school. Musical groups included a choir, an orchestra, a string group and a recorder group. Each year, Heathfield would put on a school production of either a famous musical or play, students of all ages were encouraged to get involved. There were also dance and drama clubs run by members of the 6th form for younger girls.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ "Heathfield School, Pinner". Flickr. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Heathfield". Modernism in Metro-Land. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  3. ^ http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw053688?search=college%20road%20harrow&ref=3
  4. ^ "HISTORY OF THE SITE". Pinner High School.
  5. ^ Pinner Leadership Centre
  6. ^ "HOSTING AVANTI HOUSE". Pinner High School.
  7. ^ ISI Inspection
  8. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/5152410/Single-sex-schools-bridge-the-gender-divide.html
  9. ^ http://www.northwoodcollege.co.uk/
  10. ^ http://www.pinnerhighschool.org.uk/uploads/2/6/3/0/26304358/pinner_high_school_-_a4_leaflet.pdf
  11. ^ Hurd, Nick (24 June 2014). ""Free" schools in Harrow | Nick Hurd MP". www.nickhurd.com.
  12. ^ http://www.heathfield.gdst.net/361/about-us/heathfield-history
  13. ^ http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/new-merged-school-opens-doors-7720776
  14. ^ http://www.northwoodcollege.co.uk/news/253/a-leading-new-girls-school-for-northwood-northwood-college-for-girls-gdst
  15. ^ http://www.gdst.net/library/client/documents/alumnae/inserts%2014-15/Northwood%20verve%20insert%202014.pdf
  16. ^ http://heathfield.patfield.com/HeathfieldCentenary.pdf
  17. ^ https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/32332/page/4139
  18. ^ http://heathfield.patfield.com/NewspaperCuttings.html
  19. ^ http://heathfield.patfield.com/norrismemoirs.html
  20. ^ http://prezi.com/gvgnnudcmixr/copy-of-online-eyfs-learning-journeys/
  21. ^ GetWestLondon (4 October 2010). "Pinner school uses iPods to aid learning". getwestlondon. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  22. ^ http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=19614
  23. ^ "You know you go to Heathfield when..."
  24. ^ "Harrow County Memoirs".
  25. ^ Extra-curricular Activities
  26. ^ http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2015/05/generation-2015-introducing-the-74-new-conservative-mps.html
  27. ^ https://www.facebook.com/HogaHeathfieldgdstpinner/posts/961289617338521
  28. ^ Charlotte Campbell, WHAT, retrieved 12 December 2018

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°34′44″N 0°23′16″W / 51.57889°N 0.38778°W / 51.57889; -0.38778