Heathfield School, Pinner

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Heathfield School
Heathfield Pinner logo.jpg
Motto Latin:Vincit qui se vincit
("She who prevails over herself is twice victorious")
Established 1900
Closed Friday 11 July 2014
Type Independent day school
Headmistress Mrs Anne Stevens
Founder Miss Edith Gayford
Location Beaulieu Drive
Local authority Harrow
DfE number 310/6001
Students 500~
Gender Girls
Ages 3–18
Colours Burgundy, Navy, Cherry & White                 
Former pupils HOGA:Heathfield Old Girls Association
Affiliations GDST, GSA, IAPS
Brother School John Lyon (Up to 2006)
Website www.heathfield.gdst.net

Heathfield School was an independent day school for girls in Pinner, a suburb 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. Even so, it was not until 1982, under the guidance of Mrs Ribchester, that Heathfield finally 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.

Five years later, as a mark of its achievements, the school was taken into the Girls' Day School Trust. It was they who added the Junior wing and Nursery in 1990.

In the year 2000, as the school celebrated its Centenary under the headship of Miss Juett, a new indoor swimming pool, sports hall, fitness studio and Senior library were opened. A new Junior playground was built and a new Sixth Form centre was built 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. A new Drama and Dance Studio was built in 2004.

A new sixth form centre was opened in 2008 and named the Pinner Leadership Centre.[4]

The school was rated "excellent" in nearly all aspects during the 2010 ISI inspection.[5]

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. 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 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.[6]

A few days after the start of the new term in September 2013, on the 9th it was controversially announced, that Heathfield GDST would merge with Northwood College.[7] There was much opposition to this as it was a high performing Top 5 GDST school, with an exceptionally 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 this merger the site in Beaulieu Drive closed.[8] Heathfield school ceased to exist after nearly 113 years.[9] In September 2014 all girls moved to the newly merged school in Northwood.[10] The new school was renamed Northwood College for Girls GDST.[11][12]

Detailed history of Heathfield School for Girls


  • Miss Carrie Sage[13] [Harrow Day and Boarding School for Girls] (unknown–1900)
  • Miss Edith Gayford[14] (1900–1921)
  • Miss Marian Norris[15] [16](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)

Timeline:Heathfield School for Girls


EYFS Learning Journeys - A Teachers Perspective at Heathfield GDST[17]

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.[18]

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,[19] have captured the loud, bubbly and well-rounded nature of Heathfield School for Girls and others alike in the popular festival anthem - Posh Girls[20]

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.[21] 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 put on a school production of either a famous musical or play students of all ages are encouraged to get involved. There are also dance and drama clubs run by members of the 6th form for younger girls.

Notable former pupils[edit]

The Snowman and The Snowdog directed by Hilary Audus[22]


  1. ^ "Heathfield School, Pinner". Flickr. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  2. ^ "Heathfield". Modernism in Metro-Land. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  3. ^ http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw053688?search=college%20road%20harrow&ref=3
  4. ^ Pinner Leadership Centre
  5. ^ ISI Inspection
  6. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/5152410/Single-sex-schools-bridge-the-gender-divide.html
  7. ^ http://www.northwoodcollege.co.uk/
  8. ^ http://www.pinnerhighschool.org.uk/uploads/2/6/3/0/26304358/pinner_high_school_-_a4_leaflet.pdf
  9. ^ http://www.heathfield.gdst.net/361/about-us/heathfield-history
  10. ^ http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/new-merged-school-opens-doors-7720776
  11. ^ http://www.northwoodcollege.co.uk/news/253/a-leading-new-girls-school-for-northwood-northwood-college-for-girls-gdst
  12. ^ http://www.gdst.net/library/client/documents/alumnae/inserts%2014-15/Northwood%20verve%20insert%202014.pdf
  13. ^ http://heathfield.patfield.com/HeathfieldCentenary.pdf
  14. ^ https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/32332/page/4139
  15. ^ http://heathfield.patfield.com/NewspaperCuttings.html
  16. ^ http://heathfield.patfield.com/norrismemoirs.html
  17. ^ http://prezi.com/gvgnnudcmixr/copy-of-online-eyfs-learning-journeys/
  18. ^ GetWestLondon (2010-10-04). "Pinner school uses iPods to aid learning". getwestlondon. Retrieved 2017-04-03. 
  19. ^ http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=19614
  20. ^ "You know you go to Heathfield when...". 
  21. ^ Extra-curricular Activities
  22. ^ The Snowman and The Snowdog
  23. ^ http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2015/05/generation-2015-introducing-the-74-new-conservative-mps.html
  24. ^ https://twitter.com/TimPBouverie/status/656793915325071360
  25. ^ http://www.hillingdontimes.co.uk/news/11461239.Boris_has_three_rivals_for_Uxbridge_Tory_nomination/?ref=var_0
  26. ^ http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/fab-four-boriss-competition-uxbridge-7741124

External links[edit]

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