Norwich High School for Girls

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Norwich High School for Girls
, ,

United Kingdom
TypePrivate school day school
MottoDo thy best and rejoice with those who do better
FounderGirls Public Day School Company
Chairman of GovernorsJo Boyd
Head MistressAlison Sefton
GenderGirls only
Age3 to 18
Colour(s)    Red, blue, white

Norwich High School for Girls is an independent day school for girls aged 3 to 18 in Norwich, England. The school was founded in 1875 by the Girls’ Public Day School Company (now the Girls' Day School Trust), which aimed to establish schools for girls of all classes by providing a high standard of academic, moral and religious education.[citation needed] The school is a member of the Girls’ Schools Association[1] and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference.[2] The school consistently has one of the best academic results in East Anglia.[3]

Entry into the school is selective at 4+, 7+, 11+, 13+ and 16+.[4]

History and location[edit]

Norwich High School for Girls was founded in 1875 as the first GPDST school outside London. Originally situated at the Assembly House, Norwich, the school moved to its present location Eaton Grove, 95 Newmarket Road in 1933.[5] Eaton Grove is Grade II listed.[6] The school occupies several buildings, all of which were originally private houses; Stafford House (preparatory school), Eaton Grove (senior school) and Lanchester House (sixth form).

Year naming[edit]

Norwich High School uses its own nomenclature for the year groups.

Stafford House

  • Nursery (ages 3–4)
  • Reception (ages 4–5)
  • Kindergarten (aged 5–6)
  • Lower I (ages 6–7)
  • Upper I (ages 7–8)
  • Lower II (ages 8–9)
  • Upper II (ages 9–10)
  • Lower III (ages 10–11)

Eaton Grove

  • Upper III (ages 11–12)
  • Lower IV (ages 12–13)
  • Upper IV (ages 13–14)
  • Lower V (ages 14–15)
  • Upper V (ages 15–16)

Lanchester House

  • Lower VI - Sixth Form (ages 16–17)
  • Upper VI - Sixth Form (ages 17–18)

School Life[edit]

In Upper III (Year 7) and below all pupils study a broad curriculum including Latin and two modern languages. Pupils are required to take at least nine General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and IGCSE subjects in Lower V (Year 10) and Upper V (Year 11). In the sixth form, pupils usually study four or five AS-Level subjects for one year and most continue with three subjects to A-Level. Many students take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). In total, there are 24 subjects offered at A-Level.[7][better source needed] Academically, the school is one of the highest performing independent schools in East Anglia.[8]


The school's facilities include a sports hall, performing arts studio, main hall (including stage), junior school hall, rowing gym, outdoor theatre, lecture theatre, boardroom, 25-metre swimming pool, 13 acres of playing fields, fitness suite, 8 tennis courts and 1 astro turf.[9]


Academic scholarships and means-tested bursaries are offered upon entry to Upper III and Lower VI. The scholarships offered in Upper III are music scholarships based on the performance of the candidate in an audition and academic scholarships on their performance in the transfer or entrance to the senior school examination, whereas the scholarships offered in Lower VI are based on the performance in an optional examination based on English, Mathematics, Science and a foreign language of the candidate's choice from French, German or Spanish.[10]

Notable former pupils[edit]





Performing Arts



World War One

  • Edith Cavell (born 1865) – nurse, executed by Germans in 1915


  • Miss Ada Benson (1875)[12][13]
  • Miss Wills (from 1875)[14]
  • Miss A. M. Tapson (early 1880s)
  • Miss Lizzie Gadesden (1884 to 1907, previously head of Newton Abbot High School, died 1918)[15]
  • Miss Gertrude Mary Wise JP (1907 to 1928, previously head of Shrewsbury High School, died January 1935)[16][17]
  • Miss Elsie Pringle Jameson (1928 to 1946, born 1880, died 1958)[18]
  • Miss Prunella Riviere Bodington (1946 to 1953, later head of South Hampstead High School, born 1907, died 1984)[19][20]
  • Miss Dorothy Bartholomew (to December 1976, died September 2011)
  • Miss Rhoda H. M. Standeven (January 1976 to September 1985)[21][22]
  • Mrs Valerie Bidwell (from September 1985 to July 2010)[22]
  • Mr Jason Morrow (First Male Headteacher; September 2010 to 2015)
  • Mrs Kirsty von Malaisé (from September 2015 to August 2020)
  • Miss Alison Sefton (September 2020 to present)


In July 2017, Robin Malton, who taught at the school in 2000–2016, was given an indefinite prohibition order by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) for sending inappropriate messages to young vulnerable students.[23]

In 2021 the school faced an industrial dispute over plans to withdraw from the Teacher’s Pension Scheme. National Education Union members within the Girls Day School Trust balloted for strike action after an alleged “fire and rehire” ultimatum being out to staff.[24] The GDST eventually agreed to allow current staff to remain in the Teachers Pension Scheme.


  1. ^ "Norwich High School GDST".
  2. ^ "Schools Map".
  3. ^ "BBC News - School league tables". BBC News.
  4. ^ "Norwich High School for Girls". Girls' Day School Trust. 8 March 2016.
  5. ^ James, Derek. "Remembering the Norwich High School's rich history". Norwich Evening News.
  6. ^ Historic England. "EATON GROVE - NORWICH HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, Norwich (1372449)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Sixth Form Prospectus". Google Docs.
  8. ^ "Rankings of Senior High Schools in Norfolk, UK 2014 - A-level School League Tables - Top UK Secondary Schools - Best UK Middle School - Education Rankings".
  9. ^ "Facilities | Norwich High School". Archived from the original on 8 November 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Norwich High School For Girls Bursaries and Scholarships". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  11. ^ Faulder, Carolyn (12 April 2018). "Pat Barr obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  12. ^ The Times, 21 April 1875, Issue 28295, p. 4, col. E
  13. ^ File 'The Forgotten Benson', Ref. No. GDS/15/3/4, unpublished memoir by Sylvia Benians of Ada Benson (married name McDowall), head of Norwich High School, 1875, and of Oxford High School 1875–1879, in Records of the Girls' Day School Trust and predecessors
  14. ^ The Times, 10 September 1877, Issue 29043, p. 13, col. C
  15. ^ Press cutting of an obituary for Lizzie Gadesden (d. 1918), Ref. No. GDS/15/3/13 at
  16. ^ The Times, 27 January 1933, Issue 46353; page 1, col A
  17. ^ File 'Miss G. M. Wise' at
  18. ^ Papers regarding Elsie Jameson at
  19. ^ The Times, 18 May 1984, Issue 61834, p. 12, col. A
  20. ^ Papers regarding Prunella Riviere Bodington (1907–1984) at
  21. ^ The Times, 22 March 1975, Issue 59351, p. 16, col. C
  22. ^ a b The Times, 17 April 1985, Issue 62114, p. 16, col. C
  23. ^ Cope, Lauren. "Former Norwich High School for Girls teacher banned from classroom after sending inappropriate emails to pupil". Eastern Daily Press.
  24. ^ "Norwich teachers consider strike over pension changes". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
  • Bodington, Miss P. R., Norwich High school 1875–1950 (Norwich High School, 1950)
  • Brodie, Alan, Memories, Milestones and Miscellanies: 125 years of Norwich High School for Girls (Norwich High School for Girls, 2003)

External links[edit]