Redmaids' High School
|Redmaids' High School|
|Department for Education URN||109371 Tables|
|Head teacher||Isabel Tobias|
|Age||4 to 18|
|Houses||Maryflowre, Seabreake, Discoverer, Speedwell|
|Colour(s)||Red, Green, Yellow, Blue|
The Red Maids' school was founded in 1634 from the bequest of John Whitson, Mayor and MP of Bristol, making it the oldest surviving girls' school in England. His original Red Maids’ Hospital, on Denmark Street in the centre of Bristol, was founded to provide a secure home for the orphaned or destitute daughters of freemen or burgesses of the City of Bristol, where they were taught to read and sew. The site was irreparably damaged and had to be completely rebuilt in the 1840s. The new school building was designed by architect James Foster in 1844.
Redland High School was founded in 1882. The senior school was housed in an old manor-house known as Redland Court which dates from 1732-35. It was built by John Strachan for John Cossins and has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building, which has undergone many extensions. In October 2006, a building previously belonging to the Junior School was converted into the Music School, expanding the senior school once again.
There are also a number of records for the former Redland High School for Girls and the Red Maids' School on site in the archive room at Redmaids' High School in Westbury-on-Trym.
Founders' Commemoration Day
Redmaids' High School Founders' Commemoration Day is the annual celebration of the life and vision of the founder, John Whitson, Mayor and MP of Bristol, and also a day to remember the founders of Redland High School for Girls, Reverend Rose and Urijah Thomas. The date of the event is so, as it commemorates the attempted murder of Whitson on 7 November 1626: Christopher Callowhill stabbed him in the face with a dagger on that day. Whitson survived for two years after this attack before dying after falling from a horse. On Founders' Commemoration Day all the girls march through Bristol City centre accompanied by police and a rolling road closure, from Welsh Back to the cathedral, where a service takes place. In keeping with school tradition the girls are then allowed the afternoon off.
Facilities and campus
The Junior School and Senior School are separate, but located close together, allowing the junior school full use of the secondary school's facilities.
The senior school, set in extensive grounds, consists of three main buildings: Burfield House, the 300 Building (opened in 1934) and Redland Hall - a high-spec performance space - which was opened in September 2017. There is also a music block, which houses a Mac suite, and a sports hall which contains a dance studio and large indoor sports space. Attached to Redland Hall is the Sixth Form Centre, which has recently undergone refurbishment. There are also 3 computer labs in the school and extensive textiles and artwork facilities. The junior school site is a house on Grange Court Road. It was extended in 2015 and again in 2017 which included the creation of a brand new adventure playground.
There is an astroturf (opened in 2005) and two additional netball/tennis courts. Hidden under the grounds of the school is a former bomb shelter used during World War II. In 2017 it was announced that the school had purchased a new sports site - The Lawns at Cribbs Causeway. The site is less than 10 minutes’ drive from the School. The 16.7 acre plot includes four full size grass football pitches, four tennis courts, a 3G all-weather Astroturf pitch, a large carpark, together with extensive changing and social facilities. The school will be investing in further development to the site over the coming years.
The school is divided into four sections: the infant school (4 - 7), the junior school (7-11), the senior school (11-16), and sixth form (16-18).
The school has a house system with competitions in activities such as dance, music, hockey, netball and drama. The four houses are named after four of John Whitson's major ships:
- Speedwell (Blue)
- Maryflowre (Red)
- Discoverer (Yellow)
- Seabreake (Green)
In 2018 the school was shortlisted for a national Tes award in the international award category. This was due to the school's international mindedness, helping their students to become global citizens.
Each year the school hosts a Careers Conference for girls from across the south-west of the UK and beyond. In 2017 the theme was #WomenInMedicine and for 2018 the theme was #WomenInSTEM.
The uniform differs between the infant and junior school and the senior school. In the senior school the uniform consists of a distinctive red and green kilt and red jumper with green piping, with a white blouse. Girls also wear a smart red blazer. The Junior uniform is similar, minus the blazer and with the inclusion of a red and white summer dress. The infants wear a red and green tunic dress.
In the sixth form, the students may wear their own clothes. They are encouraged to dress for a modern work place in smart, work-ready attire.
Among the main strengths of the school the report noted: "the warm and friendly ethos that is achieved strongly supports pupils’ learning and personal development" and "the realistic and committed leadership of the Headmistress and the Head Teacher" alongside a number of other positive remarks about the school.
Recently (January 2013), the school received 'Excellent' in every area, the top score.
Notable former pupils
- Brenda Clarke (born 1926), novelist — writer of medieval historical whodunnits
- Janet Arnold (1932–1998), clothing historian, costume designer and author
- Susan Lewis (born 1956), novelist
- Tammy Miller (born 1967), hockey player
- Alwynne Pritchard (born 1968), performer, composer and artist
- Alice Roberts (born 1973), anatomist, osteoarchaeologist, anthropologist, TV presenter and author
- Belinda Kirk (born 1974/1975), explorer and entrepreneur
- Nana Kagga (born 1979), Ugandan actress, producer, director and petroleum engineer
- Emily Webley-Smith (born 1984), tennis player
- Katherine Press, actress
- "Bristol private schools to merge". BBC News. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- "Bristol Education" (PDF). The Great Reading Adventure. Bristol Cultural Development Partnership (BCDP). Archived from the original (pdf) on 30 May 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
- James Foster (architect)
- Historic England. "No.145 Entrance lodge to Red Maids School (1202684)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 May 2007.
- "Manor Hall & Sinclair House". University of Bristol. 23 November 2000. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
- Historic England. "Redland Court (Redland High School) (1291739)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 March 2007.
- Stories of Bristol Archived 21 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Independent Schools Inspectorate Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Red Maids' alumnae". The Red Maids' School. Archived from the original on 11 June 2017.