Shelford Girls' Grammar

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Shelford Girls' Grammar
Coordinates37°52′39″S 145°0′41″E / 37.87750°S 145.01139°E / -37.87750; 145.01139Coordinates: 37°52′39″S 145°0′41″E / 37.87750°S 145.01139°E / -37.87750; 145.01139
TypeIndependent, single-sex, day school
MottoLatin: Quaerite Primo Regnum Dei
(Seek ye first the Kingdom of God)
PrincipalPolly Flanagan
ChaplainElla Baldwin
Colour(s)Navy blue, white, sky blue & gold             
SloganShe will shine

Shelford Girls' Grammar is an independent, Anglican, day school for girls, located in Caulfield, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

The school was established in 1898, and is a member of Girls Sport Victoria (GSV),[1][2] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA) and the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia.[3] It is a non-selective entry school, with more than 600 students from pre-school to year 12.[4]

Shelford's origin[edit]

As the Vicar of St Mary's Anglican Church in Caulfield (now known as Oaktree Anglican Church), Henry Langley, who later became the Dean of Melbourne, had been giving the pupils of the highly respected Shelford Girls' School weekly lessons in religious instruction for quite a number of years.[5]

Emily Dixon[edit]

The school was established in 1898 (in Glen Eira Road) by Emily Dixon (1879-1904).[6][7]

Dora Blundell[edit]

The school was relocated to 77 Allison Road, Elsternwick,[8] by Dora Mary Petrie Blundell (1865-1943),[9][10][11] who served as the school's second principal from 1904 to 1921.[12] Dora was assisted and supported by her sisters, Lucy Annie Blundell (1850-1922),[13] Fanny Blundell (1851-1937),[14] and Margaret Helen Petrie Blundell (1866-1953),[15] in performing her wide range of duties.

Hood Crescent[edit]

In 1922, Langley was responsible for the relocation of the school from 77 Allison Road, Elsternwick to St Mary's Church, and from thence, to "Helenslea" in Hood Crescent, Caulfield North,[16] officially opened by Archbishop Lees on 22 February 1923[17] — adjacent to St Mary's Church — and its re-establishment, as the Shelford Girls' Grammar School. In the process, he appointed Ada Mary Thomas (1885-1949) as its head mistress.

There was a large gathering of residents of Caulfield and Elsternwick, including several of the neighbouring clergy, to witness the formal reopening of Shelford Girls' School, a long-established Elsternwick school, as a girls' school and kindergarten in connection with St. Mary's Church, Caulfield.
Bishop Green, in declaring the school open, congratulated the vicar (Canon Langley) on an initial enrolment of 60 pupils.
The mayor of Caulfield (Councillor [Thomas] Falls) and the Rev. [James Valentine] Patton, of Sydney, also spoke.
Canon Langley said that the school is to be called by the old name of Shelford, but will be carried on as a Church of England school, under a local council, with A. M. Thomas as principal.
It is proposed to build up-to-date school buildings at a site for a branch church near the Caulfield Town Hall [viz., St Margarets], but for the present the school will meet in the existing school buildings at St. Mary's, Caulfield. — The Argus, 23 February 1922.[18]

Ada Thomas[edit]

The daughter of Thomas Thomas (1859-1947),[19] and Mary Thomas, née Nichol,[20] Ada Mary Thomas was born in 1885.

Thomas served as Shelford's headmistress from 1922 to 1945,[21][22][23] and died in Beechworth, Victoria, at the age of 64, in April 1949.[24]

About Shelford[edit]

The School's motto is Quaerite Primo Regnum Dei ("seek ye first the Kingdom of God"); and "Quaerite" ("seek ye", or "search", "investigate", "discover", and "find out") is what 21st century education is all about. The educational philosophy is aspire, engage and achieve.[25] Shelford's Mission Statement is

Shelford strives to provide a quality education that encompasses the moral, physical, intellectual, social, emotional and aesthetic development of all students within a safe, caring and supportive community that acknowledges its rich heritage and Christian traditions,[26]

Shelford has a coeducational Early Learning Centre, which caters for Toddlers from 18 months, as well as providing groups for 3- and 4-year-old children.[27] Consistent with the principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy, which Shelford has adopted, parents are formally and informally encouraged to actively support the Early Learning Centre's Staff in their teaching and learning programs.

The Shelford curriculum is offered through learning programs that focus on the nature and experience of every student; where small class sizes and an open, friendly, and caring culture ensures that each child is well known to each of her teachers, and where a team approach between home and School is highly valued and is considered to be an essential part of the educational process.

Academic performance[edit]

Shelford offers students the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) program, as well as the Vocational Education and Training (VET) course.

  • In 2014, there were 7 perfect study scores of 50, and Shelford was ranked 3rd in the state of Victoria based on its VCE results, with 37.5% of study scores over 40.[28]
  • In 2015, there were 4 perfect study scores of 50, and Shelford was ranked 3rd in girls' school in Victoria based on its VCE results.[29]
  • In 2016, there were 7 perfect study scores of 50, and Shelford was ranked 1st in independent girls' school in Victoria based on its VCE results.[30]
  • In 2017, there were 4 perfect study scores of 50, and 12% achieved an ATAR over 99. For the 17th year in a row, 100% of Shelford students have received a first round offer for a tertiary institution.[31]

House system[edit]

As with most Australian schools, Shelford uses a house system through which students participate in inter-house competitions. The four school houses are:

  • Blundell - Red
  • Lloyd - Purple
  • Langley - Green and yellow
  • Thomas - Blue

Notable alumnae[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Women's Sports: New Association Formed, The Argus, (Saturday, 29 October 1932), p.27.
  2. ^ Girls Sport Victoria: Member Schools Archived 2006-08-20 at the Wayback Machine (accessed:27-07-2007)
  3. ^ "Shelford Girls' Grammar". Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Shelford School Performance Information 2015 2016 Annual Report" (PDF). Shelford Girls Grammar. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  5. ^ Letters to the Editor: Shelford Girls' School, The Age, 1 September 1942, p. 2.
  6. ^ Births: Dixon, The Ballarat Star, (Thursday, 25 September 1879), p.2.
  7. ^ Thanks, The Geelong Advertiser, (Wednesday, 14 December 1904), p.1.
  8. ^ Educational: Shelford Girls' School, The Argus, (Thursday, 21 July 1904), p.3.
  9. ^ Matriculation Examination, October Term, 1882: Honour Examination: Class Lists: English and History, The Ballarat Star, 9 January 1883, p. 2.
  10. ^ "Educational: Shelford Girls' School", The Argus, 11 February 1907, p. 11.
  11. ^ "Deaths: Blundell", The Argus, 30 August 1943, p. 2.
  12. ^ From the Principal: ANZAC Day Reflection 2018, Shelford Girls' Grammar.
  13. ^ "Deaths: Blundell", The Argus, 15 May 1922, p. 1.
  14. ^ "Deaths: Blundell", The Argus, 24 June 1937, p.1.
  15. ^ "Deaths: Blundell", The Argus, 4 July 1953, p. 16.
  16. ^ An article, written at the time of Langley's retirement as Dean of St. Paul's, notes that "another venture [of Langley's] which was successful was the purchase of the Shelford Girls' school property with only £5 to make a payment as deposit" (In the Churches: An Aggressive Venturesome Spirit Urged for Church, The Argus, (Saturday, 22 March 1947), p.17).
  17. ^ Schools & Colleges: Shelford Girls' School, Table Talk, (Thursday, 22 February 1923), p.24; Church and Education, The Argus, (Friday, February 1923), p.11; Archbishop Dedicates School Building, The Argus, (Friday, February 1923), p.5.
  18. ^ The Schools, The Argus, (Thursday, 23 February 1922), p.9.
  19. ^ Deaths: Thomas, The Argus, (Monday, 28 July 1947), p.15.
  20. ^ They married in 1884.
  21. ^ Shelford, The Argus, 22 December 1922, p. 14.
  22. ^ "Church and Education", The Argus, 23 February 1923, p. 11.
  23. ^ A photograph, "Head Mistress and Staff of Shelford Girls' School, Caulfield", including Langley (second from right) is at: Schools & Colleges: Shelford Girls' School, Table Talk, 10 April 1924, p. 24.
  24. ^ Deaths: Thomas, The Argus, (Saturday, 9 April 1949), p.15; Deaths: Thomas, The Argus, (Tuesday, 12 April 1949), p.9.
  25. ^ "Teaching and Learning". Shelford. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  26. ^ "Shelford's Mission". Shelford Girls Grammar. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  27. ^ "Welcome to Shelford Girls' Grammar". Shelford Girls Grammar. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  28. ^ "VCE ranking 2014".
  29. ^ "VCE ranking 2015".
  30. ^ "VCE ranking 2016".
  31. ^ "VCE results 2017".
  32. ^ a b "CHEAT SHEET: 10 of the best private schools for girls in Melbourne 25 June 2015". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  33. ^ [1]


External links[edit]