Truro High School

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Truro High School
Motto Luce Magistra
Established 1880
Type Independent day and boarding
Religion Church of England
Headmaster Dr. Glenn Moodie, MA PhD
Chair of Governors Mrs Anna Corbett
Founder Edward White Benson, Bishop of Truro
Location Falmouth Road
Coordinates: 50°15′25″N 5°03′23″W / 50.25705°N 5.05643°W / 50.25705; -5.05643
Local authority Cornwall
DfE number 908/6080
Staff 200
Students 410~
Gender Girls
Ages 4–18

Truro High School is an independent day and boarding school for girls in Truro, Cornwall. The school consists of a girls-only Prep School, Senior School and Sixth Form. It is a member of the Girls' Schools Association.


The school was founded in 1880 by the future archbishop Edward White Benson, then Bishop of Truro. As well as establishing Truro High School, Bishop Benson also oversaw the building of Truro Cathedral before moving on to become Archbishop of Canterbury.[1]

The school was started as an all-girls school with just seven pupils and moved to its present site in 1896. By the 1950s, pupil numbers were up to almost 500. During the early 1970s it was a direct grant grammar school before becoming independent when the system was abolished in 1976. Both boys and girls were welcome in both its Pre-Prep and Sixth Form at various stages in its development. It continues to welcome boys in the Nursery and they currently make up about 33% of the nursery children.

Its first headmistress was Amy Key, well known as the writer Mrs. Henry Clarke. A history of the school was written by her daughter Amy Key Clarke.

The school celebrated its 135th anniversary in 2015.[2]

The Good Schools Guide describes the school as "a warm, personal place with a strong sense of belonging."


Admission into the school takes place throughout the year:

Prep – Girls join the Prep School at various stages but entry at Reception level is highly recommended. Entry is subject to availability, an interview with the Headmistress, a reference from the pupil’s current Head Teacher and a positive Taster Day. Girls do not sit entrance examinations but will be informally assessed during their Taster Day. Girls in the Prep School are guaranteed automatic transfer into the Senior School at the end of Prep 6.

Senior – Most girls join the Senior School in Year 7, with about one third of the intake coming from our own Prep 6 girls and the other two thirds coming from local primary schools, other Prep schools or out of county. Entry is subject to interview with the Headmistress, a positive Taster Day, a reference from the pupil's current Head Teacher and a successful 11+ entrance examination taken in the January of Year 6. Girls sit three papers – Mathematics, English and Verbal Reasoning with the first two papers set in line with the Key Stage 2 curriculum at Level 4 and higher.

Girls may join the Senior School higher up the school subject to availability, an interview with the Headmistress, a reference from the pupil’s current Head Teacher and a successful entrance examination. Girls would normally be expected to sit papers in Mathematics, English and Verbal Reasoning but, on occasion, may also be tested in other subjects as well.

Sixth Form – Each year girls join the Sixth Form from other schools. The entry requirements are 7 GCSE passes at Grades C and above (or equivalent), a positive Taster Day and an interview with the Headmistress. For those subjects to be studied at AS level, at least a grade B at GCSE (or equivalent) is required with most students offering grades A or A*. Prospective students are invited to have a Taster Day during Year 11 (to fit in with their own current studies) and will spend the day as a Sixth Former joining in with as many of their AS level subject choice lessons as the timetable allows.


Pre-Prep (from £1,545 per term), Prep School (£3,602 per term), Senior School (£3,851 per term), full boarding (from £7,089 per term) and weekly boarding (from £7,003 per term).


Girls in Senior School are required to take English, mathematics, the sciences, a foreign language, PE and a number of electives. The 2008 ISI inspection commended the modern languages curriculum and rated the overall teaching as "excellent".

Years 7, 8 and 9 – a wide range of subjects are offered to stimulate academic and personal development. Subjects include:

Art & Design, Biology, Chemistry, Drama, English Language, English Literature, Food & Nutrition, French, Geography, German, History, ICT, Latin, Mathematics, Music, Physics, Religious Philosophy & Ethics, Spanish, Textiles

The girls also have timetabled PE lessons (2 hours per week in Years 7–11).

In addition the School benefits from a thorough PHSE programme which supports and complements the School's Healthy School status. Topics covered range from managing money to sex education, from eating healthily to drug awareness and from dealing with bullies to study skills.

Years 10 and 11 (GCSE) – during Year 9 girls start to consider their choice of subjects for GCSE.

Core subjects: English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, One Modern Language (French, German or Spanish), Religious Philosophy & Ethics (short or long course)

and then select three further subjects from the following

Options: Art, Food & Nutrition, French, Geography, German, History, Latin, Music, Physical Education, Spanish, Textiles, Theatre Studies

Truro High School was ranked in the top 300 independent schools nationally for the 2011 GCSE results and came second for the county of Cornwall.[3]

Truro High School achieved a 100% pass rate in A level exams in 2011. 56% scored A* or A grade with 81% scoring grade B and above.

Site and facilities[edit]

The Prep and Senior departments as well as the boarding houses are on the same campus and over the last 20 years the school have subsumed the previous Daniel Girls' Secondary School site to provide the Daniel Road campus which houses English, Art, Drama, Modern Foreign Languages Departments as well as the Performing Arts Studio and Studio Theatre.

In April 2012, work on a purpose-built music and drama block began, including 6 sound proofed rooms for peripatetic teaching, new music and drama classrooms and 2 performance areas for both music and drama. This work was completed in 2014.

There is also an indoor swimming pool that is heated throughout the year, netball, tennis courts and an all-weather astro-turf pitch.


Truro High School ranks at number 25 for Independent Girls' Boarding Schools in the UK ( and second for boarding fees.

The school has about 40 boarders who live, during term time, in two Boarding Houses – Dalvenie for the girls from Prep 3-Year 8 and Rashleigh House for those in Years 9–13. The Houses are located right in the centre of the school campus and have an excellent standard of pastoral care, facilities and 'extras'. The ISI report (October 2008) commented:

‘The quality of pastoral care and provision for welfare and health and safety is outstanding, giving all pupils the opportunity to develop into mature and confident people.'

‘Pupils are kind, thoughtful and supportive to other members of the community. They are confident and relaxed with each other, with staff and with visitors to the school, and ready to celebrate each other's strength and successes.'

‘The quality of boarding is excellent and boarding plays an important part in the life of the school.....creating a happy and caring atmosphere, and encouraging a willingness in pupils to help others.'

‘The overall quality of the accommodation is outstanding.'

Naturally Learning Nursery[edit]

From January 2015, Truro High School has leased its purpose-built nursery to specialist early years' childcare provider Naturally Learning. The new arrangement has expanded the existing service to include two-year-olds. It also offers wrap-around care for 51 weeks a year, rather than just term times.

Naturally Learning was first established in 2012 by early years' specialists Judith Chapman and Mandy Richardson. They have three centres running in St Austell, Charlestown and Lostwithiel.

Introducing the diamond model

In the winter of 2015 it was announced that the school intended to adopt the increasingly popular diamond model of teaching, which involved introducing boys into the school. However, this scheme was dropped because of concerns raised by parents.

School publications[edit]

All students receive a copy of Highlights, a magazine highlighting events from the previous year, which is put together by a pupil in the Sixth Form and a member of staff. High Lines is the strategic development newsletter that is published in May and October and is sent out to parents. The school also send regular school updates to parents.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Amy Key Clarke, The Story of Truro High School, the Benson Foundation: with a memoir of its first headmistress Amy Key. Truro: Oscar Blackford, 1979.


  1. ^ Mark D. Chapman, ‘Benson, Edward White (1829–1896)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2009 accessed 4 March 2017
  2. ^ History
  3. ^ "Independent schools' GCSE results 2011". 

External links[edit]