St Albans High School for Girls

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St Albans High School for Girls
STAHSlogo13 rgb.jpg
Motto Initium sapientiae timor domini
(The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom)
Established 1889
Type Independent day school
Religion Church of England
Headmistress Mrs Jenny Brown
Chair of Governors Ms Dorothy Henderson
Location Townsend Avenue
St Albans
Local authority Hertfordshire
DfE number 919/6038
Students 950~
Gender Girls
Ages 4–18
Houses Julian, Mandeville, Paris, Verulam
Colours Blue and yellow          

St Albans High School for Girls is a selective, independent day school for girls aged 4 – 18 years, which is affiliated to the Church of England and takes girls of all faiths or none. There are approximately 310 pupils in the Preparatory School with 480 in the Senior School and 160 Sixth Formers.


Founded in 1889, the High School has close links with the Diocese of St Albans through the Bishop, who is Visitor to the School, and the Dean, who is honorary Vice-Chair of the Governing Body. The High School moved from its original site on Holywell Hill to its current location on Townsend Avenue in 1908. The Preparatory School took up residence at Wheathampstead House in 2003.

Founders' Day is the School's annual celebration of its beginnings. Old Girls, Governors and other members of the school community are invited to a dedicated service in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban to commemorate the Founders with current students and staff.

Preparatory School

The Preparatory School, Wheathampstead House, is situated in 18 acres of parkland in the village location of Wheathampstead. The extensive site includes play areas, an adventure playground, woods and an outdoor learning classroom. There is an extensive range of extra-curricular activities.

Senior School

The Senior School and Sixth Form is in St Albans and facilities include an indoor swimming pool and fitness suite, a dedicated music school, Ringwood and a new Performing Arts Centre and Design & Technology block. The school’s large playing fields include tennis courts, lacrosse pitches and a new sports pavilion. Sixth Formers also have exclusive access to the onsite Starbucks style cafe. Pupils are prepared for GCSE and IGCSE examinations at the age of 16, for Advanced Level examinations, for Oxford and Cambridge entrance and for the examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music along with Trinity Guildhall. Girls throughout the School have the opportunity to take Speech and Drama lessons in small groups in preparation for a variety of LAMDA examinations.

House system

At St Albans High School there are 4 houses:

  • Julian - red. Named after Lady Juliana Berners, a 15th-century prioress of Sopwell Nunnery, famous for her learning
  • Paris - blue. Named after Matthew Paris, a monk of St Albans Abbey in the 13th century and well known for his Chronicle of local events
  • Mandeville - green. Named after Sir John Mandeville, associated with a book of travels in the 14th century
  • Verulam - yellow. Named after Sir Francis Bacon, first Earl of Verulam, philosopher and writer

Notable alumni

  • Stephen Hawking was educated at the school between 1950-1953. Then, unlike today, boys were educated at the school until the age of ten.[1]
  • Dame Anna Neagle
  • Harriet Kelsall - leading English jewellery designer

Notes and references

  1. Stephen Hawking. Greenwood Press. 1995.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Larsen, Kristine (1995). Stephen Hawking A Biography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-32392-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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