A brief history of Norwich High School for Girls

Posted on 4th February 2022

In 1876 the School moved to the Assembly House in central Norwich.

In the twenty first century it is difficult to imagine a society without education for girls. In 1873 a group of Norwich citizens, discussing the lack of girls’ education in the city were faced with just such a society. Consequently they approached the Girls’ Public Day School Trust, asking them to found a School in the Norwich; the result being Norwich High School for Girls.

Norwich High School for Girls, the first Trust School established outside London, opened on Monday, February 22nd 1875 at Churchman House in St Giles. With Miss Benson as Headmistress, 61 girls were present on the first day. Assembled in the largest room, Miss Benson opened the school with verses from the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians. It may not seem radical now, but to Miss Kate Cooper, one of those original 61, it was a transformative day; “it is not easy to realise how great was the innovation that we should be thus assembled together in a public school”.

In 1876 the School moved to the Assembly House in central Norwich.

Despite the charm a new age required new buildings. In particular the demand for outdoor space for sports and indoor space for science led the School first to Stafford House in 1932 and then to Eaton Grove in 1933.

It is in these fine nineteenth century dwellings, amongst fourteen acres of playing fields, wooded paths and new purpose built school buildings that Norwich High School for Girls lives today. A radical, innovative and evolving educational community, created with one purpose in 1875 and with one purpose today – to provide the best education for girls.