On 12 March 1878, Sheffield High School for Girls opened its doors to its first 39 pupils under the headship of Miss Mary Alger. This followed an earlier meeting at the Cutlers’ Hall in February, seeking support to establish a girls’ school in Sheffield.

Its founders, Lady Stanley of Alderley, Maria Grey, Mary Gurney and Emily Shirreff were also the founders of many of the other 26 schools now in the Girls’ Day School Trust group. At that time Sheffield High School for Girls occupied rooms in Surrey Street. It soon moved to purpose-built premises on the site where it stands today, maintaining its reputation as one of the best schools in South Yorkshire.

Notable Dates

1878 – Sheffield High School for Girls opens its doors to its first pupils in rooms on Surrey Street, Sheffield

1887 – The School moves to purpose-built premises at 10 Rutland Park

1909 – Trust teachers’ salaries were £100-£140 per annum

1917 – Sheffield High School for Girls purchases Moor Lodge which is used as a girls’ boarding house

1922 – The Escott Memorial Prize is established to commemorate the life and work of our third headmistress, Miss A E Escott. It is still awarded annually to Year 13 girls who have made an outstanding contribution to the School

1939 – With the onset of war, Sheffield High School for Girls is evacuated to Cliff College, Calver, Derbyshire

1944 – The School returns to Rutland Park

1978 – The School celebrates its centenary

1982 – Miss Lucas, the School’s secretary for nearly 50 years, retires

1991 – The Junior School moves from Moor Lodge to Melbourne House

1999 – The new Sports Hall and Sixth Form Centre are opened

2007 – The School opens new facilities for Infants at No. 4 Melbourne Avenue

2010 – Completion of a large extension to the Sixth Form further enhancing the school’s standing as one of the best schools in South Yorkshire

2017 - Sheffield Girls' merges with Ashdell Preparatory School and the Infant School moves to premises on Fulwood Road

From modest beginnings

From these modest beginnings in 1878 under Mrs E Woodhouse, the first headmistress, the school now boasts a much expanded site and facilities to be proud of.

From those original 39 girls, the School now has around 1000 pupils on roll. What has not changed, however, is that the girls in School are still happy, hard-working, courteous, trustworthy, talented and full of fun!

Our founders and early headmistresses had an unshakeable faith in the value of education for girls and this spirit has been kept alive by succeeding headmistresses and members of staff. We are proud to continue Mrs Woodhouse’s work and to continue to serve the families of Sheffield and the wider South Yorkshire area and beyond.