St Albans High School of Girls

An Illustrated History

Nigel Watson

St Albans High School for Girls, 2002

Hardback, 143 pages, no ISBN


From Dust Jacket


It opened modestly, in 1889, in a converted hospital. Nearly two decades later it was threatened with closure, but happily good counsel prevailed, and the funds were raised for a fine new building. From then on, with a few controversies on1 the way, St Albans High School flourished to become the outstanding school it is today. This well  researched and lively account describes its steady rise, as it developed and expanded to fill the entire Townsend Avenue site.

As the text explains, a vital ingredient of the School's reputation for excellence has been a succession of first class headmistresses who have nurtured academic achievement within a culture of caring values, encouraging individual creativity and concerns for one's fellow beings. Character sketches of Heads and staff, so many of whom have played a key role in the school's development, with plenty of good anecdotes, enliven and enrich the narrative. There is plenty, too, about pupils and their individual experiences.

The text is copiously illustrated with photographs and other images, showing pupils, staff, and activities, to make and engaging visual record stretching from the opening of the twentieth century to the dawn of the twenty first.

The book is an important contribution to the history of girls' education. For anyone connected to the School, past and present, it will inform and delight.

      Foreword   5
      Acknowledgements   6
      1 'An Education of the Highest Stamp':    
        Foundation and Re-foundation 1889-1908   9

'The Individuality of the Pupil':

        Credibility and Stability 1908-1927   19
      3 'Not With Gain In View'    
        Life and Learning In Peace and War 1927-1946   49
      4 'Too Readily Content'    
        Post-War Problems 1946-1963   71
      5 'A Happy and Balanced Education'    
        A Great Leap Forward 1964-1982   89
      6 'The Greatest Possible Fulfilment'    
        Change and Progress 1983-1994   109
      7 'Aim for Excellence'    
        Into the new Millennium 1994 Onwards   123
      Chronology   137
      Index   139

The School in 1910

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