Wimbledon High School

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Wimbledon High School
Mansel Road

SW19 4AB

Coordinates51°25′21″N 0°12′39″W / 51.4226°N 0.2107°W / 51.4226; -0.2107Coordinates: 51°25′21″N 0°12′39″W / 51.4226°N 0.2107°W / 51.4226; -0.2107
TypeIndependent day school
MottoesEx Humilibus Excelsa
("From humble beginnings, greatness")
Stepping in, Striding out
Local authorityMerton
Department for Education URN102692 Tables
HeadmistressMrs Jane Lunnon
Age4 to 18

Wimbledon High School is an independent girls' day school in Wimbledon, South West London. It is a Girls' Day School Trust school and is a member of the Girls' Schools Association; the headmistress, Jane Lunnon, is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.


Wimbledon High School was founded by the Girls' Public Day School Trust (now known as the Girls' Day School Trust or GDST), it opened on 9 November 1880 at No. 74 (now No. 78) Wimbledon Hill Road with 12 students and Miss Edith Hastings as Headmistress, aged just 29. Over the next decade, the school roll grew to over 200 girls; the first lesson taught was on the subject of the apple. Soon after, the fruit was used as the emblem of the school; every year on the school's birthday in November, pupils and staff eat apple-green cakes in memory of this.

During World War I, the school endured a difficult time; the timetable was suspended for older students as girls and teachers joined the war effort and made respirators for the troops. A fire broke out in 1917 and gutted the main building; the girls were moved to a temporary location resumed their activities. The new building was formally opened by old girl, the Duchess of Atholl, in October 1920 and included a gymnasium and two new laboratories; the facilities have now been much expanded upon. The school's sports fields, at Nursery Road (off Worple Road) were until 1923 the site of the All England Club, before it moved to its present location in Church Road. Today, students are often selected to be ball girls at the Wimbledon Championships.

The school was greatly affected by the Second World War. Pupil numbers fell as London was bombarded during the Battle of Britain. Under the Education Act 1944, the school applied for and was granted "direct grant" status, it chose to become independent when the scheme was abolished during the 1970s.

A new junior school building was opened in 2000. New buildings were added such as a design and technology centre, new science labs and the Rutherford Centre for the Performing Arts, named after the actress Margaret Rutherford, an alumna of the school.[1]


Girls are placed in one of the four houses upon entry. There are inter-house competitions and activities held throughout the year notably: The Big Draw, House Music, Junior Drama, Inter-house sports, Sports Day, Off-Timetable Day, House University Challenge and House Debating

Junior School[edit]

The junior houses were named after famous women.

House Colour

Senior School[edit]

The houses were named after four of the twelve first students to attend Wimbledon High School: May and Margaret Arnold, Mildred Hastings, Violet Scott-Moncrieff and Sophie Meredith; each house has its own house committee consisting of a house captain and deputy house captain chosen by staff after an application process, and then Music, Art, Sports and Drama captains and a secretary selected by the house captain. House points are awarded for victory in house competitions and also by teachers in recognition for academic excellence and good conduct, following the PBS system.

House Colour


  • Miss Edith Hastings (1880–1908)
  • Miss Ethel Gavin (1908–1918)
  • Miss Mabel Lewis (1918–1939)
  • Miss Kathleen Littlewood (1940–1949)
  • Miss Marguerite Burke (1949–1962)
  • Mrs Anne Piper (1962–1982)
  • Mrs Rosemary Smith (1982–1992)
  • Mrs Elizabeth Baker (1992–1995)
  • Dr Jill Clough (1995–2000)
  • Mrs Pamela Wilkes (2001–2008)
  • Mrs Heather Hanbury (2008–2014)
  • Mrs Jane Lunnon (2014–present)

Associated People[edit]

Notable former pupils[edit]

Notable former teachers[edit]

  • Ada Wallas the socialist writer taught here briefly.
  • Nellie Dale was a teacher at Wimbledon who created her own basic reading program that used phonological awareness and phonics. She created a series of popular instruction manuals and primers based on her method.


  1. ^ History
  2. ^ Kamm, Josephine (2013). Indicative Past: A Hundred Years of the Girls' Public Day School Trust. Routledge. p. 106. ISBN 9781134531677.

External links[edit]