Inspiring Women

Made by girls

How Norwich High School for Girls shapes future change makers


Norwich High School remains true to its founding principles – we offer girls excellence in education, experience and opportunity – and we have always been keen to embrace fun and allow girls to flourish.

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 Norwich; the result being Norwich High School for Girls which opened on Monday, February 22nd 1875 at Churchman House, St Giles. With Miss Benson as Headmistress, 61 girls were present on the first day.

In the 123 years since that day, and through our move to the Assembly House in 1876, and to our site on Newmarket Road from 1932, we have upheld both our founding principles, and our reputation as experts in educating girls.

Reputation remains the main reason given by prospective parents as to why they are considering Norwich High for their daughters. We have a unique girls-first environment, warm community spirit and focus on wellbeing support which lets students be uniquely themselves and supports them in following their own pathways. As an all-through school, we provide continuity, a comprehensive and shared approach to learning, mutual values, as well as consistently high expectations from every member of the strong community including parents and staff.

Our strongly inclusive culture is led by students who have a limitless outlook. There are no gender stereotypes to conform to; students are bold in their choices. Our inspirational staff support students to find their niche. Here, if you apply yourself well and contribute positively, there are no other moulds to fit. Our outward looking and networked girls contribute to and benefit from our wider community. We are committed to opening up our facilities, expertise and time, creating opportunities for collaboration beyond our own students.

The approach is working. In December, we were named The Sunday Times East Anglian Independent Secondary School Of The Year in the 2023 Parent Power League. The Sunday Times commended the school for jumping 141 places in the national ranking since 2019.

“I feel very proud to be the Head at Norwich High, and am inspired every day by all the members of our community. As we work towards our 150th anniversary in 2025, I am confident that the foundations we have built and work to reinforce will endure and continue to contribute positively to our school community, the Norwich community and beyond.” Said Alison Sefton, Head.

Inspirational Alumnae

Paris Thompson, Class of 2023

Paris is a deaf activist who has delivered many speeches advocating for deaf awareness. Campaigning for Great Ormond Street Hospital, she helped raise over £10 million for their Sight and Sound centre, which supports deaf and/or blind children. Paris is also an accomplished actress, poet and lyricist. She was elected as a Women of the World Young Leader 2022.

Claire Oxley, Class of 1993

Artist Claire lives in Norwich and studied at the Norwich School of Art, and the Universities of Lancaster and Oxford. Her work is distinctive through its colour intensity and rhythmic mark making. Taking inspiration from surrounding landscapes, her starting point is often the passing seasons and wide, changing moods of her East Anglian home.

Ann Phillips, Class of 1973

Ann is a Consultant in the Charity and Social Enterprise team at Stone King LLP, advising charities and the individuals and institutions working with them. She has long been regarded as one of the UK’s foremost experts in charity law, with a career advising charities and philanthropists spanning over 40 years. In 2022 she was appointed to serve on the Board of the Charity Commission.

Tour our site  at 95 Newmarket Road: Eaton Grove, Stafford House and Lanchester House

We are situated in a 14 acres site on Newmarket Road. We are once again taking part in Heritage Open Days, and will be offering tours of the school, grounds and access to our archives dating back to 1875 on Saturday 9th and 16th September at 10am and 12pm. To access booking information click here.

Booking opens on 21 August 2023.

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