School History

Hollygirt School was founded in 1877 and was based in a house, number 82 Addison Street, which was girthed by a holly hedge, hence our name. Unfortunately the house no longer exists. Hollygirt moved to Elm Avenue in 1913 and we have owned various buildings in the intervening years, adapting and developing in line with the changing needs of the school. At several points in the twentieth century we had boarders and a small sixth form. Our stay on Elm Avenue was briefly interrupted during the Second World War when the army commandeered the main building. During this time the school moved to Billesdon in Leicestershire. All that remains of the army’s occupation is a metal gun rack behind the back door of the school.

Whilst we were founded as a girls’ school, we had a period in the 1980s and 1990s where boys up to the age of 7 were admitted. In 2012, the decision was made to admit boys aged 3 to 7 into the school again. In February 2014, as part of our future strategic development, we announced that Hollygirt would become fully co-educational from September 2014. On Wednesday 3rd September 2014, we welcomed boys into our Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 3, Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 classes. By January 2015 we had boys in every Key Stage.

Our motto, Ever Onward and Upward is as true today as it has ever been.

In our one hundred and thirty seven year history, Hollygirt has only had nine headmistresses:

HeadmistressDates in Post
Miss Stevenson1877 - 1905
Miss Stafford1906 - 1953
Miss Jessop1953 - 1967
Mme Auricoste1963 - 1967 (Acting Head)
Miss Vowles1967 - 1977
Mrs Johnstone1977 - 1985
Mrs Banks1985 - 1997
Mrs Connolly1997 - 2007
Mrs Hutley2007 - Present

The Junior School is named after Miss Stafford (Stafford House). The school library is named after Miss Jessop.

The school owns four houses in and around Elm Avenue.

Garfield House: 42 Elm Avenue (Main School: senior subjects, main school hall and administration)

Stafford House: 22 Villa Road (Early Years and Junior School)

The White House and Music Room: 18 Villa Road (Science, ICT, Food, Art, Music)

Villa Road: 9 Villa Road (Junior Hall, Years 5 and 6, Textiles)

Additionally we own the lower garden and pond to 16 Villa Road which is used by our senior pupils at break and lunch times.


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"Pupils are self-confident, self-aware and have a good sense of who they are."

ISI Inspection February 2013