Happy birthday to us: school marks 125 years of education for girls in Berkhamsted

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Berkhamsted Girls’ School celebrates its 125th anniversary today – and students are having a series of celebrations to mark the big occasion.

The school, which now has 332 pupils, began its life at 222 High Street where the Britannia Building Society is now based, with just 14 pupils. It moved to its current home in nearby Kings Road in 1902.

The girls school launched its first lacrosse teams in 1907 – a school sport that is going strong today, with the U15 A squad the current county champions.

Berkhamsted School principal Mark Steed said: “It’s perhaps difficult for us who live in the world of 2013 to appreciate quite how radical the foundation of a school for the education of girls was 125 years ago.

“The public education of women really began in the second half of the 19th century when the first schools for girls were founded in the 1850s.

“The establishment of Berkhamsted School for Girls can be seen as part of this wider movement that had a vision that women would play a greater role in wider society.”

The school is using the year to fundraise for Education for All Morocco. The charity provides a home for some of the North African nation’s poorest girls, so they can attend state schools that are a long way from where they live.

Events to celebrate Berkhamsted Girls School’s 125th anniversary began earlier this month with a dinner for 90 of its current and former pupils, staff, governors and friends.

Yesterday there was a service at St Albans Cathedral and tomorrow author Teri Terry will give a talk to its students.

Next Friday, the students will perform in the 125 Showcase of Talent at the on-site Centenary Theatre.

Open days will be held at the school between 10am and noon on June 17, June 19 and June 20. For more information, visit www.berkhamstedschool.org