WISDOM Giveth Life. A motto still woven into everything Colchester’s County High School for Girls does.

This year, the school, in Norman Way, marks 115 years since it was founded.

Now boasting hundreds of students, the school has grown and evolved, but its success has been a constant.

Off the back of its latest maintained outstanding rating and to celebrate another major milestone in 2024, we've dug into the archives to find pictures from 1913 to the 2000s, documenting school plays, exam successes and memorable teachers past and present.

Gazette: History - the main entrance to the senior school which from 1912 to 1957History - the main entrance to the senior school which from 1912 to 1957 (Image: N/A)

The school Girls first opened in Colchester High Street in 1909, when there were just 67 students.

Gazette: Smiles - old students in the librarySmiles - old students in the library (Image: N/A)

It moved to the top of North Hill (now the Sixth Form College), then to Greyfriars (now GreyFriars Hotel) and finally settled in its distinctive Norman Way home in 1957.

Gazette: Happy - celebrating results in years gone byHappy - celebrating results in years gone by (Image: N/A)

The school badge was unveiled in 1927 and under headteacher Vashon Baker in the 1950s, a house system introduced and a parent-teacher association formed.

Gazette: Focus - an old science lesson from yesteryearsFocus - an old science lesson from yesteryears (Image: N/A)

The first major expansion was under the leadership of Dr Aline Black, who in 1996 was responsible for the “technology block” extension of the main building. 

Gazette: Pet - students spending time with a sss-pecial visitorPet - students spending time with a sss-pecial visitor (Image: N/A)

By 2005 the school role had expanded to 767.

Gazette: Group - headteacher Gillian Marshall with studentsGroup - headteacher Gillian Marshall with students (Image: N/A)

The school has been under the leadership of Gillian Marshall from 2009 to now.

It became the lead school in the Alpha Multi Academy Trust in March 2018.

Gazette: New - outside the school todayNew - outside the school today (Image: N/A)

Recent development highlights include a major extension of the Sixth Form centre, a new sports hall, the rebuilding of the swimming pool and a new teaching block.

A statement on the website sums it up perfectly.

“Throughout the school’s long history one thing remains consistent, its leadership by generations of talented and dedicated women and committed teaching staff who aspired, and continue to aspire, to provide the very best in education and opportunity for the students in their care.”