LearnBoost welcomes Sheffield High School
Katherine Wensley 
In February 1878 a meeting was held at the Cutlers’ Hall seeking support for a proposal to set up a girls’ school in Sheffield. On March 12, 1878 the school accepted its first 39 pupils in its town-centre premises, the old Surrey Street Music Hall.
In 1884 the school moved its premises to 10 Rutland Park where it resides today. In 1917 the school purchased Moor Lodge to be used as a girls' boarding house. In 1939 with the onset of war, the school was evacuated to Cliff College, Calver, Derbyshire.
To celebrate the school's 125th Birthday in 2003, the school had a giant party. A calendar was made with a different photo for each month. For the front cover, Shaun Bloodworth (a parent of one of the pupils) set up a camera on top of the science block with an image painted onto the lens. Prefects were sent onto the field below with bags of pegs and string and were shouted instructions from the rooftop until the numbers 1, 2 and 5 were laid out.
Each pupil was given a bone china mug with a cartoon (called 'Girls Through The Ages') of different uniforms worn in the high school, drawn by art teacher, Miss Hanlon.
A ceremony was held at the Octagon Centre, Sheffield on 11 March 2003.
In 2007 the school acquired No.4 Melbourne Avenue as a new infant building thus enlarging the Junior building to incorporate a new library. Also in 2007 the science block underwent a total refurbishment of the chemistry, physics and biology laboratories. In 2006–7 the Art department within Moor Lodge was refurbished and extended; two new art rooms and a new ICT suite were created. In October 2009 work commenced on an extension of the Sixth Form Centre, to provide additional classrooms and an Independent Learning Centre..
The school premises can be seen to be split between three sites; one on Melbourne Avenue consists of the canteen, school uniform shop and Infant and Junior department, the Sixth Form Centre which is located further up Melbourne Avenue overlooking the astroturf, and the main site at Rutland Park. The Senior School is located on Rutland Park, consisting of the sports hall, 'old gym', School House, Ash Grove, Moor Lodge and Main School. Both sites share the sports facilities and canteen. The school has around 1000 pupils aged four to eighteen. As of 2009, the school has examination pass rates of over 99% at A-level, AS level and GCSE. However, the school only admits around 75% of the pupils who sit the school's own entrance exam. Almost all the girls proceed to higher education, with over 90% obtaining a place at their first choice of university. The declared destinations on the school's website show that, of the 92 leavers of 2009, four went on to either Oxford or Cambridge universities, eleven took a gap year, and the remainder went on to Higher Education courses.
The school was the winner of Norwich Union's 'Best Independent School for Sport' 2005-2006, and currently has many successful teams  in a range of sports. The sports that are offered by the senior school include:
The school has also established links with two other schools: The Benjamin School, Florida and Chengdu Shude High School, China which pupils from the school regularly visit on exchanges. Although not officially connected, the High School has some informal links with Birkdale, a nearby independent boys' school. Pupils from both schools travel jointly by coach service to areas such as Wickersley and Worksop. School trips and sports tournaments such as 'Girls versus Birkdale' netball matches are also arranged for charitable purposes during the annual 'house charity week'.
The Senior school is split into four houses named after the four founding members of the school Maria Grey, Mary Gurney, Emily Shirreff and Lady Stanley of Alderley. Their portraits are displayed on the stairs by the reception. House colours are as follows:
Grey Gurney Shirreff Stanley
Houses in the Infant and Junior Department reflect this system. Grey is known as 'Amethysts', Gurney is called 'Emeralds', Shirreff is known as 'Sapphires' and Stanley is called 'Rubies'. A pupil is allocated a house when they join the school; this may be affected by the houses of other siblings already in the school, or the houses of other relatives.
Numerous events and competitions are organised each year; these include netball, rounders and athletics events, art competitions, Year 7 Mathematics Day and House Charities Week. House captains for the year are appointed by the school's Senior Management Team. Captains for winter and summer sports are also picked and take a leading role in the annual sports day which is held at Don Valley Stadium.
Approximately 200 pupils attend years 12 and 13. Girls study for academic AS and A2 levels, including more specialist subjects such as Geology, Latin and Russian. In year 12, girls undergo an enrichment process where they can choose what activities they wish to participate in including:
Sixth form do not wear uniform and, upon signing out, may leave school during the day if they do not have any timetabled lessons—a privilege not granted to younger pupils. A new Kitchen-Diner was created in late 2009 for use by all Sixth Form pupils, to provide basic cooking and dining facilities. Each year has its own common room and a sixth form assembly is held in the hall once every two weeks. The extension, due for completion in Summer 2010 will provide additional teaching classrooms and an 'Independent Learning Centre' to include a library and ICT facilities.
Each year girls from the school help to write and publish the magazine, High Times. The magazine is published in late September each year and features articles about recent school events, interviews with new or departing teachers, photos and art work from the pupils. Volunteers from Years 12 and 13 write and edit the magazine as part of their enrichment programme with assistance from girls in younger years 7 through 10. This was edited by Mr Nichols until 2006, Miss K Henderson 2006-2008 and is now edited by Mrs L Downes. A school calendar is published termly featuring upcoming events, as well as the 'High Flyer' and 'International High Flyer' leaflets published at least three times a year.
An annual awards ceremony is held at the Octagon Centre to celebrate the school's achievements. Awards are given for a range of sporting and academic achievements such as 'Loyalty to School Sport' and the 'Mrs Ames’ Spoken English Prize'. Each year a speech is given by an external speaker, the Headmistress, the Chairman of Governors and a 'Vote of Thanks' is given by the incoming Head Girl.