History and Heritage
Founded in 1880, Truro High has a long and proud tradition of offering a first-class education to girls in a setting where all are known and valued as individuals.
The School was founded in 1880 by the future Archbishop Edward White Benson, then Bishop of Truro, to offer education for girls within a Church of England setting. As well as establishing Truro High School, Bishop Benson also oversaw the building of Truro Cathedral before moving on to become Archbishop of Canterbury.
The father of girls, Bishop Benson wanted to provide a school that would offer his daughters the same kind of opportunities and education that were available in the area to boys. To this day, the School continues to be regarded as one of the top girls’ private schools in the UK offering a first-class holistic education in a beautiful setting.
The School was originally opened in Lemon Street with fifteen girls on the roll, ranging from ten to seventeen years old, including Bishop Benson’s two daughters Nellie and Maggie. When numbers in the School increased to forty it moved into larger premises on Strangways Terrace, and finally moved to its present site in 1896.
Truro High’s first Headmistress Amy Key, later well known as the writer Mrs. Henry Clarke worked with Clare Arnold, the second headmistress, to create the School and make it a durable and lively community where girls could receive an academic education and be entered for examinations, and where art, music, drama and sport were actively encouraged. The stained glass window that stands proud over the school’s main staircase has four decorative panels depicting science, poetry, sculpture and painting. These are the elements upon which our School was founded and they remain as important to it today as then.
The School has a distinctive ethos informed by its Anglican foundation with the aim to create a safe but stimulating environment which creates aspiration, values individuality and develops self-esteem. The school sets out to nurture and equip young women to face the challenges of a future where a global perspective is needed, digital fluency is essential, and where adaptability, creativity, resilience and critical self-reflection are key.
It also ensures the commitment to those values that the School and its pupils hold dear – the excellent teaching, small class sizes and a belief in making sure that every individual matters. It is a formula that has proven successful time and time again with Truro High pupils achieving outstanding results – not just academically but in sport, music, drama and the arts too.