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History

Founded in 1881 by Francis Holland, Canon of Canterbury Cathedral and Chaplain to Queen Victoria and Edward VII, the school was really the brainchild of his wife, Sibylla Holland (nee Lyall). 

A house was leased at 80 Coleshill Street, later re-named Eaton Terrace, and on March 1st 1881, at 12.15 pm the school, subsequently known as Graham Street School, opened its doors.  Due to expanding numbers it re-located to its present site in October of 1884.

As early as 1882 girls were prepared for the Cambridge Local Examinations and in 1884 a kindergarten was introduced for both girls and boys.  The school archive still has the application forms for both Laurence Olivier and Tony Benn!

Threatened with closure throughout its history it has not only survived, but gone from strength to strength. Many traditions live on such as the school's charitable work, the Birthday on March 1st and the Old Girls' Society.

A review of Graham Street Memories published in 1931 on the occasion of the Jubilee sums up the values instilled in the girls in that period, but it could have been written about the school today:

“Looking back on the beginnings, it is curious to compare the little body of Victorian girls and young women with the lively, active, open-air concern that a London day school is today, not only meeting to study, but undertaking innumerable activities –music, art, drama, guiding, games, mission and settlement work- within the school and without.”

“March 1st, 1881! It was indeed an eventful day in many lives. For my two sisters and myself it was a day looked forward to with intense excitement and pleasure…”

Ernestine Wilkinson, one of the first thirteen pupils of Graham Terrace in 1881

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