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School History


  • 1905

    Tonbridge County School opens

    Tonbridge County School opened on 24 January in the Technical Institute in Avebury Avenue Tonbridge. There were 19 students. The first Head Teacher, Miss Taylor introduced the school motto, Courage and Honour.
  • 1906

    Junior girls moved to Brionne on the Pembury Road

    Junior girls moved to Brionne on the Pembury Road (now Charities and Commission offices).
  • 1913

    The School moved to the School on the Hilltop on Deakin Leas.

    The School moved to the School on the Hilltop on Deakin Leas.
  • 1916

    Staff and Miss Taylor

  • 1917

    Miss DW Sprules, Headmistress

    1917 to 1920: Miss DW Sprules, Headmistress. Although there are few records of the School during Miss Sprules’ time, as the ‘Rosemary’ was not published from 1917 to 1920, she was warmly thanked by the Old Girls’ Association for her help in continuing to strengthen the links between the Old Girls and the School during such a turbulent period of history.
  • 1917

    Miss Sprules continued to encourage the founding traditions of the School, however, the difference in character between Miss Taylor and Miss Sprules seem notable. One Old Girl vividly recalled Miss Sprules, “roaring down the hall, booming ‘I told you to recite not sing,’” to the girls when they had been ordered to memorise a poem of their choice and recite it in class. Another Old Girl recollects being summoned to Miss Sprules office with a sense of foreboding and the punishments for misdeeds that she dolled. Yet Miss Sprules is also noted for providing insightful advice to seniors about their careers. After leaving Tonbridge County School as Headmistress in 1920, Miss Sprules became Head of Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Acton. However, she continued to have involvement in the School and attended the Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1955, along with all former Headmistresses of the School. In the ‘Rosemary’ following her resignation, Miss Sprules wrote, ‘it is one of the most satisfactory, of the many satisfactory things that come from working in schools, that one does not really “leave”, but goes on still being part of the society to which one has tried to contribute something.’ She was evidently extremely proud of the School and its achievements Miss Sprules died in 1972.
  • 1919

    The Annexe building was constructed.

  • 1920

    Miss WM Fayerman, Headmistress

    1920 to 1939
  • 1929

    Tonbridge County School in 1929

  • 1930

    Miss Mathersil

    Pictured in the Art Room, later the Sixth Form Common Room.
  • 1940

    Miss EC Arnold, Headmistress

    1940 to 1964
  • 1941

    The first of the temporary huts was built

    (They were temporary for 70 years!)
  • 1944

    The Education Act of 1944

    The Education Act of 1944 made the County School into the County Grammar School for Girls for pupils who passed the new Eleven Plus exam.
  • 1947

    The canteen was built.

  • 1952

    Kentleys boarding house was opened

    Kentleys boarding house was opened and quickly filled its capacity of 19 boarders. (Kentleys closed in July 1989). Image: Boarders in 1984.
  • 1957

    The school hall, science block, gymnasium, Head teacher’s office and school office were added.

  • 1963

    Swimming pool.

    The school swimming pool opened.
  • 1964

    Miss EM Hiscock, Headmistress

    1964 to 1973 Miss Hiscock became Headmistress in September 1964, having been Headmistress of the Liverpool Institute Girls’ High School for nine years. She devoted much of her time to others and cared for the development of every pupil, consistent with her Christian values. She is known for her kindness and sympathetic understanding of those in any difficulties.
  • 1964

    Students' involvement in the wider community increases

    Miss Hiscock had a greater awareness of the needs of the wider community. She encouraged the senior students in their involvement with local and overseas voluntary services. The international understanding that she had and her fluency in French, German and Russian resonate strongly with the international outlook that is now so integral to the school. The Eleanor Hiscock Prize for Languages, which continues to be awarded to a student each year, reflects her love of modern languages. Likewise, Miss Hiscock was acutely aware of technological progressions that were leading to greater opportunities for the girls. It was during her headship that the Sixth Form were first permitted to discard their school uniform. In November 1973, Miss Hiscock suffered a severe and fatal stroke. In memory of her, the Eleanor Hiscock Memorial Fund was established which was used to create a memorial garden on the south side of the school and provide help with voluntary service work.
  • 1967

    Library wing and music block were built.

  • 1974

    Miss Mitchener, Headmistress.

    1974 to 1990: Miss BC Mitchener, Headmistress. When our dear ‘BCM’ died in September 2018 her Memorial Service was hosted at the School.
  • 1974

    The annexe was built

    (later to be known as the Mitchener Centre).
  • 1980

    New Science Lab (Adalab Appeal)

  • 1990

    Mrs Wendy Carey, Head Teacher

    1990 to 2005
  • 1995

    Swimming pool refurbishment.

  • 1996

    The Matthews Centre

    The Matthews Centre, more commonly known as the Tech block was opened in 1996 and the building was dedicated to the memory of Gary Matthews, Vice Chair of Governors 1993 to 1999.
  • 2002

    Sixth Form became co-educational.

  • 2005

    Rosemary Joyce, Head Teacher

    Head Teacher 2005-2022
  • 2006

    The International Baccalaureate Diploma was introduced alongside A levels.
  • 2009

    The Hands Building

    The Hands Building was officially opened on Wednesday 31 March. Image: Hands Building under construction in 2008.
  • 2010


    The original School on the Hilltop redevelopment was completed in June 2010.
  • 2011

    Outstanding Academy converter January 2011.

  • 2012

    IB Diploma replaces A levels in Sixth Form from September 2012.

  • 2013


    Redevelopment of Science laboratories thanks to the School Fund and The Wolfson Foundation.
  • 2015

    110th Birthday and 10th Anniversary of the IB Diploma.

  • 2015

    Opening of the IBarn for Sixth Form

    The opening of the IBarn for Sixth Form and major refurbishments to Music. Special thanks to the PYP campaign, our benefactor, PTA, Amadeus, Black Cat, Garfield Weston Foundation.
  • 2015

    Motet Choir

    Motet Choir celebrated its 25th Anniversary under the directorship of Mr Adrian Pitts.
  • 2016

    Debney House introduced

    Debney House introduced, in honour of Miss Joy Debney History and Senior Staff member 1954 to 1991. TGS Houses are Taylor, Fayerman, Arnold, Mitchener, Carey, Debney.
  • 2018

    #OurBigOutdoors sport and recreation for all.

    Facilities opened April 2018. The School is profoundly grateful to Play Your Part capital fundraising campaign, and to our private benefactor who so generously supported the School's fundraising.
  • 2022

    Head Teacher

    September 2022-Present