A Guide to the City of London School for Girls

The City of London School for Girls is an independent, private school which serves around 707 students. Non-denominational in its religious ethos, it admits only girls, aged from seven to 18.

The mission statement of the school is: "Aiming for excellence in all we do in the education and development of young women."

Founded in 1894 by William Ward, there were only 53 pupils to begin with, as the cultural outlook in Britain at the time dictated that education for girls was not taken particulalry seriously. Nevertheless, the original headmistress, Miss Alice Blagrave, did her best to encourage students to reach university, as well as promoting fun and recreation.

The school continued to develop and expand throughout the 20th Century, and the current head, Miss Diana Vernon, continues to ensure that the school maintains its traditions and reputation for excellence.

Over the last decade, the school has also developed its outreach work into the wider community, being one of the founder schools of the East London Consortium group. A series of Saturday schools are also hosted for what the school terms "less privileged girls from neighbouring boroughs."

Although the school is non-demonational in religious outlook, there is a mild Christian ethos to its work. It admits girls of all faiths however, and there are various cultural societies reflecting the ethnic diversity of the school, as well as a weekly Jewish assembly.

For pastoral and organisational pruposes, the school operates a house system, with the four houses being Fleet, Tudor, St Bride and Ward. The houses take their names from streets in the neighbourhood of the school, with the exception of Ward, named after the school's founder.

Some famous alumni of the school include pop singer Dido, as well as writer and historian Alison Weir and television presenter Claudia Winkelman.

The school was the focus of some controversial media attention in 2009, when music teacher Helen Goddard was found guilty of having a love affair with one of the students at the school. Goddard was jailed for 15 months as a result of the affair.

The school's excellence has been recognised in a number of league tables and assessments, with it coming first in 2005 in The Sunday Times table of Prep schools, and in 2008 it topped The Times 'A'-Level league table of England's independent schools.

Current fees for the school as well as details about the admissions process, including the kind of assessments that prospective students need to undergo, can be found at the school's official website, clsg.org.uk.

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