Greenacre School for Girls

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Greenacre School for Girls is an independent school for girls aged 3–18 in Banstead, Surrey.

About Greenacre School for Girls

Greenacre School for Girls provides an independent education for Girls. Situated close to Banstead village, Greenacre provides an environment where buildings vary from well resourced, homely cottage style of the Junior Department to the modern purpose built senior facilities. Girls aged between 3 – 18 years are taught on this secure and welcoming site.

Greenacre School has an extra curricular timetable including sport, music, art and drama activities on a daily basis including Duke of Edinburgh Scheme right through to Gold level allowing girls to develop skills of planning, teamwork and leadership.

The school facilities include purpose built accommodation for all subjects such as the ICT suites, Music, Music Technology, Creative Arts, Mathematics, Food Technology and Media Studies. The Junior Library has been recently refurbished to a high standard of facilities.

The schools science department has a state-of-the-art building and the school regularly hosts external events linked with The Royal Society of Chemistry. The school has a refurbished Swimming Pool for the School's Junior and Senior Swimming Squads. Greenacre School pool is also the home of the Surrey Swim School.

Greenacre School Departments

Nursery and Reception

In Nursery, Reception and Infants the school provides a warm, nurturing atmosphere where girls are stimulated and encouraged to grasp new opportunities. The girls experience a happy, active and secure learning environment with outside secure play area to allow learning to take place both inside the classroom and outdoors where girls can grow into self-confident learners, developing at their own pace.

Greenacre School follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, planning topics over a two-year cycle to cover the six areas of learning and development:

Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Greenacres school day for the youngest children starts at 8:30 a.m. and finishes at either 11.30 am or 3:15 p.m. Nursery aged children can stay for the morning session only or may extend their time to take in the full day when ready. Girls may join the Nursery at the start of the term of their third birthday.

Girls may be dropped in their classroom from 8am for free supervised early morning care. The School provides provision of After School Care until 5.30pm.


Greenacre School Junior Department classes all have their own teacher supported by a team of ancillary staff. The school places an emphasis on high educational standards, strong moral and social values are encouraged. The children are expected to respect one another and to behave well. The schools curriculum is based on the National Curriculum but extends beyond, providing a broad range of subjects. Interactive whiteboards support teaching and learning in the classroom.

Junior Curriculum

The School Junior Curriculum follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, planning topics over a two-year cycle to cover the six areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication
  • Language and Literacy
  • Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World
  • Physical Development
  • Creative Development
Extra-curricular activities

Greenacre School Junior Department runs a variety of lunch-time and after-school clubs. These are open to pupils from Year Three upwards. From Year Three, sport is played against local schools. Year One onwards, pupils may learn a musical instrument at an extra charge. All children participate regularly in school productions and concerts. Greenacre School runs day trips to a variety of educational locations. In alternate years, Years Five and Six are taken on a residential outdoor activities trip; in the other year, they participate in a water sports day at a local centre.

The school day

The school day starts at 8:30 a.m. for the Junior Department girls. Reception to Year 4 pupils finish at 3:15 p.m. while the older girls in Years Five and Six finish at 3:30 p.m. There is a facility for the pupils to come into school at 8:00 a.m. and, depending on age, they may stay until 5:30 p.m. in the evening if necessary. The day starts with an Assembly which may be for the year group or the whole school.


Each year group has its own classroom base, with Nursery and Reception and Years One and Two located in Mellow House. These classes have their own cloakroom and toilets attached to their classroom. Practical equipment to help in the delivery of the curriculum, computers, and plenty of book resources are found in the classrooms. Situated in White Cottage are Years Three, Four, Five and Six, together with the Junior computer room and the Junior Library. These classes share a central cloakroom and have plenty of resources. Pupils also have access to the senior school facilities for music, food technology, science and modern languages. Swimming is taught throughout the year in our school pool.


Greenacre School Senior Department provides an environment where young women can achieve their potential. Academic expectations are high and the girls are encouraged to develop their own particular strengths and skills through taking advantage of opportunities open to them. Confidence is very important and the school staff support the pupils to achieve their aims. The Senior School provides the next stage in the learning process, preparing pupils for the Sixth Form and Higher Education.

The School Day

Greenacre Senior School day starts at 8:25 a.m. with registration and is then followed by Assembly three times weekly. Six lessons and form time make up the daily timetable and the day ends at 4.00 p.m. The Schools Study Hall is available to all pupils at the end of the day until 5:30pm. Progress reports are issued every half-term and whole school examinations take place in June. Pupils in Year 11 achieved a 93.5% pass rate in at least 5 G.C.S.E.s in the 2011 examinations.

An Introduction to Greenacre School Senior Curriculum

The curriculum provided by Greenacre School offers a broad and well-balanced education suited to all pupils across the full age (3-18) and ability range. It is designed to prepare pupils for life as independent learners with a willingness to work with determination and commitment to achieve their potential.

Years 7- 9

The foundation is laid for GCCE with an emphasis on hard work, cooperation with others and developing good learning and revision techniques. All the National Curriculum subjects English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Modern Foreign Languages, ICT, Art and Design, Drama, Music, Physical Education and Citizenship are included as well as cookery as a life skill.

From Year 7 Mathematics and French and from Year 8 Biology, Chemistry and Physics, taught as separate subjects, are setted according to ability. There is also an extensive PSHE programme.

Greenacre School do not enter the pupils for Key Stage 3 SATS but prefer to enhance the Key Stage 3 Curriculum and to start the GCSE programmes of study. Prior to choosing their GCSE courses the girls complete the “Pathfinder” careers programme.

Years 10 and 11

For most students the curriculum pattern will be to study English, English Literature, Mathematics, Science; either Triple Award (GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics) or Dual Award (equivalent to two Science GCSEs) and a Modern Foreign Language (French and Spanish) as compulsory GCSE subjects. Additional examination subjects are chosen from the following options: French, Geography, History, Religious Studies, Business Studies, Art, Textiles, Photography, Drama, ICT, Music and PE. The majority of students study nine or ten subjects. Mathematics, English, French and Dual Award Science are setted according to ability.

Apart from the examined subjects all students have a PE and PSHE programme. There is an extensive extra curriculum programme in which all students are encouraged to participate. At the end of Year 10 all students begin preparing for their work experience at the end of Year 11.

Years 12 and 13

In the Sixth Form, (Years 12 and 13), pupils can choose from up to twenty subjects. In addition to the GCSE subjects Psychology, Media Studies, Music Technology and Politics are offered. Class sizes are relatively small (staff student ratio 1:4 on average) allowing for a tutorial approach and a great deal of individual help. Apart from their AS subjects all Year 12 students either take the Sports leadership Award or a Curriculum Enrichment programme. During non curriculum time Year 13 spend the first few weeks of the academic year completing their University applications before starting a further term of curriculum enrichment activities.

Sixth Form

In the Sixth Form at Greenacre School, (Years 12 and 13), pupils choose from up to twenty subjects. In addition to the GCSE subjects Psychology, Media Studies, Music Technology and Politics are offered. English Language/Literature has been offered for the forthcoming year. Class sizes are relatively small (staff student ratio 1:4 on average) allowing for a tutorial approach and a great deal of individual help. Apart from their AS subjects all year 12 students either take the Sports leadership Award or a Curriculum Enrichment programme. During non curriculum time Year 13 spend the first few weeks of the academic year completing their University applications before starting a further term of curriculum enrichment activities.

Greenacre School Curriculum

Greenacre School History

Greenacre School for Girls was founded in 1933 by Miss Sabine Pasley and a fellow teacher, Miss Patricia Wagstaff. Both had a deep flair for teaching and a vision for a school that would provide excellent academic standards and an education tailored to the specific needs of girls and young women. Together they agreed a set of principles on which to run the school and those principles are still valid today.

The principles on which Miss Pasley based Greenacre School in 1933 were:

  • Stay independent of the state to allow a balance between the needs of each individual and those of the community. This also helps maintain a balance between discipline and freedom.
  • Restrict class sizes to numbers large enough for community feeling, but small enough for pupils to provide the best learning environment.
  • Provide the high standard of education that would be expected in the very best of independent schools – highly qualified staff, excellent facilities and a curriculum planned to develop every girl to the best of her abilities.
  • Develop a good Sixth Form – this is the best way of setting standards through the entire school, both in work, character and behaviour.
  • Ensure girls grow in the right environment – admitting girls from five years old so they have regular contact with older girls as they are developing. Girls look forward to moving through the school and putting down their roots.
  • Strive to develop the individual talents of every girl to their highest ability – whether they be intellectual, artistic or practical.

Together, Miss Pasley and Miss Wagstaffe planned a medium-sized school within reach of all that London had to offer, but with easy access to green countryside. Once the finance had been arranged, Miss Pasley found and purchased in April 1933, Heath House in Sutton Lane, Banstead – a sizeable property with grounds including a pear and apple alley on one side, two tennis courts and a wide field referred to as ‘the donkey paddock’. An advertising pamphlet and a school prospectus were commissioned and the school opened on 4 May 1933 with seventeen pupils. The school uniform was designed in green and gold with the ‘pioneers’ crest created by the Art teacher Miss Skinner, on the hat band and blazer. The school grew rapidly, with fifty more pupils accepted for the Autumn term and by 1934 the adjacent properties Heathside House and Holmlea were rented to create a boarding house with the purchase of White Cottage for Junior pupils following in 1939. Nevertheless, the school aims outlined in the first prospectus remained always the basic aims with which the school moved forward:

“The general aim of Greenacre School is to provide a sound education for girls of all ages, on the best modern lines, so that their natural energies may have every opportunity of full development, with all its resulting freedom and happiness. The School headmistress believes that, whatever the future may hold, girls are able to face it with more courage, judgement and welcome stability if, as children, they have been trained to enjoy work, and to develop powers of concentration and clear thinking. She is most anxious, therefore, to have the training of day-pupils from their early years, and to give them the advantage of a continuous method from the Kindergarten to the VI form.”

However, the advent of the Second World War was to interrupt the happy atmosphere and steady progress of the growing school. Girls and staff were evacuated, first to Turnworth House, near Blandford in Dorset, and then to North Cheriton House, Wincanton in Somerset. There the children and staff quickly adapted themselves to the unfamiliar surroundings and thrived on the exercise and country air. Once the war was over and the girls returned to Banstead there was much work to be done to restore the school and grounds. The building and development programme that Miss Pasley began in 1937 was resumed and continues in the same spirit today.

Key Events in the History of Greenacre School for Girls

  • 1933 Greenacre School for Girls was opened in Heath House with 17 girls. Heathside and Holmleas were leased for a boarding house. The House system began with Ascham and Elyot houses. Colet house was added a few years later.
  • 1934 White Cottage was leased for Junior pupils. The first Speech Day was held. The school had grown to 84 pupils.
  • 1936 The School Hall was built.
  • 1937 Greenacre received one of its finest reports from HM Inspector, Miss Beevor.
  • 1938 Greenacre School was recognised by the Board of Education. Two new classrooms were built.
  • 1939 Germany invaded Poland and World War II began. White Cottage was purchased and in August pupils were evacuated to Turnworth House, Blandford, Dorset. This was followed by a further move to North Cheriton House, Wincanton, Somerset.
  • 1942 Miss Pasley wrote the school song ‘Pioneers’ set to music by Mr Bevis, Music teacher.
  • 1945 At the end of World War II the school returned to Banstead. The school grounds were turned back from vegetable gardens to sports fields.
  • 1948 A new classroom block was built and Lantern House was purchased.
  • 1950 Greenacre became a public school. Tudor House (renamed Mellow House) was purchased and Heathside and Holmlea were renamed Heath House.
  • 1955 Miss Pasley resigned as Headmistress and was appointed as Administrative Principal. Miss Wagstaffe was appointed headmistress
  • 1958 The School’s Silver Jubilee was celebrated in Southwark Cathedral. The Silver Jubilee Fund financed the building of an advanced Physics and Chemistry laboratory, a larger Art room, Library and an extended Dining Room.
  • 1961 Miss Wagstaffe retired. Miss Steele was appointed Headmistress.
  • 1962 Miss Pasley and Miss Wagstaffe retired to Somerset. Miss Steele was appointed Headmistress.
  • 1963 Smallshaws playing field on Mellow Close was given to the school.
  • 1972 Miss Steele retired and Miss Haggerty was appointed Headmistress.
  • 1986 Miss Wagstaffe died.
  • 1990 Miss Haggerty retired and Mrs Wood was appointed Headmistress.
  • 1994 The new Pasley Sports Hall was opened on 25 April by Will Carling OBE, England Rugby Captain. Four adjoining new Humanities classrooms were also opened.
  • 1999 The new Science block and Lecture Hall was opened on 4 May by Helen Sharman OBE, the first Briton in space.
  • 2000 The Millennium Garden was planned and planted.
  • 2004 The new da Vinci Centre housing Art and Textiles, a dance studio, a photography studio, a Music room and recording studio, the Mathematics department, a cookery room and a general purpose classroom was opened.
  • 2007 The swimming pool was refurbished.
  • 2008 Greenacre celebrated its 75th birthday.
  • 2009 Mrs Wood retired and Mrs Redding was appointed Headmistress.
  • 2010 Lantern House was converted into a new Sixth Form Centre and opened by former pupil Miss Margaret Selby. Hockey was introduced in the school.
  • 2011 The ‘long corridor’ was refurbished as a walk-through gallery.
  • 2012 The dining room was refurbished.