School History

SWGSThe School opened on September 14th 1927 with 207 girls and 13 teachers, most of whom had transferred from the Bishop Wordsworth's School. The building was only partly two storied and had open corridors. These were the cause of many complaints during the next few years. The playing fields had not been made. Old Girls from that time tell stories of the 'stoning', or rather the 'de-stoning' of the field. Miss G A Moore was the first Headmistress. The Sixth Form in 1927 numbered 7.

SWGSThe School continued to grow during the 1930's, but there was no major building construction until after the Second World War. During the War the premises were shared with the Southern Secondary School from Portsmouth, the South Wilts girls attending in the mornings. By 1948 there were 520 girls on the roll and the School was known as the South Wilts Grammar School, as a result of the 1944 Education Act. The dining hall and kitchen was added to (what was then) the gym in that year, with a new Chemistry laboratory rather out on its own on the north side of the school in 1953. (Now Music)

In 1958 a new Home Economics block was built also on the north side. At about this time the corridors were at last glazed in so that the wind did not blow skirts in the air along the top corridor.

The School population grew tremendously in the 1960's so that major building extension work was carried out. This consisted of Science Laboratories and a new Assembly Hall, as well as classrooms, offices and Staff Room. The old hall became the Gym, with the old staff room becoming the Sixth Form Common Room. These came into use in 1963. The Swimming Pool was eventually built in 1964 at a cost of over £5,000 which was mostly raised by fetes and similar events. However these extensions were still not adequate for the educational demands of the 1970's so those years saw the arrival of 'mobile' classrooms around the site. The uses of the various parts of the buildings have altered over the years as the number of subjects taught has increased and changed. A computer room was added in 1988. A grant from the education authority in 1991-92 paid for the conversion of a Home Economics room into a Technology Room and workshop

In September 2003 the school became a Maths and Computing Specialist School and capital became available to build a Maths block of six classrooms and an ICT room plus staff offices, on the site of the old swimming pool. This was rapidly followed in 2004 by a new Sixth Form block with two classrooms, a very large study centre and plenty more offices. At the same time the school was being re-equipped with PCs so that we now have over 350. Building work continued with a Technology CAM extension in 2004 and a new English classroom built on one side of the old quad, also in 2004. In 2006 a new Music block was completed on the site of the last of the old mobile huts, which had been removed. This Music block is a fantastic resource with seven practice rooms, two ensemble rooms and a music technology room giving today’s students a wonderful experience to support the high standard of music which is still maintained. Building work and refurbishment has continued with a new dining room entrance and a new reception area completed in 2008. A new Learning Resources Centre opened in 2009 with a huge range of resources, 33 PCs and two new classrooms. Solar panels were also installed in 2011, along with a full renovation of the Old Building including new ceilings, windows, doors and re-decoration throughout.

Maths Block Music Block Technology extension
Maths Block

Music Block

Tech Extension
Sixth Form Centre Learning Resource Centre

Sixth Form

Learning Resource Centre

Today South Wilts is a blend of the traditional and the modern. It is proud of its unbroken record as a Grammar School preserving high academic standards and lasting values of hard work and perseverance.