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About Us

Welcome, vision and values

Welcome to Plymouth High School for Girls, the year of our 150th Birthday.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Plymouth High School for Girls, a long established and highly popular city selective school. We were founded in 1874, so 2024 is the year we celebrate our 150th birthday. Our motto, ‘For life not school we learn’ is just as relevant as we look forward to celebrating our latest milestone as it was in 1874. I consider myself fortunate to be the Headteacher of such a caring and happy place.  Our students and staff are ambitious and enthusiastic; students enjoy their learning and treat each other with kindness and compassion.  It’s a privilege to be able to work with them. All that we do at Plymouth High is driven by our commitment to create a positive environment where everyone feels valued for who they are.

At Plymouth High we aim to create the kind of environment that allows for personal development, happiness and academic achievement to go hand in hand.  We want our students to look forward to coming to school, to participate actively in lessons, to stretch themselves and to have fun.  We want them to feel successful, to continue to grow in confidence and to be proud of who they are. 

We provide a high quality learning experience at our school; teachers are experienced, dedicated and possess a real passion for teaching lessons that have the students engaged and interested.  Our teachers really do want the very best for their students and engage enthusiastically in continually developing their own practice.

We are a proud member of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, a group of schools spread across the southwest, south and southeast of England committed to putting the child first and to help young people to be their best selves. Whilst Plymouth High was the first TSAT school in the southwest, there are now four secondary schools, three primaries and an alternative provision school within the hub, all working together.

There’s a wonderfully diverse range of opportunities for Plymouth High students to get involved in and outside the classroom.  We have something for everyone and encourage our students to try new things and to collaborate; whilst we celebrate individual achievements, we also foster a sense of teamwork, pulling together and enjoying successes as a group. 

Many things have changed since our opening in 1874, but our school motto, Non scholae sed vitae discimus (For life not school we learn), is as important to us today as it was in the 19th Century.

I do hope that you find our website interesting, but if you would like to see our school for yourself, please do get in touch to arrange a visit.

Simon Underdown


School Guide Certificate of Excellence

We were delighted to receive our ‘Certificate of Excellence’ from the School Guide.  The School Guide look at a number of measures to decide on their ratings and it confirms the strong position that Plymouth High is in.  It’s always a big team effort at Plymouth High with everyone playing their part, so receiving the award is a boost for us all.