Queenwood School for Girls

Queenwood School for Girls is an independent, non-denominational, Christian day school, located in the suburb of Mosman, on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Established in 1925 by Miss Grace Lawrance and named after the Queenwood Ladies' College in East Sussex, Queenwood has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 800 students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

The school is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA), the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia, and is a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools (AHIGS).


Queenwood School for Girls was established by Grace Lawrance, assisted by Beatrice Rennie, as a private, independent, day and boarding school for girls, on 21 September 1925.

The two women had met in 1918, at the Glennie Memorial School in Toowoomba, Queensland, where Lawrance was Principal, and Rennie first assistant-mistress. They travelled to England in 1921, where they visited many of the best girls' schools. Both women resigned from the Glennie in 1925, with the intention of founding a school in Sydney. They chose a large, old house at 47 Mandolong Road, Mosman. Their entrepreneurial courage was remarkable since neither enjoyed perfect health.

The school was named "Queenwood" after the now defunct Queenwood Ladies' College at Eastbourne, in East Sussex, on the south coast of England, which had been founded by Miss Lawrance's mother in 1871, and which was similarly located on a hill overlooking the sea. The site at Mandolong Road was chosen because of its view over Balmoral Beach, and its northeasterly aspect. As Queenwood grew, the school expanded to a second site at Mandolong Road.

By 1926, Queenwood was a registered secondary school, and three years later Miss Rennie was teaching, running the school and caring for her ailing co-Principal. In 1932, a combination of the Depression, Lawrance's death in November, and Rennie's illnesses, meant that Violet Maude Medway often assisted in managing the school. The two women became co-Principals in 1942. Queenwood prospered despite the Depression and Second World War, and by 1950, Rennie was president of the New South Wales branch of the Headmistresses' Association of Australia. The school phased out its boarding program in the 1950s.

In 1962, Rennie retired as co-Principal, but the school remained her home as she worked in the library and helped with the students, as far as her health permitted. In 1966, the school became a non-profit private company, named Queenwood School for Girls Ltd.

The Junior School moved to the Medway Centre at Queen Street, Mosman in 1990, and later the Visual Arts Department moved to a separate site on The Esplanade at Balmoral Beach.


{| class="wikitable" |- !Period !Details |- |1925 – 1931 |Miss Grace Lawrance, Founder |- |1931 – 1961 |Miss Beatrice Rennie, Co-Principal with Miss Violet Medway 1942–1961 |- |1942 – 1982 |Miss Violet Medway |- |1982 – 1987 |Mrs Alison Stalley |- |1987 – 1996 |Mrs Judith Wheeldon |- |1996 – 2008 |Mrs Kem Bray |- |2008 – present |Mr James Harpur |-


Queenwood is comprised of four campuses, each located in suburban Mosman. The site at 47 Mandolong Road on which Queenwood was founded, was completely redeveloped in 2002/03 and became operational in term four of 2003. This campus caters for the Senior School (Years 7 to 12), and houses most of the academic activities of the School, including classrooms, integrated technology, a 600 seat tiered Auditorium, an underground car park, library, and music and drama facilities.


Queenwood School for Girls' is registered and accredited with the New South Wales Board of Studies, and therefore follows the mandated curriculum for all years.

Junior school

In the Junior School, the curriculum is based on the six primary Key Learning Areas of English, Mathematics, Human Society and its Environment, including language's other than English, Science and Technology, Creative and Practical Arts, and Physical Education, Personal Development and Health.

Middle school

Years 7 to 10 are known as Middle School, and at this stage most students are offered a range of curriculum choices. In Year 7, the school follows a mandatory pattern of subject choices. Year 8 students are introduced to six new subjects from which they select two for further study. In Year 9 students refine their subject choices in order to begin their preparation for the School Certificate of which is examined at the conclusion of Year 10. Whilst the mandated core subjects must be completed, students choose three electives which may include those studied in Year 8 or may consist of new subjects or a combination of both.

Senior school

In Year 11, students are prepared for either the Higher School Certificate (HSC) or the International Baccalaureate (IB), depending on their preference. Those choosing to complete the HSC must study at least eleven units including: at least two units of English; at least one unit from the Key Learning Area Group 1 of Science, Mathematics and Technological and Applied Studies; and at least one unit from the Key Learning Area Group 2 of Languages Other Than English, Human Society and its Environment, Creative Arts, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.

House system

As with most Australian schools, Queenwood utilises a house system through which students may participate in intra-school competitions and activities. The school currently has three houses:

  • Queen
  • Wood
  • School

The Motto

The motto is, 'Per Aspera ad Astra', or 'through struggles to the stars.' (Extended by Miss Rennie to be: 'it is only by struggling to overcome difficulties that we can hope ever to reach our highest ideals.') As taken as an extract from 'Queenwood: The First Sixty Years', Miss Rennie says, '"Per Aspera" precedes "Ad Astra" and so it is that strength and courage are necessary, for the highest and best are not attained without struggle. Self-control, self-disciplineare necessary with strength, to stand up for the right and courage to stick with one's convictions.'

Notable alumnae

Alumni of Queenwood School for Girls' are known as Old Girls and may elect to join the schools alumni association, the Queenwood Old Girls' Association (QOGA). Some notable 'Old Girls' of Queenwood include: Academic


See also

External links

Search another word or see Queenwood_School_for_Girlson Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature