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School History


Dr Challoner’s High School gets its name from Dr Chaloner, D.D, Canon of Windsor and Rector of Amersham from 1578 to 1621.

Dr Chaloner provided £20 in his will for a ‘free grammar school’, and in 1624 the original Dr Challoner’s Grammar School was founded in Old Amersham. It remained a boys’ school until 1905 when it was transferred to the present site of the Grammar School and also became co-educational. Dr Challoner’s was grant aided by the Board of Education until 1937, and then became a maintained County Grammar School.

In the early 1960s, the pressure for more grammar school places in the district became so great that the decision was made to build a new school in Little Chalfont, solely for girls, and Dr Challoner’s Grammar School would revert to boys only.

History of Dr Challoner's High School

The Governors – wishing to continue the link with the original Dr Challoner’s - named the new girls’ school ‘Dr. Challoner’s High School’, which opened on September 11th, 1962, despite being unfinished. The transfer of all the girls from the original site was completed a year later, and the school was officially opened by Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent on May 7th, 1964.

When it opened, the school comprised the main tower block (connected to the assembly hall balcony and entrance hall by the library at first-floor level), the science block and art rooms, and the gym with changing rooms. There were also a number of netball and hockey pitches, and grass and hard tennis courts. 

The school has since been developed, to include the modern languages and music block, the curved building which houses Maths, English and Design & Technology classrooms as well as the the impressive sports hall which was completed in 2002. In February 2009, the brand new Courtyard, as a performing arts suite, was opened. The school has significantly benefitted from major refurbishment between 2017 and 2022.  Over £5 million of government grants have created a modern, vibrant and attractive school environment, with the latest energy efficient lighting and heating systems. In addition, fundraising from 2017 onwards has led to nine very inspiring and leading edge classrooms and a stunning new Sixth Form Centre which was designed largely by our students and opened in September 2022.

Since Dr Challoner’s High School was founded, pupils and staff have been constantly striving for excellence. In 2001 we were awarded specialist school status as a Sports College. We were re-designated as a high performing specialist school with a second specialism of Modern Foreign Languages and Science as a partner subject in early 2006. In 2012 the school was judged as outstanding by Ofsted and in 2014 we secured the Exceptional Schools Award celebrating the uniqueness and excellence of our outstanding school.

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