Although there was an administrative presence on site until Thursday 10th when the answerphone was switched over to Eskdale Terrace, on Friday July 4th at approximately 1.30 pm the very last girls in green uniform left the Church High building for St George’s Church, Jesmond, to celebrate the End of Year Service.
This last emotional service began with the traditional procession lead by the Head Girl carrying the cross. Behind her on this special occasion, however, were younger girls carrying the four House Bears, an old school hat and the school bell; all were laid on the altar.
Everyone present will have their own personal memories of that day, looking back on the past and anticipating the new school post-merger, but the end of The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School was recorded for posterity in a Wikipedia entry as follows:
‘Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School (known locally as “Church High”) was an independent day school for girls in Jesmond, less than a mile north of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Until 2014 it was the oldest continuously operating girls’ school established in the city.
“Church High”, as the school is commonly known, was founded in 1885 by the Church Schools Company (now known as the United Church Schools’ Trust). It left the company in the 1920 and has been independent since, but retained ties with the Diocese of Newcastle and St Nicholas’ Cathedral.
Church High was one of the North East’s top performing independent schools in GCSEs and A Levels. In the 2010 GCSE league table, it was ranked joint third with Central Newcastle High School out of 100 schools in the North East. 98% of its candidates scored 5 or more A*-C grades that year.
On 29 January 2013 it was announced that Church High would merge with the nearby Central Newcastle High School to form Newcastle High School for Girls in 2014. The schools merged in 2014.’
Church High’s Tankerville Terrace site was chosen for the Senior School of Newcastle High School for Girls (ironically, the name under which the Victorian building had first opened in 1889) and Central High’s Chapman House as the home of the new Junior School. However, in order to accommodate an enlarged and extended Senior School of 700 girls on the Tankerville site, Church High’s Junior & Infant School built in 1975 was earmarked for demolition.
Whilst planning permission for the new building was sought and the building and renovation works carried out, those Church High girls and staff going forward to the newly formed school had to make the move into Central High’s Eskdale Terrace building in September 2014 for the first two years of the Newcastle High School for Girls.