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The History of RGS Dodderhill

Discover our Past

The School that was to become RGS Dodderhill started in 1945 as Whitford Hall, Bromsgrove. It was founded by Miss Mary Booker, who remained Head until her retirement in 1972.

from the beginning, the emphasis on the child’s personal development was integrated.

Miss Booker’s approach

Miss Booker had the enlightened view that a good education was one in which “individual development is encouraged in directions calculated to form a broader basis for future intellectual development.” (1941).

The curriculum included art, music, dancing, physical education, and the usual academic subjects. From the beginning, the emphasis on the child’s personal development was integrated with a sympathetic awareness of the needs of others in the wider community.

Charitable fundraising continues to play a central role today; each year, the RGS Dodderhill community raises considerable amounts of money for good causes.

Although Miss Booker retired in 1972, she returned in 1973 to lead the newly acquired Dodderhill School for girls up to 16. She retired again in 1978 but lives on in our House names: ‘Booker’, ‘Whitford’ and ‘Davidson’. The latter recognises the role of Mrs Jean Davidson, the Chair of the Governors instrumental in the purchase of Dodderhill School, which led to the amalgamation of both schools on the Dodderhill site.

Late 1970’s up to today

Originally called Whitford and Dodderhill School, the combined school enabled the sale of the Whitford estate. This financed the Goodman building, now home to the Prep Department, and the David Street Hall, built in 1999 and named after the Chairman of the Governors. 

In 2013, the old gym was converted into a performing arts centre known as The Atrium. Creative arts continue to flourish, and our choirs are renowned for their high standards.

In April 2019, Dodderhill Girls’ School merged with The Royal Grammar School Worcester and became known as RGS Dodderhill.

The Executive Head of the RGS Worcester Family of Schools, Mr John Pitt, said at the time of the merger: “This is a unique opportunity for Dodderhill and RGS to work together, and I am excited about what the future holds for our community of more than 1,400 pupils across four schools. Both schools are known as centres of excellence, and girls from Dodderhill already join our co-educational Sixth Form of around 200 students and achieved exceptional results. There will be new opportunities to enhance our already strong links. For example, we envisage some joint staff insets and training, sharing of best practices, an extension of our bus network, and combined concerts at Worcester Cathedral.”

Despite the twists and turns of history, the spirit of our founder endures. An obituary for Mary Booker included the quotation: “Whitford is not just a school, more a way of life”.  

The same is true of RGS Dodderhill, which offers so much more than just outstanding exam results.

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