Celebrating 70 Years of Helsby High School

The Caretakers (from left): Mr L. Lee; Mr. Neild; Mr. Perkins

The Caretakers (from left): Mr L. Lee; Mr. Neild; Mr. Perkins

In 1938, ‘building operations were commenced’ for the relocation of the Grammar School for boys and girls to the current Helsby site.
The school was originally designed for boys and girls to be taught separately in the Boys’ Grammar School and the Girls’ Grammar School. There were duplicate specialist teachers, administrators and a Headmaster at the boys’ school and a Headmistress at the girls’ school. A cinder path divided the exterior and strict rules were in place to ensure that each group stayed strictly within their boundaries.

Whilst the building commenced in 1938, this was suspended as war broke out in the following year. With the shortage of building materials, the boys’ school was completed in 1940, but the girls’ school was sealed off. In 1941, the building was requisitioned for war purposes and became a hostel. It was not until 1947 that the building was de-requisitioned and in 1948, the Ministry of Education agreed that the buildings should be completed.

In 1949, approximately 170 boys and 170 girls transferred from the Runcorn school into the (to become) boys school at Helsby, which remained a mixed school for a full year. Then in September 1950, the girls school opened and the school returned to being two single sex schools.

This aerial photograph of Helsby was presented to the school after a Naval Air Command visit in October 1971

This aerial photograph of Helsby was presented to the school after a Naval Air Command visit in October 1971

Comprehensive education in the 1970’s brought the removal of the cinder path and the removal of the dividing wall, allowing staff and students to work in a co-educational setting. Additional buildings have been added over time to provide for curriculum changes with additional computer suites, gym and sixth form block.

In 2009 the nearby school at Frodsham closed,the students transferred to Helsby and the current building was extended providing new teaching spaces for additional science and ICT work, widened corridors and a break-out space where students socialise on wet days.

The building and curriculum continue to develop in response to the demands of the young people the school serves, with a 6th form e café built in 2015.

Helsby continues to be the school of choice for many parents and carers both within and from outside our catchment area. We continue to grow, with our biggest Year 7 intake of 250 in September 2019, meaning we nowand now have 1350 students on roll, whereas the original building was designed for just 720. Even with these changes, the values and ethos remain – ‘Achieving Success, Valuing Others’.

Helsby High School Now 7

As the school celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, we are keen to hear from any former students with special memories or photographs of their time at Helsby High School and formerly Helsby Boys’/Girls’ Grammar School. Please email us at:


We are planning the following community open events in 2019-20 and would like to have some of our former students in attendance. If you would be interested in attending any of the events please reserve your place via email events@helsbyhigh.org.uk

Macmillan Coffee Morning (9.30 – 10.30am) – Friday 27 September 2019

Senior Citizens Christmas Party (2:00 – 4:00pm) – Tuesday 17 December 2019

VE Day Afternoon Tea (1.45 – 2.45pm) – Thursday 7 May 2020