The School's History
The school Motto is “Follow the Gleam”, the title of a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The Gleam is the light of inner inspiration
Bruton School for Girls owes its existence partly to the benefaction of Hugh Sexey, the son of poor parents, who rose to be auditor of the Exchequer from 1599 until his death in 1619.
He conveyed some of his property to trustees to be employed in "charitable goodness" and the deed of incorporation of Hugh Sexey's Hospital, founded and endowed in 1638, included the expenditure of money upon - to use Sexey's own words - "breeding children", a phrase which gives the old interpretation of education as nurture.
The wide application of the charity to educational purposes arose in the nineteenth century. Materially helped by the Sexey trust, Sunny Hill School, as it was originally named, was established in 1900 through the initiative of the Right Honourable Henry Hobhouse, greatly assisted by Mr W A Knight, Headmaster of neighbouring Sexey's School, and others interested in education in the locality. It was first set up as a private boarding and day school and in 1911 became a public secondary school, with an annual endowment from Hugh Sexey's Charity and grants from the Somerset County Council. It continued as an Aided Secondary School until the passing of the 1944 Education Act when it became fully independent.
In 1961 the name was changed from Sunny Hill School to Bruton School for Girls.
The Preparatory School was formed from the school’s growing junior department in 1997 and given the name of Sunny Hill Preparatory School. In 1998 the Preparatory School extended to include a Nursery and Pre-Prep accepting pupils from 3 years of age.
In 2001, Bruton School for Girls celebrated its Centenary.
The number of pupils has risen from 13 in 1900 and 83 in 1910 to the present number of over 300, of whom 30% are boarders.
A book on the history of Bruton School for Girls was written for the school’s Centenary celebrations in 2001. “Gleam Flying Onward: A Century of Bruton School for Girls” by David Parsons is available for purchase from the school.
School Crest and Motto
The school was granted a Coat of Arms in 1960 as a gift from the Parent Staff Association to celebrate the school’s Diamond Jubilee. Every emblem within the Bruton School for Girls Arms has meaning. The sun and the peak of the chevron refer to Sunny Hill, which is the site and original name of the school. The sun is shown setting behind the chevron which also represents Glastonbury Tor, a well-known local landmark. The cross botony is from the Arms of the Abbey of Glastonbury. The star of the crest, taken directly from the crest of the Hobhouse family who have served the school since 1900, may also be said to represent the “gleam” of the motto; the laurel wreath symbolises the honour which is to be won by those who “follow the gleam” faithfully. The Grant of Arms is in the school Library.
The school motto is “Follow the Gleam”, the title of a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The Gleam is the light of inner inspiration, and draws added meaning from the fact that the school also looks out upon Glastonbury Tor.
Our motto is evident in all our school life and in our School Song, as well as the title of our annual school magazine.