FOUNDING OF THE LONDON ORPHAN ASYLUM
Rev. Dr Andrew Reed founds the London Orphan Asylum as a charitable school with sites in Shoreditch for boys and in Bethnal Green for girls.
AMELIA NASH BECOMES THE FIRST ELECTED PUPIL
Amelia Nash becomes the first pupil to be elected to the Asylum through the votes cast by the charity’s Subscribers (photo is of her as an adult).
First Annual Foundation Appeal Dinner
HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent presides over the first Annual Foundation Appeal dinner.
SCHOOL HYMN PUBLISHED
James Edmeston publishes the hymn “Lead Us, Heavenly Father, Lead Us” expressly for the children of the London Orphan Asylum. It becomes, and remains, the School Hymn. Edmeston was a strong supporter of and frequent visitor to the School.
School moves to Clapton
After the laying of the Foundation Stone in 1823, the school moves into a purpose-built location in Clapton in 1825. Within a year there are 206 Foundation pupils.
CREATION OF 'THE ORPHANS' SCULPTURE
Former pupil, Felix Martin Miller, creates a sculpture entitled “The Orphans” which is exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1844. In 1845 it's adopted as the charity’s common seal which is still used today.
REV. ANDREW REED DIES
At the age of 74, Andrew Reed dies having successfully founded four other charities in addition to the school. He is buried in Abney Park Cemetery, north London
School moves to Watford
The London Orphan Asylum moves to a new purpose-built site in Watford, Hertfordshire after a serious outbreak of Typhus in Clapton.
EDITH HAINES BECOMES GIRLS’ SCHOOL HEADMISTRESS
Edith Annie Haines becomes the Headmistress of the Girls’ School. By the end of her 16-year tenure, she has brought an entirely new spirit, creating a desire in all to make the school proud of itself.
The School's name is changed to the London Orphan School, reflecting the Governors’ wish to move away from an 'Asylum' institution to one of a broader educational establishment.
WILLIAM WARDALE RETIRES
William Octavius Wardale retires after 56 years a teacher at the school, the longest serving teacher in the school’s history.
AMALGAMATION OF TWO SCHOOLS
The Royal British Orphan School, Slough, faces difficult financial pressures so amalgamates with the London Orphan School, adding nearly 100 children to the pupil register.
ARRIVAL OF REV. GEORGE KENDALL ALLEN
The new Boys’ School Headmaster, Rev. George Kendall Allen, brings in the House Name System and introduces Rugby. Both innovations play a significant part in the School’s life today.
The School is renamed Reed's School
Governors agree to modernise the name of the School in honour of its founder, the Rev. Andrew Reed.
Soon after the outbreak of World War Two the pupils and staff evacuate from Watford. The boys go to Totnes in Devon and the girls to locations in Northamptonshire. The Watford site had been requisitioned for war purposes.
GIRLS’ SCHOOL FINDS A NEW LOCATION
At the end of the War the schools are split because the Government wishes to retain the site at Watford. The girls go to Dogmersfield Park near Basingstoke.
Boys relocate to Cobham
After the end of the war, the boys relocate to the present site in Cobham in May 1946. Much renovation work is needed owing to war damage. The site had been a Prep School, Sandroyd, purpose built in 1905. They moved to Wiltshire during the war and remain there today.
HRH Princess Elizabeth visits Dogmersfield
HRH Princess Elizabeth visits the girls’ school at Dogmersfield, Hampshire to attend their Sports Day. A number of boys from the Cobham site are also involved in the event.
The girls' school closes
Owing to very difficult economic circumstances, including rising inflation, the Governors take the extremely difficult decision to close the school. This also means bidding a fond farewell to its much-loved Headmistress, Miss Kathleen Mills.
The first fee-paying pupils start
The first fee-paying pupils join Reed's, easing the financial burden of running an entirely Foundation School with no fees.
The Queen Mother visits Cobham
HRH Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, visits Cobham to open the new boarding houses. In 1997 this building becomes the Sixth Form House and Middle School boarders (13-16 year olds) are moved into School House.
New Sports Centre opens
A new Sports Centre is opened with a large Sports Hall suitable for games like basketball and badminton, the swimming pool is now a 25-metre indoor facility and two squash courts are also provided.
THE DUTCH SCHOOL JOINS REED’S
Needing to find new accommodation, 50 Dutch boys and girls, children of Dutch expatriates working in the UK, join Reed’s, a great example of international co-operation.
SCHOOL MOVES TO ACCEPTING MORE DAY PUPILS
Changing attitudes to boarding means the Governors take the decision to move to a five-day week teaching curriculum as the number of day pupils increases. The Day Pupil Centre is built in 2005 as a base for these pupils.
Girls in the Sixth Form
By the year 2000 there are over 40 girls in the Sixth Form for the first time. By the mid 2020's this number has increased to well over 100 girls.
THE MUSIC SCHOOL OPENS
Sir Cliff Richard opens the new Music School, a significant development in the school’s curriculum.
The Bridgeman Building Opens
A new building incorporating Science labs and classrooms is opened, named after the Chair of Governors at the time, Lord Bridgeman.
FutureTech brings together the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to assist pupils develop creative and innovative cross-curricular solutions.
THE SCHOOL CELEBRATES ITS BICENTENARY
To celebrate the School’s Bicentenary 16 different events take place through the school year, including a service at St Paul's Cathedral, a concert at Royal Festival Hall and a visit from HM Queen Elizabeth II, the School’s Patron at the time.
THE JARRETT CRICKET CENTRE OPENS
A state-of-the-art Indoor Cricket Centre is opened by former Surrey and England Captain, Alec Stewart, and is named after recently-retired Headmaster, David Jarrett.
Refurbished Sixth Form Centre OPENS
The 1959 building is given a full refurbishment to provide up-to-date facilities for the Sixth Form including a light, airy Atrium for independent study, classrooms, social areas and a student café.
Extension to the Bridgeman Building opens
The Bridgeman Building (originally opened in 2005) is extended to accommodate the growing number of pupils with new open, airy Science labs and classrooms.