The school was formed in 1994 by the merger of the two girls' schools, Farringtons and Stratford House, on the Farringtons' site. ('Stratford House' was dropped from the name in 2005.) Farringtons was founded by local Methodists in 1911 to provide an education comparable to that for boys at The Leys. Sir George Heyter Chubb and Thomas Robinson Ferens were prominent among its sponsors. By the 1920s increasing numbers led to the first of several extensive building programmes. In 1925 Queen Mary opened the new Ferens Hall and West House and in 1928 the school was granted a royal charter. After a short evacuation to Babbacombe in 1939, the school closed until 1946. It was taken over by the Board of Management in 1949. It attracted national media attention in 1964 by selling 45,000 copies of the first charity celebrity cook book. Under Mrs. Freda Hatton, headmistress 1973-1987 the school gained a reputation for the high standard of its music. In 2007 it had 488 boarding and day girls aged 3-18.