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History of the School
Dunottar was founded in 1926 by Mrs Jessie Elliot-Pyle to provide a high quality independent education for girls.
It was named after Dunnottar Castle in Scotland. This was where, in 1651, King Charles II ordered that the Crown Jewels of Scotland be taken for safe keeping in the face of the threat posed by Cromwell. The theory for her choice of name is that she perceived the minds of children as jewels to be nurtured in a safe, supportive and encouraging environment.
The school first opened with just three pupils in Brownlow Road. By 1933 numbers had grown so greatly that Dunottar moved to its present home – a handsome Palladian–style mansion built in 1867 in fifteen acres of stunning grounds on what was originally known as the High Trees Estate in Reigate.
In 1961 it ceased to be under private ownership and became an independent charitable School Trust with a Board of Trustees. In 1975 the academic achievement of the school was acknowledged by admission to membership of the Association of Governing Bodies of Girls’ Public Schools, now known as the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA).
The school has continued to build on its academic success and today is proud to fulfil the original vision of its founder in providing a high quality education for girls aged three through to eighteen.
'Do ut Des', the school motto chosen by Mrs Elliot-Pyle ('I give that thou may'st give'), is still as relevant today as it was at its inception in seeking to ensure that pupils develop into articulate, confident and compassionate young women who, having received so much during their time here, are in turn able to give to others.