Our History

In 1936, Rowan Brae in Gordon Road opened its doors to seven young pupils.

Its founder, Miss Katherine Millar, was determined to create an environment conducive to learning; she wanted Rowan to be a place where girls enjoyed their studies, developed a strong sense of self and established lasting friendships. 

Such was the school's success that in less than ten years it comprised more than 100 girls. This led to the decision to purchase Rowan Hill, just half a mile away, for girls of 8 to 13 years. The school evolved steadily and in 1961 it became a charitable trust with a board of governors. 

Throughout Rowan’s time, the school has been open to girls but has also operated as a boarding school in the 1960s and welcomed boys during the war years. Rowan has been part of the Claygate and Esher community, educating local families that continue to return to the school for each generation.

During Rowan’s time, there have only been seven Headmistress’, all of whom have embodied the school’s original aims and ethos. They have led the school with innovation and passion for girl’s education.

Today, Rowan's reputation continues to grow from strength to strength. It is confirmed, not just due to the impressive academic results and scholarships that the girls consistently achieve, and the high calibre of senior schools to which they progress, but also through their achievements in the arts, music and sport, for which the school is recognised both locally and nationally.