In 1541 John Incent, Dean of St Paul’s, was granted a Licence by Henry VIII to found a school in Berkhamsted, Incent’s home town.
Until the end of the nineteenth Century Berkhamsted School served as a grammar school for a small number of boys from the town but over the last century it has developed into a school of significance.
In 1888 the foundation was extended by the establishment of Berkhamsted School for Girls.
In 1912, Heatherton House School for girls was founded in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.
In 1996, these two schools and Berkhamsted Preparatory School (formed from Berkhamsted Preparatory School for Boys, which was linked to Berkhamsted School and The Beeches Girls’ Junior School, part of Berkhamsted School for Girls) formalised their partnership, under the name Berkhamsted Collegiate School, offering the highest quality education to pupils from ages three to 19.
The co-educational Berkhamsted Preparatory School opened on its current site in Kings Road in 1998.
In December 2008, the School’s name reverted to Berkhamsted School to reflect its historical roots.
In 2011, Berkhamsted School merged with Heatherton House School, a preparatory school for girls aged three to 11 in Amersham, to form the Berkhamsted Schools Group, and in May 2012, the Group acquired Haresfoot School, which became Berkhamsted Pre-Preparatory School for children aged three to seven. The existing Preparatory School site was adapted to offer focused Key Stage Two education for children from the ages of seven to 11.
The Berkhamsted School’s foundation is celebrated annually in October on Founder’s Day, when a service is held in St Peter’s Church, the parish Church of Berkhamsted.
Berkhamsted Schools Group Patron is Her Majesty The Queen.
The original motto of Berkhamsted School was virtus laudata crescit, Latin for ‘greatness increases with praise’, establishing the ideology on which the school is based.
The motto of Berkhamsted School for Girls was festina lente, meaning ‘hurry slowly’, similar to the contemporary phrase ‘more haste less speed’.