The Senior School has existed since 1590 to provide an education for boys who, for centuries, were distinguished by their 'blue coats'. It was established after Bristol merchant, John Carr, left provision for it in his Will of 1586 although the current building dates from 1847.
The School's Charter was granted by Queen Elizabeth I for ‘the education of poor children and orphans’. Today this is emphasised by the high level of pastoral care in the School and by the use of endowment income to provide financial assistance for those of limited means.
The School was a boarding school until 1920 when day boys were first admitted, and in 1945 it became a two-form entry direct grant grammar school. The direct grant ended in 1975 when the School became independent. In 1984 Her Majesty the Queen agreed to become the School’s Patron. The quatercentenary celebrations in 1990 were highlighted by the visit of The Princess Royal and the opening of QEH Theatre.
Today QEH flourishes, with 570 day boys in the Senior School and 100 in the Junior School. Recent developments include a number of significant building initiatives. In particular: three new geography rooms - all equipped with the latest in technology; a £1.5 million Sixth Form Centre; 24 acres of additional sports fields at Failand in partnership with Bristol City Football Club and, most recently, the QEH Junior School. There are ambitious plans afoot for new on-site science and other facilities.
The Junior School
QEH Junior School, an integral part of life at the School, was opened in September 2007 and is located in gracious Georgian town houses in Upper Berkeley Place, adjacent to the Senior School.