Just over 400 years ago, Rev Robert Chaloner left provision in his will for a school to serve the small market town of Amersham. Chaloner was Rector of St Mary's, Amersham and a canon of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The school opened in September 1624. Over the next 400 years it survived and ultimately thrived, growing into one of the country's most successful secondary schools, despite a clerical error which led to the addition of an extra 'l' in the school's name.
For many years the school was based in church premises in Old Amersham and was frequently small in size. A school photograph dating from 1895 shows 40 students and two teachers. Ten years after that photo was taken the school outgrew its premises in Old Amersham and moved to its current site in the fast growing Amersham-on-the-Hill.
By the end of World War 1 the school boasted some 150 pupils, and that pattern of growth has continued ever since. Since the 1950s the school buildings have grown to their current scale, with major expansions in the 1950s (the hall, canteen and tower block) and again with the construction of the brick built cloistered classroom blocks in the 1990s.
In the early 1960s Dr Challoner's High School opened in Little Chalfont, meaning that DCGS became an all-boys school. Further development in the 21st century saw new facilities for Sixth Form students, Music and Chemistry, while girls were admitted to the Sixth Form in 2016. Throughout this history alumni have gone on to play a significant part in many walks of life. The school is also heavily involved in educational leadership and development through its work running the Astra teacher training programme and Teaching School Hub.
The first 400 years have been eventful, and the school is in great shape as we enjoy this celebration. We look forward to educating the next generations of students, and equipping them to flourish personally, achieve academically, and use their education to contribute positively to our society.
Read more about the history of Challoner's in the 'Our School' section of our website.