Belfast High School

Belfast High School (BHS) is a co-educational voluntary grammar school in Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.[2] It was established in 1854 and is within the North Eastern Region of the Education Authority.

Belfast High School
Belfast High School logo.png

, ,
BT37 0PX

Northern Ireland
Coordinates54°41′12″N 5°52′36″W / 54.68678302189467°N 5.876565727605159°W / 54.68678302189467; -5.876565727605159Coordinates: 54°41′12″N 5°52′36″W / 54.68678302189467°N 5.876565727605159°W / 54.68678302189467; -5.876565727605159
Other nameBHS
TypeVoluntary grammar school
Established1854 (1854)
FounderJohn Pyper
Local authorityEducation Authority
PrincipalCharlotte Weir[1]
  •   Boyd
  •   Pyper
  •   Storey
  •   Watson
Colour(s)Blue and Yellow

In May 2007, it was awarded Specialist Status in Languages[3] and in March 2012, it has been recognised as one of only six post-primary schools in Northern Ireland to be in the top 10% for performance at both GCSE and A-level.[4]


The institution now known as Belfast High School opened in 1854. In 1874, it moved to new premises at Glenravel Street, Belfast. Since the school was founded, there have been 7 head teachers:

  • (1854–1867) John Pyper, who established the school as Pyper Academy, before changing its name to the Belfast Mercantile Academy shortly thereafter.
  • (1867–1917) James Pyper, the school's longest-serving headmaster. He was responsible for the building of what the Ulster Star described as "Mr Pyper's splendid new seminary"[5] in Glenravel Street.
  • (1917–1937) Spring Pyper
  • (1938–1966) Dr Robert Harte, who changed the school's name to its current title. Under his headship the school purchased Ardilea House, a large 19th-century villa in Jordanstown, in 1953. Between then and 1963, when the entire school re-located from Glenravel Street, its then Vice-Principal, Harry Towell, headed a small suburban campus at the site. The house now forms the administration block, containing the staff room, sick bay, and offices of the principal, her secretary, the bursar and vice-principal. Dr Harte suffered a severe stroke in 1964 and his son acted as temporary head until the appointment of Mr Dunlop in 1966. Dr Harte was a Doctor of Philosophy and an eminent classical scholar.
  • (1966–1987) Samuel H Dunlop, who saw the building of a new science block (1970), the closure of Somerton House (the school's preparatory department) in 1981 and the enlargement of the school library (1980s)
  • (1987–2006) Stephen R Hilditch, who saw the Harte Building opened in the 1990s to house Home Economics, Careers, Technology, ICT and a science lab, the refurbishment of the science block (2001–2003) and the refurbishment and enlargement of the Music Department
  • (2006–2018) Lynn F Gormley, who saw the installation of a state-of-the-art sports and fitness building which was opened by Dame Mary Peters in 2016.
  • (2018–present) Charlotte Weir, who had previously served as Acting Head Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher.


The school has a house system. The tie a pupil wears is blue with a thick yellow band pattern, and a thinner band pattern of an additional colour representing the pupil's house.

The houses and their colours are as follows:

  • Boyd (green)
  • Pyper (blue)
  • Storey (red)
  • Watson (yellow)


The four main sports at Belfast High are cricket, hockey, netball and rugby.[6]

Notable alumniEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Welcome". Belfast High School. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Belfast High School Home". Belfast High School website. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
  3. ^ Specialist School Status Archived September 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Belfast High School website. Retrieved 30 June 2012
  4. ^ Fergus, Lindsay. "Northern Ireland schools league tables - A-Levels". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  5. ^ The Witness, 4 September 1874
  6. ^ "Belfast High School Rugby". Belfast High School website. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2010.

External linksEdit