A pioneering girls’ school steeped in history is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year as its head prepares to move on.

Roedean sits on a cliff top on the outskirts of Brighton overlooking the Channel, and celebrates its 125th anniversary at its current site this year.

But the school did not always have such picturesque surroundings, starting life in Lewes Crescent in 1885, then moving to Sussex Square in 1890, before settling for its current spot eight years later.

It was founded by the three Lawrence sisters, who believed girls deserved an education which was at least as good as what boys had.

The Argus: The first cricket team at RoedeanThe first cricket team at Roedean (Image: Roedean School)

They placed academics, sport, and creative and visual arts in equal amounts of importance.

Sports pitches were built at the front of the school so that people walking past could see girls playing cricket, and a tradition of life-drawing classes and pottery began in the art studio.

The Argus: Roedean School todayRoedean School today

The architect of the newest school building was Sir John Simpson, who also designed the original Wembley Stadium, and the Chapel was added in 1905

The school site has many quirks, including a tunnel to the beach from the grounds, which was also used as an air raid shelter.

The 144 steps lead steeply down underneath the coast road opening onto the beach Undercliff Walk.

The Argus: The tiles that line the art studio, that still line the walls today, were made by the students during the 1930sThe tiles that line the art studio, that still line the walls today, were made by the students during the 1930s (Image: Roedean School)

The tunnel is now lit with a generator when in use, but the girls used to go down in the dark for daily sea-swimming in the warmer months.

But as the staff and pupils celebrate the huge achievement of one and a quarter century on the cliff top, they join together to say farewell to much-loved head teacher Oliver Blond.

Mr Blond joined Roedean in 2013 when it had just 350 pupils – and leaves it doubled in capacity with more than 700 girls enrolled.