IT was an historic day at Alton (Convent) School at the start of term when, for the first time, boys joined both the senior school and sixth form.

Headmaster Graham Maher said: “It was fantastic to see such a large cohort of boys arrive in Year 7 looking happy and keen to get started.”

According to Mr Maher, 20 boys have started their senior school journey in Year 7, while four young men, plus three male international students, have joined the lower sixth.

The decision to accept boys as senior level was taken last year when, in the run-up to the school’s 80th anniversary it was decided to make some radical changes, dropping the word ‘Convent’, changing the name to ‘Alton School’, and upgrading and enhancing the facilities “to meet the needs of a changing world”.

One of the key changes was to accept boys into Year 7, from September this year, and into year 12 (sixth form), which will enable girls currently in Year 6 to Year 9 to experience a girls-only teaching environment until completion of their GCSEs.

Other projects going forward are to include significant development of sports facilities; the building of a new design and technology facility; an expanded international programme with increased interaction with sister and partner schools around the world; and the reintroduction of boarding facilities to further develop this international programme.