Queen’s College Secondary School
‘Fiat Lux‘ is a Latin expression meaning ‘Carry the Light‘ or ‘Let there be Light‘ and this motto has been affixed proudly on the crest of Queen’s College.
Since this institution’s official inception in 1883 (prior to this it was known as Drax’s School), it has stood true to this creed, and has shone brilliantly as a true beacon of excellence amongst the secondary schools on the island.
Queen’s College was established under the recommendation of an Education Commission, whose report suggested that Barbados required a first grade school for girls.
This first grade school was to focus mainly on academia, with the goal of providing an education for girls similar to that of the top educational institutions in Britain.
The syllabus at the time consisted of Divinity, English, History, Geography, French and one of the scientific disciplines. As the years passed many new subjects were added, and today, the school offers tutelage in approximately thirty three different subject areas.
Originally, Queen’s College found its home on Constitution Road, and here, it played the role of educator to thirty three female students whose ages ranged from three to nineteen years old.
The first headmistress of the school was an English lady by the name of Miss Helen Veich-Brown. As the years passed, the school grew in both size and reputation and in 1946, the name of Queen’s College was permanently supplanted as an institution synonymous with academic excellence when Elsie Pilgrim became the first female on the island to be awarded the prestigious Barbados Government Scholarship.
In 1970, Elsie Payne (formerly Pilgrim) became the first Barbadian Headmistress on the island, as she took firm hold of the reigns of the institution, and during her tenure of office, set ablaze the fires of co-education within the walls of the school as in 1981, thirty eight first form boys were enrolled as students.
After Dame Elsie Payne’s retirement, Mrs. Colleen Winter-Brathwaite was appointed Headmistress in 1985. She was followed by Mrs. Coreen Kennedy in 1997.
Queen’s College was relocated from constitution road to its present home in Husbands, St. James in 1990, and has grown in a multi-racial institution with students drawn from every physical corner, social and economic plane on the island.
The School offers secondary education to approximately one thousand students and comprises of eleven departments in which thirty three subjects are taught, and this does not include the plethora of extra-curricular activities also available to the students.
Such a fact is consistent with the school’s mission statement, which is to offer a wide range of sporting and extra-curricular activities such as basketball, football, tennis, athletics and chess to assist in the positive development of the next generation of Barbadian citizens.
The school has a formidable academic and extra-curricular record, with consistent outstanding performances in the annual regional examinations of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
Annually approximately 95% of Queen’s College graduates enter universities in the West Indies, Great Britain, Canada and the United States and achieve fine results.
For more information on the Barbados Queen’s College visit
Author: Brett Callaghan