Queen’s College

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 (before 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 girls’ first-grade school.

This first-grade school focused mainly on academia to provide girls similar to that of the top educational institutions in Britain.

At the time, the syllabus consisted of Divinity, English, History, Geography, French, and one scientific discipline. As the years passed, many new subjects were added, and today, the school offers tutelage in thirty-three different subject areas.

Originally, Queen’s College found its home on Constitution Road, and here, it played the educator’s role 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. 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 institution’s reigns. During her tenure of office, she set ablaze the fires of co-education within the school walls 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. Mrs. Coreen Kennedy followed her in 1997.

Queen’s College was relocated from the constitution road to its present home in Husbands, St. James in 1990, and has grown into a multi-racial institution with students drawn from every physical corner, the social and economic plane 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 offers 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 Barbadian citizens.

The school has a formidable academic and extra-curricular record, with consistent outstanding performances in the Caribbean Examinations Council’s annual regional examinations (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 http://qcbarbados.com/.

Last Modified: October 6th, 2020
Published: March 1st, 2019
Publisher: Totally Barbados


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Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow online businesses with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.