Mayville’s Remarkable Female Founder Is Honoured after 120 Years

The new creative area was officially opened by past pupil Mataio Austin Dean

Thirty Mayville High School pupils celebrated the opening of Charlotte West House, Mayville’s new Creative Arts Department, with singing and performance pieces.

The new creative area was officially opened by past pupil Mataio Austin Dean, who is now a student of the Slade School of Fine Art. Mr Babcock, Head of Mayville Trustees, said, “It has been our custom to dedicate our new buildings to exceptional Headteachers who have built on the ethos of Charlotte West. Now Mayville has honoured Charlotte West, a visionary young Southsea woman who founded the School more than 120 years ago.”

Charlotte West was the founder of Mayville in 1897 and her vision that the education of the ‘whole child’ (head, hand, and heart) is just as valid now as it was then.  Mayville High School has a very strong Arts programme and Mataio Austen Dean is testament to that. On returning to the School to open the new building he thanked Mayville for all he had learnt and attributed his success to his time at the School. At the Slade School of Art only 2 per cent of the thousands who apply get a place. Mataio said: “For me Mayville was a great environment with pupils being allowed to be individuals.”    

Charlotte West

Charlotte West

Mayville’s brand new Charlotte West House lies on the Livesey Campus and forms a campus of 3 senior buildings. The building is a two storey structure with music rooms on the ground floor and a purpose built art studio above. Light and airy spaces give pupils the opportunity to follow their artistic talents in a modern environment conducive to expression. This new building has been part of a considerable programme of development for Mayville which has seen the construction of our Senior Department, Michael Babcock House, with its new hall, classrooms, a DT workshop, student common room, and IT suite.

Mayville High School was founded in 1897 at No 1 Gains Road. It then moved to the corner of Waverley Road in 1910 where at Number 4 it became ‘Mayville Boarding and Day School for Girls’. In an advert in Portsmouth and Southsea Guide in 1913, Mayville High School was described as ‘a children’s paradise’.

Charlotte West was a patron of the arts, a teacher who unwittingly became a business woman as she watched her school go from strength to strength. The new building Charlotte West House is a tribute to this remarkable woman who we think would be extremely proud of Mayville High School today.