Introducing: The Ada Benson Building

30 January 2020

Following lengthy deliberation, we are delighted to announce that last term’s competition to name our new Sixth Form and the Arts Centre has a winner. The building will be known as The Ada Benson Building, and its key spaces will be named after other pioneering women. 

The route to this choice

A competition to name the building was held in December and early January. Students and staff were invited to enter. A panel of staff volunteers discussed the entries and arrived at a shortlist of suggestions. Two were exactly as the entries were submitted, one was a variation and one was a composite of two entries. The shortlisted names were also discussed with members of SLT and the Chair of Governors.

The rationale for the choice

In honouring Ada Benson, we are linking the latest innovation at OHS (the new building) to the origins of the School, expressing a sense of continuity and emphasising the strength of the perennial values of OHS.

The choice of a distinguished former Headmistress for this building makes sense in view of the fact that the other building on site to bear a name – the Music School – is named after another illustrious former Headmistress, Mary Warnock.

Ada Benson is already remembered in the Ada Benson Lecture Series, and we hope that the new building name will provide an ideal platform for making her better known to current students and parents.

Who was Ada Benson? Read more here. 

The names of the Y12/13 teaching rooms

Our naming scheme for key teaching spaces in the new building focuses on pioneering women, with the following names chiefly selected from names proposed in competition entries plus nominations from the current Year 13. We have chosen women from a broad range of ages, backgrounds and fields of interest who are no longer living and who made a substantial contribution in their chosen field in their lifetime.

Aphra Behn

Gertrude Bell

Katherine Chidley


Elizabeth Jennings

Ada Lovelace

Sylvia Pankhurst

Mary Seacole

Mary Wollstonecraft

The names of the Arts faculty rooms

Studio Light & Lens (Animation Room)

Studio Digital (Mac Suite)

Studio 2D (main Art Room)

Studio 6 (Sixth Form Art Room)

Studio 3D (Ceramics)

Atelier (Textiles)

The Opening of the Ada Benson Building

The official opening of the building will take place on Friday 6 March. This event will be part of a series of events to celebrate the inauguration of the building.

Considering OHS?

Please review the key admission dates and deadlines, to ensure you don’t miss out on applying for a place. If you have further questions, contact our friendly Admissions team who are happy to help.

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