Bishop Cotton Girls High School
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Bishop Cotton Girls High School

Bishop Cotton Girls' School
Bishop Cotton Schools crest.png
St. Marks Road

, ,
560 001

TypePrivate school, boarding school
MottoNec Dextrorsum Nec Sinistrorsum
(Neither to the right nor to the left)
Religious affiliation(s)Protestant (Church of South India)
Established1865; 155 years ago (1865)
FoundersRev. S.T. Pettigrew, Rev. J. Gordon and Rev. R. Firth[1]
Chairman and ModeratorRt. Rev. Dr. Prasannakumar Samuel, Karnataka Southern Diocese
PrincipalMrs. Lavanya Mitran
Staff150 (approx.)
HousesBarton, Elmes, Foley, Maiden, Millington, Waller
Colour(s)Green and gold         
PublicationThe Cottonian
AffiliationIndian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (ICSE) and The Indian School Certificate examination (ISC)

Bishop Cotton Girls' School, or BCGS, is a private all-girls' school for boarders and day scholars in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. The school offers academic scholarships, which aid students from lower income backgrounds to afford tuition and boarding fees. It has been awarded the International School award by the British Council.

The school curriculum is based on the ICSE format of education, and has teaching facilities from Kindergarten, 1 to 10 (ICSE) and 11 and 12 (ISC).


Founded in 1865, it is one of the oldest established boarding schools in Asia.

The school was named after Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton, the son of an Army captain, who died leading his regiment in battle. He was a scholar of Westminster School, and a graduate of Cambridge. In 1836 he was appointed Assistant Master at Rugby by Doctor Thomas Arnold, one of the founders of the British public school system.

It was the proposal of Bishop Cotton to create schools in India that resulted in the founding of Bishop Cotton's on 19 April 1865. The institution was opened for both boys and girls in a bungalow named Westward Ho in High Grounds. In 1871, the management acquired 14 acres of land on St. Mark's Road and shifted the school, demarcating two areas, one for the boys school and the other for the girls, with a wall separating the two.

In 1911, the management acquired Stafford House and its surrounding eight and a half acres with access to both Residency Road and St. Mark's Road and shifted the school, giving Bishop Cotton Girls' School its own identity. In 1915, money was sanctioned to construct the administration block and the quad. More buildings were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s including the Chapel of the Holy Family.

The first Indian principal to take charge of the school was CA (Acca) Joseph in 1963.

Extracurricular activities includes sport, debate, creative writing, dramatics, declamation, verse speaking and choir.

It is affiliated with Bishop Cotton Boys School, which is situated across the street on St. Marks Road.

School motto

Nec Dextrorsum - Nec Sinistrosum

"Neither to the right nor to the left", the motto reflects the spirit of the school. It is taken from a Latin translation of a phrase in the Old Testament of the Bible. The new leader Joshua is commissioned by God to be a true follower of His law, 'neither to the left nor to the right'.

School shield

The crest of the shield is the family crest of Bishop Cotton of Calcutta. The crest is divided vertically - the right side (dexter) has the arms of the Bishop of Calcutta. The Bishop's mitre on top is green on a white background and the staff and open Bible are in the bottom half on a red background. The left side (sinister) has three skeins of cotton and a chevron (inverted v) on a blue background. This side represents the ancient house to which Bishop Cotton belongede. The crest thus symbolises the godliness, service and courage for which the school stands.

School song and founder's hymn

The Bishop Cotton school song was penned by Rev. Herbert Pakenham-Walsh, of the Brotherhood of St. Peter, Warden of the school from 1907 to 1913, later to become bishop. The words were set to music by N. M. Saunders, Esq. With its refrain "On, Straight, On", it follows the spirit of the school motto, "Nec Dextrorsum Nec Sinistrorsum", Latin for "Neither to the Right Nor to the Left". The tradition of singing the school song and the founder's hymn in the chapel or in assemblies held in the auditorium continues to this day.


The school, administered along the lines of Junior, Middle and Senior School, works through three school terms, each ending with examinations. Students of Class X appear for the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (ICSE) by the beginning of March. Students of Class XII take up the Indian School Certificate Examination (ISC). The ISC examination is an equivalent to the pre-university examination conducted by the state boards of education. For further details, see the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (the body that conducts the ICSE and ISC examinations) using their website,

Subjects taught at the ICSE level include English, an Indian or foreign language, History, Civics and Geography, Environmental Education, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and a choice between Home Science, Computer Applications, Fine Arts and Physical Education. At the ISC level, the school has three main streams, the Science stream, the Commerce stream and the Arts stream. It is mandatory for both streams to take up English and Environmental Education.

For the Science stream, the subjects offered are English, Environmental Education, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics/Home Science and a choice between Economics, Biotechnology, Computer Science, Hindi, Kannada, Fine Arts, Biology and Environmental Science. For the Commerce stream, the subjects offered are Accountancy and Commerce and a choice between Business Studies, Mathematics, Economics, Computer Science, Fine Arts, Environmental Science and Physical Education. For the Arts stream the subjects offered are English, Environmental Education and History along with choices among Literature in English, Second Language, Environmental Science, Physical Education, Economics, Computer Science, Fine Art, Mathematics, Home Science, Business Studies, Political Science and Psychology.

The school offers language options of Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Nepali, French and German.


Organized games includes the inter-school games competitions.

  • Cottonian Shield - basketball
  • Cottonian Shield - hockey


  • Miss F Elmes (1913-1934) was the first principal. She expanded the building adjoining Stafford House.
  • Miss R.M. Waller (1935-1944).
  • Miss M.E. Hardy (1945-1952) came to Cottons after years of service as a missionary in Burma.
  • Miss E.J. Drayton (January 1953 - 2 June 1953).[2][3][4][5]
  • Mrs. C.M. Gaughan (1953-1954).
  • Miss C.B. Schiff (1954-1957). The building of the Art Room and the extension of the Staff Room were accomplished during her tenure.
  • Miss C.M. Millington (1958-1962) had been on the Staff of the school before she took over as Principal. The Raman Science Block and the Chapel of the Holy Family were constructed during this time. The Examination system changed over from the Cambridge Certificate to the Indian School Certificate Examination (ISC).
  • Mrs. Acca Joseph (1963-1972) took over as the first Indian Principal in 1963. The library was inaugurated and the boarding block was built.
  • Miss Grace Samuel (1972-1973) came to Cotton's after nine years in the USA.
  • Mrs. V.M. Chandran (1973-1978) a member of the staff from 1959, took over as Principal in 1973. Her achievement was the construction of the auditorium, although she did not stay to witness its completion, it was her enthusiasm and hard work that made it possible. The Parents' Block was inaugurated during this period.
  • Mrs. G. Clarke (1978-1988) introduced two new Houses - Elmes and Waller - to the existing Barton, Foley and Maiden Houses, as the number of students had increased. The pale green tunics changed to dark green. Computer studies were introduced. The strength of the School went from 700 to 3000. Six additional classrooms were built and the shift system was introduced. The work on the auditorium was completed and a new Dining Hall for the boarders was planned. The Bishop Cotton Women's' Christian College was started in 1985, the first of its kind in the Diocese.
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Joseph (1988-1999) a member of staff from 1971, took over as Principal in September 1988. Several structural extensions and additions were made during this period. The auditorium was renovated, the mezzanine floor and stage built with co-ordinating interiors and the lighting system. The hostel side of the campus acquired a multi-purpose Dining Hall with the Staff Quarters built above it.
  • Dr. Mrs. Stella Samuel (1999-2005) took over as Principal in June 1999 after having served the school for 25 years as a member of the staff. She had joined the school in 1974. The Administrative block was renovated, and the ISC block took shape. A school transport system in collaboration with BMTC was introduced. Internet, intranet, fax and email were installed.
  • Mrs. Princess Franklyn (2005-2010) was brought on a transfer from a School in Tumkur.
  • Mrs. Lydia Joshua (2010-2014).
  • Princess Franklyn returned (June 2014 - October 2014). During the course of the academic year she had to retire and left Ranjitha Kanagaraj as the principal-in-charge.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ A History of Bishop Cotton Girls' School, Bangalore Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  2. ^ "Drayton Murder Suspect Charge-sheeted" (Bangalore). Printers (Mysore) Private Limited. Deccan Herald. 30 June 1953. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "Drayton Case Reopened" (Bangalore). Printers (Mysore) Private Limited. Deccan Herald. 22 October 1954. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ "City's oldest college finds new home" (Bangalore). The Hindu. The Hindu. 22 April 2002. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ "Bishop Cotton Girls". 26 April 2012. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ "When Jayalalithaa was a wide-eyed little girl" (Bangalore). The Hindu. The Hindu. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ "Who's that serious-faced little girl?" (Bangalore). The Hindu. The Hindu. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ a b Iyengar, Vidya (19 July 2014). "They were once tots too: Famous Bishop Cotton Alumni" (Bangalore). Bangalore Mirror. Bangalore Mirror Bureau. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (11 July 2015). "Gautami talks about her milestone movies and Kamal". The Hindu. The Hindu. Retrieved 2015.

External links

Coordinates: 12°58?13?N 77°36?05?E / 12.9704°N 77.6014°E / 12.9704; 77.6014

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