Our school was founded in 1842 as the School for Sons of Missionaries. It began as a small boarding school in Walthamstow catering for the sons of Congregational and Baptist missionaries serving overseas, mainly in India, China and Africa.
In 1912, after a long period in Blackheath, the school moved to its current site, the 18th century mansion Fairy Hall in Mottingham, and became known as Eltham College. In the 1920s day boys were first admitted in large numbers but boarders remained a significant presence in the school well into the 1960s, and boarding continued until early this century. For around 40 years girls have been admitted in the Sixth Form, and from September 2020 Eltham College will begin to welcome girls in Years 3 and 7.
Pupils are reminded of the link with our missionary background via the House System – the Houses are named after four men who devoted their lives to their work as missionaries: David Livingstone and Robert Moffat in Africa, William Carey in India and James Chalmers in Papua New Guinea.
The chapel remains an important symbol of our heritage. It is the spiritual heart of the school with daily worship led by the Chaplain, the Headmaster, other staff and visiting speakers.