The Carron Hall High school had its genesis in Dr. John Pringle’s desire to have a home built for orphan children. Mrs. K. Gellaty, the daughter of the minister of the Presbyterian Church at that time, used the funds provided by Dr. Pringle to start the work. The building was completed in 1921and was officially named Girl’s Home.
The following year the home was officially opened and the first girl entered the doors of the institution. Subsequently, other girls came in from surrounding districts. As the institution grew in numbers, other buildings were added. In the early stages, the courses offered gave the institution the characteristics of a continuation school, a training centre for kindergarten teachers and a day care training centre for helpers. Basic courses in Home Economic s were also offered.
The institution offered a 3 year programme. With this, students came from all parishes of Jamaica as well as from Haiti, Hispaniola and Cuba. The focus at that time was on cooking and sewing.
In 1937 Mrs. Gellaty leased the institution/buildings to the government and made a home on the other side of the property this was named Pringle Home for Girls. (Currently Pringle Home for Children)
In the 1930s Vocational Education was the focus of the government of the day. This ushered in Vocational Education centres. The first boys centre offering a 2 year course was at Holmwood in Christiana. The success of this institution led to the establishment of the girl’s centre at Carron Hall, St. Mary, in 1937 after the building was leased to the government by Mrs. Gellaty. The government of Jamaica took over the management of the institution and it was named the Practical Training Centre. (PTC)
In the first year the students did basic subjects such as Maths, English and Music. Vocational subjects were Food and Nutrition, Home Management, Dressmaking, Woodwork, Dairying, Gardening and Home Nursing. (This included dressing cuts for people in the community.) In the second year, dressmaking was done at a more advanced stage while the basic subjects continued. Students were allowed to specialize in the third year.
From 1937 – 50’s the name of the school was changes twice; from PTC to Rural Secondary Technical School (RSTS) and then to Jamaica School of Home Economics. During this time no external examination was done. One Principal Miss Saunders believed that the girls were capable of sitting the Third Jamaica Local examination and was instrumental in getting this on stream. The girls did well and were able after graduation to enter tertiary institutions or enter the world of work. This examination was done up to the 60s along with the school leaving examination.
The school was ordered closed in 1962 while it was still Jamaica School of Home Economics. It was reopened in October of the same year as the Vocational School for Girls. At this time the duration of the course was changed to two years. From the late 60s to the time of the introduction of the CXC examinations, school leavers sat JSC, ULCI and RSA examinations. In 1976 they were introduced to GCE. With the introduction of CXC, the students sat more subjects in CXC and a few in GCE.
In 2002 the Ministry of Education once again changed the status of the school to give accessibility to more students entering the High School system. The name was changed to the current one; Carron Hall High school. Each student entering the school at grade 7 has a duration of five years.
The school’s philosophy is basically the same as it was at its inception with minor changes. The present philosophy is: “
The Carron Hall High School, through its programmes, both academic and co-curricular, seeks to equip the students with practical and or theoretical skills, knowledge, attitudes, creativity and technical exposure which are necessary to gear them towards being well- rounded citizens with respect for God, self, others, to foster good interpersonal relationships, and to prepare them for the world of work and/or continuation of higher education which are necessary for the country’s development.”