The 24th of February 1924 signified the commencement of a saga in the pursuit of excellence and a truly befitting all round education for girls. On that day Mrs. E.S. Appasamy, a visionary in the field, brought into being – Vidyodaya. The need for such a school was a long felt need of the time, as indeed it is today and was inspired by her own experience as a student in the Epiphany School at Poona when she was a student. The curtain rose on Vidyodaya with three resident pupils and three Day Scholars.Mrs.Sathiyanadhan, the first woman graduate of Madras University, was its first Principal. She was assisted by three members of staff. By the end of 1925, the school had grown with a few more pupils added and two more teachers.
As the pressures for admission developed it was decided to shift the school the city in 1926. Vidyodaya found a new home in Santhome. A truly dedicated and well qualified staff ensured high academic standards and the provision of the type of co- and extra –curricular activities that would add that “all roundedness” that the founder had in mind. The strength by this time had grown to about one hundred pupils. Western Music, Indian Music and Art had by this time been woven into the fabric of the curriculum.
The next ten years from 1928 to 1938 were a momentous period for the school. As the premises at Santhome were sold Vidyodaya was moved into a beautiful colonial building set in 20 acres of wooded grounds in Nungambakkam. Formal Education was oriented to preparing the students for the S.S.L.C. examination. While the pursuit of excellence was sought in formal education, the accent on games, sport and drama were not neglected.
In 1938, the long dreamt of permanent home for Vidyodaya in Thyagarayanagar was opened at a beautiful function when Lady Erskine untied the garlands of yellow chrysanthemums at the main door and Lord Erskine, the Governor of Madras, lit the tree-like kuthuvillakku. The strength by now was 250 and the final year students recorded 100% passes at the SSLC examination. The School celebrated its silver Jubilee in 1949 with the founder participating at all the functions. The Nursery was opened in 1950 in the mango grove in two Nissen sheds.
The next twenty years saw a rapid growth in all areas of Vidyodaya’s activities. During this period the student strength rose to 1111 with a good academic record averaging 95% passes at the SSLC examination. The New Nursery, Primary and High School buildings were put up during this period, with the original building being converted for the use of the Middle School. The new hostel with accommodation for more than 100 residential pupils was built close to the centre of the sprawling campus.
The next fourteen years upto 1984 saw its pupil strength rise to nearly 1500. This was due to a third of this student population being contributed by the ICSEsection – the Vidyodaya Academy was commenced in 1971. An extra floor was built in the new hostel building and the entire old hostel buildings were converted into classrooms for the ICSE section. A beautiful Auditorium was also constructed during this period, which houses the library in the first floor. In 1978-’79, the Higher Secondary School classes were added. We offered Commerce and Arts under General Education and Banking Assistants under Vocational Stream.
The next twentyyears saw the consolidation of the gains of the past fifty five years, with an accent on enriching and improving the educational environment of the schools. In 1984, the Academy adopted the Tamil Nadu State Matriculation System of Education and was renamed the Vidyodaya Matriculation Higher Secondary Academy. The Academy grew in strength when started a second section in the year 1987. In 1994, Vidyodaya moved into the age of Information Technology with the setting up of the Computer Laboratory for all students from Std. III to Std. IX and as an optional subject at the plus two level. Science Group was introduced in the Higher Secondary level in Vidyodaya Girls’ Higher Secondary School in the year 1996. In 1999, the Library Block was built in commemoration of the Platinum Jubilee.
As the greater responsibility of sustaining the standards loomed large in front, the next decade saw Vidyodaya striving hard to provide quality education. The improved facilities in the infra-structure made the learning environment cosier. The newly constructed buildings in the Matriculation Academy, Pre-primary, Indoor Recreation Centre and additional classrooms on the first floor of the Higher Secondary Block were inaugurated in the period 2000 – 2002. In 2004,the IT Block was inaugurated. August 17, 2004 was epoch making in the history of Vidyodaya Girls’ Higher Secondary School when the foundation stone was laid for the new Primary Block. It was inaugurated in the year 2005. The renovated Academy Hall and the Auditorium – ‘Swarnalayam’ in the year 2014 adorned the campus.
Our growth had been reflected in the increase in number of sections in Vidyodaya Matriculation Higher Secondary Academy for a better teacher student ratio in the year 2015-’16. Two new blocks- the High School Block in 2016 and the Middle School Block in 2019 were added to fulfil the need for more classrooms.
Our service to youth is not merely to provide them with the recognised curriculum of studies, and opportunities of academic excellence, but also to expose them to and train them in cultural activities and projects which will give them the broadest and fullest opportunities to develop their total personality. As the citizens of tomorrow, youth deserves and needs the fullest development today for their task of setting the pattern of life and quality of our culture in the future. This was the dream of the Founder of Vidyodaya and this is our commitment. .