The history of the school has always been a controversial topic as it has involved many schools in the city after a series of mergers, splits and renames. Strictly speaking, the current SS established in 1960, however, the earliest origin of the school can be tracked back to 'Guǎngdōng Gézhì Xuétáng'(Chinese: 广东格致学堂) in 1888. Due to many reforms took place while the school developed, there were different stories regarding this topic. Some also argued that the establishing date of SS should be in 1924. It was backed up by the story that the school selected the year as to commemorate Sun Yat-sen.
In 1888, Dr. Andrew Patton Happer established the Christian College in Shaji, Guangzhou, also known as '广东格致学堂' in Chinese. It was then reformed into National Higher Normal College, also known as '两广优级师范学堂' in Chinese, in 1910 to train teachers within Guangdong and Guangxi Province.
In 1924, the college merged into National Kwangtung University, who later became the Sun Yat-sen University in 1926, as its affiliated high school and primary school.
Due to the Disciplinary Adjustment of Chinese Higher Education, four high schools merged into the Affiliated School of South China Normal University in 1952:the Affiliated School of Sun Yat-Sen University
the Affiliated High School of Lingnan University
the Affiliated High School of South China Associated University
the Affiliated High School of Guangdong College of Arts & Science.
In 1960, the school was split into high school and primary school. The high school later became the current Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, whereas the primary school had then reformed into the current SS.
SS was renamed to the No.60 Middle School of Guangzhou for a decade during Cultural Revolution. After that, It formalised its name as Guangdong Experimental High School in 1987.
In 2008, The current senior management team of the school decided to use 1888 as the official establishing date of the school and celebrated the school's 120th anniversary. This flawed decision, however, has now been widely accepted by the public.
The school now has four campuses. The main campus, senior high campus, locates at Kengkou, Liwan District, Guangzhou. It is also known as the 'New Campus' or 'Fangcun Campus' by students as it was constructed in 2004 and the location was in the previous Fangcun District, which was withdrawn and merged to Liwan District in 2005.
The old campus, also known as 'Zhongsi Campus', has then become the junior high campus, since three upper year groups moved to the new campus. It is located at No.4 Zhongshan Rd in Yuexiu District, Guangzhou. 'Zhongsi Campus' had been the only campus before the school expanded at the beginning of the 21st Century, It contains all the history and precious memory of SS, and has recorded the step by step development of the school since 1960.
Other campuses are as follows;Tianhe Campus, locates at Yuangang, Tianhe District, Guangzhou.
Shunde Campus was established in 2008 in Shunde, Foshan.
Nanhai Campus was established on 19 April 2009 in Nanhai, Foshan.
Strictly speaking, these three campuses are not quite parts of the school. Although they are administered under the same senior management team and have strong links with SS's main campus, but are highly independent and completely privately funded. They are more commonly known as the affiliated Schools of SS, and are also generally excluded by the students and parents in regard to school's performance.
SS's senior high, unlike the junior high, selects students by their academic abilities, primarily by students' results in 'Zhongkao', the senior secondary education entrance examination. SS has always maintained a fairly high entrance requirement, as to ensure the limited places are offered to students who meet the academic standard.
Similar to most of the other high schools who have experienced an expansion in the 21st century. The school now has the capability to offer additional places to students who missed the set requirements. However, a relatively lower score is still required and an additional tuition fee will be charged as well.
The school also encourages students who have extraordinary talents beside academics, primarily in sports and performing arts, to apply. A different application process is offered, where good academic results are much less desirable. This policy has attracted many exceptional athletes, singers and dancers, and it has been proven to be a successful measure in boosting the school's competitiveness outside academic areas.
Senior high campus is a boarding campus accommodates some 3000 students. The first group of students moved in from the old campus in 2004, when the construction was completed. (Although there were still minor ongoing constructions taking place at the time and some facilities were yet to be installed.) Later in 2005, the whole senior high department, including the senior management team, had moved over to the new campus. Student number rose rapidly as the expansion was introduced in 2004. The new campus allows the school to have the capability of offering more than 1000 places each year to new junior graduates. All the facilities were put in use around that time in 2005.
The campus simply consists of academics area, dormitory area, sports area and restaurant. As enter from the front gate, academic buildings can be found on the right hand side, sports area on the front, and on the left hand side, dorms and restaurant. In academics area, three year groups are taught in three separate buildings with 20 classrooms in each. There is a massive laboratory building behind the three main teaching buildings equipped with brilliant facilities for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Technology experiments. Library, private study rooms, computer rooms and a large lecture room are located in the centre building of the area, with a small outdoor stage at the back of it. The administration building, which has meeting rooms for conferences and offices to the heads, sits in the front between the two teaching ones. All buildings in the academic area are internally connected, and the architecture is very modern.
Two dorms separated by gender can be easily spotted on the left of the front gate. Each of them has 6 floors with about 35 rooms on each to accommodate some 95% of the student body. Rooms are shared between six, all en suite and air conditioner-ed. Lockers and cupboards are provided as well. There is also a staff dorm next to the student ones.
The school provides great sporting facilities. There is a sport centre right in front as enter from the school gate, primarily for badminton and table tennis. Eight outdoor basketball courts are on the right of the centre. Behind it, a standard 400m track with a football pitch in the middle is there for students to jog or play football. There is also a standard 50m swimming pool and a well equipped gym room next to it. The sports centre is also sometimes used as a stage for variety performances, ceremonies and large presentations.
Guangdong Experimental High School has always been praised for its exceptional academic performance, which is the most important criterion in judging schools in China.
Performance in Gaokao, also known as National Higher Education Entrance Examination, is the most convincing academic indication for senior high school in China. Being one of the best schools, SS has always undoubtedly been given very high expectations. And in recent years, proud SS senior graduates continually to impress everybody with outstanding results.
Over the last decade, 36 students nailed the first place in the province, in both overall score and single subject. In 2009, Guangdong Experimental High School graduates took up 21 places in the top 200 in the province, including 7 first places in different subjects. 40% of the top scorers (above 680*) in the city are from Experimental High School, 20% for score over 650 and 10% for over 600.
SS prides itself on the vast range of extracurricular activities offered to students in school.
Guangdong Experimental High School Choir, founded in 1952, has participated in many chorus competitions both nationally and internationally and received numerous prizes for its exceptional performance. It has always been one of the best vocal groups in China. Being the only choir that was made up of no professionals but only high school students, it has won nine consecutive champions in the Interscholastic Chorus Competitions. Recent awards were received from festivals held in Australia, Austria, Japan, Korea and Germany. In 2004 the choir won the top prize in vocal and choir competitions in the first National Interscholastic Arts Show and was selected as the best programme in the Awards Evening in the People’s Congress Hall.
Xie Mingjing received his bachelor's degree in Music from Guangzhou Xinghai Music Academy. He is now the senior music teacher in Guangdong Experimental Middle School and the leader of the choir. He has been very successful and gained many commendations from the government as a teacher. Under his leadership, the choir has performed very well in various international choral festivals. Mr. Xie is also a member of the China Musician Association, the Committee of China Youth Choir and the director of Guangdong Chorus Association.
Badminton is the most traditional and the strongest sport of the school.
The popularity of basketball has had a dramatic growth in high schools in recent years, where students' participation has rapidly increased. The new campus offers brilliant facilities, including eight outdoor full courts and an indoor court ready to be put up when needed, for student/staff to play basketball while in school. The eight courts are normally allocated different year groups, with Court 1 - 2, 3 - 4, 5 - 6 shared between senior 1 - 3 respectively, Court 7 being the training court for the school team and Court 8 for the staff.
The school runs a basketball team, who plays in the Nike High School League as well as the local competitions. The school team squad trains up to 4 days a week during term time. Tryouts normally take place in the second semister every year to Senior 1 students for the coming season, however, extraordinary players may be recruited anytime in the year.
SS has thousands of successful alumni all over the world, including four fellows of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, three fellows of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.Deng Ximing - (CAS)
Huang Yaoxiang - (CAE)
Fan Haifu - (CAS)
Cai Ruixian - (CAS)
Jiang Boju - (CAS)
Cen Kefa - (CAE)
Zhong Nanshan - (CAE)
In September 2011, several major medias reported that a new campus of SS in Los Angeles, CA, United States was established, which made SS the first Chinese high school to have a campus in the United States of America. However, this was soon discovered to be a fraud, and the said collaboration between SS and the US Academy was never formed in any ways. Few weeks later, the school made a formal apology to the public, the alumni in America in particular.