As an academic school, the school is primarily focused on training girls for careers as experts in the Scientific and Technological areas. Wellington Girls' is also pre-eminent in many other spheres of learning, sport and cultural pursuits. Sixteen percent of all students at the school are Asian. The November 2005 Education Review Office (ERO) report states that there are 35 international students.
Seeing a need for higher education for girls the founding fathers of Wellington College leased a building in Abel Smith Street in 1882 and appointed Miss Martha Hamilton as the Lady Principal of the school. It opened on 2 February 1883 with 40 students.However, by the end of its first year the roll increased to almost 100 girls, and when the Premier, the Rt. Hon. Robert Stout visited the school in 1884 the building was overcrowded with 130 students. As a result of his visit the school was moved to Pipitea St.