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School History

Image taken from Wightpedia

In 1883 the Upper Grade school was established in St Johns Road (corner of Bennett Street) which ran alongside the existing elementary school. It was demolished in 1962.

In 1921 the two schools were merged and also acquired the School of Art building which was on the site of the current library in George Street, Ryde. The School of Art building was used for woodwork, needlework, cookery and science and students regularly travelled between the sites on St Johns Road and George Street. Although the newly amalgamated schools were formally named the Ryde Senior School most people continued to call it the Upper Grade School.

From the 1920s to the 1940s Upper Grade was a selective school.

The site of the current building in Pell Lane was at this time the playing fields for the school and were being considered as a site for a new development. However, war broke out which suspended the project. School continued with the headmaster at the time facing a number of issues including bomb damage and losing staff to war service.

In the early 1950s the school ceased to be selective and students of all levels of ability were admitted.

The lack of facilities such as an assembly hall (assemblies took place outside regardless of the weather!) and the continuation of divided sites came to an end when the new school opened in Pell Lane in 1963. The school, now known as Ryde County Secondary School, was opened on Friday 8th November 1963 by Mr H S Magnay, Director of Education for Liverpool.

The new building will be completed on Monday 6th November 2017.



Some of our Year 10 History students recently undertook a project researching the history of their school. We held a small exhibition in July 2017 supported by the Ryde District Heritage Centre and the Ryde Social Heritage Group.

Lyle doing research for the history project at Ryde District Heritage Centre.

Students at the opening of the exhibition at Ryde Aspire on Dover Street.

On 30th August we have opened the school to allow ex students and staff to have a last look around before the building is demolished in 2017/18. 

We would like to thank all the organisations and individuals who have shared their memories and resources and we will continue to share these on this page so everyone can enjoy them.


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Nat Admin,
8 Aug 2017, 05:53
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Nat Admin,
8 Aug 2017, 05:53
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