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ABOUT US

The students who join us have the potential to do great things. With inspirational teachers who go above and beyond, our students are supported and challenged to be the best they can be. Our students have respect for themselves, each other, their teachers and their school and leave us well prepared to face the world as confident, caring, independent and resilient young people.

What is it like to start my own business or to sing in a theatre? I love science, I’d love to learn how to canoe and abseil? The answer to all these questions can be found at Richmond. Our students experience life at work, perform on stage and embark on local and international expeditions with teachers leading these events who share their interests and wish to develop them.

On visiting, there’s an immediate sense that it is more than just a school, it’s a community within a community and students, visitors, parents and staff often comment on the special buzz they feel when they are here. It’s hard to pinpoint, but it’s a combination of many factors that unite to make this such a special place. Dedicated teachers, fabulous facilities, a wonderful heritage, a sense of belonging and incredible students, to name but a few.

We currently have 1,308 students on roll, with 15 feeder schools from a catchment area of around 350 square miles. We serve the area of Richmondshire, taking in many outlying villages, Catterick and extending up to the top of Swaledale, with approximately half our students travelling to school by bus. Despite our rural location, as a school we are very much outward facing and convinced of the value of collaboration.

We embrace completely the support and expertise we gain from our many community links and we are also proud to be able to 'give back' and contribute to local projects. Right from day one, students work hard to demonstrate and develop the school's six values - Creativity, Excellence, Independence, Resilience, Respect and Teamwork. Our values are integral to each child’s education, both academically and in extra-curricular activities, and they underpin everything we do. We encourage our students to apply these values every day.

RichmondSchool - Values - Creativity
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RichmondSchool - Values - Resilience
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RichmondSchool - Values - Teamwork

Steeped in a rich history, our heritage goes back nearly 700 years and throughout this time Richmond School has been at the heart of its community. Find out more about our incredible heritage at the bottom of this page. This recognition and standing within the community continues to be key to our success and will always remain a focus of our day-to-day life. The school is a genuine community hub with extensive sport, performing arts, STEM and business links. These are used to the benefit of the students in the school and there is also an expectation that, as a school, we give back to our community in many ways. Our Student Leaders play a key role in developing these links further and acting as ambassadors for the school at the many public events we attend.

We are proud of our inclusivity. To support and recognise the development of inclusive practice for students with cognition and specific learning difficulties we have developed YES@Areté Learning Trust. This service helps parents to make informed decisions by providing access to up-to-date information about services and support available to them, and focuses on ensuring that students are central to their own learning.

The Richmond School Trust was established in the days of Richmond Grammar School and exists essentially to offer financial support to our students. Ex-students under the age of 25 are also eligible to apply. The Trustees have supported many students, predominantly ensuring that 'disadvantage' does not prevent them from taking part in the many activities and educational experiences on offer, but also offering financial support to students who strive for excellence in a particular area, eg sport or the arts.

OUR HERITAGE

The earliest records of the school can be traced back to 1392. According to Leslie P. Wenham in his marvellous book “The History of Richmond School” (1958) the earliest mention of it occurs in a period 1361-1474, although there is little else on record about the school. Since this time there have been forty headmasters who have all witnessed success in one form or another as well as recognising the achievements of scholars who have contributed significantly on a national scale.

The first Richmond School (1392) was in the church grounds of St. Mary’s Church, Richmond. This school experienced renovation, rebuild and re-invention throughout the centuries until it was finally closed in 1850. The school’s occupation of the churchyard was not without controversy. A resident of Frenchgate wrote to the headmaster of the day, Canon James Tate, on 27th January 1834, to complain about boys making too much noise as they moved about the area. Canon Tate responded stating that this had continued for the last 250 years and there was evidence that the “boys had become remarkably less troublesome in recent times”. Interestingly, on 15th March 2011, a resident of Frenchgate contacted the headmaster again to complain about noise from the students. One must assume that this was neither the same resident, nor the same students or headmaster, however the same response was given. It was during Canon Tate’s headship that the school motto was introduced. The motto was that of the Wallis Family (Tate married Margaret Wallis in 1796) “NON NOBIS NASCIMUR”. Literally meaning,”We are not born for us”.

In former times the school accommodated approximately twenty five boys, some fee paying, who aspired to go on to university education, and some local youths who would leave to work in trades within the town. Today of course the school accommodates both boys and girls with approximately 1500 students in attendance.

HEADMASTER JAMES TATE

The earliest records of the school can be traced back to 1392. According to Leslie P. Wenham in his marvellous book “The History of Richmond School” (1958) the earliest mention of it occurs in a period 1361-1474, although there is little else on record about the school. Since this time there have been forty headmasters who have all witnessed success in one form or another as well as recognising the achievements of scholars who have contributed significantly on a national scale.

The first Richmond School (1392) was in the church grounds of St. Mary’s Church, Richmond. This school experienced renovation, rebuild and re-invention throughout the centuries until it was finally closed in 1850. The school’s occupation of the churchyard was not without controversy. A resident of Frenchgate wrote to the headmaster of the day, Canon James Tate, on 27th January 1834, to complain about boys making too much noise as they moved about the area. Canon Tate responded stating that this had continued for the last 250 years and there was evidence that the “boys had become remarkably less troublesome in recent times”. Interestingly, on 15th March 2011, a resident of Frenchgate contacted the headmaster again to complain about noise from the students. One must assume that this was neither the same resident, nor the same students or headmaster, however the same response was given. It was during Canon Tate’s headship that the school motto was introduced. The motto was that of the Wallis Family (Tate married Margaret Wallis in 1796) “NON NOBIS NASCIMUR”. Literally meaning,”We are not born for us”.

In former times the school accommodated approximately twenty five boys, some fee paying, who aspired to go on to university education, and some local youths who would leave to work in trades within the town. Today of course the school accommodates both boys and girls with approximately 1500 students in attendance.

SILVERWARE AND TROPHIES

The school is equally proud of its collection of silverware and trophies, now on display in the Foyer of the James Tate Building. The coveted trophies reflect the success of many students over a long period of time and one most notable trophy is the Cup purchased by Thomas Stokoe awarded to the best sportsman. The cup bears the name of Ernest Bromet who later captained Oxford University, Yorkshire and England at rugby union and was a member of the British Lions touring team to South Africa. The 1950 Observer Book of Sport claims that Bromet was the finest lock-forward rugby player that the country has ever produced. In recent times the most successful rugby player who has played at international level is Calum Clark (2000-2005) representing Leeds Carnegie, Northampton Saints and a member of the England Elite Squad (2014-2015).

Headmasters Douglas Smith (1895-1903), Hago Sharpley (1913-1919) and Frank Woodhead (1928-1950) led the school during the Boer War, Great War and World War Two respectively. The school is proud to celebrate the lives of the former scholars who lost their lives in active service at an annual Act of Remembrance. One notable former pupil was Rear Admiral Christopher Cradock of Hartforth Hall who went down with his ship at the Battle of Coronel (World War One) trying to stop the German fleet returning to Europe. The battle is well known in British naval history due to controversy of blame directed at Admiral Cradock by Lord of the Admiralty Sir Winston Churchill. The history books however tell a different story, as Cradock and his fleet were woefully under-resourced and ill-prepared for such an encounter. Recognising the bravery of those who serve in our armed forces is just as important today as it is for those service men and women of yester-year. The school serves the garrison town at Catterick, and the RAF base at Leeming, which is the largest army - training centre in Western Europe with over 29,000 residents serving the British army.

In 1920 Richmond High School for Girls was opened in Frenchgate. Its motto was ‘Quest Conquest”, according to the author, Audrey Carr, in her wonderful book, ‘Well Played – The Story of Richmond High School” (1988). Although girls were educated before this date, the options available to them were to travel to Darlington High School or attend the Convent in Mill Lane, Richmond. The school supported fifty-seven girls aged 7-15. In rural areas the education of girls had taken second place to that of boys until the time women gained the right to vote. Rambling and hockey became the sports enjoyed by the girls, the hockey pitch being the field near the recent housing development known as Swalegate, off Gallowgate.

By 1940 the school in Frenchgate was bursting at the seams, girls were educated in various rooms all over the town and so Denis Clarke Hall, a prize winning architect, was asked to design a new building for 160 girls, opened formally in May 1940, with the first pupils attending from 17th June 1940. When the school closed as a single sex establishment, 230 pupils were on roll. A wide range of extra-curricular activities took place, with girls excelling in sports, public speaking and outstanding deeds of charity work, for example the collection of Green Shield Stamps to purchase ambulances in India and raising funds for The National Institute for the Blind.

IN RECENT TIMES

In more recent times, girls have continued this tradition of outstanding achievement, notably on the sports field, with Olympians in the swimming pool, Nicola Jackson (2000 Sydney & 2001 4 x 200m Relay World Champion) and Joanne Jackson (2004 Athens) and in rowing where Alison Mowbray was a silver medallist at the 2004 Athens Olympics, whilst Emma Pledge gained national honours on the hockey field. Currently, skier Honor Clissold is ranked first in Great Britain and Europe whilst the girls’ team are the GB Champions (2015), the girls’ Cricket Team are England Under 15 Champions, our Under 16 Indoor Hockey team were National finalists and we have been recognised as having one of the best Equestrian teams in the country. Girls attending the High School were also given opportunities to travel, with the introduction of field trips and visits overseas to the continent. Opportunities of this nature continue today with Geography field trips and study visits to places such as London, Iceland, Italy, France, Germany, India, Spain and Ecuador.

In 1950 Richmond Secondary Modern School was built to accommodate those who had not passed their 11-Plus Examination and so did not qualify for admission to either Richmond Grammar School or the Girls' High School. Large buildings were constructed about 200 yards from the Girls’ High School. The architect was the same Denis Clarke Hall who had previously designed the Girls’ High School.
In 1970, it became known that Richmond School Yorkshire, (the Boys’ Grammar School), Richmond High School for Girls and the Secondary Modern School were to merge as one school under the new comprehensive education system. The girls’ school was to become Upper School, the Secondary Modern School would be known as Middle School and the old Boys’ Grammar School would be known as Lower School. Today, what remains of these three great schools is of course the buildings that we know as the Sixth Form Centre, (the Girls’ High School), the Clarke Hall Building (formerly the Secondary Modern School), whilst the newer buildings at Lower School belong to Richmondshire District Council and the older section is awaiting further development). Bi-annually, the Old Boys’ Association meets, although with time passing, fewer numbers attend the Dinner and Church Service in St. Mary’s Church. The Old Girls’ Association has recently gained popularity but again is meeting with fewer members.

Under the leadership of Headmaster, Derek Dutton (1962-1991), comprehensive education was formally introduced in 1971. Derek Dutton had the challenge of merging the three schools, Richmond Grammar School, Richmond High School for Girls and Richmond Secondary School.
The history of Richmond School over the last 600 years has witnessed controversy and intrigue, ranging from the brief appointment of Caleb Readshaw in 1796, resulting in resignations of members of the Corporation and a year of turmoil for the school, to the more recent resignation of the governing body in 2013. Above all else however are the success and accomplishments of the many students who have gained an education at our great school(s) in Richmond; for example, Earl Charles Grey, Prime Minister of England 1830-1834, Baroness Brenda Hale DBE, Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Baroness Angela Harris DL, Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords and Amanda Berry, Chief Executive of the British Academy of Film and Television.

PRESENT DAY

Heritage image 3 present day - ALTERNATIVE

 

Today, the school is proud of the outstanding progress students make from their entry at eleven years of age to their readiness for further education and training at the age of sixteen or eighteen.

To be successful, a school that meets the needs of all its students and serves its wider community cannot act in isolation. Richmond School has extensive links with its primary partner schools and enjoys the support of other secondary schools to share ideas, promote excellence in teaching, and seek ways for further improvement. Equally, the school must fulfil its duty as a community asset. There has never been a time in the school’s history that has seen so many community groups access the wonderful facilities that are available to students between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm. In truth, Richmond School is open from 8.00am-9.00 pm every day of the year except public holidays and usually you will see at least one of the town’s clubs or societies taking over the buildings or sports fields at such times, for example, the well-known 'Richmond Meet' Cycle Weekend on May Bank Holiday Weekend. Turn up at the school in the football and hockey season and do not be surprised to witness over 400 young people and adults enjoying their leisure time.

Our agenda of continual improvement ensures Richmond School is a vibrant, forward-thinking, exciting place to study.

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