School History

    Ryde School with Upper Chine was founded by in 1921 by William and Constance McIsaac as Ryde Grammar School to provide a Christian education for boys. Ryde became the independent school of choice for wealthy Island tradesmen and professional classes wanting their boys to be well educated without the need to send them away to boarding school on the mainland.

    In 1972, Keith Symons, Headmaster, admitted girls to the Sixth Form for the first time and in 1994 the school merged with the well-known girls boarding school Upper Chine Girls’. The increased numbers meant the School Houses were increased from three to four to the current Seaford, Trinity, Hanover and Chine. Ryde School with Upper Chine then took over Bembridge School in 1996. Both Upper Chine and Bembridge brought with them pupils from around the world and the mainland as well as local pupils. The combined schools encompass nearly 300 years of history between them.

    Ryde School with Upper Chine has boarding houses on the old Bembridge School site (117 acres on the coast in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) with the School situated in Ryde (17 acres overlooking the Solent). With additional sports facilities at Smallbrook in Ryde the school has grown geographically to support the now 750+ pupils who are educated at Ryde.

    The school ethos is founded in our motto ‘UT PROSIM’ (that I may be useful/ that I may be of service), introduced to the school at the first assembly in 1921. The mottos of our other two schools are not lost however, ‘TODAY’ Bembridge Schools’ motto is seen in our focus on personal development and mindfulness and the motto for Upper Chine Girls’ School ‘Semper Fidelis’ meaning ‘always faithful’ is seen in our school aim of developing high moral standards and integrity.

    Ryde School was originally located in Hanover House in Ryde with boarders housed in Trinity House, Ryde from 1922. In 1923 boarding expanded again and Seaford Lodge became the second boarding house of the school.

    Westmont, the historic Grade II listed building at the heart of Ryde School with Upper Chine was built for a Dr James Lind in 1819 and became the main site for the school in 1928. Many more buildings were bought around Westmont as the school continued to expand with Hollymount, Hermitage, Highclere and Oxford Lodge being bought to house new school rooms along the side of the school grounds in West Street (now mainly housing Junior School). 

    The Bembridge Building, the award-winning art and design centre that reflects Westmont through its glass panels, combines contemporary architecture with eco-friendly sustainability. 

    The latest addition to the school is the new Sixth Form boarding house, Spinnaker House, in Lind Street, Ryde, purchased in 2015.

    © 2019 Ryde School