The Island itself is a community and as such we do a lot of work naturally within and for our community. With our motto of ‘Ut Prosim’ (to be of service) embodied in our daily life we find ways to underpin that motto throughout the School.
Community groups use our facilities throughout the year, and voluntary hours (measured) by activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Awards’ and WE campaign also run at about 2000 hours a year plus countless other initiatives across the school and wider community.
Headline figures for the year to 31 August 2021
- Amount of money raised for UK charities: £8357
- Contribution to UK GDP: £14.6
- Contribution to the Isle of Wight economy: £8.5 million
- Total amount of UK tax supported by Ryde School’s activities: £4.5 million
- Total savings for UK tax payer as a result of pupils attending who would otherwise attend state schools: £4.5 million
- Total number of UK jobs supported by the school’s activity: 343
- Number of pupils receiving means tested bursarial assistance: 80
- Amount of money spent on bursarial support to pupils last year: £747,446
- Total number of voluntary hours that students put back into the community through voluntary activity such as Duke of Edinburgh = over 2,000
Pupils and staff are encouraged to follow the School’s motto of Ut Prosim and live a life of service. Many are involved directly and indirectly in fundraising, active community service and local engagement. The School has recently joined the Round Square Organisation which expects of, and provides opportunities for, its member schools engagement with voluntary activity. There are active groups such as the ‘Green People’ in the Senior School and ecology groups in the Junior School who engage in environmental action
Many of our pupils in Year 10 take part in the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award - Last year due to the pandemic a reduced number of 34 pupils did at least 12 hours of voluntary work each. That is around 408 hours volunteering in the community.
Many of our pupils continue doing Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award in Year 11. Last year 34 pupils did at least 24 hours of voluntary work each. That is in excess of 816 hours of voluntary work in total.
Last year 17 pupils did Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award across the Sixth Form. This included at least 55 hours of voluntary work each, meaning at least 884 hours in total of voluntary work.
Ryde School aspiring medics regularly carry out voluntary medical work in the local community; this year two pupils volunteered at the Isle of Wight COVID Vaccination Centre during Spring/Summer 2021.
Boarders at the school also take part in regular beach cleans, picking up plastic and other litter. Year 7 and 8 regularly carry out voluntary work in the community such as litter picking at Quarr Abbey, and working with Aspire, a local community centre, though last year this was curtailed by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. In addition to this our Year 7 and 8 pupils have been working with the Brading Roman Villa on an on-going conservation project. Our Year 9 pupils planned and carried out a number of community service activities in the summer term of 2020-21 including arranging a tea party for residents at a local care home, conservation work around the school’s perimeter and litter picking in hotspots around Ryde.
In the Prep School our pupils are encouraged to engage with voluntary work and recent links have been made with Quarr Abbey where pupils have helped to restore the path and assisting with harvesting apples. The Prep School also supports the Rotary Club shoebox appeal sending gifts and essentials to countries such as Moldova and Bosnia.
The School has close links with a rural school in Nako, Ghana and a group of pupils travel there on a biennial basis to carry out voluntary work, teaching lessons and helping to renovate the site. A trip went Ghana in Oct/Nov 2019 and another is being planned for 2021.The School additionally carries out regular fundraising in support of Nako School.
The School’s music ensembles give freely of their time to play at local venues, though COVID-19 pandemic restrictions put much of this on hold last year. The swing band has played in church concerts as well as other Island venues and our scholars sometimes perform at local venues such as Aspire, Monkton Arts Cafe and Quay Arts. Pre-Pre & Prep hold Music groups play at local care homes for the elderly at Christmas time and the Pre-Prep carol singers sing at the Alzheimer Society Café in All Saints’ Church hall at Christmas time. The local community is usually invited to school events such as carol services, and school musical and drama productions.
‘Sing Up Day’ is an annual event which brings primary schools from across the Island to the School’s Sports Hall for an afternoon of singing and fun. Hundreds of children benefit from the School’s musical expertise and School staff have regularly visited some of these schools in their spare time to prepare them for the event with extra singing lessons. Sadly the event itself was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The School regularly hosts the Isle of Wight Literary Festival schools’ programme in October each year and supports the event financially. Children’s authors talk about their work with children from local Island primary and senior schools using Ryde’s facilities. Sadly this event was cancelled this year due to the pandemic.
A number of community artistic groups use the School’s facilities on a regular basis: a ukulele group, local ballroom dance group, Curtain Call theatre group and DDMix are among those who in normal times make regular use of the school’s facilities, whilst the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra use the school’s facilities and equipment to rehearse in the run up to concerts. Some of this activity was put on hold due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions but much has since resumed.
The school’s music ensembles are open to talented pupils from local state schools and members of Ryde School’s music department are heavily involved in promoting music on the Island, including contributing to the IOW symphony orchestra.
The schools’ art department have supported a number of local exhibitions and sometimes produce their own exhibitions for public spaces such as the Monkton Arts Café.
In recent years the School has worked in partnership with a local Academy which has been unable to provide A-levels in certain STEM subjects. We have given these students access to our A-level science and maths lessons at no cost and they have benefited greatly from many hours of lessons and the subject expertise of our teachers. Ryde School staff have also delivered pre-exam revision sessions to pupils from the same school and in addition we have helped with the professional development of their maths teachers by providing opportunities to spend time with our teachers and in our lessons.
The Junior School hosts an annual all-Island maths challenge for children in Years 4 and 5. Each year 8 children from around 20 primary schools attend the event, 160 pupils in total.
The School runs an annual Design Technology club which supports the Isle of Wight Club for Deaf Children. Transport assistance is also offered to Ryde Academy students so that they can attend the Engineering Education Scheme events on the mainland.
The School also runs a mock Oxbridge interview evening each year which benefits a number of the most able STEM pupils on the Island.
In addition to STEM and ‘the arts’, the School runs a number of other academic initiatives which benefit the wider community. The school runs an annual Island-wide geography quiz for pupils in Year 9-10 although this had to be postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The school also runs a Model United Nations event for local island state schools.
The School now has an established mock-Oxbridge interview preparation evening, with over 20 pupils attending this year. Pupils from all over the Island are invited and many have gone on to gain places at Oxbridge.
The School occasionally hosts lectures and offers free tickets to local primary and/ or secondary schools to join. Last year we hosted the IOW Historical Society Lecture ‘Elizabeth’ by Dr David Starkey and secured c.100 free seats from the society for pupils across the Island. Similarly we invite local primary schools to matinees of our Lower School productions, though again this was postponed last year due to covid.
Pre-Prep & Prep run Exploration and Discovery sessions on Saturday mornings in areas such as science, outdoor learning and drama. These are free of charge and bring junior school age children together from across the lsland, particularly helping those who are home-schooled. The weekly Chitter Chatter Playgroup also allows families to access use of the Nursery facilities as well as tea and coffee and story & music time with a member of the Nursery & Pre-Prep team. These sessions were suspended for some of last year due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
The weekly Fiveways playgroup ‘ Chitter Chatter’ also allows families to access use of the Nursery facilities as well as tea and coffee and story & music time with a member of the Fiveways team. These sessions were suspended or went online for some of last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of the School’s sports specialists work with the wider community. The Head of Rugby coaches regularly at London Irish, the Head of cricket coaches with England South-West (Bunbury) group and leads coaching on the Isle of Wight, whilst a further PE teacher assists with coaching Island cricket.
The School runs a number of community sports initiatives using their facilities. Recently these have included ‘Rugby Ready’ afternoons and football tournaments for local primary schools. The School rowing club combines pupils from other local schools with our pupils and allows them to access our facilities and coaches as well as taking part in events as a combined crew. The Head Master is a trustee of the Isle of Wight Sports Foundation.
A number of community Island sports clubs have regularly used the School’s facilities in the past academic year, these include Shorwell netball club, Island Hockey Club, Ryde Saints football club, Isle of Wight cricket club, Ryde Cavaliers Cricket club, Football Mondial, Vectis Nomads, Ryde Badminton club, Ryde LTC, and Oakfield Youth Football club. Hampshire RFU meetings are held at the School and facilities are used for coaching courses.
Our Sports Scholarships enable talented Island athletes to access education at the School whatever their financial circumstances and to develop their talents further. This has been instrumental in helping some of the Island’s most talented athletes to develop both academically and in their sport.
The Isle of Wight Cricket Board partnered up with the school a few years ago. In this short period of time Cricket on the Island has seen a substantial increase in the number of young cricketers (boys and girls) playing on and for the Isle of Wight County Age groups. The School is used as their training base with access to a Merlin and 2X Bola bowling machines in the 4 net lanes the Sports Hall along with the Gym for the strength and conditioning training. Cricket activity, whilst disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, was still able to take place for much of the summer on the school’s grounds. The school also allows the IOW cricket board to use its minibuses for away fixtures.
Aside from the sports and arts uses identified above, the facilities at the School have been used by some members of the lsland’s Hindu Community and Isle of Wight History Society. The School pays directly for the light, which illuminates the North of All Saints' church. The schools usually lends its facilities to IOW Pride Parade and The Mardi Gras though these events were cancelled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ryde School runs a Summer School, which provides opportunities for local children during the holidays to participate in a wide range of activities, also enhancing cultural experiences as they attend alongside overseas residential Summer School students. A number of Ryde School pupils volunteered their time at the summer school to run activities in drama, sports and STEM.
Ryde School provides teacher training placements through Southampton University and Christ the King School. This usually sees a number of trainees placed at the school each year and most of these return to the state sector as newly qualified teachers.
Our External Relations Secretary is currently a governor at a local primary school; Our Head of Marketing is on the Royal Ocean Race Club committee and is a Cowes Harbour Commissioner and our Head of Pastoral care is the vice-Chair of the Isle of Wight Children’s Safeguarding Education sub-group which meets half-termly to discuss action plans, audits and strategies. Our Assistant Head (Academic) is a guest lecturer at Southampton University. A History teacher volunteers at the Island’s CCF and is a governor at a further mainland school.
The school raises a large amount of money each year for UK charities. Last year this was lower than usual since fundraising events were curtailed by the pandemic, but this still totalled £8,357. The main recipients of this were the schools nominated charities: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance; Ghanalink; Red Nose Day; Wight Brainy Bunch; Cancer Youth Trust; MIND; IW Foodbank and Age UK IW.
In addition to money raised formally through school fundraising, a number of our pupils have carried out their own fundraising initiatives which have been supported by the school.
The School advertises Scholarships and Bursaries in its promotional literature (Current Information), its website and in the local press. Examinations and interviews for Scholarships and Bursaries take place in November and February. Places are available for entry into Years 5, 7, 9 and 12. The criteria to receive a scholarship are significant achievement and potential either academically or in one or more of several extra-curricular areas. Scholarships can be academic, sport, music, sailing or general (allowing for success in, for example, Drama, DT or Art) and those in receipt of one are expected to benefit from an education at Ryde School, generally but also in nurturing their particular talent, and make a positive contribution to school life. The School has the same expectations of its fee paying pupils.
Those in receipt of a scholarship will automatically get support to develop the area of skill of the award – for example, music scholars are supported with complimentary individual tuition. In addition, all those awarded scholarships become eligible for fee assistance. The level of fee assistance is determined after an assessment of parents’ (or guardians’) ability to pay the fees; assistance can be as high as 100% - and occasionally grants are made to assist with school trips or uniform. Assisted Places are offered to some boarders, who are also assessed as to the level of support that is required. Usually, one or two pupils a year are nominated through the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) Eastern European Scholars Programme, which carries out its own assessment of parental means. Some Eastern European Scholars receive a 100% bursary, others are able to pay about a third of the fees.
The total value of means tested bursaries amounts to £747k or about 8.3% of gross fee income. Approximately 11% of pupils receive such support. Funding for bursaries comes from three sources. The School uses the rental income it receives from the letting of the Bembridge Boarding Campus, investment income from the Educational Development Fund (these two sources funded approximately 45% of means tested bursaries); the remainder coming from the surplus derived from fee income. It is a long term strategic aim of the School to increase further the size of its Educational Development Fund in order to provide further means tested bursarial assistance.
The School continues to assist some pupils already in attendance, when parental circumstances change. Such help is given after means testing; it is the School’s wish to see such pupils complete the appropriate stage of their education. This has been of particular importance this year in supporting families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In budgeting for its awards the School attempts to strike a balance between the use of its rental and investment income, and fee income, recognising that many parents have already made significant sacrifices to fund the education of their own children. Indeed, maintaining fees at a relatively low figure by independent school standards allows greater access by a wider range of local families than is sometimes the case elsewhere and is a conscious consideration of school management and governors. To foster bursarial support further the Governors have established a restricted fund – “Ryde Bursary Fund” to which parents and staff donate. In addition, in order to assist further children whose parents might not otherwise be able to afford to choose it, the School fosters its relationship with other grant making bodies and participates in the Government’s Nursery Voucher Scheme.
The School has offered particular assistance to children who would benefit from boarding due to their personal or family circumstances and has worked with the local authority and national charities to identify and place looked after children or those who would otherwise not be able to access a boarding school education.