School History
Independent day & boarding school for boys and girls aged 2 to 18

School History

Ryde School with Upper Chine was founded 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 successful 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; the current Seaford, Trinity, Hanover and Chine. Ryde School with Upper Chine later acquired the buildings of Bembridge School following its closure in 1996. 

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). With additional sports facilities at Smallbrook in Ryde, the School has grown geographically to support the now 750+ pupils who are educated at Ryde in its 17 acres overlooking the Solent.

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 by the Founders at the first assembly in 1921.

The latest additions to the school grounds in Ryde are Millfield and Centenary boarding houses both replacing the Bembridge Boarding Campus, with all boarding now in Ryde. In 2023 the new Jenny Kerry Performing Arts Centre was opened in memory of Old Upper Chine Girl Jenny Kerry. 


Ryde School With Upper Chine.

But What is a Chine?

It is a geographical phenomenon peculiar to the South Coast and the Isle of Wight. If you are interested in learning more then we recommend taking a look at Island Rivers for a fascinating insight into their impact on Island life.