August 2007 – Greenmount School’s 150th Anniversary
July 2007 marked the 150th anniversary of Greenmount School. Ever since July 1857 there has consistently been a place of education on the site of the school.
On Friday 13th July Greenmount School held an open day to celebrate their anniversary and two of our committee members were lucky enough to be able to attend. During the last few weeks previous to the celebrations the RSHG had been in contact with Richard May, Greenmount’s Head Teacher, to offer the School transcriptions of three of their old log books. Anne Barrett, head of our research team had found and transcribed the log books dating back as far as 1862 and with a few additions made by Carol Strong, head of our publications group, the committee thought they would be a very fitting gift for the school. The School was very happy to accept the log books and hopefully it will give the children some idea of the day to day running of the school in the 19th century.
All of the children had been working very hard for the last six weeks of term and the open day showcased the phenomenal amount of work they had done. It was truly overwhelming. Our afternoon began with two lovely pupils giving us a guided tour of the school from reception to year four and explaining to us about some of the projects that they had been taking part in. The time machine they had built next to the reception class was amazing. Next we were taken into the new hall and the older children performed a dance interpretation of 150 years of the school for the parents, after which we were free to wander for a while and look around.
There were many displays in the classrooms some of which were about the differences between then and now. In the reception class there was a beautiful display on the wall of items past and present. In another classroom there were hundreds of photographs of pupils and classes over the last century. The children had made models and drawn or painted many pictures of the school building.
After we had looked around everyone went into the school playground and we were treated to a song from year two and JC & Angelina from Creative Partnerships, who had been working with the children. The song was called ‘Greenmount School Rules OK’. After their song they unveiled a celebration cake for the children which had been designed by one of the pupils in the shape of 150. This was then cut up and a piece was given to every child in the school. Then the children had a treat. Their teachers doing country dancing! The children found this most amusing and some of them said afterwards that they had noticed a few mistakes but that they did very well really.
When the entertainment in the playground was over all of the parents and visitors were invited into the old hall for a buffet. This ended the day’s celebrations, a lovely end to a perfect day for the staff and teachers of one of the earliest schools in Ryde. As we left we thanked Mr May for allowing us to attend this important celebration and we are hoping to do some work with the school in the new school year.
To see more pictures of the work completed by the children for the 150th Anniversary please go to our Miscellaneous Gallery