Ricards Lodge High School
|Motto||"Educating Successful Women of the Future"|
|DfE URN||102673 Tables|
|Colours||Purple and green|
Ricards Lodge High School is a single sex comprehensive secondary school for girls aged 11 to 16, located on Lake Road in Wimbledon, London. The school's headteacher has been Alison Jerrard since 2005.
History before 1900
The manor of Wimbledon was presented to the Archbishop of Canterbury by Edward the Confessor in the 12th century. The property remained in the possession of his successors until the reign of Henry the VIII when it was re-possessed by the crown. It was sold again by Queen Elizabeth 1st to Sir Christopher Hatton, and from him in turn to Sir Thomas Cecil. Queen Elizabeth was not interested in the property whilst it was in her possession but was later entertained there on several occasions.
A new manor house was built in 1588, where today's Arthur Rd and Home Park Rd meet. The manor was purchased by Sir Theodore Janssen in 1717.
Sir Theodore Janssen was unfortunate enough to be made the scapegoat of Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole's relief plan and hence stripped of his properties.
Following the confiscation of Janssen's estates, Wimbledon manor was purchased in 1725 by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. The duchess decided to build herself a new manor house with a northward view. To achieve this, she cleared away completely the remains of the old Cecil manor house. The duchess died in 1744 and left the estate to the 1st Earl Spencer. John Spencer died in 1783 and was succeeded by his only son, George John. At Easter 1785, the house was burnt down. A new Wimbledon Park House was commissioned from Henry Holland, built between 1795 and 1801 and demolished in 1949.
Both the Marlborough house and the Spencer house stood within the current school playing fields, with the Cecil house just beyond that, at the top of Home Park Road. An underground brick-lined tunnel, which had linked the Duchess's house to her servants quarters, still exists.
History of the school
The Wimbledon Day Commercial School for girls opened in 1924 and was originally housed in the technical college in Gladstone Road. Girls entered at 14, which was then the minimum school leaving age, followed by a two-year course in business studies and general subjects.
The numbers were limited to 120 girls and under the enthusiastic leadership of the first mistress, Humphrey, the school became so well known all over Surrey that the competition for places became keen.
Humphrey died suddenly in 1930 and the following year Turnbull was appointed in her place and became the youngest headmistress in Surrey, with the smallest school.
In 1934 a one-year course in secretarial work for girls was started along with plans to provide the school with better accommodation. The plans were thwarted by the coming of war. The school was forced to move to limited accommodations in Morden Farm school, then to Morden junior school, and finally to rooms in the new arts school in Merton Hall Road.
The war years were difficult ones for the school. Some girls left for safer areas, lessons often had to be given in the air raid shelters, and some girls walked miles to get to school. The head girl walked six miles daily. At the end of the war efforts were made to relocate the school, and Ricards Lodge was found.
Alterations to the school uniform were made and the girls started wearing scarlet ties. This had been the school's colour from the beginning. A red P.E shirt was worn until a recent uniform update.
In 1965, the year of the first CSE examinations, Wimbledon became part of the new London borough of Merton, and Surrey County Council ceased to be responsible for education in the area.
In 1975 the school moved into what is now the old part of the current school building, which includes the lodge, the current gym, Manor house and the language department. The current technology department was added after 1975 but before the "park" block, which is joined by a link and contains the current art, music, drama, and humanities departments.
The new block is composed of two floors, while the old contains four. The two buildings are linked, and a pedestrian bridge joins the second floor corridors from both sides.
The school also has a sports hall extended from the old gym, several tennis courts, an Astroturf and an open field where sports day is held.
The building of the new sixth form meant that two of the several tennis courts had to be scrapped.
Ricards Lodge is a comprehensive arts school, teaching drama, dance and music. The school hosted the regional performances of "Stand up for Shakespeare" in 2009. The cast of "Pericles: Prince of Tyre" went on to perform at the Courtyard Theatre in May 2009.
There are currently on average of 1200 pupils in the school, split into 8 tutor classes: R, C, A, D, S, L, G, and E within different years.
The school was last inspected by Ofsted in 2007, and was awarded an overall grade of 2 (good) with the capacity to be 1 (outstanding). The full report is available on the school's website. The RE department was inspected by Ofsted in March 2009 as part of a nationwide survey and was graded as good, with good capacity to improve.
Sixth form provision is provided in partnership with Rutlish High School for boys as RR6. Facilities are split and located at the premises of both schools; students are expected to have a schedule at both schools, with a variation of both courses. This aims to combine both the arts award at Ricards and the specialist maths and ICT skills of Rutlish to give the students a better opportunity at both subjects.