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Ramillies Hall School and Nursery

Ramillies Hall

School & Nursery

History

The History of Ramillies

  • The School was founded in 1884 at Haw Bank in Cheadle where it was based for the next 33 years, it was a boarding school preparing boys for public schools.
  • In 1919, Mr R.N. Patterson became Headteacher and acquired Cheadle House, which was an old military hospital during the war.
  • In 1933, the 5thCheadle Scout Group was started and flourished.
  • In January 1936, the boys reassembled at Ramillies Hall where an adjacent playing field was purchased, which the school still owns and is used today.
  • In 1946, the year after the Second World War had ended R.N Patterson retired from teaching. The headship of Ramillies Hall School was handed over to his son “Captain” Kenneth Patterson (CKMP), who shared the role with Mr Desmond Clements (Clem).
  • CKMP and Clem worked together running the school for 33 years. CKMP oversaw the running of the school and taught French, while Clem organised the timetables and taught Classics and Maths.
  • Clem also took over the popular 5thCheadle Scouts which was still an important part of the school.
  • CKMP lived on the premises with his wife Haznih Patterson, and gradually the family grew to include four daughters, Anne, Catriona, Jane and Diana.
  • Mrs. Patterson also played a large role in the management of the school, taking on full responsibility for the domestic, cooking and boarding side of the business.
  • Anne, the eldest of the daughters went to a local day school for her primary education, while the three younger Patterson daughters attended Ramillies. Diana the youngest was the only girl in a school full of 120 boys.
  • In the 1960 CKPM added onto the main building, the dining room and dormitory block.
  • The swimming pool was also built in the 1960’s and heating was added in the 1970’salthough the boys were not deterred by the cold water.
  • The school had a rifle range where the playground currently stands, but due to Health and Safety and the building of Lane End in the 1980’s the club had to be disbanded.
  • The old gym (now the Toddlers building) included a boxing ring where boy who were caught fighting were given a pair of gloves and told to go and sort out their differences properly in the ring.
  • In the mid 70’s Mrs. Patterson’s health began to deteriorate, and she turned her attention to the garden and grounds which was less demanding. The grounds of Ramillies Hall have always been an important part of the school, giving the pupils plenty of space to burn off energy.
  • After leaving School Anne came back to help at Ramillies, initially as a Classroom Assistant, then after completing a teaching course, as a Teacher to the younger pupils. Anne also help Matron to look after the boarders. Over the next few years Anne learned from her father, many aspects of running of the school, and to this day, she can say that there is no job at Ramillies which she hasn’t done.
  • During the 1970’s and 80’s the Scout troop continued, now run by one of the teachers, Richard Corden. He took the Scouts on many camps, including the International Jamboree in Switzerland. He also introduced new activities – rock climbing, caving, abseiling and canoeing. On a few occasions the pupils abseiled down from the dormitory roof. Many of these activities were a great help in building the children’s self-esteem and confidence. To this day, old pupils still frequently comment on the wonderful opportunities Mr Corden gave them.
  • In the 1980’s the School started to accept girls, and 5thCheadle became one of the first Troops in the country to be allowed to admit girls. It was a sad day for Ramillies when Mr Corden left and the Scout troop ceased to exist.

Ramillies handed on to the next generation

  • In July 1979, Clem retired to Penzance, and CKMP went to Shetland that December and simply never came back!
  • CKMP passed the running of the school to his eldest daughter Anne, at first on a temporary basis.
  • In 1980 Diana, CKMP’s youngest daughter, had completed her teacher training and having worked as a teacher in Sussex came back to teach at Ramillies.
  • In 1984, Captain Patterson asked Anne and Diana to take over the School together. Anne took responsibility for the boarding, domestic and administrative aspects and Diana would oversee teaching. Thus began at the partnership which is now 35 years old.
  • By 1984 the School had a small number of day girls, so Anne and Diana took the decision to take girl boarders. Optional activities were introduced for the girls such as ballet, tap and horse riding.
  • Throughout the 1980’s many of the boarders were children of families serving in the armed forces. Anne took on the responsibility of looking after these children whose parents could be anywhere from Germany, in active service in Northern Ireland, to the Falklands or the Far East, and it may have been this which started the emphasis on pastoral care which is still at the heart of the School.
  • The nursery started in the 1980’s, and was externally run, in one room of the School. It was not until the early 1990’s that it was taken over by Ramillies.
  • During the early 1980’s Ramillies became involved with the Dyslexia Institute, having discovered that a number of the current pupils had dyslexia. One of the teachers Jenny Eckstein, trained with the Institute to ensure that pupils could receive their intervention on site. Brenda Breese undertook similar training and took on the learning support responsibility. The specialist expertise was passed on to the other staff through training and experience, and the whole school approach, which began to develop at that time, remains to this day.
  • In 1996 the Nursery expanded, to take on babies from 6 months and since then has grown dramatically and is now accommodated in three buildings. Several nursery staff have been with Ramillies for over 20 years.
  • In the 1990’s boarding numbers had been dropping steadily due to cut backs in the armed forces, and eventually Anne and Diana decided, with much regret, that boarding was no longer viable and in 2006 the boarding ceased.
  • In 2003 the school had taken the decision to extend to the age of 16 and offer GCSE’s. This decision was based on the pleas from parents, who found it impossible to find another school for their children to attend form the age of 13, and it has been one of the most successful developments of the school. Oak House was built, with a teaching kitchen and science lab and the dormitories were converted to classrooms.

The current day

  • In 2011 both Robert and Charlotte the eldest son and youngest daughter of Anne, came to work at the School and Nursery. Robert took on the role of Estates Manager and takes after his grandmother with a love of the outdoors. Charlotte started as Assistant Bursar and became Bursar when Anne retired from her active role in 2016.
  • In 2014, Denise Anthony became Joint Headteacher taking on the full role in 2016 when Diana decided to take a step back and focus on her role of Proprietor, amongst her other duties within the school.
  • In 2016, Alex, Anne’s eldest daughter came to work at the School and Nursery, with her main duties being Human Resources as well as other administrative tasks.
  • Over the years Ramillies have had School Dogs on site, this more recently has become a beneficial tool for helping to calm children with anxieties, who have a love of animals, and enables them to focus on the school day.
  • To this day Ramillies remains a small, nurturing, family run School and Nursery, set in beautiful grounds in a semi-rural location in Cheadle Hulme. Whilst technology and equipment has moved with the times, some of the historical features of the buildings still exist.