Comments & Editorials 03
The Future of the School


By R. F. E. Watson

TRADITIONALLY the grammar school has served one locality, and numbered the leading citizens of that locality among its governing body. However, the rapid development of this part of Middlesex between the two wars and since, and the fact that no new grammar schools were built to serve the new areas of population, have meant that the locality is not attached to any one school. As a result many parents in Ruislip-Northwood favour this or that established Middlesex or London school, so that a considerable train or bus journey has become the rule rather than the exception for the older boys and girls.

At long last Ruislip-Northwood, which has for so long been in the habit of exporting its able children to schools nearer London, finds a boys' grammar school in its midst, and parents. when asked to name the school of their choice, have to decide between schools further afield and the new, untried school near home.

But a new school is not without advantages over its fellows, On the material side its buildings are spacious and airy, its equipment and textbooks are new and up-to-date; on the human side a new school represents a challenge to stall, pupils and parents, and there is a spirit of adventure and enterprise which cannot but infect the pupils who pass through the school. Not only then must we foster the continued enthusiasm of the present members of our community, but we must look to the parents of this district to make St. Nicholas and St. Mary's their schools.

I have written of the general aspects of what I hope the future has in store. How, it may be asked, is the School to serve the community?

There is much talk today of automation in industry and the first year of life of the School has seen the coming into operation of an atomic power-station in Great Britain. Our School has been born into a new age, in which the opportunities for scientists and technical experts are constantly being extended. It will be a part of our task to prepare boys for these careers, and we are excellently equipped to do so, but the future of our country, indeed of the whole human race, is going to depend on the kind of people our scientists are. We must beware of automation in education : it is our responsibility, so to order our school-life, as to maintain a balance of scientific and humane studies (using both terins in their broadest sense). to enable each boy to develop an appreciation of the world in which he lives and Icarn the meaning and habit of service to the community.

Over 400 years ago, Dean Colet founded St. Paul's School, and wrote a catechism for his pupils, which contained the following precepts for living: -

Love God

Thrust down pride

Forgive gladly

Be sober of meat and drink

Use honest company

Reverence thine elders

Trust in God's mercy

Be always well occupied

Lose no time

Falling down, despair not

Ever take a fresh, new, good purpose

Persevere constantly

Wash clean

Be no sluggard

Awake quickly

Enrich thee with virtue

Learn diligently

Teach that thou hast learned, lovingly

We may be faintly amused by the reference to cleanliness, and by the command not to eat to excess, but these words are just as apt for us in this "atomic" age, as they were for the schoolboys of so long ago. They remain homely reminders of the nature and purpose of education, and one can with good reason be optimistic about the future of any school which tries to put them into practice.


Summer 1956 School Magazine


Geography Field Course (1960)

HM Inspection (1962)


Sights of Old Hillingdon