"The Mill" - JRGS Alumni Society Home Page

"... To make your
children capable
of honesty is the
beginning of education.

- John Ruskin (1819-00)

John Ruskin School Celebrating 100th Anniversary

Sunday, 12th January, 2020

Our School Song:

"When the light of truth is fading and the torch
of faith burns low."
>>full lyrics


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In one week's time we will celebrate the 100th Golden Anniversary of our school's founding on 12th January, 1920. It all began at Scarbrook Road, Croydon, when our school first opened as John Ruskin Boys' Central School, before moving in 1935 to Tamworth Road, where it achieved Grammar School status in April 1945. Pleases raise a glass next Sunday!

   The first principal teacher was William Field MA, followed in 1934 by Arthur William McLeod MA. Mr. Field passed in February 1938, and Mr. McLeod in July 1956, at the age of 71. The 36-year-old John Christopher Lowe MA, who took over as headmaster of the newly upgraded John Ruskin Grammar School from Mr. McLeod in 1946, spent 27 years at the school until his retirement in 1973, and was replaced by William Patterson.

   In January 1955 John Ruskin Grammar School for Boys moved to a new site on Upper Shirley Road, Shirley, several miles south east of Croydon, which location featured an elegant windmill in the grounds between the main school buildings and a sports area.

   During 1971 the school was renamed John Ruskin High School - instead of a three-form entry at 11, the school offered four forms for boys and girls aged 14, the latter transferring from Shirley High School - eventually to became a 14-18 Co-Educational Comprehensive School. Anne Smith, who had joined the school from Selhurst Grammar School for Girls in 1970 as Second Mistress, and was a long time English Teacher at JRHS, became principal in 1990.

   Sadly, in 1991 the school was demolished to make way for a new housing development, the upper forms relocating to a Sixth Form College in Selsdon, the former home of John Newnham Secondary School.

   Today John Ruskin College is a Skills for Life College, with courses that lead to BTEC (Business & Technology Education Council) qualifications in a variety of vocational subjects. In February 2019 JRC merged with East Surrey College, a further-education college based in Redhill, Surrey. The current JRC principal is Kevin Standish.

   These links to recent contributions demonstrate how our alumni feel about the school and its teachers.

From 100 Years ago: first school magazine... John Ruskin Central School July 1920 issue

Clive Whitehead probes school origins... Research at Croydon Local Studies Library

More from Mr. Lowe' s School Record... Various press clippings, letters and photos

Anne Smith recalls 29 years at school... As Senior Mistress, Deputy Head & Principal

First Ruskin Reunion in September 2015 ... At JR Sixth Form College, Selsdon

Our "Top Ten Favourite" JR teachers... Who did we like best of our schoolmasters?

Alan Murray, 1914-2005 - Rest in Peace ... A popular teacher at the school for 25 years

Charles Smith, 1912-2012 - Rest in Peace ... A long career teaching PT & mathematics

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