Postcard of the month - #42 - November 2003
|The Hamlet of Ratcliff is part of the parish
of St Dunstans Church, Stepney. In 1710 the Hamlet of Ratcliff School was
founded by a group of local people. Started in a rented house, the Church of England
School was for poor boys who lived in the Hamlet of Ratcliff. By 1719 sufficient funds
had been raised to build a school in Whitehorse Road. The Hamlet of Ratcliff School
opened in 1720, then, in 1723 a girls school was added.
In 1853 the old Hamlet of Ratcliff School was demolished and a new one erected on the same site. It opened in 1854 at the cost of £2000. Then in 1871, land next to the School was bought for the building of extra classrooms and to enlarge the playground. Further expansion happened in 1880 when an Infant School was added.
From its foundation boys and girls at the Hamlet of Ratcliff School wore a uniform. From 1763 the boys wore a green coat and the girls a green dress.
|In 1782 each pupil was given a
badge with a number and worn with the uniform. The Governors reasoned that all children
looked the same in school uniform and a badge with a number made it easier to recognise
those pupils who misbehaved! It was in 1854 that the name Greencoat School was
first used in school records.
The Hamlet of Ratcliff School became part of the National Schools System in 1904 when administration passed into the hands of the London County Council.
Late in the 1960s plans were drawn up to build a new school. The site chosen was in the Parish of St Annes, Limehouse. It was going to be a primary and junior school only and given a new name Stepney Greencoat, Church of England School. The School opened in October 1970 in Norbiton Road, near Salmons Lane, Limehouse. The old school in Whitehorse Road is now used for community work.
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