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Isleworth & Syon School is steeped in a rich history as one of the oldest schools in the local area, beginning in c. 1630 as Dame Elizabeth Ellis School for Girls. It was located in a house in Isleworth. In the eighteenth century, the school became known as The Blue School (see image below). Its location, in Old Isleworth, may still be seen in the square.

The Blue School site, c. 1844 (click to enlarge).

The Blue School site, c. 1844 (click to enlarge).

An Upper Department was created in 1883 and was established as a model school in which students from Borough Road College (now part of Brunel University) could practise, and new methods of teaching could be tested. At this time, the aims and ideologies of the school were strongly linked to the national identity, and education in this country was seen as a method of combating imperial decline and strengthening the empire. There was a heavy emphasis on languages and science, with less focus on classical literature.

In 1906, Middlesex County Council and the British & Foreign School Society assumed control of the school, by now located in St Johns Road, Isleworth. The school has been on the Ridgeway Road site since 1939 (see image below of the school hall from 1951; its layout is almost identical today).  In 1954, following the Education Act, the school was renamed Isleworth Grammar School for Boys and became well known in the London area for its academic achievements. The present school was founded in 1979 when Isleworth Grammar School and Syon School for Boys were merged. It has retained its reputation for academic success and high standards of student behaviour.

The school hall at Ridgeway Road, c. 1954. (click to enlarge).

The school hall at Ridgeway Road, 1951 (click to enlarge).

In 2003 the school was designated a Specialist Sports College, securing additional funding to further develop the sports provision at school and in the local community. This demonstrated the school’s commitment to sporting excellence throughout the curriculum and through extra-curricular activities. 2012 saw the school converted to an Academy, retaining its voluntary-controlled status while being independent of the local authorities. This move has given the school more freedom to innovate and excel.

At Isleworth & Syon, we are immensely proud of our rich heritage and traditions. In September 2014, the school installed a visual timeline of the school as part of its welcome corridor redesign. This ensures that all students, staff, parents/carers and visitors are constantly reminded of the school’s fascinating history.

Historical images © Ronald Hyam (‘A History of Isleworth Grammar School’, 1969)