Official Opening of Rockcliffe School's Extension

On Thursday 14th January we were honoured to have Bishop James officially open our new extension.  The children were all very excited to sing songs, read poems and prayers, and celebrate our pride in Rockcliffe School.  

Bishop James was greeted by Rockcliffe's Head Boy, Luke and Head Girl, Abi.

They gave Bishop James a guided tour of the school and they were fantastic ambassadors, showing how proud we all are of our school.  

Mr Hodgkiss welcomed Bishop James and Rev.Van den Berg as our special guests; we are very proud of our links with the Church and our local community which was clear in the amount of visitors who attended to celebrate with us.

Mr Walker and his trio of musicians, Luke, Niamh and Thomas were truly a credit to the school as they accompanied the children while singing.  They displayed their talents proudly and provided enthusiastic music for this special event. 

Kieran, Luke and Abi gave us an insight into how the school has changed over the years and Mrs Delaney could even provide us with memories from first hand experience!  

A brief history of Rockcliffe School

The old Victorian school in Rockcliffe opened in School Lane in April 1873 – almost 150 years ago.   The Head Teacher kept records of the school, at that time, in a log or a diary.

School at that time was very different.    Each child had to pay to go to school, the equivalent of two and a half pence for juniors and a penny for infants.  As you can imagine this was not popular with parents and some children stopped coming. 

Many children had to work on the farms, particularly during planting and harvesting and this became more important that going to school so children were often absent.   Illness and disease also caused absence from scarlet fever, whooping cough, measles and chicken pox.  Children who did attend all year were sometimes given medals or half a days holiday as a reward!

During the Second World War the children supported the war effort and were taught Morse code, gathered brambles to be sent off for jam making and learned how to prevent military information reaching the enemy.

Throughout the 19th century, Inspectors weren’t very impressed at all by the children at Rockcliffe.  They didn’t think the children’s reading was very good, their grammar was poor and they thought the children were badly behaved and talked too much.   

However, by 1900 the report declared “Rockcliffe School is a particularly well-managed and well taught country “school. 

Just over a 100 years later, in 1977, after the building of Blencarn Park, a brand new super school opened in Rockcliffe.  This could hold all of the children from Cargo Primary and the old Rockcliffe School.   This was good news for a growing community.   With the new school came new facilities such as the football field, playground and school kitchen.  The staff were also particularly excited about the central heating and the fact that the school had power points in every room!

However, the Head Teacher, Frank Bose was worried.  He thought that the new school would lose the family feeling of an old country school. 

40 years later, in the summer of 2015,  the school expanded yet again.  Two amazing new structures were built. 

Firstly, a brand new, up to date classroom which can hold even more students and secondly the Multi Use Games Area or MUGA.   The MUGA is amazing!  Our PE lessons are much better and playtimes are more fun.   We can try different sports and go out whatever the weather.

In 2016, despite the latest developments, Rockcliffe School remains at the heart of the village of Rockcliffe with the same community feeling and heart that it had when it first opened in 1873.


The children conducted their own research and, with help from Mrs Mcfee, wrote 'A brief History of Rockcliffe School'


Bishop James was very impressed with the children's enthusiasm and even suggested that there could be some budding actors in the making! 



Class 6 children wrote their own prayers; they showed their pride and  enthusiasm to be a member of Rockcliffe School.  It was very difficult to choose which children would share their prayers at the service but Haydn, Eva and Dominique did themselves proud.  

The prayers were as follows:

Thank you Lord for the strength and confidence to face new challenges.
Thank you for the courage to try and overcome fears.
Thank you for the wonderful teachers who provide the tools to learn and teach us about the wider world.
Thank you for 'The Friends of Rockcliffe'; they raise monies for school trips and enable us to have interesing activities.
Thank you for the people who created the school.
Thank you for the Church and the guidance that is offered.
Thank you Lord for our school as I continue to learn. 


Thank you for Rockcliffe School and all the teachers and helpers who spend their time providing us with an education.
Thank you Lord for the abilities you have given us and a school that cares and teaches us to use our strength and wisdom.
The happiness throughout this school is clear for all to see and we extend the hand of friendship to all.
We welcome new teachers and pupils and also other groups in the community. 
The learning here fills the brain and can change a life.
We know that everyone matters. 


Thank you for our school and giving peace to one another.
Thank you for making our school a welcoming and safe place to be.
I am grateful for the world around me and thankful for the friends who I share it with.
Thank you for a lovely place to learn and expand knowledge throughout my time at Rockcliffe School.
Everyone is unique, everyone is different - we offer friendship to all.
I promise to be a good role model to the younger children and lead them on the right path.
We are a family, a community and we help each other.
If we do something wrong, this school gives us the chance to turn a new page.
We are thankful for all the opportunities we have to become a good person in the wider world.
I am grateful for my education and those who support me along the way.
Thank you Lord for creating me.