History of The Ravensbourne School
Bromley County Grammar Schools for Boys and Girls, later Bromley Grammar Schools, opened in 1911 in Hayes Lane and Nightingale Lane respectively. When the plans for the Hayes Lane school were first drawn up they were exhibited at the Royal Society as an example of the ideal school design and construction.
The school in Hayes Lane was ceremonially opened on Wednesday 18th October 1911 with 79 pupils.
In his speech the Headmaster, Mr Airy, urged his pupils to be:
‘Still unsatisfied, still seeking for a better thing than best, a fairer thing than fairest, without rest’
The proceedings closed with the National Anthem, after which the visitors were entertained to tea.
The buildings in Hayes Lane were considerably extended in 1933, using the original architect.
The continuity of the neo-Georgian design was such that it is very difficult today to distinguish between the original and the extension. The new buildings comprised the Great Hall (connected to the original building by an open cloister), the Science block, the Dining Hall and Gymnasium on either side of the hall. The old Gymnasium was converted into the War Memorial Library as a Memorial of the boys in the school who fell in the war. Sadly this memorial was added to again after World War II. The new buildings were officially opened on the 30th November 1934. Many of the school’s early buildings are recognised as being of historic interest and are Grade II listed.
In 1988 demographic changes persuaded the Education Authority that the two separate single sex schools should close and a new co-educational comprehensive school be opened at Hayes Lane. There started a £6 million building programme designed to reflect the elegance of the existing buildings and to ensure that the new school would enjoy outstanding provision in every respect.
In 2003, with over subscription in Years 7 to 11 and an expanding Post 16, yet more building work was undertaken. A new dedicated Post 16 block was created, the Drama studios expanded and the War Memorial Library refurbished in the original style.
A new Lower School Library was installed in what was, in 1911, the dining hall for the original 79 boys.