Education on the Island

Spence Willard sponsorship of Brading Haven Yacht Club

The Isle of Wight has a wealth of great schools to consider for your children. Whether you are looking for private education, a state school, or early years childcare, you are guaranteed to find a place that meets your requirements.

To cover education from the preschool years all the way through to adulthood, consider Ryde School, an independently run private school which accepts children from as young as two and a half, through to 18 years old. Ryde School has pupils who travel from across the water to access its highly regarded education, and provides a number of boarding options, as well as summer school places too.

The educational benefits of moving to the Island stretch far beyond the classroom, too. The Island is awash with history, music, geography, sports and literature. In whichever part of the Island you choose to make your home, you are guaranteed to be surrounded by all of this, every single day.

Here are a few examples of the Island’s culture, which is rich in educational rewards.

History – the Island is steeped in it. There’s Carisbrooke Castle, where King Charles I was imprisoned following the English Civil War and which has survived a French siege and the Spanish Armada in its 800- year history. And, of course, Osborne

House, the much beloved holiday residence of Queen Victoria, which was built between 1845 and 1851 for the Queen and Prince Albert as a rural retreat and where Victoria finally died. Let’s also not forget to look even further back in history, to the time of the dinosaurs! Known as Dinosaur Island, there are giant casts of dinosaur footprints at Hanover Point, as well as fossilised remains in the bays of Compton, Brook and Brighstone.

Art – there is an enormous amount of art to be enjoyed on the Island, from the photographs of Chad Powell, pottery of Molly Attrill, paintings of David Firmstone and Celia Wilkinson and abstract art of Joanne Hummel Newell, to name but a few. The Island’s rugged coastline, downs and sea have proved inspirational for artists and artisans for hundreds of years and continue to inspire them today.

Sport – sailing is the obvious go-to sporting pursuit on the Isle of Wight and newcomers can learn to sail at numerous clubs and at the excellent UKSA, but there are lots of other sports to enjoy. There’s surfing and paddle boarding, kayaking, kitesurfing canoeing and bodyboarding available in a number of locations around the Island, including the West Wight, Lake and Cowes. Then there’s a plethora of other pursuits — cricket, football, swimming and, of course, walking, with 70 miles of coastal paths to enjoy.

Literature – writers have been coming to the Island for centuries. From Jane Austen and Keats to Tennyson and even Karl Marx, the Isle of Wight has been mentioned in many literary works. The Island holds a fantastic literary festival in autumn which attracts many world-renowned authors and poets.

Music – from the Isle of Wight Festival to Rhythm Tree, there is music aplenty to be enjoyed. Wolverton Manor holds an annual blues and folk weekend and you’ll find an eclectic mix at Quay Arts and Eklectica at Robin Hill. There is also Ventnor Fringe, held in August, which showcases musicians, performers, art and drama from both the Island and further afield. You may also enjoy the Newport Jazz Festival in early August. Whatever your musical fancy, you’ll find it here.

Geography – take yourself out for a walk and see the Island at its best. From coastal paths, estuaries, down lands, fields, forests and beaches to dramatic cliff tops, there’s a different landscape for every day of the year, every season and every mood that you might find yourself in.

Education doesn’t just have to be about sitting in a classroom. Residents of the Isle of Wight are fortunate enough to have many wonderful things to see and do, which open minds and stretch imaginations — and not just for the children.

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