Grange Secondary School Ikeja Lagos
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Grange is a leading independent day school, with a boarding service in Nigeria, striving to provide quality education from reception to year 11 (age 4 to 16+).
The Grange Secondary School endeavours to provide a qualitative British education in a happy, caring and supportive environment. We believe that this can best be accomplished when children feel valued and are treated with dignity. Our curriculum, both in and out of the classroom, provides experiences for children which are academically, socially, physically and aesthetically challenging, while promoting in them a spirit of tolerance and understanding towards others. Our children are given opportunities to develop open and enquiring minds through problem solving and co-operative learning activities. At the same time we believe in the need for an academically demanding program which emphasizes traditional values of hard work and self discipline. We endeavour to value pupils for their achievement and turn failure into future success.
We believe that children learn best when they are actively engaged in their day to day learning, and where they are given considerable responsibility for their studies. We value what children achieve rather than focus on their failures. Ultimately, we believe that when children enjoy school, they will make accelerated progress towards intellectual maturity, while taking advantage of the social and cultural activities which we share with them.
We value parents, engaging them as full partners in their child's education and we do everything we can to make them feel welcome in, and committed to the school.
We also believe in the need to nurture and develop all our staff both professionally and personally, since it is they who create the climate in which our children will learn most effectively. We enrich our staff by providing opportunities for personal and professional development both in-house, within Nigeria and where possible training abroad. It also means that we keep up to date with educational developments, particularly in the United Kingdom to ensure that we uphold a British tradition.
The Grange Vision
“To be a leading educational institution in Nigeria, providing a world-class holistic education.”
The Grange Mission Statement
“Absolute commitment to continuous improvement, providing high quality British education while embracing Nigerian history and culture within a conducive and motivating environment to develop life-long learners who will become confident, well rounded, happy, disciplined, respectful individuals and successful national and global change agents.”
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Grange School was founded in September 1958. It was established as a primary school to provide education equivalents to what was obtainable in the UK.
Flying to the UK during the 1950's and 1960's was not as straight forward as it is today or as smooth as it is today. There were no direct flights to England. At that time, children came to Nigeria to be with their families while on school holidays, and then had to fly back to the UK when schools re-open to continue their education in the United Kingdom. A trip to the UK in those days could take up to two full days, with stop overs in Liberia and Rome.
The idea of a school in Ikeja grew from about May 1957 when a group of interested parents applied to the West African Airways Corporation for permission to rent one of its buildings for use as a school.
The group formed Grange Education Limited as a Company to be run as a non-profit making organization, and based on GRA NiGEria, called Grange School.
Originally, the school was principally established to provide the children of West African Air Coporation (WAAC) personnel with education. There was no other school in the Ikeja vicinity, therefore admissions were open to all children in the vicinity regardless of race or employers and catered for children from 4 to 11 years old. Over the years however, the School has expanded to accommodate children of parents who wanted an English National Curriculum Education regardless of nationality or background.
The school was officially opened by Lady Robertson, wife of the then Governor- General of Nigeria on the 15th December 1958 .
The Need for Expansion in Secondary
During the 90's there was increasing pressure on the School Board to expand the primary school curriculum up to the British General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) level. This would accommodate the large number of pupils who either had to leave home at an early age to attend secondary school in the United Kingdom or enter the Nigerian educational system temporarily only to re-enter the British system at Senior Secondary School or University level.
As part of the school's 40th Anniversary celebration, in September 1998, the Board agreed to address the need to establish a Secondary Section as a co-ed day school, located adjacent to the primary school. The secondary school building complex facing Harold Shodipo Crescent, was to be a symbol of onward-going British traditions in Nigerian society.
The School's "Hanger Days"
The sum of 3,000.00 pounds was given by WAAC as an interest-free loan and much of this was spent on converting the premises to bring them up to the standard required by the Ministry of Education Inspectors. The Board of Directors had to work to a very tight budget to achieve this and spent 1,971.00 pounds on converting the building into a school with 4 classrooms, a nursery and a hall.
The need for austerity was impressed upon the staff: "The Headmistress was requested to keep a watchful eye on the use of the telephone and she informed the board that it would be kept in her desk when not in use". Much of the equipment was donated and a bed and a piano were borrowed from the WAAC Club.
Grange School grew rapidly and the demand for places were so great that plans were made to open a purpose built school on a piece of land offered to them by the Western Region. This was completed by autumn of 1962 and the Headmistress's Record Book notes on 19th of October, 1962, read.
"The School closed in the present building today, four years and two months after it's inauguration. School re-opens on 29th October, 1962 in the new building."
Headmistress, Isabel Highmoor
Grange on the present site in Ikeja GRA.
Shortly after the temporary school was opened on the W.A.A.C. Premises, efforts were made to obtain land for a permanent site. On August 7, 1961, the present plot was accepted from the Western Region. Plans were drawn up for 10 classrooms, toilets and an office block for an estimated cost of 15,000 pounds. To raise this money 10 year Debenture shares in the company were issued in units of 100 pounds. In 1962 the following companies owned Debentures:
- Vono (W.A.) limited
- WAAC (Nigeria) Limited
- W. Clarke and Co. Limited
- Bank of America Inc.
- Ove Arrup & Partners
- Guinness of Nigeria Limited
- Dunlop (Nigeria) Limited
- Greeham Plant Hire Limited
- Shonibare Properties Limited
- Bank of West Africa Limited
- Nigeria Tool & Die Co. Limited
- International Aeradio Limited
- National Bank of Nigeria Limited
- West African Portland Cement Co. Limited
- Macroni Wireless Telegraph Company
- Critical Hope Nigeria Limited
- Imperial Chemical Industries Limited
- Nigerian Tobacco Company Limted
- West African Examination Council
- Asbestors Cement Products of Nigeria Limited
Grange's reputation in Ikeja grew by word of mouth, and it quickly outgrew the airport hanger. Thanks to the help of the western state government, facilitated by the late Chief S.O. Shonibare, this GRA site was developed from 1961 onwards, with generous help from different companies and private individuals.
Along the way there have been many challenges. During the civil war of the late 1960's a large number of expatriate families returned to their home countries, thus depleting the teaching body, led by Mrs. Forsythe, and also the student population.
In line with the growing social, economic and political challenges of Nigeria, the school redesignated as an English language -denominated school, and for many years the British High Commission was represented on the school board.
The History of the Development of the Grange Buildings and Facilities: On March 30, 1962 the Board accepted African Construction Company's tender and the first phase of the school was built for 18,650 pounds.
By June 22, 1962 the site had been cleared and work had begun on the actual buildings. At the Board meeting of October 26, 1962 it was reported that the old building had been "handed back to WAAC" and "that the new building was to be taken over on Saturday 27, 1962".
In August, 1963 it was agreed to open a fund for the repayment of the debentures. A fixed amount would be contributed each quarter. By July, 1964 the School enrolment had risen to 227 children in the 10 classes. In January, 1965 the contract for the School hall was signed with Taylor Woodrow for 5,000 pounds.
It was completed by July and a further contract was signed for Junior classrooms for another 5,000 pounds. By this time, the enrolment had risen to 318 and it was decided to reduce it to 26 per class. School fees were raised to 1:12:6 pounds per week.
In June, 1968 Union Builders were given the contract for the Art Room and Library and Film room for just under 5,000 pounds.
Records show that in June, 1970 there were 359 pupils on the roll with a further 200 on the waiting list. The newly completed library had to be used as a classroom. Matters were made worse when in July an article titled Private Junior Schools appeared in the Daily Times. Grange School was given an excellent report and shown to be one of the least expensive. "After that the Headmistress was inundated with requests for places in the school." By October the fees had increased to 2 pounds per week.
In July 1973 the first edition of the School Magazine was published and sold for 10 kobo per copy. In 1974, a P.E. store, 2 classrooms and toilets were constructed between the hall and the existing row of classrooms. Four of the infant classrooms were converted to two large ones and an additional double sized classroom and toilets were added to the end of the infant section. The School year also changed to run from September to July, instead of January to December as was formerly the practice.
The largest addition to the school was added in 1980 when a block of classrooms were built across the end of the junior playground. These consisted of 3 regular classrooms.
Shortly after this the reception classrooms were extended and 2 more infant classrooms were converted into one classroom. Later a new P.E. store was added and the existing one was converted into a computer/T.V. room.
Finally in 1987 a Spectator's shelter was built behind the Year 5 and 6 classrooms for use during sport days and interschool matches.
In the course of the first 25 years, Grange more than doubled in physical size and added many extra facilities. Thanks to the assistance of interested parents, many extra-curricular activities have also developed and grown over the years.
Grange School’s Core Beliefs and Guiding Principles.
We believe that,
- Every individual is equipped with a unique set of intrinsic potentials which is worthy of development, respect and appreciation.
- Every individual is a physical, mental, spiritual and emotional being. The purpose and function of the education we provide is to develop each of these areas to full capacity.
- In developing a sense of service and empathy to international and our local communities, we have a responsibility to explore opportunities for service.
· Individual growth and achievement are important. In respecting cultural diversity; we would educate individuals to uphold democratic principles by promoting the respect of opinions of others.
· We need to create an awareness of the environment with an emphasis on its past, its present challenges and its future preservation.
· We need to create opportunities to expose individuals to a variety of challenging andadventurous learning situations and thus develop their capacity for adaptability.
- We should encourage the pursuit of personal and leadership development as well as the development of those around us.
· Our staff must be made up of individuals who are fond of and have an understanding for children, and who are professionally competent.
- Education is a lifelong process and all individuals must be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.
· We believe that our policy on discipline will develop strength of mind in all individuals. The school’s management has the responsibility to create a disciplined environment to ensure effective teaching and learning.
- Our programmes must help prepare individuals to benefit from future higher education and to be confident in coping with the demands of their future lives and careers.
· The educational experience we seek to provide must be carefully planned and systematically structured to promote the following essential characteristics:
1. Be academically challenging, yet a fun experience addressing various learning styles in a co-educational environment which will promote clear and independent thinkers
2. An in-depth understanding of knowledge which is enabling toward a better life for self and others.
3. Co-operative habits at work, social interaction and leisure activities.
4. Development of intellectual curiosity and the life skills required for successful learning.
5. Understanding and the appreciation of the physical and the cultural aspects of ourimmediate environment.
6. Skills and knowledge needed for healthy living and productive work in an ever-changing society.
7. A command of the fundamental skills of communication and analytical thinking to become confident decision makers.
8. Develop innovation and creativity in all individuals.
9. Development of self esteem.
· In alignment with our mission of being absolutely committed to a ‘culture of continuous improvement’, we will keep abreast of new educational developments worldwide as we prepare the school community to become successful national and global change agents.