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Rishworth School
Rishworth School logo.jpeg
Rishworth School - - 52150.jpg
Motto Res Non Verba (Deeds, Not Words)
Established 1724 (1724)
Type Independent
Religion Church Of England
Chair Canon Hilary Barber, Vicar of Halifax
Founder John Wheelwright
Location Oldham Road
West Yorkshire
53°39′48″N 1°57′00″W / 53.663415°N 1.950052°W / 53.663415; -1.950052Coordinates: 53°39′48″N 1°57′00″W / 53.663415°N 1.950052°W / 53.663415; -1.950052
Local authority Calderdale
Capacity ~500
Ages 3–18 (3-11 Heathfield, 11-18 Rishworth)
Houses Baitings (Green), Boothwood (Blue), Ringstone (Red) and Scammonden (Yellow)
Colours Burgundy

Rishworth School is a co-educational independent school in the village of Rishworth, near Halifax, in West Yorkshire, England. With Heathfield, its junior school from the ages of 3 to 11, it provides education for pupils aged between 3 and 18 years, with boarding from the age of 11.


The school was founded and endowed by John Wheelwright in 1724 and established in a building which is now the school chapel. When the Wheelwright Building was built in 1826 the old building was converted into a chapel for the people of Rishworth, until St John's Church, Rishworth opened at the end of the 19th Century. Other school buildings near the Wheelwright building were built in 1930, 1933 and 1950. Today the school extends over 130 acres (0.53 km2) with a range of buildings developed to accommodate pupils.[citation needed]

The school is a founder member of the Society of Headmasters & Headmistresses of Independent Schools, established in 1961 through the then Headmasters' Conference.[citation needed]

The sports hall was opened by Joe Royle during his time as manager of Oldham Athletic. The sports club (located at Heathfield) was opened by HRH The Princess Royal in June 2007. The new sports pavilion was opened in May 2011 by rugby player Mark Cueto.[citation needed]


Rishworth School was most recently inspected by the Independent Schools' Inspectorate in November 2017. The school received the highest grading of excellent in all categories and more specifically with reference to pupils' academic and personal development. The report can be found on the Independent Schools' Inspectorate website at as well as the Schools' website. The report notes the enthusiasm that pupils of all ages have towards their learning cultivated within a creative and supportive educational framework that includes a vibrant Intellectual Curiosity scheme that has expanded to include Space launches, and a Formula One in Schools engineering programme alongside the flagship Manchester and London Research Projects.


There are five boarding houses, Wheelwright (girls), Slitheroe, Goat House Barn, Redmires, Ryburn, and Wolden (male), with total housing for 150. Each house has study bedrooms, TVs and computers, and provides disabled facilities. Routine in the houses is structured, with fixed times for meals, homework and free time. Bedrooms typically hold two to four boarders, but senior students, especially sixth formers, have their own rooms. There are medical and health arrangements, and a nearby sanatorium staffed by matrons. Boarders are able to take out-of-class and extra-curricular activities and, like day pupils, have the use of school facilities.[citation needed]

The sixth form[edit]

The School advises parents on the choice of sixth-form courses. Most pupils seeking entry to higher education take four subjects at AS Level in the Lower Sixth and then specialise in three of these to full A Level in the Upper Sixth. The Sixth Form provides for advice on careers and life skills, and discussion of practical, topical, social and moral issues.[citation needed] Sixth Form A Level students are allocated a personal tutor to monitor their progress academically and pastorally and advise on careers, further education and the completion of U.C.A.S. applications.[citation needed]

Student responsibility and the prefect system[edit]

From the age of 10, pupils at Heathfield may take on roles of responsibility such as Hall Monitor, Class Monitor as well as deputies and heads of school. Usually every year six pupil has at least one role. Deputy and head duties are normally shared between four students; two girls and two boys.[citation needed]

At Rishworth, pupils in year eight may become prefects where, like Heathfield, there are normally two head and deputy prefects. This role is dubbed head of Beacon House, formerly Slitheroe House. Blackstone House prefect applications may be made at the end of year ten to given a role of responsibility on starting year eleven. Here however, there is only one head prefect who organises duty rotas. Year Elevens are also offered the opportunity to sit on the charity committee which organises the annual Christmas Tree Appeal.

In lower sixth students are asked to apply for prefects roles in upper sixth. The application process involves a written application, interview and multiple training sessions on various topics.[citation needed] A practical induction-type period is given to give on the job experience and to allow staff to evaluate the abilities of each individual. This period is supervised by the outgoing upper sixth prefects. At the end of this process, positions are awarded along with badges. Of the successful applicants, one head and two deputies are chosen. They receive further training and different badges to allow them to administer and lead their prefect team as effectively as possible.[citation needed] Prefects are expected to carry out: dinner queue; dining hall; break time; Beacon House; and walk about duties each day on a weekly rota.[citation needed]

Other roles are also awarded in sixth form to students who particularly contribute or excel in any area including drama, music and sports. The current available roles include Vice Principal and Principal of Music, as well as a Succentor of the Chapel, Vice Principal and Principal of Drama, and Captain and Vice Captains of Rugby, Football, Cricket, Athletics, Boys Swimming, Girls Swimming, and Hockey. These roles may or may not be awarded, or may be awarded to multiple people. Some roles are awarded at junior level in year 9. The senior roles may be awarded to any pupil in year ten or above although they are normally awarded to someone in the six form.[citation needed]

Each team may also present captains' roles to sixth form members although this is at the discretion of the team.[citation needed]

Old Rishworthians[edit]


Stage, film, television[edit]


  • George Ford – Bath Rugby and England Rugby Union Fly Half
  • Joe Ford – Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union player

External links[edit]


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