Now that I am older (at the time of writing, almost exactly 50 years to the day since I left Ratcliffe), I can better appreciate the benefits of attending Ratcliffe that have stuck with me through the years. Looking back, I can see how Ratcliffe was an education that helped shape an understanding of how best to live your life, to deal with the ups and downs, not just an educational experience. I knew I was privileged to have attended a school that literally had the time and space to develop and encourage its pupils.
I was unaware at the time of the sacrifice that my parents must have made to send me away to school. Not just the financial aspect, but the very considerable personal and emotional cost that they must have faced, and needless to say, I had little appreciation of all this.
Combining the two themes above, this really explains why I continue to support the school, I am very grateful that I was able to develop and grow in a supportive atmosphere without much exposure to outside influences and I feel that I owe my parents’ memory belated recognition of the sustained effort and support they expended on my welfare and education.
Consequently, I now feel that it is right that I should try and help today’s pupils and their families to achieve the best from the school, both in personal development (most important) and educational achievement (important at the time, but less so in retrospect).
If something I give helps pupils or families overcome difficulties in achieving the best from Ratcliffe, then that is money well spent in my book. ‘Charity is the fulfilment of the law’ did not mean much to me at school, it has just turned out to be that way for me in life…………
Peter Doran (OR)
Ratcliffe College 1968 – 1973