Wanstead High School

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Wanstead High School
Motto "Abeunt Studia in Mores"
Established 1924[1]
Type Community school
Headteacher Mr Christiaan Van Hammer[2]
Location Redbridge Lane West
Greater London
E11 2JZ
England Coordinates: 51°34′32″N 0°02′10″E / 51.5756°N 0.0360°E / 51.5756; 0.0360
Local authority Redbridge
DfE number 317/4021
DfE URN 102851 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1532
Ages 15–19
Website www.wansteadhigh.co.uk

Wanstead High School (WHS), formerly Wanstead County High School, is a co-educational, non-denominational, comprehensive high school in Wanstead, London, United Kingdom.


It specialises in the performing arts and has 1490 pupils aged 11 to 19. Its local education authority is Redbridge.[3][4][5] It is situated just west of the A12 junction with the North Circular Road (A406).


Its motto is "Abeunt Studia in Mores" which translates literally as "studies become habits"[6] or "practices zealously pursued pass into habits".[7] It can be taken to mean "Studies build one's character".[8]

Its symbol is the heron, a bird traditionally associated with the area.[9] Its alumni are known as "Old Heronians".[10]

Its uniform colour is burgundy, having previously been black,[11] and the school uniform must be worn by all pupils except the sixth form, Sixth form students are required to dress formally.[12]


Wanstead Country High school was opened in 1924 as a mixed Grammar school. It was one of the first co-educational secondary schools in England.[13] The site had previously been a rectory.[14]

During the Second World War the school was evacuated to Newent.[1] On 15 February 1957, over 150 pupils suffered food poisoning. Until 1965 it was administered by the Essex Education Committee. In the 1960s, the school had around 800 boys and girls, with 250 in the sixth form.

The school buildings were extended in 1964[1] and again in 1974 when the science and humanities block was built.[11]

Performing arts facilities[edit]

Performing Arts facilities at the school include a theatre, drama and dance studios and music technology suites. In addition to allowing pupils to study these areas specifically, performance elements are also being introduced into other areas of the wider curriculum. Mr Ian Sweet and Mr Mark Whitehead are the current heads of performing arts at the school.

The Inclusion Department[edit]

The Inclusion Department (Known as Learning Zone) is a department at WHS that helps children with learning difficulties learn and cope with school. The Inclusion Department has a specialist dyslexia teacher to support dyslexic students at WHS. Website for the inclusion department: Inclusion@Wanstead High

Notable former pupils[edit]

Wanstead County High School[edit]

Notable former teachers[edit]

  • Ron Pickering (left in 1961 when he became athletics coach for Wales and the West of England)
  • Martin Underwood (Physical Education teacher in the mid 60s. Played Rugby on the wing for England 5 times)
  • Wilf Paish (Physical Education teacher in the 60s. Coach of many athletes, including Olympic gold medal winner Tessa Sanderson)

See also[edit]


  • The Times, 12 January 1996

External links[edit]