The Hemel Hempstead School
|The Hemel Hempstead School|
|Motto||Esse Quam Videri |
(To be rather than to seem to be)
|Department for Education URN||117500 Tables|
|Headteacher||Neil Hassell NPQH FCCT|
|Age||11 to 18|
|Houses||Ashridge, Chalfont, Flaunden, Gaddesden, Latimer, Nettleden, Pendley|
|Colour(s)||Blue & gold|
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The school has roughly 1260 students, growing to 1350 over the next two years and around 150 members of staff.
Recent heads have been:
- Alan Gray (left 2006)
- Sandra Samwell (left 2011)
- Patrick Harty (left 2017)
- Sally Ambrose (left 2018)
- Neil Hassell
The school was officially opened on 14 October 1931 as Hemel Hempstead Grammar School. It was opened by Lady Cicely Gore, the Marchioness of Salisbury and wife of James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury. Another grammar school, the Apsley Grammar School, opened in the town in 1955.
It became a comprehensive school in 1971, when schools in the town were reorganised. From the late 1960s until 2019, the school was the custodian of the Grade II listed Heath Barn, which was used as the music department. In 2018 the school was chosen by Hertfordshire County Council to expand to meet the growing need in Hemel Hempstead for school places; this expansion included a £10m investment in sports, music, science and dining facilities.
90th Anniversary Celebrations
In the academic year 2021-2022 the school will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a series of events called 9 for 9000 for 90, which will include the publication of a school history.
The original Hemel Hempstead School building (known as 'Main Block' today) opened in 1931, along with a canteen and gymnasium block to the west and north of it. In the early 1960s an outdoor swimming pool was installed. In the latter half of the 1960s a new assembly hall, canteen, sports hall and changing rooms, and technology block were constructed. Work was completed shortly before the school became comprehensive.
In 1974 a "temporary" languages block was opened, which had been built on the land of the old canteen building which had been disused since 1969.
In the late 1960s, a 15th-century barn (called Heath Barn) to the south of the school fields was reconfigured and put back into use as a Music block.
In 1990 a new Technology block was built adjacent to the former swimming pool.
In 1999 the swimming pool was demolished and replaced with car parking. In the same year a new block containing Maths, Geography and ICT classrooms was constructed next to the old Sports hall, with 12 classrooms.
In 2004 a new Sixth Form block was completed, essentially an extension to the Main Block (but east of West Block), that replaces storage space.
In 2008 and 2010 new Drama and Food Technology blocks were opened.
Sometime around 2017, an astro turf playing field was completed on the site's southern grassland.
In 2019, the Heath Barn building referred to above was sold, with the music department moved to a newly built two-storey mixed use block commonly referred to as "North block". In May of the same year, a new sports hall was opened on the site of the old sports hall.
- Ashridge (Green)
- Chalfont (Purple)
- Flaunden (Orange)
- Gaddesden (White)
- Latimer (Blue)
- Nettleden (Red)
- Pendley (Yellow)
The houses compete against each other to win annual events such as sports day, house drama/house art, house music/house dance, house science and house Christmas decorating competitions, as well as a house book challenge for Years 7 and 8, and a reading challenge for Years 7 through 9.
When the school was a grammar school, there were four Houses – Dacorum (Yellow), Salisbury (Blue), Tudor (Green), and Halsey (Red).
Notable former pupils
Hemel Hempstead Grammar School
- Robert Burns, author, musician and Associate Professor in Music 2001–2018 at the University of Otago
- Air Vice-Marshal Carl Dixon, Commander from 2011–14 of the Joint Helicopter Command, Station Commander from 2002–04 of RAF Benson
- Prof Les Ebdon CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire from 2003–12, and former Professor of Analytical Chemistry from 1986–2003 at the University of Plymouth
- Rt Rev Allan Ewing
- Bruce Grocott, Baron Grocott, Labour MP from 1974–79 for Lichfield and Tamworth, from 1987–97 for The Wrekin and from 1997–2001 for Telford
- Prof Dale Sanders FRS, Professor of Biology from 1992–2010 at the University of York
- Josephine Tewson, actress
The Hemel Hempstead School
- Marc Bircham, ex-professional footballer who represented Millwall F.C., Queens Park Rangers and Yeovil Town, and now coaches the QPR Youth Team.
- Matt Dickinson, film-maker
- Pallab Ghosh, a science correspondent for BBC News
- Prof Richard Grayson, historian and political activist.
- Catherine Murphy, represented Great Britain in 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, competing in the 4 × 400 m relay.
- Jack Smith, professional footballer for Millwall who has also represented Watford F.C. and Swindon Town F.C. and younger brother of Tommy W. Smith.
- Tommy W. Smith, retired professional footballer who has represented Watford, Derby County, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Queens Park Rangers, and Brentford
- Cauley Woodrow currently playing for Barnsley, has also represented England at under-21 level.
- Davis, Eve (1987). Hemel Hempstead in Camera. Quotes. p. 69. ISBN 0-86023-340-5.