Senior Schools of the Area.
When I came to Hemel Hempstead in 1967, it was to take up a post in one of the town’s Grammar Schools. Since that time there have been very many changes and some of the schools have disappeared altogether.
Back in the 60s we were still in the system where senior pupils of 11 went on to either the local secondary modern school or to one of the town’s Grammar schools. The original small town prior to 1946 had The Grammar School and the secondary school Corner Hall. The first is still with us but the latter is long gone.
As the different areas were built, they were supplied with the feeder infant and junior schools which have a varied history, as they are often closed when the intake from the area ceases and later reopened when they are needed.
When an area is built there is a tendency for families to move in with young children needing their education. As time goes by there is little movement of the population and it gradually grows older with less young children needing educating. Each area would have their own Secondary Schools to move on to and there were Grammar Schools around the town for pupils to compete for, originally with 11 plus examination.
The Grammar Schools that came after Hemel Hempstead Grammar School were Apsley Grammar at Bennett’s End, Cavendish near Warner’s End and Grove Hill Grammar School which was the last to be built on the new estate started in 1967.
Secondary Modern Schools
There were many Secondary Modern Schools such as Adeyfield, Mountbatten, Highfield, Bennetts End, Bourne Valley, Halsey and John F. Kennedy. In 1970 came the abolishing in Hertfordshire of the Grammar School system and the introduction of the Comprehensive system.
The immediate effect was change of name and some immediate amalgamation of schools. Grove Hill Grammar School became Ashley Cooper School. Apsley Grammar school and Bennetts End Secondary Modern became Longdean School, a comprehensive school, and so did Adeyfield, Bourne Valley, John F. Kennedy Mountbatten, etc. all on equal footing.
Over a period of time as less senior schools were needed there were further amalgamations. Highfield School closed and pupils were moved mainly to Astley Cooper School. Mountbatten closed and many pupils went to Longdean. Bourne Valley School completely closed. Housing estates were built on the sites of closed schools.