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History of Highfield Junior School

 

Welcome to the history area of the Highfield Junior School website.

 

We would be delighted to receive any reminiscences about the school and any photographs. We can scan documents and return them to you.

 

New School Opens

 

Highfield County Primary School first opened on the 7th June 1959, with one hundred and twenty nine children on roll (sixty six boys and sixty three girls) and five teachers (four full time and one part time).

The school's official opening ceremony took placeon the 10th October 1959 and the Honourable Mr. Justice Slade opened the school at 3pm. Originally there were five classrooms, two for Juniors and three for Infants. John and Margaret Greene, designed the wise old owl mosaic with glass imported from Sweden. You can still see the mosaic today!

 

The first headteacher of Highfield was Mr. Len Hevey.

 

Class

Teacher

Roll

Age group

1

Mrs Mills

29

Juniors

2

Mrs Parrock

35

Juniors

3

Mrs Masters

27

Infants

4

Miss McLennan

16

Infants

5

Miss Thorington

22

Infants

 

Primary School Becomes Highfield Junior School

 

Two additional classrooms were provided on the 19th September 1960 and a mobile classroom on 12th September 1967. The Infants Department closed on the 21st December 1971 and a new school opened as Highfield Infant School in January 1972 with Miss Shiling as headmistress. There were four classes in the third and fourth year Juniors in the academic year 1975 to 1976. School times were 9 till 12 (break 10.40 to 10.55) in the mornings and 1.15 till 3.30 in the afternoon.

 

Trips, Visits and Events

 

There were interesting trips from early in the school’s History. The Logbook mentions visits to the Natural History Museum, London Museum, Commonwealth Institute and National Maritime Museum in 1965. More recently, year six have had the opportunity to participate in school journeys to Little Canada, Isle of Wight, Osmington Bay. In 2010, the residential trip was to PGL Windmill Hill, East Sussex. In 1970 the 'Leavers Outing' was to Bodiam Castle, Rye and New Romney. Other Year 6 outings in the past have been to the Kent County Show and Chessington.

 

Highfield has always been involved with national events, for example the school was closed for the day on 21st June 1965 to mark the seven hundredth and fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. Celebrations of the Silver Jubilee (1977) included the planting of four trees: Whitebeam, Hornbeam, Ash and Red Oak.

 

The school has always been in the forefront of education. On the 21st September 1965 Doctor Basil Bernstein from the London Institute of Education Sociological Unit visited the school to discuss arrangements for his research project on the Linguistic development of children. In more recent years, some of the children have appeared on the 'Smile' television programme.

 

The opportunity to be on film is not new. On the 5th October 1965 Ravensbourne College of Art made a film using children from the school, and on the 14th March 1968 children’s views of BBC Schools programmes were taped and their work photographed. Following success at auditions, four of our Y6 children appeared in the 2010 CBBC series 'Gastronuts'.

 

The children have always enjoyed celebrating harvest and distributing their gifts. The first visit to Durham House Old People’s Home in Shortlands, with donations of harvest food, was made on the 30th September 1966.

 

The local library has always been important in Highfield’s history, with the first visit to Shortlands library on the 10th June 1969.

 

Summer fairs have always been well supported by the local community and raise a great deal of money for the school. The first summer fair was held on the 25th June 1960 “…about one thousand people attended the fair which was a great success, raising a net profit of £392 1s 6d” (page 19 of school logbook). Today we hold a joint fair with Highfield Infants' School.

 

Children have been involved in politics from 1974 when class 4 visited the House of Commons welcomed by Beckenham M.P. Mr Philip Goodhart.

 

On 1st July 2009 (in our 50th Year) the school was lucky enough to be part of the Olympic Torch Relay. Children and staff dressed up in the colours of Austria and took part in a special assembly.

 

We had two creative days on 8th and 9th July 2009 as part of our 50th Year Celebrations. The children were involved in different experiences, ranging from dance through the decades, to Pop Art, planning a time capsule, studying old photographs of the school and maps of the site. Everyone, including staff, dressed in costumes from different decades. We had punks, Madonnas, Beatles, Elvis, 70's disco and lots more. The school all joined together at lunchtime for a whole school picnic on the field provided by our wonderful catering team.

 

Clubs

 

Clubs at Highfield have always been popular. On the 22nd January 1976 the school chess team was host to a Derbyshire school in the second round of the English Schools Chess Championship. Sport has always been an important feature of Highfield’s life. The athletics club took part in an event with Oak Lodge Primary School and won on 25th May 1989. The mixed hockey team were Bromley champions in 2007, 2008 and in 2009, the mixed netball team were West Borough Champions in 2009 and several of our footballers were selected for the Orpington District Team in 2009 and 2010.

 

Community Links & Fund Raising

 

Highfield was involved in local affairs when Kingswood Glen was cleared in April 1976.

 

In December 2008, Highfield children enjoyed the pantomime “Peter Pan” at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley. The first mention of in school entertainment was in 1976 with “Beauty and the Beast”.

Older students and trainee teachers have always been involved with the school, for example a party of twenty students from Avery Hill Training College visited classes throughout the school on the 18th March 1965. Highfield hosted two trainee teachers in 2007/ 2008 and has, since then, provided many placements for pre-PGCE students.

 

Secondary school students often return to us to complete work experience opportunities or small projects. We enjoy particular partnerships with Newstead Wood, Langley Park Boys School and Hayes Secondary School.

 

We enjoy supporting local events and charity fund raising. For example, in 2008 we recycled Christmas cards, alongside the TK Maxx store in Bromley, Macmillan Cancer Support, Demelza House and the Myasthenia Gravis Association. As part of their curriculum, Y6 children now plan and lead annual fundraising events for Children In Need.

 

We continue to hold very successful PTA events such as our Christmas Market, Quiz Night and Summer Fair.

 

Weather

 

Highfield was affected by bad weather on the 16th January 1987. “Very adverse snow conditions; deep drifts around school site, only one entrance open; very few children attended school and some teachers were unable to get to work”. The weather did not improve until the 19th. It was also affected by the great storm “- no heating or electricity for part of the day, some children unable to come to school. Trees down in all local roads and school grounds” (16th October 1987).

 

Bad weather returned in our 50th year. The school closed on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd February 2009 due to deep snow and staff being unable to get to school. South Hill Road and the rest of Shortlands was a blanket of white with many roads being traffic free.

 

Headteachers of Highfield

 

Mr Len Hevey, Sept 1959 - July 1984

Miss Rosemary Cragg, Sept 1984 - Dec 1990

Mr Richard Sammonds, April 1991 - April 1996

Miss Ann Norris, Acting Headteacher, May 1996 - August 1996

Mr Peter Jones, September 1996 - Dec 2004

Mrs Christine Hughes, Acting Headteacher, January 2005 - August 2005

Mrs Nicki Stockdale, September 2005 - August 2007

Mrs Karen Bigg, Acting Headteacher, September 2007 - March 2008

Mrs Karen Bigg, April 2008 - May 2013 (previously Deputy Headteacher from 2000 - 2004, Acting Headteacher during 2007 - 2008)

 

Did you know......

 

Mrs Golding, Headteacher at Highfield Infants and Junior School, attended Highfield as a pupil?

 

Some of our PTA members were also pupils.

 

Website

 

The first school website was launched on 11th May 2007 and our new current website launched on 7th November 2014.


  • Highfield Junior School,
  • South Hill Road,
  • Shortlands,
  • Bromley,
  • Kent,
  • BR2 0RL,
  • 0208 460 25 97
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