History of the School
The school, then known as Headstone Council School, started life on April 8th 1929 under the headship of Mr C.J Boyden and 6 teachers.
At the cost of £15,000, the red brick building in Pinner Road had been newly built to educate 292 five to fourteen year olds (average class size of 50). The school soon expanded to meet the ever growing number of children resident in the rapidly expanding North Harrow and Pinner (Pinner grew from a population of 9,462 in 1921 to 24,500 in 1931), with class sizes reaching the sixties and never less than the fifties. The Second World War interrupted the education of many young people. Many of the male teachers were called up for military service and the playing field was dug up for trenches and air raid shelters. The children attended on only every 3rd day and lessons were constantly disrupted by air raid sirens ( 1227 alerts in total ); the girls were expected to have knitting with them at all times to occupy them during their frequent visits to the air raid shelters! The threat was very real; among many bombs landing in the vicinity, in 1944 a V2 rocket landed in the cemetery behind the school. School uniform was first introduced in 1946 and the navy blue blazer remains to this day.
In the late 1950s a new school building was planned which opened in the early 1960s. Another block was added in 1972 and further buildings were taken into use in 1978. Nower Hill High School came into existence on 1st September 1974. 1993/94 saw the start of a £2.75 million development programme, which included a new 13 classroom block and the Gristwood Centre housing Music, Dance and Drama studios, a fitness suite and the sports hall. More recently all Science laboratories have been refurbished and a brand new suite of arts rooms has been developed. ICT provision, through sets of tablet computers, has been extended to every faculty and every teaching room has an interactive whiteboard and digital projector.
The school first admitted 6th Form students in September 2006 and in September 2009 we moved into our £4 million 6th Form extension, housing first class facilities for our large and growing 6th Form. Our facilities were further enhanced in September 2010, by the addition of a new block of 5 Science laboratories (giving us a total of 16) and a 13 classroom English teaching block as we welcomed Year 7 into the school for the first time since it had become Nower Hill High School. More recently the school has benefitted from a newly designed front of school along George V Avenue and finally we are delighted this year to open our brand new changing rooms, adjoining the newly refurbished Gristwood Sports Hall. We are now a school of just over 2000 students.
Much has changed in the last 91 years but I am pleased to say that the sentiment expressed in the words written by the very first headteacher in his school log, dated May 24th 1929, remain true to this day. Mr Boyden wrote “I would like to place on record the excellent work of the staff and the exceedingly successful results of their efforts”. We are a forward looking and innovative school rooted in the timeless qualities and traditions of excellent schools.
Throughout its 92 year history, the school has only had 8 headteachers:
Mr C.J. Boyden (1929-43)
Mr A.W. Manson (1943-63)
Mr E.J.R. Dey (1963-69)
Mr F.R.H. Gristwood (1969-83)
Mr S.P. Hensby (1983-99)
Mr H. Freed (2000-2013)
Mr C.J. Livesey (2013-2019)
Ms L. Voden (2019 to date)