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Hereward Primary School

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School History


Hereward Primary School began as Hereward School (Infant School and Junior School) between 1952 and 1953. Hereward pupils had a nomadic existence in the first years of the school, starting in Chingford or other areas before moving to Loughton in 1953. Please see the attached file (at the bottom of this page) to read some fascinating information about the very early years of Hereward. We thank for this Mr John Pettigrew, who attended Hereward in those days and was part of the first intake of pupils who began at this very site in 1954.


Aerial photo showing Hereward in the 1980s.


The Infant and Junior schools merged in 1981 to form Hereward Primary School. In 2003, the school celebrated its 50th birthday with many special events. In 2013, the children in each class participated in exciting units of work in History related to the six decades of Hereward Primary School's existence. It was a great way to celebrate our diamond jubilee.



Why the name?

Hereward was named after an 11th century Saxon leader called Hereward Leofricson, Lord of Bourne, who was more commonly known as 'Hereward the Wake'. He was involved in resistance to the Norman conquest of England. The name Hereward is composed of old English words - 'here' meaning army and 'weard' meaning guard. His mother was the famous legendary figure, Lady Godiva!



During his lifetime, Hereward was known as 'The Outlaw' or 'The Exile.' After he died and had his lands taken over by a family named 'Wake', he begun to be re-named, 'Hereward the Wake' with Wake meaning, 'Wary'. 



The Hereward Knot

The knot logo, which Hereward Primary School has adopted, also has a connection with Hereward the Wake. The Wake family used a knot known as the 'Carrick Bend' as their family emblem and incorporated it into the Wake coat of arms. This also became associated with Hereward himself.



Today, the Hereward Primary School knot is a symbol of how everyone needs to work together in order to provide the best possible learning and well-being for all of the children.



Mr John Pettigrew, who attended Hereward Primary School from its inception between 1952 and 1954, visited the school in 2012 for the first time in decades. John reflected, "Despite the passage of time, I saw three specific places of special importance to me. Firstly, my old classroom. I could identify the exact spot where I used to sit. Secondly, I recognised where I sat for school dinners. Lastly, I also saw precisely where I stood in the main hall for daily (and other) assemblies."

As well, John concluded his visit with a very special thought. "I was asked by one of your school newspaper team what was it about Hereward that I liked best of all. This question puzzled me for a while but the answer came to me and it is something I have not thought about for 60 years. The answer is that I was happy at Hereward. We looked after each other and respected each other. I am glad to see that nothing has changed after all this time."



Information from the Headteacher's Log


Please find below some interesting information about the history of Hereward from the logs made by Headteachers in the past. Some of these pre-date Hereward's actual start in 1953.


19th September 1949: Mr A.M.O. Hunt was given charge of the Pyrles Lane Infant School.


11th September 1950: Mr Sydney Amoss commenced duty as Acting Headmaster of the school. 


13th September 1950: School opened this morning and the organisation will be as follows:


CLASS                                TEACHER                            NO. ON ROLL

4th year Juniors                   Mr Ditchburn                         52

3rd year Juniors                   Miss Carr                              50

2nd year Juniors                  Mr Grant                               46  

1st year Juniors                   Mrs Luke                               58

1st year Juniors                   Miss Darby                            59

Infants A                               Mrs Hills                                55

Infants B                              Miss Watts                             49

Infants C                              Mrs Jones                              50

Infants D                              Mrs Wakem                           47

Infants E                              Mrs Lamb                               46

Infants F                               Mrs Moore                             22

Infants G                              Miss Adams                           22


15th September 1950: The number on roll is 558 and the attendance is 88.7%. Some children are still hop picking.


1st December 1950: After school today, a rummage sale was held to provide funds for the school Christmas party. Thanks to the co-operation of the parents, both as regards supplying articles and supporting the sale, the very satisfactory amount of £21-6-3 resulted.


1st February 1951: A joint appointments committee meeting was held at the school this morning to appoint a permanent Headteacher. The successful candidate was Mr C Gorham.

(Mr Gorham was the first Headteacher of Hereward when it opened in 1953)


24th May 1951: The typewriter was serviced today.


12th July 1951: The Headteacher, Mr Gorham, was present at the Grange Farm Centre, Chigwell for its opening by Her Royal Highness, Princess Elizabeth, this afternoon.