The Hemel Hempstead School

The Hemel Hempstead School
The Hemel Hempstead School (main block).jpg
Heath Lane

, ,

Coordinates51°44′57″N 0°28′44″W / 51.74921°N 0.47884°W / 51.74921; -0.47884Coordinates: 51°44′57″N 0°28′44″W / 51.74921°N 0.47884°W / 51.74921; -0.47884
TypeFoundation school
MottoEsse Quam Videri
(To be rather than to seem to be)
Local authorityHertfordshire
Department for Education URN117500 Tables
HeadteacherNeil Hassell NPQH FCCT
Age11 to 18
HousesAshridge, Chalfont, Flaunden, Gaddesden, Latimer, Nettleden, Pendley
Colour(s)Blue & gold    

The Hemel Hempstead School is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form located in the town of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England.


The school has roughly 1260 students,[2] 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


Grammar school[edit]

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[edit]

In the academic year 2021-2022 the school celebrated its 90th anniversary with a series of events called 9 for 9000 for 90, including the publication of a school history.[citation needed] These events were organised by the senior prefects of charity who were responsible for raising money for charity.


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.

In 2021, a consultation was started for the demolition of West Block, the technology blocks, and the Chemistry block. This is to be replaced with a new building on the Northern school field.

House system[edit]

The pupils are divided into one of the 7 house groups each named after local villages (with the exception of Ashridge, which is named after the Ashridge country estate):[3]

  • 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[edit]

Hemel Hempstead Grammar School[edit]

The Hemel Hempstead School[edit]

HHS Sporting Alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Davis, Eve (1987). Hemel Hempstead in Camera. Quotes. p. 69. ISBN 0-86023-340-5.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "House System".

External links[edit]