Parkfield School

1938 Opening

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According to the 'Story of Potters Bar and South Mimms (p127), following the expansion of Potters Bar a new school was opened in 1930 behind the Infants' school in the High Street and was called 'Potters Bar Senior Council School'.

"Between the wars Potters Bar began to expand at a rapid rate and its rural character was lost, though South Mimms did not suffer in the same way. In 1930 a new school was opened behind the Infants' School on the High Street and was called Potters Bar Senior Council School'. While this building was being planned the Managers recommended unsuccessfully that the rooms should be smaller so as to accommodate 40 children, not 50 per class, as was the general practice. An exchange of children was effected, and the infants of 5 to 8 years went to St. John's School, while Miss Goodacre took the seniors of over 8 years to the new premises. The former Infants' School became the domestic science centre for the Senior School and a hut built in the playground was the manual or woodwork centre. There was no attempt for some years to put into operation the Hadow Report (1926), whereby the transfer to Senior Schools took place at 11 years".

"A new area was being opened up in Cranborne, and in 1929 requests were made for transport for children from Cranborne Road to St. John's. By 1931 overcrowding was such that two classroom huts were built behind St. John's School to house the overflow. In 1933 when the new Cranborne School was opened with Miss E. E. Dowling as Headmistress, the district was reorganised according to the Hadow Report. The High Street School became a Senior Mixed School for children over 11, with Miss D. Goodacre in charge. The Southgate Road School, still known as St. John's, became a Junior Mixed and Infants' School for children 5 to 11 years old, with Mr. C. E. Le Gros as Headmaster. Cranborne Junior Mixed and Infants' School had the same age range. No child now remained in the Junior School until he had reached a certain standard, but was transferred to the Senior School before his twelfth birthday. This was a major change from the days when slow children never reached the top of the school, and so gained no benefit from the extension of the curriculum to include such subjects as woodwork and gardening, art and domestic science."

"Parkfield School in The Walk was opened (on 23rd August) 1938. 210 Seniors moved there, leaving the High Street School to be taken over by Juniors and Infants, and re-named Ladbrooke after the farm which once stood beside it. St. John's was retained as an Infants' School for children who lived east of the main road".

On 23rd August 1938, the High Road School transferred to the new Parkfield School in The Walk. The following information is taken from the school logs.

School Name: Parkfield Council

School No: 172

Accommodation: 480


Name DoB Date of Appointment Cert. No Comments
Miss A.J. Goodacre 2/2/1881 23/8/1938 01/1242  
Mr E.H. Workman 7/7/1893 23/8/1938 13/1598  
Mr F.R. Rollison   23/8/1938    
Mrs E.M. Whittard 1/5/1884 23/8/1938 07/4859  
Miss A.E. Troughton 24/7/1892 23/8/1938 13/906  
Miss C.M. Alcock 1/1/1907 23/8/1938 35/4790  
Miss L. Whitman   23/8/1938    
Miss H. Barber   23/8/1938    
Mr A. Hallam 21/11/1913 23/8/1938 34/2273  
Miss O. Goodrich 17/11/1915 29/8/1938 35/7911  
Mr F J Jones 25/9/1914 1/9/1938 35/1282  
Mr A.J. Parker   23/8/1938   Part time

Transferred from High Road.

Name Appointed Comments
Miss A.J. Goodacre 26/8/1903 Head teacher 23/8/1915
Mr E.H. Workman 23/8/1915 Appointed to St Johns
Mr F.R. Rollinson 11/12/1933 Appointed to High Road
Mrs E.M. Whittard 31/8/1914 Appointed to St Johns
Miss A.E. Troughton 1/11/1919 Appointed to St Johns
Miss C.M. Alcock 27/8/1935 Appointed to High Road
Miss L. Whitman 25/8/1936 Appointed to High Road
Mr A.J. Parker    

"Dr. J. Leese, Divisional Organising Officer, was present at 8:50 a.m. and, after prayers, spoke to the children assembled in the hall. H.E.B. Green Esq. H.M.I. visited during the morning. Mr Patrick came on supply in the afternoon".

On 1st September, Mr Jones replaced Miss Whitman was becoming married.There was series of visits over the next few days.

On 23rd November 1938, there was the ceremonial opening. However in the morning Dr Leese ordered that all chairs must be battened before the Opening cermony in the evening.

The Ceremonial Opening took place at 7:30 p.m. Chairman Alderman Darlington J.P. Chief Speaker Sir Henry Richards, late Chief Inspector of Board of Education. Other speakers - H. Halsey Esq J.P. Chairman of Potters Bar Urban District Council. Mrs Darlington, C. Knifton Esq. District Councillor.

The following day the school was open to parents from 2 - 4 p.m. "A number availed themselves of this opportunity t osee the building". On the 25th the school was open to the public again from 2 - 4 p.m. "A large number of parents and residents visited throughout the whole time".


Chris Cook.

29th September 2016.