History

Holly ParkHolly Park School first opened in 1908 and for many years handwritten diaries were kept by the Head Teacher covering details of school life

Although much of it is a record of attendance, staff absences, fire drills and sickness they also have some interesting insights which you can read here.

The diaries include news of teachers leaving when they got married; celebrations for Empire Day every May and holidays for many royal weddings plus lots of reports of measles, mumps, influenza, diphtheria and other illnesses, visits from health professionals inspecting head, feet, hearing, eyes, and lots and lots of meetings.

We also have some interesting old photos from the school records and some which are used with the kind permission of the Friern Barnet And District Local History Society.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1915

August – The school opened this morning as a separate infants department.

“I commenced duties in this school today as headmistress” – Miss Emily Whitelaw. Number of infants transferred from Senior Dept to this Department 96; number of new admissions 17. Total number on books – 113. 74 boys, 39 girls.

November – Dr Warner visited the School for medical examination and medically examined 23 children – one child was excluded for Ringworm.

December – The regulation allowing for the admission of children under 5 years of age has been suspended until further notice.

1916

January – The allowance for school materials must not exceed one shilling and seven pence per head.

February – Dr Spreat Medical Officer of Health visited the school and medically examined the children – and did not find occasion to exclude any of the children.

-         One child in Class 3 suffering from Diptheria died.

-         Dr Warner – visited the school and medically examined 24 children – excluding 6 children suffering from colds.

May – Empire Day – In the morning the children all had a display in the playground all taking part in an Empire Play representing Britannia and her Subjects at the close of which the children sang the National Anthem and saluted the flag. A half holiday was granted in the afternoon.

December – During the afternoon boys were observed by the Headmistress hurriedly leaving the school carrying off articles of clothing from the cloakroom. A police constable was at once informed and the boys were afterwards captured and the goods recovered. The parents of scholars whose clothing was taken declined to prosecute.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1917

July – The following notice has been issued to the parents by direction of the Managers, Southgate and Friern Barnet Public Elementary Schools.

‘In the event of the Head Teacher receiving warning of an Air Raid the children of these schools will, until further instructions are issued, only be permitted to go home if accompanied by their parents or some responsible guardian; otherwise they will be kept in the schools until it has been ascertained that all danger has passed.

October – The attendance is very low during the week owing to the night air raids and the warning given for a day air raid on Tuesday.

Local historian John Philpott reported the death of a Holly Park teacher: ”

Percy Llewellyn Evans - Sergeant, 14th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, died 12th February 1917, home service, aged 30, buried in Friern Barnet Churchyard.

Percy was born 1888, Clay Hill, Enfield, son of John Llewellyn and Mary Evans.  His mother was a teacher and he followed her into that profession.  He taught first at Friern Lane [St James’s] School and then at Holly Park School.  He was married 11th August 1914 at the Independent Chapel, Newport, Shropshire, to Evelyn Evanson, who was also a teacher at Holly Park.  They lived at 17, The Crescent, Friern Barnet.

Percy enlisted 1st June 1915, having previously served part-time with 20th Battalion, London Regiment, Territorial Force.  He died in Clare Hall Sanatorium, South Mimms.

The Friern Barnet parish magazine of March 1917 reported “the death of Mr Percy Evans, Assistant Master at Holly Park School, who began his work at Friern Lane.  He joined the Colours, but contracted the disease that caused his death.  He was a great favourite among the boys and at his funeral on February 13th practically the whole school followed him to his grave.”

1918

February – Attendance very low owing to the Air Raids and the inclement weather.

-         Friday school closed. Holiday granted to children in recognition of their efforts in subscribing over £1000 to the War Savings Certificates.

October – One little boy suffering from diphtheria died.

November – Armistice signed. Children sang patriotic songs and national anthem.

-         School closed – Armistice Holiday granted.

1919

March – Monday school closed. Holiday granted to children in recognition of their efforts in subscribing over £2000 to the War Savings Certificates.

July – Summer holidays five weeks from July 25 – September 1. An extra week’s holiday granted this year by the Education Committee in celebration of the conclusion of Peace. This extra week added at the end of the vacation.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1920

March – An inspection by HMI Mr J C Stobart reported: “Premises – This school which was opened in 1915, is very fortunate in its premises and situation. The classrooms are suitable in every way and there is a good hall and ample playground accommodation.

Organisation – The headmistress who was appointed for the opening of the school has been somewhat handicapped from the beginning by staffing difficulties; at the present time two of the four class teachers are on transfer from the senior school and are not specially prepared for the Infant School work.  A third teacher is on supply.

While making every allowance for these difficulties it is felt that the present low attainments of the children in the top class call for very serious attention in organisation and method.

The Reading in Standard 1 and Class 1 was distinctly below the average, easy unprepared dictation in Standard 1 was poor. Paper folding and modelling in Standard 1 deserves praise. A satisfactory organisation must meet the needs of children of very varying capacities and must admit of their passing from class to class and from one department to another as soon as they are able to do so. Only in this way will the present abnormally high leaving age be reduced and the standard of work raised.

The treatment of the children in all classes is very kindly and it is easy to see that both head teacher and staff take a great interest in their welfare.”

July – Low attendance owing to the epidemic of whooping cough.

1922

February – In accordance with the desire of His Majesty the King the Education Committee has approved of a whole day holiday being granted in all schools for the wedding day of HRH the Princess Mary.

March – Report of HMI Mr Stobart: “A real effort has been made to meet some of the criticisms in the last report … Without undue restraint it should be possible to train these children, most of them 6 years or more, to settle down quietly when given work to do.”

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1923

April - In accordance with the desire of His Majesty the King a whole holiday will be granted in all schools for the wedding day of HRH the Duke or York.

May – Empire Day celebrated – half holiday in the afternoon. In the morning children had a display ‘Britannia and her Subjects’ at the close of which the children heard Their Majesties the King and Queen’s own voices recorded on the gramophone in a message to them and to all the children in the Elementary Schools of the Empire. The National Anthem was sung and the flag saluted. Many of the parents were present.

1925

May – The progress in this small infants’ department, noted in the last report, is well maintained. The children now go forward to the SeniorSchool reasonably well prepared in primary subjects and in the main at the right age. Of other subjects, music has perhaps improved the most; the singing is sweet and tuneful little songs are chosen. It should be possible to make a start in the more formal aspect of the subject especially in the Standard Class.

July – Half holiday granted on the occasion of the Middlesex County Elementary School Sports.

1927

November - Armistice Day – Two minutes silence observed.

December – Attendance not good this week owing to the inclement weather. On Wednesday morning the icy condition of the roads made walking very dangerous, very few children attended school – only 34 present in the morning and 49 in the afternoon.

1928

January – Thursday morning I found that the locks had been forced open of the top right hand drawer and the little cupboard of the desk which stands in the hall. The drawer contains school medical cards and the cupboard chalks and a bell but nothing had been taken.

February – A National Savings Association (Stamp scheme) has been adopted for the scholars of this school.

May – School inspection: “Infants Department – the main change to report in this department is an increase in the numbers on the books. Of the three classes 52 are in Standard 1, the top Infants’ Class has 42 (under the Head Mistress) and there are 59 children who have been admitted quite recently. This last class is a difficult one to keep fully employed; a hard working assistant receives help from a promising student teacher who takes charge of a small section. It is good training for her…. Both Infant Classes are well taught and the teachers devise useful individual apparatus for individual work. Much is done too to arouse interest and to brighten the rooms by illustrative material. Some good singing was heard, the choice of songs is exceptionally good. 

1930

August - Report from the School Inspector: “There are now four classes in the Infants Department and a teacher who has had no recent experience with infants takes the youngest children. In this class discipline and progress are not satisfactory.”

1931

cropped-logo-Copy.jpgJuly - “I, Emily Whitelaw, resign my position as the head mistress of this school on my retirement with effect on the 31st August 1931. I have completed 41 years continuous service and during that time I have served 28 years as a head mistress under Middlesex Education Committee since it was constituted in 1903.”

August – AM Ashley from Hazelwood Lane School, Palmers Green commenced duties in this school as Head Teacher.

December – A Christmas Entertainment was given by children to which parents were invited – about 90 people were present.

1934

December – A cinematograph show of films for children given by a parent was held in the Science Room.

1935

January – School broken into during the night – milk money stolen 3 shillings and 6 pence.

– 12 children were taken to the zoo.

1938July – School inspection: “There are now only three classes with a total roll of 111 in this department which has an accommodation of 276. Two of the spare classrooms are used as a clinic and a third is occupied by a division from the Senior Mixed School.

The head mistress and her colleagues control the children happily and give evidence that they are interested in their general welfare, they urge their pupils to come clean to school and to work cheerfully at their lessons. But they are not always encouraged by example especially in the babies’ room to take a hand in creating a bright and attractive atmosphere in which to work.

Nor is the pace which the teacher this lowest group sets quite as fast as the active little people in it can be expected to go…

In general Standard 1 is in very good hands. The teacher has a sound standard in all she attempts and in reading and numbers the results are most creditable. But in a written exercise which was given several children showed a lack of concentration and consequently produced inferior work.”

November – Royal Wedding – school closed for the day.

1937

May – School closed on occasion of Coronation of King George VI.

1938

1939 Mrs Bowles classMarch - Attendance as low as 57% owing to cases of sickness – measles, chicken pox and scarlet fever.

1939

July – It was decided that the Infants should not be transferred to a Junior School but should remain as Juniors at Holly Park School after the holidays.

September – School was closed for duration of war owing to its occupation by ARP authorities.

1940

1940sJanuary – School reopened for spring term. Full time attendance for children aged 6, 7 and 8.

April – Junior and Infants building available after being closed since beginning of the war. War conditions – 7s, 8s and 9s accommodated in two rooms of Senior Building.

May – Mrs Ball granted 3 days leave to evacuate her children.

August – An air raid warning was given at 12.15pm. All clear 1.10pm. All children on premises were taken shelter.

- After an all night air raid 9.15pm to 3.50am attendance low.

- Ruling from head office – in the event of the all clear signal being given after 12 midnight school should assemble at 10.30 next morning.

September, October and November – air raids most days.

October – Enemy plane overhead.

November – School closed for one day owing to a landmine in near neighbourhood.

1941

January – Octave Dessart, a Belgian refugee died of diphtheria at the isolation hospital – flowers and letter of sympathy sent to guardians.

- Time spent in shelters on one day – two and a half hours.

January, February, March alerts continue almost daily.

September – A day’s holiday granted in recognition of the school’s effort during War Weapons week.

1942

December – School closed at 2.30pm in order to enable staff to attend a mass meeting at Arnos School – subject for discussion – care of war workers’ children during Christmas holidays.

1943

1940sSeptember – Two girls collided before the afternoon session. Each sustained a cut above eyebrow. Teachers gave first aid and teacher took children to their homes in her car and told mothers to take them to private doctor. Accident reported to Education Committee.

1944

May, June, July – alert warnings sounding up to six times each day, sometimes for only 15 minutes.

August – School reopened only 76 children present owing to evacuation of a large number.

September – Miss Hale released for evacuation duties for six weeks in Newcastle on Tyne.

1946

December – Head Teacher AM Ward resigned.

1947

April – Mr Walne commenced duties as Head Teacher.

November – Visit of 20 children to the Amalgamated Press Works, Southwark.

1948

January – Visit of 20 children to British Museum.

May – Visit to St Albans by Class Junior IV for study of Verulanium and Cathedral.

June – School party of 15 children visited London Docks.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1949

April – Conclusion of first football season as Members of Southgate and District Schools FA.

June – Talk on Australia given to juniors by member of the Imperial Institute, well received and a second visit arranged.

– Visits to the Natural History Museum and Hadley Wood.

July – School closed for summer recess. Number on roll 264. 45 children leaving – 14 to grammar schools, 31 to secondary modern schools.

1950

March – About 70 parents attended an exhibition of childrens’ books.

December – Open afternoon for lower classes approx 100-120 parents present.

-         Christmas entertainment – a puppet show.

1951

June – Parents’ meeting – about 50 attended a Questions Please programme at which the staff formed a panel for answering parents’ questions. The evening proved very enjoyable and successful.

September – Bethune Park facilities for games have been withdrawn for season owing to condition of ground. There being no other available ground football has been suspended for the season.

October – visits to the Festival Hall, the Puppet Exhibition at Royal Hotel and Natural History Museum.

December – Three day full inspection of school by HMI commenced.

-         Carol ceremony given by the three classes in Christchurch, Bellevue Road.

1952

January – School heard broadcast of Proclamation of Accession of Queen Elizabeth II.

September – Games facilities at Bethune Park now again available for the winter season.

November – Parents Meeting in evening ‘Backwardness – as seen by a Medical Officer, a Psychologist and a Teacher’

1953

playgroundJune – Friern Barnet Schools Coronation Festival held in Friary Park at 6.45pm. Classes 3 and 4 together with a number from 2 participated singing, physical training and country dancing displays contribute to a very successful joint effort by all schools in the district.

-         Junior classes attended a morning performance of the film A Queen in Cornwall at the Gourmant Cinema, North Finchley.

-         CoronationSchool Parties for classes infant 1 and 2 and junior 1 during afternoon. Parents invited to an entertainment given by these classes. The chairman of the council with two other councillors attended to present two playground seats to school as Coronation Presentation.

November – Mrs Warren and two children representing school visited Westminster Abbey to present money collected for Abbey Restoration Fund.

1954

February – Mr Walne left to take up appointment at Oliver Goldsmith Junior School, Wembley. Mrs E Warren assumed duties of Acting Head Teacher.

-         “I wish to record my thanks to all who have helped me during my years at this school and in particular to the staff who have co-operated faithfully, uncomplainingly and pleasantly. On leaving I wish the school and my successor Mr Jenkins well and a good voyage.” Mr Walne.

March – Children attended a morning performance of the film Julius Caesar at the Ritz Cinema, Muswell Hill.

April – Mr TG Jenkins commenced duties as Head Teacher.

September – Number on roll 235.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1955

July – The School Welfare Assistant has failed to give complete satisfaction as it is felt that she has not cultivated a happy relationship with children and members of the staff. Complaints have been received from parents and the staff of the school clinic.

1956

June – visits to Regents Park Zoo and Science Museum. 36 children went to school camp in St Mary’s Bay.

December – visits to Finchley Fire Station and the Natural History Museum.

1957

March – Cycling proficiency tests.

May – School closed for council elections.

-         Commonwealth Day services.

June – Sports day in BethunePark.

-         School journey to St Mary’s Camp. Kent.

July – Visit to Epping Forest.

1958

March – Parents’ meeting ‘The Teaching of Reading’ 70 present.

June – Road Safety Quiz Finals, Town Hall, Friern Barnet. Holly Park 1st in Primary School Competition.

Jubilee progamme 1958November – Chairman of the Education Committee attended school assembly and spoke to the children about the Jubilee of the school and declared a special holiday on Friday next. A special Jubilee Thanksgiving Service was held at Christchurch Congregational Church.

1959

March – Open evening – parents inspect children’s work and meet class teachers

- Special assembly attended by parents and members of the Education Committee to dedicate the lectern and lectern Bible given to the school by the parents as part of Jubilee (50) year gift. The first lesson from the new lectern was read by the Chairman of the Council.

May – School closed – Municipal Elections.

- Jumble sale for school funds organised by committee of parents.  A sum of £81 paid to school account.

July – Presentation of Cycling Certificates by Chairman of Road Safety Committee.

- Visits to Science Museum, London Zoo, British Museum and a dairy in Totteridge.

July – Mr Jenkins left to take up an appointment at Colindale Junior and Infant School, Hendon. “From today the temporary Head Teacher of this school will be Ms V Wells. I am most happy to think that she is taking charge and wish her every happiness and success in her new tenure. Holly Park has meant a great deal to me and I do want to place on record how much I owe to my most devoted and loyal colleagues who have given so generously of their time for the good of the school.” Mr Jenkins.

November – New entrants attended Clinic for Medical Examination.

December – Plays, Infant 1 – Three Bears. Infant 2 – Sleeping Princess, Junior 1 – Nativity play. About 150 parents present.

- Miss V Wells relinquished post of Acting Head Teacher. “I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to all the staff for the close co-operation they have given me during this term and would like to wish Mrs S Waite every happiness for the future.” Miss V Wells.

1960

January – Mrs S Waite commenced duties as Head Teacher. Miss V Wells took up duties as Deputy Head Teacher.

- Thirty nine children attended a performance of Beauty and Beast at the Arts Theatre.

1961 buildingMarch – The Audiometrician visited the school and tested the hearing of Infant 2 and Junior 2.

-         This morning the whole school accompanied by St Paul’s Junior pupils watched a performance of Rumpelstiltskin in the school hall.

April – Miss V Wells terminated her duties at this school to take up an appointment as Deputy Head Teacher at Winchmore Junior School N21.

May – School closure for the wedding of HRH Princess Margaret and Mr A Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey.

June – 37 children left on their coach journey to St Mary’s Bay for their week’s school journey.

- Visits to St Alban’s, London Airport and Epping Forest.

July – Mr Mulcaster appointed as Deputy Head.

1960 Change of useOctober – The secondary school moved from this site to the Friern Barnet County School.

December – The school held its carol service in the evening in the hall of the old secondary building. About 270 parents and friends attended the service. The silver collection amounted to £11 and seven shillings.

- The Holly Park Secondary Modern School closed as from 30 December 1960 (until objections are raised within two months). The primary school is now the sole occupant of the site during the daytime.

1961

March – This morning two performances of Alice in Wonderland were given in the hall of the old secondary building. Pupils from St Johns and St Pauls came to watch the performances too.

May – After school a party of children went to Archway Central Hall to compete in the Verse Speaking (Choral) item of the North London Festival.

-         A party of 32 children left school on a week’s journey to Shanklin, Isle of Wight

June – School closed at 12 noon so that representatives from the school could take part in the District Sports of the Hornsey Schools Sports Association at Redston Field. Torrential rain from 1.30pm onwards caused this meeting to be abandoned.

1962

1960s 1January – A party of 58 people visited the Arts Theatre to see the Circus Adventure.

-         48 children went to the Planetarium.

-         A psychologist from the NationalHospital for Nervous Diseases visited the school and tested certain children for neurological peculiarities.

May – 33 children left school by coach for a week’s journey to Swanage.

November – The School Dental Surgeon visited the school and inspected the teeth of all children.

1963

May – 29 children left by coach for Waterloo to travel to the Isle of Wight for one week’s School Journey.

1964

January – 62 children and staff with their children visited the Mermaid Theatre for a performance of Treasure Island.

-         A party of 60 boys and girls visited the Planetarium for a special schools’ performance.

May – School journey to Swanage, Dorset.

June – Members of the Schools’ Medical Service came to school to give TB tests to certain children.

1965

1960sFebruary – During the weekend a water pipe burst in the loft and flooded through into classrooms and hall. This morning there was no water in on the premises and the heating had to be kept low. As there was no plumber on the site as promised to us by 8.45am parents were asked to take their children home if they could manage.

June – The school closed today for a commemoration of the signing of the Magna Carta and Stephen Langton’s Parliament.

December – The infant children presented their Nativity Play to an audience of invited guests and their parents. At this, and the Juniors’ Pantomime, a collection was taken, the total amounting to £18. This was divided between The Arthritis and Rheumatism Council for Research and the School Fund.

1967

January – During last night lead was stolen from the school roof. The caretaker reported the matter to the police and Education Department.

April – Mr Thornton joined the staff as Deputy Head teacher.

May – 30 children went to College Farm Dairy, Finchley.

July – Mrs Maxwell appointed Head teacher of Holly Park School from 1st January 1969 visited the school this morning.

November – Mrs Griffin attended a course on the keeping of animals in the Junior School.

December – Today the painters’ scaffolding was erected in the hall for the decorating to be carried out during the Christmas Hols. Mr McDonald left to take up an appointment in Coventry.

1969

January – Mrs Maxwell took up her duties as Head Teacher.

demolition 1969March – Mr Potter called re demolition of old Holly Park Secondary Modern School.

April – Immigrant proportion 39% – allowed to open new class. Demolition of old Sec School taking place.

July – Infants moved into new building.

-         Parents’ meeting to explain ‘open plan’ new school and vertical grouping in two lower classes.

-         Infant singing games – parents enjoyed joining in. New dining hall in use – delightful!

September – Nursery class set up in old hut in playground for 60 part time children aged 3-5 years.

October – PTA Film evening – Maths Alive and other educational films.

December – PTA Christmas Party.

- School broken into.

1970

oldbuildingFebruary – Barnet Press came to take photographs for article on new building.

March – Easter eggs donated by children delivered to old folk.

-         Mrs Cooper retired after 22 years service at Holly Park.

June – BBC film trips on sex instruction shown to parents after school.

-         Mr Jenkins, previously Head Teacher at Holly Park, now Head Teacher at Colindale JMI visited school to see the SRA laboratories.

1971

April – During this term staff have taken the following clubs for children after school – recorder, guitar, cookery, chess, athletics, PE, football, netball, country dancing, discotheque.

May – Mrs Maxwell and children going on a cruise to Norway and Denmark departed from Holly Park at 11.50am.

1972

January – Miss O’Neill who has been appointed to Blessed Dominic School, new school on Grahame Park Estate, but for whom there are not yet sufficient children, came on supply.

-         With Education Office permission we opened another infant class called Blue.

March – Social for Mr Baker retiring caretaker in evening- presented with own choice – a vacuum cleaner, a cheque for £6.50, a waste paper basket and book made by the Nursery.

July – School concert – could only, unfortunately, accommodate 100 guests.

November – Holiday for Queen’s Silver Wedding.

-         13 junior children were medically examined to ascertain whether need free milk.

1973

February – 20 children attended the opera performed at Friern Barnet County School.

April – Easter service – eggs distributed to old folk, sick folk etc

May – Candidates interviews for the teaching of English as a second language – part time appointment.

Mrs Maxwell

Mrs Maxwell

May – the Head Teachers in Mrs Thatcher’s Constituency went as her guests to the House of Commons.

July – Mr Thornton having obtained promotion to the Haynes Special School left as Deputy Head. Miss Farrant appointed.

November – Holiday – Princess Anne’s wedding.

-         Jumble sale for Christmas parties.

1974

February – Head teachers were guests of the Mayor at cocktails at 12 noon!

May – Social Services came to examine possibility of opening Day Care Nursery at Holly Park.

June – Nursery broken into – portable radio stolen.

-         Second years spent the day at WindsorCastle.

-         Swimming gala – abysmally bottom!

-         Visits to Bekonscot Model Village, the boys to the Air Force Museum at Hendon and the girls to the Bethnal Green Museum.

July – Country Dance Festival. Infant Singing Games and Sports Day.

September – Hygiene inspection.

-         Eyes tested.

-         Hair and feet inspection

October – Mrs S found herself unable to cope with teaching and a young baby so resigned.

-         Parents’ meeting, Mrs H addressed them re our new Scott Foreman Language System – great interest shown.

1975

489 full time pupils plus 26 part time nursery.

January – Eye tests, dental inspection, fire drill.

April – Miss W came to school – discussed and spoke of enforcement of reducing numbers of children attending the school.

-         Mrs Maxwell went to AlgernonSchool to see ‘classroom from converted shed.’

May – Miss Farrant appointed head teacher of new Grahame Park Infants School. Replaced as deputy head by Mrs Master.

July – Children transferring to Friern Barnet County went there – all looked very smart!

1976

June – School extra-mural visit to Hull – tiring but successful.

July – Summer concert – v successful – Chairman of managers present with wife.

October – School celebrated Diwali.

December – Decided not to write every Friday Service (assembly) taken by classes in rotation – parents attending – but they did, in fact, take place.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1977

January – Head and feet inspection. Pre-medical eye tests and weight.

March – Dental inspection.

June – Jubilee Party – parents came – everyone wore red, white and blue. The sun shone – we entertained each other with dancing, country dancing, gymnastics, games etc etc. The food, provided by school, prepared by parents, was delicious. The children went home happily, each bearing a hat, a balloon and Jubilee mug.

July - Visit to Hatfield House

- Managers’ Meeting at Holly Park. Feverish activity all morning by men from Parks Department.

- School concert. Charged 10p admission, sold refreshments – handed £25 to the Mayor.

- Trip to Hampton Court.

November – Immunisation boosters. School trip to Waltham Abbey,

1979

February – Caretakers’ strike began.

-  Mrs Maxwell slipped on ice when locking up school. Taken to Finchley Memorial – head stitched, suspected fracture of collar bone.

-  Only 7 children in school. All staff except one, present.

May - Mothers came to see film about head lice.

- Yet more dental inspections.

July – Toddlers’ Club met on a Friday afternoon throughout the year.

Parents’ Assemblies – taken usually by individual classes have taken place every Friday morning.

October – Trip to Hatfield House. Library van visited. Trip to Westminster Theatre.

November – Children were weighed and had their eyes tested.

December – Extended Christmas vacation in hope of saving fuel.

1980

February – visit to Natural History Museum.

March – Through Mr Dawkins’ kindness in providing transport the 3rd and 4th year students visited HMS Tartar – the ship assisted by Barnet – very interesting!

April – Chess trophy presented.

May – a pupil died suddenly in the night from a ruptured spleen.

Trips to the Science Museum, the Horniman Museum and the Natural History Museum.

June – Jumble sale.

- District swimming gala – great excitement and delight – Holly Park won.

- Sports day cancelled – inclement weather.

- Trips to Portabello Dock on a canal barge and The Museum of Childhood.

July – Trips to Rochester, Trent Park, Bekonscott Model Village.

- Friends of Holly Park Summer Fayre – Trojan service by staff.

- End of term – many tears at the Leavers’ Service.

October – Harvest Festival – good attendance by mothers, many gifts distributed.

A blind person brought her dog and talked to the infants.

December – Children’s parties – Mr Hart became Santa Claus – donated two books to the school.

1981

April – Mr Maxwell broke ankle in car park.

- 44 children went on school journey to Shanklin, Isle of Wight.

playground2May – Mr Thompson came in to talk about the proposed new building. He arrived at 9.30am. Mrs Maxwell took him round the school – he became thoroughly involved. He was persuaded to stay to lunch and the proposals were discussed afterwards.

- Children took part in Athletics at Copthall Stadium. We won the Schools Cup.

Small Schools Swimming Gala – we won the Runners Up Cup.

July – Trips to Greenwich, Hayes Hill Farm and the Environmental Centre, Barnet.

Leavers’ Assembly – floods of tears all day.

November - Firework party – great fun and financial success.

December - Snow! Most staff and some children late!

- Deep snow – everyone late.

– Retirement party excellent attendance thanks to thaw. Many gifts including a rose bowl from governors, microwave oven from colleagues and friends. Lovely evening although tinged with sadness.

- Parents’ Pantomime – very good indeed, children loved it.

- School parties. In spite of bad weather Father Christmas attended – every child received a present.

– End of term.  Children and staff presented concert for Mrs Maxwell and Mrs Masters. Children presented Mrs Masters with a rose bowl and a porcelain elephant and Mrs Maxwell with a large sized heated trolley. Each class had made token cards etc.

“With sadness I record my final entry in this book. Thirteen years have passed very quickly. I hope Mrs Thorne will be as happy as I have been and I wish her every success in the future.” Margaret Maxwell.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1982

January – School begins. Mrs Thorne and Miss Knights took up duties as Head and Deputy Head.

-  Snow again!

– Trip to Tesco’s bakery as part of a project on food.

– Trip to the Post Office as part of a shopping project.

February – Trip to a butcher’s shop where they watched sausages being made and brought back samples.

– Reception trip to the sorting office where they pretended to be parcels and were put in a mailbag.

March – The staff implemented union advice to withdraw from voluntary duties. They will not collect dinner money or sit with the children until the pay dispute is settled but because they have no wish to penalise the children they elected to continue with after school clubs.

- Friends of Holly Park organised a most successful March Market where craft items were sold. There was an enthusiastic attendance of parents and almost all staff came too.

June – A group of children went to the Copthall Stadium for the District Sports. Holly Park relinquished the Medium Schools Cup won last year but was awarded the Girls’ Relay Shield.

– At the Borough Swimming Gala Holly Park was classed as a Large School for the first time. By a margin of 20 points our team of 10 swimmers won the Gala cup and Relay Shield – a really magnificent effort.

– Sports day at BethunePark. The rain held off (just).

– The nursery children went by coach to spend the day at Golders Hill Park. However as the rain poured without ceasing the coach driver kindly took them to the Hendon Air Museum which they much enjoyed.

- International Fair. More rain so stalls had to be inside but the sun came out later and a display of dog obedience by the Woodside Park Handlers’ team took place outside. The Indian dance display was held on the grass. In spite of the rain there was a good attendance and profit of £150 was made.

July – Trip to Boulogne for the day. The coach left school at 6.30am and returned at 9.30pm. It was a most successful visit – bright sunshine and a calm crossing. The children brought back quantities of croissants and Brie and reported that the French children they spoke to had been able to understand them.

– All the infants went to Southend accompanied by their teachers and many parents.

September – A committee meeting of the Friends of Holly Park was held to discuss the dissolution of the Friends and formation of a PTA.

– The Friends of Holly Park held a bingo night in the evening.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1983

July – We held a sponsored silence in the afternoon – juniors 50 minutes, infants 30 minutes. All did very well – perhaps it should be a regular event!

October – All classes in the school went at half hourly intervals throughout the day to the Friern Barnet Library – this is to be a regular occurrence.

November – A most successful bonfire and firework display was held in the evening – over 250 people attended and the weather was kind.

– a group of girls and mothers gave an Indian dance displays for assembly to celebrate Diwali.

– A parent brought the 20-piece Nonsuch Orchestra to play first to the infants, then to the juniors – a glorious sound. The players were most kind about the behaviour of the children and certainly they were totally engrossed, as we all were.

1984

January – A barn dance was held by the PTA in the evening – lively and energetic.

March – Trip to Madam Tussauds.

– The building of the new hall and improvements to the Junior building began. The programme is scheduled to take a year to complete.

– The builders sliced through the main electricity cable and the water main. LEB put back the Junior building but it is the responsibility of the contractors to repair the main cable.

– Water back. Calor gas heaters in the infant and nursery building. Kitchen also without power.

– Still no electricity and the Calor gas heaters are running out. Had to close the nursery.

April – Four members of the police force brought their dogs and showed off their prowess to all the children, unfortunately in the rain.

May – Trip to Heathrow Airport and saw Concorde take off.

June – Summer fair opened by the Mayor and Mayoress. A sunny day, a happy crowd sitting in the sunshine listening to the band and a healthy profit of £700.

– Children going to Swaylands Study Centre for school journey were examined – heads and feet.

– The school journey children returned safely and exhausted from Kent – a most successful week.

– Sports Day at Bethune Park. The teams were renamed after local roads and Glenthorne team won the cup.

November – Open day for our new Parent’s Room – the cabin in the playground.

– Mufti Day – the children wore whatever they pleased, staff donned uniform, and we all paid 10p for the privilege. £16 was raised to be our first contribution to the Save the Children scheme to Sponsor a Child. Fortuitously, the name and case history of the child we have been given arrived in the morning’s post. Anand lives in South India, speaks Tamil, is 11 years old. His mother is very ill and his father cannot afford to send him to school. The children have been given the responsibility of devising means of collecting £16.25 every three weeks to send to him.

– Over the weekend we moved the offices into the new building. Today was Handover Day. It is now officially ours and very beautiful it is too.

1985

HallJanuary – The new hall was officially opened at a concert in the evening by the Mayor of Barnet. The hall was full of guests and parents and children – new friends and old, architects, builders, those who had been responsible for the furnishings, governors, ex-teachers and was pronounced a rousing success.

– At 3.30pm the Bookshop was opened in the new reception area. A system of savings cards was instituted throughout the school.

– Lunchtime and after school clubs were resumed: badminton, table tennis, netball, football, dance, choral speech, conservation, drama, recorders, patchwork, country dancing, pottery.

February – A dinner and sing-a-long was held in the evening by nursery parents who cooked a splendid meal, which was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress, other governors and parents resulting in a profit of £166.

– Thames Television came to film the children reading the first book to be published under the Minorities Groups Project – The Tiger and the Woodpecker , written by a Holly Park parent, Dr Ajitsaria, illustrated by a Holly Park parent, Mrs Cobden. It is printed in seven languages.

March – A Governors’ meeting took place in the evening and the Governors expressed great admiration for the new plants in the grounds.

– The PTA mounted a craft fair in the evening – reasonably well attended but items considered rather expensive.

April – Last day of term. Easter bonnets were on show in the afternoon with an Eggshibition of painted eggs. Pace eggs were rolled down the playground.

May – Industrial action started as a result of the unions refusal to accept a 4.5% pay award. The proposed summer fair was cancelled because of the industrial action.

- A shipwreck party was held in aid of PTA funds. It was an excellently organised occasions but unfortunately suffered in attendance as staff felt they could not participate.

– Sports day cancelled because of the strike.

June - Polling Day for the European Elections – Junior department closed.

– A group of parents and staff gathered to dig a sandpit and garden in front of the nursery. It was a very hot day and the ground was very hard but a valiant start was made.

– Yellow Class went to Golders Hill Park for the day.

– Industrial action ended.

July – 32 fourth year juniors set off for a week at Swaylands Study Centre, Kent. They returned six days later – two hours late as the coach broke down but otherwise healthy, happy and exhausted. A most successful week.

– 32 children visited Southend for a successful day.

September – The depradations resulting from the break in at the end of last term have been made good and two TVs and a computer ordered to take the place of those stolen.

– Arrangements were made for tomorrow’s Autumn Fair – the sky was searched anxiously and it rained all day.

– A most successful Autumn Fair. Lunches were cooked by the parents, a car could be won (but wasn’t), raffle, Olympics, donkey rides, stalls, sideshows, the rain kept away and only the teachers willing to have sponges thrown at them were wet. We raised £1039 for PTA funds – a record!

October – Clubs restarted this week: table tennis, badminton, football, netball, choral speech, drama, soft toys, knitting, cooking, conservation and pottery.

– to mark the end of Book Week children were invited to dress as a character from a book and join a parade attended by parents. To our great delight about a third of the children – all of nursery and staff who came as the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe and had so many children – dressed and paraded.

– In the early hours of Saturday thieves again entered the Junior and Infant buildings and stole cash and a computer which we had only three weeks ago replaced.

December – The Snap Theatre Group performed Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman to the whole school – a magical experience.

– Class 4 were taken to the Festival Hall to take part in a performance of Hansel and Gretel.

– Members of the PTA organised and cooked a Singalong Supper attended by 73 parents and friends.

– The choir and orchestra went to Friern Hospital to entertain patients. This is an excellent community link and the patients in turn are mending our nursery toys.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1986

February – The NUT started a programme of action to include no cover, no clubs, no staff or parents meetings, no lunch time supervision.

– The heating in the infant block failed. Parents were met at the gate and told of the temperature (5c) – most elected to take their children home. The engineers repaired the fault and the temperature was up to 60c by lunchtime.

– Class 2 was excluded – the teacher was ill and no supply was available.

March – Class 5, who are making a class newspaper, went to the Barnet Press offices where they were shown all the functions, given orange drinks and had numerous photos taken.

– The children’s Eggshibition in the hall was the best ever and the hat parade was a triumph of invention.

– a party was held after school to mark the retirements of Mrs Holmes, music teacher at Holly Park since 1972. At final assembly we said goodbye to Mrs Homes presenting her with a food processor and to Mrs Pearson who is to become Head Teacher at Hampden Way Nursery School and was presented with a cherry tree.

April – Two dancers from the Royal Ballet spent the morning with us. They demonstrated steps to all the junior children. The response was enthusiastic.

May – Council elections. This year we used the big hall as polling station closing the infant building.

– a day’s ice skating in the big hall from 10-5.

– sports day cancelled as it was cold and raining.

June – the school journey party returned in good order. Reported the best, most relaxed and enjoyable journey we have had. The children were a credit to the school.

– a swimming team was invited to take part in the North Barnet Schools’ Gala at Copthall pool. It was a little daunting but we enjoyed it and we didn’t come last!

July – All classes took part in (and organised themselves) a Caring Fair to collect money for Anand whom we sponsor in India. Cakes were made, toys were sold, games were played. We hoped to make enough for a quarter year (£22.50) and in the event raised £101, more than enough for the year. It will become an annual event.

August – Highly successful Autumn Fair on a beautiful day. Highlights were the Fireman’s ladder (high above the school) and a BMX cycling display. A profit of £108 was declared.

– 15 children from class 7 were detained after school, with prior notice to parents, because of anti social behaviour.

October – Class 8 visited the Arts Therapy exhibition at Friern Hospital.

– International Food Day – several parents cooked and many others sent dishes for the children to taste.

– We welcomed old people to tea to mark the end of One World Week.

November – Two members of the Adzido Troupe of African dancers started a dance residency in Barnet. They will work with classes 4 and 5 on five successive Mondays.

– Bonfire Night celebrations were held in the evening – 300+ people present.

December – The PTA put on a riotous and highly successful revue in the evening. Proceeds from it and the sale of wine generously donated to go to the nursery.

– Classes 1, 2 and 3 performed The Toy Shop. Classes 4 and 5 presented Snow White. Classes 6, 7 and 8 performed Oliver – a roaring success with all 92 children taking part and cheers at the end.

1987

January – We heard this morning with great sadness of the death of a pupil from meningitits.

August – The last two terms have seen many changes in the educational world and many more proposals for change. As no more hours have been added to the traditional 24 in a day some tasks have had to be neglected and this log has been a sufferer. It seems more appropriate now to set down a resume of the position and start in the journal afresh in the autumn term.

The 1986 Education Act has given greater responsibility to the Governing Body. A report to parents was produced and a meeting held. In common with many other schools we had an attendance of only 15 parents (5 of whom are also teachers in the school) and the tenor of the meeting was uncontroversial. This compares interestingly with the attendance of parents at our Summer Concert when over 200 tried to pack into the hall. It would seem that parents are certainly interested in their children’s education but are generally happy to let those responsible for the content and organisation of the curriculum go on fulfilling that responsibility.

October - Class 8 were unable to go to the National Gallery because of the high winds during the night which brought down trees all over the country. The school escaped with three broken windows.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1988

April – A PTA committee meeting in the evening mainly to discuss the proposed Fun Run and Autumn Fair.

May – The deputy mayor came to receive a cheque for £755 collected by the children for the Great Ormond Street Wishing Well appeal. We have a little boy in the nursery waiting to have a hole in the heart operation there.

June – (Sunday) Fun Run – an excellent response and a large number of children taking part – and a relatively beautiful day. Proceeds are aimed at two more computers.

– The whole infant department to London Zoo in two coaches plus many parents.

– Athletics at Copthall – we took a team of 35 and did particularly well in the girls’ high jump and track events.

– Pond dipping at the Denis Bland Environmental Centre.

– Infants sports cancelled – rain.

July – Paddling Day cancelled – rain. We are not having much success with outdoor events in this abysmal summer.

– Midsummer Concert in the evening. ‘It was better than ever’ said parents and it was.

– Class 8 performed a Whodunnit play to the school.

December – Junior performance of Stevie and the Starship – to great acclaim by the parents.

– After school some 30 parents and children toured the streets singing carols.

1989

April – 5.30-7.30 another relaxed and successful Family Fun Night. We noted that parents who have not involved themselves before are coming to these evening and more fathers are offering support.

May – Parents’ Review in the evening – greeted with enthusiasm by packed audience and with some ribaldry.

– (Sunday) a group of parents, staff and children worked on the pond fencing – sinking posts 1 metre down made more difficult by recent dry weather.

June – (Sunday) very successful Summer Fair. Over 600 people attended, enjoyed the afternoon and raised £1,500 profit for our computer fund.

August – (Sunday) Fun Run in the sunshine – 100 participants.

1990

April – Years 2 and 3 to the Science Museum to see the Lego Exhibition.

June – (Sunday) A very successful and pleasant Summer Fair on the only sunny, warm day for a fortnight.

September – Miss Melia began as an NQT (Later to be Mrs Pelham Headteacher in Sept 2013)

November – Bonfire Night – fine and dry. A good attendance – over 300 people.

December – School closed at 3pm for the Christmas holidays but we all went carol singing round the streets of Friern Barnet.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1991

January – Swimming groups from years 2, 3 and 4 walked round to St Johns School. We have use of the pool and the swimming teacher for the whole of Wednesday, Parents are paying £7 per term and 120 children are learning to swim.

- At playtime pupils from Friern Barnet County School sold Blue Peter biscuits in aid of Romanian children.

– War was declared in Iraq. There is a great deal of immediate news making for a sombre mood throughout the school.

February – Heavy snow fell overnight. We decided to close after lunch to enable everyone to get home in daylight.

March – In the afternoon a man came into school saying he was a teacher. The staff managed to steer him out without incident and he was later arrested for another incident!

– PTA Committee meeting – Summer Fair and Quiz evening on Saturday which looks to be in danger of postponement through lack of interest.

– As expected Quiz Night cancelled.

– Red Nose Day – the children paid 25p for the privilege of coming to school out of uniform.

– A netball match between staff and year 6 was played – good spirit and no cheating.

April – Parents whose children have failed to secure the secondary school place of their choice have been coming for advice on appeal. We have 10 such children this year far more than usual reflecting the closure of Finchley Manorhill in July taking 150 places out of this area.

– St George’s and Shakespeare’s Day. Prince Charles says schools don’t read WS any more. On the contrary we are going to the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park in July.

November – In the evening a workshop in computers was held for parents and children. Hugely successful with over 150 people attending. We intend to make these workshops a termly event.

December – Christmas trees were bought to be set up this week in all the buildings.

– The piano tuner came to work at the new boudoir grand we have bought. We shall sell two unwanted upright pianos to help to pay for the grand. It will give status to our music and concerts in the future.

– The Infants performed their Christmas play The Toybox to a packed audience of appreciative parents. Every year we say that the demands of the National Curriculum do not leave room for plays and concerts but every year we know the value of these events far outweighs the difficulty in fitting them in.

– After school a stalwart group of about 40 children, parents and staff was led singing carols round the streets of Friern Barnet, the Town Hall threw open its windows and joined in.

1992

May – Year 6 went to Kew Gardens. Year 5 went to McDonalds and learned how to serve burgers and salads and milkshakes.

– Sunday Fun Run on a beautiful sunny day. About 150 children took part and a few parents though most parents sat on the grass and picnicked.

cropped-logo-Copy.jpg1996

Autumn term – The school looks sparkling after its summer clean and the care of Michael Clews.

September - Mufti day for the Autumn Fair. It is early for a mufti day but is such a productive means of producing items for the tombola.

- The Autumn Fair was a great success – friendly and sunny and hot enough for the water splash! No one wanted to go home. The PTA made £1,600 profit – ear marked for playground improvements.

- Visits to the Tate Gallery and the National Gallery.

October – The Barnet Surveyor met to discuss the possible replacement of the Early Years Horsa Hut. The old demountable has been condemned too.

- We went round to Friern Barnet County School to collect their discarded computers (they have bought a whole new roomful … the crumbs from the rich man’s table…) Kind of them all the same.

Sports Day 1996
Sports Day 1996

- PTA meeting in the evening, there is a dynamic new committee with a lot of varied expertise and they have some innovative plans for the year ahead. 25 people attended.

- Year 6 visit Kew Gardens.

- School Council – more requests for extra books, more clubs, extra maths and pink custard.

November – Year 3 visited The Planetarium.

- A Christmas Craft Fair was held at a parent’s house, very well attended and raised £140 for the music fund.

- Year 5 went to The London Museum in a double decker bus.

December - The PTA organised a most successful craft fair after school – many items made by the children in after-school Craft Club. It was most enthusiastically attended and raised over £500 for school funds.

1997

January – Snow! What excitement at playtime. By afternoon it was thawing but enough had fallen to make a few small snowmen.

– A really good day, much needed this wet and muddy week. The sun shone and we ordered lovely new wooden furniture for the playground paid for by the PTA.

February – The beginning of Ofsted week. The staff feel very anxious – it is a very intensive process. We shall do our best.

- Informal feedback seems that, apart from a failing in IT, we have done very well.

- The aftermath of inspection is perhaps worse than the thing itself – deflation, recrimination. Still it’s over for the next seven years by which time someone will have found a better way perhaps by reinventing HMS and leaving advisers to advised and schools to get on with the job of educating the next generation.

- Year 6 visit the Imperial War Museum.

- Governors’ meeting in the evening. Having made the decision before Christmas that if we had a good Ofsted it would be a good time for me to go I tendered my resignation.

- The PTA held a very successful Valentine dance. Unfortunately the staff were too shattered to go.

March - Comic Relief Day – a series of events culminating in a conga around Friern Barnet by the whole school. We raised £900.

– 17 applicants for the headship were shortlisted to six.

April - Michael Quigley was appointed as Head from September 1997.

- Year 4 went on a four day school journey to Hastings.

- Year 6 went on their school journey to Wales.

- The senior surveyor came to look at the Early Years building and old demountable which he said was the worst he had seen. He had no positive news about either building.

- It rained for the first time for weeks, the children were bemused – what do we do at wet play?

- Year 6 leave for Knapp House in Devon.

May 1 – Election day – school closed. Labour returned with the largest majority since the 1830s.

- In the evening a very successful, if not very well attended, Auction of Promises raised £1,500 for the music fund.

June - Year 5 went to Trent Park, it rained for the first time in weeks and they came back early – and soaked.

- The Summer Fair – it was a cold, dull day but the indoor plan was put into operation and we enjoyed ourselves hugely making a profit of £1,800 for the PTA funds.

July – Years 1 and 2 visited London Zoo. Year 2 went to the Transport Museum

– The Art Exhibition took place after school. Soft music, fruit punch and beautifully mounted work impressed the parents. It seems to get better every year.

– Sports day rained off. The weather did not deter year 6 who went to Regents Park for a picnic lunch and a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Open Air Theatre. It drizzled all the way through but the children were transfixed.

- The PTA held a leaving tea party after school. They generously gave me a half a greenhouse, red Cedarwood. I believe the other half follows. In the evening Leavers Disco for year 6, who started out as shyly as at a Sunday School dance but became bolder as the evening wore on. They have been a good and rewarding year 6 who will do well in their secondary schools.

- Year 1 had a picnic in Friary Park and in the afternoon Reception went to examine their tree in summer – they have followed it through the seasons.

-  Changeover day – those teachers changing classrooms next year started to move their belongings. In the evening another leaving party and indeed the second half of the greenhouse!

- Last day of term. Leaving assembly (children) in the morning was funny and witty and much enjoyed by all. In the afternoon we said farewell to staff leaving; getting married; moving and taking early retirement. Beryl Elms left after 16 years – she came to Holly Park on the same day in Jan 1982.

“This week has been an emotional but uplifting time for me. I am proud of Holly Park and all it has achieved and stands for. The children are warm and curious, loving and caring. The parents are supportive and fiercely loyal while questioning and intelligent. The staff are the best anyone could find – committed, strong and conscientious, with huge expectations for the children.

I wish my successor Michael Quigley good fortune, fulfilment and as much happiness as I have found during 16 years in this very special school.” Mrs Thorne.

September – Head Teacher Michael Quigley BEd (Hons).” I officially took up my post as Head Teacher of Holly Park School today. Met with Liz Pearson, Chair of Governors, and a number of other staff. A warm and friendly atmosphere in the school and a great feeling of optimism.”

- The first week is over already! The school is as I had hoped it would be – warm and friendly with a willingness to work hard at all levels.

- Sydney Chapman MP visited the school to discuss the state of the buildings.

- Class meetings continue with very good numbers of parents attending – some staff say this is because they are curious to see me!

October – We held the AGM for the PTA. We were pleased to welcome over 40 parents and staff to the meeting. A committee was elected and it was decided to rename the PTA as Holly Park Parents and Friends (HPPF).

-  Staff tap dancing lessons took place after school.

-  Year 3 went to visit the construction site at Friern Hospital as guests of Tarmac. There was more mud than expected and 32 pairs of shoes were washed by Mr Cleves and Mrs Palmer.

- Football match against St Johns. Results 3-0 to Holly Park!

- It seems no time since the term began. It has been a very good half term and I look forward to many, many more at Holly Park.

November –  A visit from Barbara Thorne – ex Head Teacher – a very good chat!

New building opening 2001

The new building opens in 2001

- “Given the plethora of other writing about life at Holly Park School I have decided to suspend this log. The school log forms a fine record of life at Holly Park and I trust the log in its new form will continue this.” M Quigley.

  • 2004   Mrs Linda Hellier became Acting Headteacher
  • 2005   Mr Duncan Mills became Headteacher
  • 2006   Mr John Maxwell became Headteacher
  • 2013   Mrs Ann Pelham Became Headteacher