The History of Holt Farm School

Holt Farm Junior School has been through many changes in its history and you can read about it here!

Hawkwell Holt County Primary School opened for the first time on the 5th September 1957. It was built on farm land belonging to Holt Farm. Holt House still exists and is a few doors away from the Infants school.

The school was built to serve the children living on the newly constructed Holt Farm Estate. The school opened in the building where the infant school now stands.

The Headteacher was Mr L Cryer, Mr Lewis served as deputy head whilst Mr Nicolle, Mr Gerther, Miss Crocker and Miss Bain taught; classes One to Four respectively; in the Junior School. The Infant school consisted of Miss Best and Mrs Pendred.

The first children to attend the school came from Rochford C.P., Ashingdon and Hawkwell schools. The total number of children in the school on 5th September 1957 was 194, rising to 275 by the summer term!

5 years later, in 1962, the number of children enrolled in the school had almost doubled to 529 children! The school then split into Infant and Junior schools and the Junior School moved across to the site here it is now currently situated.

The original layout of the junior school had 6 classrooms and "borrowed" two classrooms from the infants. In September 1962, the Junior school had a total of 362 children enrolled. Mr Cryer remained on as head of the Junior school and Mrs Smith was trusted with the future of the Infant school.

Both schools continued to work together and in 1964 their hard work and continued effort was repaid. After countless hours fund-raising, the newly formed PTA secured enough money to build a swimming pool. That's the same pool we use now!

After 14 years in charge of Holt Farm, Mr Cryer retired in August 1971. Mr E.E. Living M.A. was appointed as Interim headteacher until the 5th January 1972 when, what would turn out to be another long-serving headteacher took the reigns; Mr G.B. Morris. The school had now grown by 22% to 453 pupils.

With such a long-spanning time in charge at Holt Farm it was natural that Mr Morris's time as headteacher would outlast several changes in the education sector. In Autumn 1977, Mr Morris remarked in his diary,

"It is now school policy that competition between children in the academic sphere should NOT EXIST, class position, end of term tests and prize giving are things of the past. This has been accompanied by a general 'loosening up' in formal attitudes, not easy for some of the members of staff to accept naturally"

Mr Morris retired from his post after 17 years in charge at the helm of Holt Farm Junior school.

In September 1989, with pupil numbers dwindling at just 250 children enrolled, Mr Richard Spence was entrusted with the position of bringing the school back to compete with its neighbours. Mr Spence's term in charge spanned ten years. In that time many much-needed improvements were made to the school, including: new classrooms, ICT workspace, and a total redecoration of the school interior and exterior - which after the 70s and 80s were much needed! This attempted to get the school back on equal footing with the local schools, and with the introduction of Ofsted and SATs, Mr Spence's time in charge was one of change, growth and challenges for both pupils and staff.

After 10 years, Mr Spence retires in August 1999. Mrs A Stratton is appointed Acting headteacher until January 2000.

On the dawn of the new millennium, Mr S.M Keeley became the fourth permanent headteacher of Holt Farm Junior School. His time in charge continued on the improvements that Mr Spence made, with improvements to the school playground, wildlife pond area, new administration infrastructure enhancements,toilet block refurbishment, more new classrooms and new computers.

In 2007, the school celebrated 50 golden years. An aerial photograph was arranged and taken of the occasion, whilst the children all received a commemorative badge to remember the day.

5 years later and Mr S Keeley left the school and Holt Farm Junior School was run by Interim Headteacher, then permanent Head teacher Mr Hasan Chawdhry OBE.

In April 2013 Peter Malcolm took over as Executive Headteacher.

In September 2013 Andy Howe became Holt Farm Junior School's Executive headteacher.

Holt Farm Junior School became an academy on 1st September 2014, a member of the South East Essex Academy Trust, along with Westcliff High School For Girls, Prince Avenue Primary School and Rochford Primary & Nursery School.

In September 2015 Mario Rodgers become the Executive Head.

In September 2016 Mrs Wass was appointed Head of School

On June 16th 2017 we became District Sports champions. 

1957

School opens as Holt Farm Primary School

1962

School splits into Infant and Junior School

Junior School moves into new building

1964

Swimming Pool opens

1971

Mr L Cryer (Headteacher) leaves school

District Sports Champions

1972

Mr G.B Morris (Headteacher) joins school

End of continental school holidays for Year 4 (Now called Year 6)

District Sports Champions

1973

District Sports Champions

1974

District Sports Champions

1976

End of free Swimming. School now has to pay Essex County Council for heating pool - Cost per child - 75p

1981

Holt Farm Junior kitchen closed early December due to falling numbers eating hot meals daily.

1982

New boilers fitted in boiler house.

1983

20th May - first School computer installed - B.B.C - costing £325

District Sports Champions

1984

27th March - 2nd School Computer and 2 disc drives installed

1985

Total destruction of infants school through arson

1987

Rebuilt infants school re-opens.

1988

Mr G.B Morris retires after 17 years.

1989

Mr R. Spence becomes headteacher.

1992

School Exterior re-clad in UPVC

1995

First SATs test for year six children

1996

22nd July - Build Work begins on two new classrooms and ICT Suite

7th Nov - Classrooms finished 2 weeks ahead of schedule

1999

Mr R. Spence leaves post as Headteacher

2000

Mr S.M. Keeley becomes Headteacher

2003

2 new classrooms added to the school

2005

Outdoor patio dining area added to the school playground

2006

New changing rooms

Refurbishment of Girls & Boys toilet block

2007

Golden Jubilee

2012

Mr S.M. Keeley leaves post as Headteacher

Mr H Chawdhry appointed Interim Headteacher

2012 Mr H Chawdhry appointed Headteacher
2013 Mr A Howe appointed Executive Headteacher
2014 School becomes an academy, a member of the South East Essex Academy Trust, along with Westcliff High School for Girls, Prince Avenue Primary School and Rochford Primary & Nursery School.
2015 Mr M Rodgers appointed Executive Headteacher
2016 Mrs L Wass appointed Head Of School
2017 We became District Sports Champions for the first time since 1983.