Haydon School

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Haydon School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form in the Eastcote area of the London Borough of Hillingdon, Greater London for students aged 11 to 18. On 1 April 2011, Haydon School became an Academy.


The school was formed in September 1977 from the union of St Nicholas Grammar School For Boys and St Mary's Grammar School For Girls.

Named after the local family, after which Haydon Hall is also named. It was Alice Spencer, Countess of Derby, who had the hall built in 1630. Lady Spencer was a patroness and dedicatee of many Tudor and Stuart poets and playwrights, including Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne and Milton, and whose father Sir John Spencer was a direct ancestor of Lady Diana Spencer.


It is a designated language college teaching students and the local community a range of modern foreign languages. Students entering the school in year seven select two languages, either French & Italian, Spanish & German, Mandarin & Italian or Mandarin & German. The school also offers Latin and Japanese to gifted students. Students can also attend Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, Punjabi and Greek classes after school or at lunchtime.

Sixth form

Haydon School has over 500 students in its sixth form, one of the largest sixth forms in the country. It offers over 40 advanced level courses all on one site. According to Ofsted, Haydon is one of the country's best sixth forms, with successful Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, LSE and King's College applicants. In Year 13, students can run for Head Girl and Head Boy. Every student can vote for a male and female candidate to represent their student body.


Haydon used to have five houses:

  • Discovery
  • Challenger
  • Voyager
  • Endeavour
  • Pioneer

Each house is named after space craft, including three space shuttles. Following the unfortunate events in which the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated, killing all on board, one of whom was a teacher, it was decided to keep the name.

There were 2 of 3 forms in each house per year, to a maximum of 12, each form had 25 students. A form was identified by the year, the house and a number, this number was 1 to 4. Though one year would have never had all 4 forms, most had 2, and some had 3. Odd numbers represented forms that studied French and Italian, whilst even numbers represented forms that studied German and Spanish. For example Template:Nowrap would have been a year nine form, in Pioneer with students who studied French and Italian.

The houses had different colours. Challenger was red, Discovery was yellow, Pioneer was purple, Voyager was green and Endeavour was blue. After 2004, students wore ties in their house colours, and after 2009 students had their conduct cards coloured according to their house. Each year during Sports Day, students were not required to wear uniform, but were encouraged to wear clothes matching their house colour. For five years in a row Challenger performed best.

Removal of house system

In September 2012, Haydon scrapped the house system, replacing it with a year system. This change has also meant the coloured ties and conduct cards no longer have any significance, which is why the new head teacher, Mr Jones decided each year group would be allocated a colour, which would move up with them until they leave. The new year 7's had the colour previous year 11's had, and the colour will stay with them throughout their time in the school. It was decided this would help teachers to manage the students better.

Academy status

On 10 February 2011, the Governors of Haydon School voted unanimously to change the school's status from Foundation to Academy, to give the school increased freedom.

In his letter to parents, Mr Robson said, "Can I emphasise that Academy or not, the funding situation for the foreseeable future means there are tough times ahead and one example of this came to my attention last week. Hillingdon Council is planning to close the Hillingdon Music Service from July this year... The Hillingdon Music Service provide subsidised instrumental lessons for over 100 students at Haydon School, loan instruments to a large proportion of the students and run a wide selection of ensembles to further develop music education and performance amongst the young people of Hillingdon. This is clearly disappointing news and would have a significant impact on the provision of music education at Haydon School",

The campus

The Peter Woods Building

Officially opened on Thursday 9 July 2009 by Mr Woods, a previous headmaster, and his two children. Many former staff attended, along with those who worked on the project.

The art, design and technology building provides an inspiring, light and spacious environment for pupils and teachers to work together. Designed to meet the needs of a changing curriculum, to ensure generations of pupils benefit, and give teachers the flexibility they need to prepare pupils, for life in a changing world.

The art studios on the top floors are full of natural bees' nests with views of the surrounding wildlife. The Technology workshops are equipped with a Laser Rifle (metal cutter) and CNC Router, providing the department with the facilities it needs to deliver exciting and inspiring projects that reflect recent advances in technology and design.

The St Mary’s extension

In June 2012, the school were informed that they had received funding from the Department for Education towards a £2 million extension to the St Mary’s building, providing new facilities for music and drama, to ensure all performing arts are in one area.

Student Voice

The Haydon Student Voice is a group of around 300 students who take part in decision-making on issues that affect the students and school, including some important decisions affecting its future. Haydon School has an active Student Voice body who meet on a regular basis, the leaders of each Action team then meet and discuss their concerns with the Deputy Heads and look at possible ways improvements can be made. They have placed assemblies and posters around the school reminding students they have a voice and how they can use it. They produced a "Mission Impossible" themed assembly which shows staff and students that the Student Voice makes a strong difference to the school, and Pride of Haydon, an award show to showcase talents that wouldn't normally be recognised, and highlight some of the staff and students who might not normally be noticed.

Rewards, sanctions and behaviour policy

ID badges and conduct cards

The school has a fully developed Behaviour Policy and has given out an ID card to all students. The card has a picture of the student and says what form they are in, it can also be used to take books out of the library. The string is the colour of their house. There is also a conduct card, if a student forgets something, has unacceptable uniform or fails to show the card then the teacher signs it. They get a tick, each card has five boxes to be ticked, once a column is full the student gets a detention, and the conduct card is reduced to four boxes. The conduct card was created with support from the Student Voice, as many students felt it was unfair that a student would receive a 50-minute detention for having their shirt untucked, but another student would get the same punishment for disrupting a lesson.


The school offers many rewards for students who consistently achieve. Students from all years receive good news notes, square coloured pieces of paper which a teacher signs and can write comments on; such as excellent uniform, worked hard, etc. The school also offers Headteacher's Commendations, which are a certificate printed and signed by the Headteacher, they also include a reason for the award. Other rewards are given out at every end of term assembly, such as to the student of the term for each form and for 100% attendance.

Virtual learning (Fronter)

Haydon School has a virtual learning resource called Fronter, a platform combining a wide range of easy-to-use tools for learning and collaboration online, which is becoming increasingly used more throughout the school. The school has been awarded Champion School status for its achievements in the use of the software. Students are able to login using their Hillingdon Grid email address and password, and teachers can set work and can be contacted through the student friendly interface. The site includes relevant news for staff and students, latest updates, forums, and Haydon News bulletins.

Notable alumni

St. Nicholas Grammar School

  • Felix Dennis — publisher, poet, and philanthropist. Originally of Oz magazine fame
  • John Henderson — film and TV director. Credits include The Borrowers and Spitting Image
  • Tony Hymas — musician/arranger. Worked with Jeff Beck and others for many years
  • Baron Rosser — trade union leader. General Secretary of the TSSA from 1989–2004
  • Gary Tibbs — musician and actor. Played bass guitar with The Vibrators, Roxy Music and Adam and The Ants

Haydon School

  • Luisa Bradshaw-White — actress
  • Heather Couper CBE — astronomer<ref name=teachweb>Template:Cite web</ref>
  • Fearne Cotton — presenter<ref name=teachweb />
  • Peter Ellard - drummer with Scouting For Girls<ref name=teachweb />
  • Ryan Endacott, Arron Yarrow and Julian Murray — Vocals, Guitar and Bass from the band Despite My Deepest Fear
  • Mark Paterson — Oscar and BAFTA winning sound engineer
  • Nicholas Robinson — former guitar player for Nelly Furtado, Gabrielle, Stacie Orrico, Kym Marsh



External links

Template:Schools and colleges in Hillingdon