Tel: 01442 404333
Student Absence Line: 01442 404340
Email for general enquiries:
Email for parental enquiries:


School prospectus pdf School Prospectus

School History

The Cavendish School Crest

Why is it called The Cavendish School?

The Cavendish School took its first pupils in 1959, but it did not move into its new buildings until 1961.

The school was to be called The Hemel Hempstead Technical Grammar School but its first Headmaster, Arthur Hayward, decided to rename it The Cavendish School because it had particularly impressive science laboratories for that time and he wanted to link the school to the famous Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge.

The Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge

The Laboratory was established in 1871 and named after Sir William Cavendish, seventh Duke of Devonshire who was Chancellor of Cambridge University at the time and who provided most of the money for building the laboratory. The name also honoured an earlier member of the same family, Henry Cavendish (1731 – 1810), the great scientist who had discovered hydrogen.


Since that time the Cavendish has become the most famous laboratory in the world. The Head of the Laboratory is called the Cavendish Professor. They have been amongst the most famous scientists of the past century. Many of the most exciting developments in 20th century science have taken place at the laboratory including the first splitting of DNA.



1959 The School opened on 8th September 1959 in the buildings of the Warners End School (now J F Kennedy School) with 72 students and 5 staff including the founder Headmaster, Mr Arthur Hayward.
Newspaper article on school opening school opening new article

The first summer youth hostelling expedition for the entire First year.

1961 Construction of original buildingsIn September, school began in half-completed buildings on the present site. As the 200th post-war Hertfordshire school, it offered exceptional facilities including an indoor heated swimming pool and special provision for science, nine science laboratories, and technical subjects. The buildings, which were carefully laid out on a very accurate grid system, were regarded as the finest school buildings of the time and they were studied by visitors from all over the world.

Cavendish school in 1963In March, Sir David Eccles, Minister of Education, visited the school, and in June the school was officially opened by Professor Sir Nevill Mott, Cavendish Professor of Physics in the University of Cambridge.
The School was featured on BBC television.

1964 All the boys went to Twickenham to see Head Boy, Leonard Heron, captain England Schools Rugby XV.
Cavendish Players presented their first production, "The Rocket Man" by Jenkins and Brinkworth.
1965 The School Under 16 rugby team reached the final of the Welsh Sevens Tournament at Llanelly.
1967 Sixth Form Centre established at The Lockers.
First Sixth Form Leavers' Dinner was held.
School Community Service programme introduced and the first of many Cavendish students selected for Voluntary Service Overseas.
1969 School linked to Hatfield Polytechnic computer.
Drama production "Pigmalion" went on tour to Germany.
Tenth anniversary trees planted by Sir William Hayter, Warden of New College, Oxford.
1970 Mott house founded to accommodate increased number of students. BBC recorded programme on computer work in Cavendish.
1972 Cavendish won the overall trophy at the District Athletic Championships for the eighth successive year.
1973 Brass band toured Norway and appeared on Norwegian radio.
1975 Work experience introduced for all fifth year students.
Under 16 boys won National Basketball Championship.
Sixth Form student awarded the Royal Geographical Society National Prize for the best 'A' Level Geographer of the Year.
1976 Miss Jackie Wainwright captained the Great Britain Basketball team at the Olympic Games.
School orchestras, band and choir record "The Sound of Cavendish".
1977 Under 19 girls won National Basketball Championship.
Cavendish claimed All England Athletics Championship for fourth successive year.
Brass band on BBC radio.
1978 The School's own microcomputer heralded a new age.
National awards for silversmithing.
1979 The Rt Hon Mark Carlisle, Secretary of State for Education, visited the School to mark its 21st Anniversary.
1982 Accommodation expanded into Gade Valley School.
1983 Secretary of State, Sir Keith Joseph, visits School.
1984 Donation of word processing equipment from Rank-Xerox; development of computer centre.
1988 Formed merger with The Halsey School, new building project starts.
Opening of the McDonnell Douglas Library Computer System.
Mr George Walker, the mayor and represtnative from McDonnell Douglas, 1988Mr George Walker
Mrs Hazel Bessadone (Mayor)
Mr Ian Denholm (McDonnell Douglas)
1989 School divided between sites as building project gets underway.  
1990 School reassembles on one site and takes expanded intake of 192 students.     
Executive Headteacher: Mr Gary Lewis
Warners End Road, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3DW
Herts AllianceCEOP © 2014 The Cavendish School, Hemel Hempstead. All rights reserved.