The Cavendish School took its first pupils in 1959, but it did not move into its new buildings until 1961. It was originally 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 school was officially opened in June 1962 by Professor Sir Nevill Mott, Cavendish Professor of Physics in the University of Cambridge. At that time, the schools’ facilities were considered exceptional and regarded as one of the finest school buildings of all time, with an indoor heated swimming pool, nine science laboratories and dedicated space for technical subjects.
In 1967 a sixth form centre was established at The Lockers, close by. In 1982, the school expanded into the Gade Valley site where the sixth form is based to this day. Following a merger with the former Halsey School two years previously, Cavendish opened new buildings to accommodate an extra 192 students.
In 1969 we became linked to Hatfield Polytechnic’s computer until we acquired our own microcomputer in 1978. Now we have computer networks across both sites, five dedicated ICT suites and computers in many classrooms!
The Drama department took a production of Pygmalion on tour in Germany in 1969. Over the years there have been band tours to a number of countries including Norway, Holland and Italy. Drama productions have been a regular feature since the first, "The Rocket Man" by Jenkins and Brinkworth in 1964.
The school’s sporting success dates back to 1965 when the Under 16 rugby team reached the final of the Welsh Sevens tournament. Our under 16 boys became National Basketball Champions in 1975 and the girls Under 19 team, two years later. Cavendish were All England Athletics Champions for four successive years between 1974-77. This success continues to this day as our weekly newsletters show.