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Our History

History of the School – a personal reflection

Roding Valley is 30 years old this September, having been established in September 1989. I have witnessed all those 30 years, 28 years as a full time teacher and the last two as a part time member of staff.

The history of the school , for me , falls into three parts , it’s start , it’s consolidation and it’s development into the outstanding school it is today.

The constants has always been that it has remained a community school serving primarily the communities of Loughton and Buckhurst Hill.

At its heart has always been the development of the full child and RVHS has always offered excellent extra curricula opportunities particularly in the fields of sport and drama.

The start of the school

Roding Valley was an amalgamation of three very different schools within our local community , the former Loughton County High School for Girls (a former grammar school for girls which had turned comprehensive) , Buckhurst Hill County High School for Boys (which had also turned from a grammar school into a single sex comprehensive school) and finally Epping Forest High School (a co-educational comprehensive school).

Three very different schools merged together over four different sites , interesting times. The job of pulling this altogether fell to our first head Mrs Manning.

The school has always been well served by its head teacher’s , Mrs Manning , Mr Wincot , Mr Taylor , Mr Mangan , Mr Banks , Mr Luck and now Mrs Jenner all seeking to push the school forward.

Higlights of the start

One highlight of the early days was the official opening on the 15th May 1991 by HRH The Princess Royal. She arrived on the area which is now our upgraded all weather surface by the sports hall and the entire 1,200 pupils were lined up for this special occasion.

Improving Our Facilities
A constant for me at Roding Valley has always been the wish to improve our facilities for the benefit of our pupils. Ever since the school opened in 1989 there has been constant improvements. The sports hall , the first all weather pitch , the Maths teaching area (which is still called the New Block) and very recently the Brook Building (opened by our local MP at the start of school year in 2018) and the second all weather playing surface on the other side of the railway line).

Extra Curricular Opportunities

Right from the start these opportunities have always been at the very heart of RVHS.
Drama and its many productions have always been of a very high standard with the benchmark being set by the very first school production in 1990 of the musical The Boy Friend performed in the former EFHS school hall at Homecroft Gardens. The school has had several former pupils go on to have successful careers in the performing arts.
Sporting opportunities and sporting excellence has also been at the very heart of RVHS and a stand out performance for me was the Year 9 boys becoming joint winners of the English Schools National Cup competition in 2004. At the present time RVHS has several ex students playing professional football ( I am aware of at least four).

Final Thoughts

Working at RVHS for its entire 30 year history has been an immense privilege (a feeling that I know is shared by many current and ex staff members).
The school has always strived to offer the best possible opportunities to all our pupils from within the local community.

The setting up of the sixth form three years ago has allowed us to now offer these same opportunities at post 16 and it has been great to see how this important development in the life of RVHS has flourished in the last three years.

The Roding Valley spirit for me is one of team work and seeking to obtain the very best from staff and pupils alike.

Here’s to the next 30 years.


Written by Stephen Murray