Howard is a Community School of 330 pupils whose ages range from 4 - 11 years, maintained by Croydon Council. The main school building was completed in 1897, and was formally opened on the 25th of April 1898. It is, therefore, one of the oldest school buildings still in use in Croydon. The school was originally called The Dering Place Board School and was made up of two separate departments, one for infants and the other for children above infant age. These departments were amalgamated in 1924 and in September 1930 the school name was altered to "The Howard" when it became an Infant and Junior Mixed School under the direction of Croydon Council.
The school is named after Lord Howard of Effingham (1536 -1624) who once owned the land on which the school is built. Howard was Lord High Admiral to Queen Elizabeth I during the time of the Spanish Armada which explains why the school emblem is an Elizabethan Man of War under full sail. The Latin word Paratus on which the badge sits, stands for `reaching for excellence'.
The school hall and administration block were added in 1937 and during the Second World War served as a fire station. From 1951 - 1975, the Infant Department was housed in a large house on the site of No 5, Nottingham Road, but when the building was condemned as unsafe, the Infant Department was moved back into the main building. The house was demolished and the area now serves as our car park.
Today, the school consists of the main building and the old Cookery and Laundry which houses the Reception class. There are three hard core playground areas, one of which is fenced off as a safe area for the Reception children. We have a large grassed field, a small environmental site which has recently been developed by the Parents' Association (now known as Friends of Howard), and a group of volunteers, a trim trail and in 2009 we completed an allotment area where the pupils grow vegetables that are eaten in school.
At the beginning of June 2002 a new three storey block was completed comprising of two classrooms (which replaced our demountable huts) and an ICT suite. The school is continually looking for ways of developing the school environment and 2006 saw a total refurbishment of all the toilets with the addition of two extra rooms, one being a meeting room and the other an Art room on mezzanine levels. In addition we converted a stock room into a teachers’ work area.
Access to the school site is possible by the gates in Dering Place, however, all visitors should first report to the main office. Since September 2004 our nursery building has been leased by a charitable pre-school called Mulberry Bush at Howard. They offer breakfast and afternoon clubs to our pupils.
The school embraces its historical past and works hard to maintain its Victorian exterior. However, we are continually looking for ways of developing both its environment and curriculum.
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