Object Of The Week : Y is for Yavneh College

Monday 16 November 2020

Whilst the Museum is closed and our collections unable to be seen by visitors, we have created a weekly virtual museum with an Object of the Week feature from our collections.

Object of the Week :  Y is for Yavneh College

Borehamwood’s only Jewish state school opened in 2006 on the site of the former Hillside School in Hillside Avenue.  It took seven years to get the project off the ground, and a further five years until a sixth form was opened.  The secondary school has a synagogue on site as well as sporting facilities and a large assembly hall.

In 2014, the Museum hosted a temporary exhibition commemorating 75 years of Hillside School, which had closed in 2000.  This was in conjunction with former Head Master Keith Newsome.  In our collection we have a variety of Hillside items such as log book, photographs, school production memorabilia and an LP of Hillside Band Music.

The school had a dramatic start.  It was due to open as a new centre for secondary education on 4th September 1939, but when War was declared on the previous day, the school’s governor’s followed instructions from the government and did not proceed with the opening.  The school fully opened on 20th November 1939; 81 years ago this week.  The school’s first days were eventful, not only due to Wartime measures, but also due to a large piece of plaster falling from the roof of the new Assembly Hall.

On October 21st 1940, the Log Book (see photo) records that the local gunfire and proximity of enemy planes prevented the dismissal of children until the All Clear was sounded at 1.15pm.  That same day, more disruption occurred when a second alert sounded at 1.45 and the All Clear at 3.45.  The Afternoon Session had to be cancelled and all children dismissed.

In the 1960s, the school witnessed a major change in the education system when the school leaving age rose from 14 to 16.  For this, the school needed a new building and in 1966 a ‘RoSLA’ (Rising of School Leaving Age) Unit was built on the front lawns.

If you went to Hillside School or Yavneh College and wish to share your memories with us, please do get in touch:

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