End of Term 80th Anniversary concert


This year's end of Autumn Term concert was held on Friday 14th December at Hartley Hall.  The songs and readings shared the common theme of Goodwyn: 1938 to Present Day to celebrate 80 years of Goodwyn School.

Concert Programme



Nathan Freeman / Sara James-Khan



Opening of Goodwyn School 1938

Rahul Joshi / Gemma Tyler



Evacuation to Bangor

Orli Levine / Eva Magalov




Charles Joseph / Lucie Seifert



Move to Hammers Lane

Eva Leslie / James Maranzana



Signature Book

Max Crossick / Talia Suissa

GOODWYN SONG (Circa 1940)


Parry Changes

Aryaa Mehta / Raffi Michaels



Robertson arrival

Emilia Chapper / Ava Lesnick



Linking the buildings

Joshua Braham / Raphael Cohen



The Eighties

Ruby Sorsky / Eddie Waxman



Pre-Prep to Prep

Nathan Freeman / Sara James-Khan




S. Robertson




Readings telling the story of Goodwyn

There was a small School in Goodwyn Avenue called Mill Hill High School for Girls and Boys. It had previously been called Langley Park School for Girls.  In September 1938 it had new owners who changed the name to Goodwyn School.  Autumn Term started with twenty six pupils on the roll.  Mrs Parry and Mrs Kirkham formed a partnership, which very soon saw Mrs Kirkham leave due to ill health.

Subsequently Mrs Parry took full control in October 1938.  A diary entry “Mrs Kirkham was bitterly disappointed”.

Mrs Parry, who was welsh, had previously taught at North London Collegiate, and the Head Mistress Miss Drummand is often mentioned in the diary, and visited Goodwyn before it opened.

Shortly after term began, there are diary entries on 26th, 27th, and 28th September saying ...”War Clouds.” Plans were being made to transfer the school to Bangor in North Wales, and parents had been contacted for their opinion.  The school was closed for two days, but opened again as the diary tells us that the War Clouds were lifting.

War was inevitable, and the First Edition of the School Magazine in March 1940 tells how the sun was shining in Mill Hill as boxes were packed into two cars ready to go to Bangor. 

Mrs Parry was a long-time friend of Lady Roberts who owned a large house called Plas Gwyn.  Goodwyn School occupied two very large rooms which had been cleared of the grand furniture and fine china, and was now equipped with desks and blackboard lent by Bangor University.  The view from the window was of the Menai Straits and the Island of Angelsey.  Perhaps most imposing of all was the freshly painted green board nailed on the front gate with Goodwyn School in bold white letters.

Everyone was pleased when Goodwyn School returned to Mill Hill. Some pupils had moved out of London and there were 23 pupils for the Spring Term 1940.  Mr & Mrs Parry had moved from Harrow and they now lived next door to the school.  Which was fortuitous as the pipes in the school had frozen, and there was considerable work to be done. 

The school moved in with Mr and Mrs Parry.

From Plas Gwyn to the Gables, and then back into the school, where an Air Raid shelter had been constructed in the old Kindergarten room.  It had an asbestos roof and window shutters made of thick wood.  With fourteen posts supporting the roof.

In among the archives there is a signature book. Not an autograph book.  But one which pupils who had done something wrong had to sign along with what they had done wrong.  It dates from the early 1940’s.

There are the usual reasons, such as talking after the bell; not having names in uniform; not having books out.

There were also some which we would not see now: asking to go to the toilet in lesson time; not bringing a serviette; leaving my apron at home; not having gargled; for wasting bread; I must have a pinafore for dinner; for disbehaving in class...we know how to misbehave, but not sure how to disbehave.

The school grew in numbers, but remained predominantly girls. In 1946 there were seventy seven pupils, with only nine boys.  The small house in Goodwyn Avenue was no longer large enough.  It was expected that St Gabriel’s would be returning to their former premises in Flower Lane, it having been occupied by the Army during the war.  Thus leaving Erlsmere in Hammers Lane empty. 

The building had a long educational background.  Used by Mill Hill School, then Erlsmere School was founded in 1910.

The move was announced by Mrs Parry at the Christmas concert, and a very busy holiday began.  Goodwyn began the Spring Term in Erlsmere on 16th January, 1946.  In no time 20 Goodwyn Avenue became just a very fond memory. It had done its duty nobly during the difficult war years.

After the war Mr E Parry, who had served in the Army during the war, and was a Captain who had been awarded the Military Cross, came to help at Goodwyn. He taught woodwork, as well as helping in the running of the school.

At some time the Parry’s daughter Eryl joined Mrs Parry.  The school was run by mother and daughter.  In the early sixties Mrs Parry purchased Haslemere, and used the ground floor for the younger children. 

At this stage there were not many three year olds being admitted.  By now Mrs Parry was in her eighties, and her daughter was going to move to Wales as her husband had changed jobs.

This left Mrs Parry no option but to look for new owners for Goodwyn School, which had a pupil roll of 130.

The sale was for Goodwyn School. Mrs Parry was going to remain in Haslemere.  It was at this time Mr and Mrs E.A.E. Robertson were looking for a move from boarding school to day school.  They made the move during the summer of 1964.  Goodwyn opened for the Autumn Term of that year with new owners.  Living in Erlsmere with their two sons.

It seemed whenever they made changes Mrs Parry would just happen to see from her window, and it was not uncommon for the phone to ring, and a voice would say something like, “I wouldn’t do that”.  Nevertheless Goodwyn continued to grow in numbers and it wasn’t long before more space was required.  By now Mrs Parry was ready for a move back to North Wales, and Haslemere came onto the market.  In 1968 Goodwyn once again had the two buildings.

In late 1969 Mrs D Robertson became seriously ill and passed away in early 1970. As an interim measure Mr Struan Robertson came to help, and has remained ever since.  The wild sixties passed and the calmer 70’s provided some interesting advances.

At Goodwyn an attempt to rebuild the prefabricated hut in the playground was turned down by the planners, but they suggested joining the two properties together.  So in 1975 extensive work was carried out to do just that.  As a consequence, the playground was now much bigger, and no longer was there a separate boys and girls area.

The 80’s saw changes throughout the world, but at Goodwyn there were some sadness over changes:

The death of Mr Robertson, known as ‘Sir’ by the children.  The retirement of Miss Fraser who had been at Goodwyn since 1942 and was the last member of staff from the Parry era. 

Lastly it was in 1985 the last two Prep Children left and Goodwyn became a Pre-Prep School.

The 90’s was the decade of huge renovations and reorganisation of space.  Two very big projects.  The first of which saw Goodwyn move for a week off-site to Badgers Croft, and outings.

Having been a Pre-Prep school for twelve years it was established there was a need among existing families for Goodwyn to go up to eleven once again. In September 1997, a mix of Goodwyn children and some new arrivals began our journey back.  It took four years before we had eleven plus results.

For that time the children of our new Key Stage Two class remained the eldest in the School.  By the arrival of the Millennium, Prep were back in action and we have not looked back.

Goodwyn was back to where it began and felt pleased to have the older children in its building once again.

Since September 1938 there have been approximately Three Thousand Eight Hundred attend Goodwyn. Which includes the two hundred on the present roll.  One wonders where they are and what they have achieved.  Some we do know about as fifteen percent of the roll have a parent who are an Old Goodwynian.

There are many memories held within the walls of the School, and when past pupils return they come flooding back.  A few years ago Mrs Parry’s daughter returned for the first time.  Whilst she accepted changes had to be made she was very pleased to recognise many of the original features where still in place.

A part of Goodwyn remains in all Old Goodwynian hearts.  I am sure all of the children presently at Goodwyn will feel the same in the future.









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