Scroll to content
Sunny Bank Primary School

Halfway HousesPrimary School

Change Language

History of our School


Our old school was built in 1910; it was opened to pupils on the 9th January 1911. 


There were 54 children on roll aged between 5-14 years old. 

School started at 9am and finished at 4pm. 

There have been many building additions to our school over the years, including a new hall, kitchen, conservatory, staffroom and offices. 

A new entrance to our school was opened in 1968, leading from Southdown Road. 

A bungalow had to be demolished to make way for the entrance.


Our old school buildings closed on 12th October 2016 and we moved to our new purpose built school in Danley Road Halfway on 31st October 2016.


(oldest events at the top)





1911-1917 Mr. Gardener.

1917-1924 Mr. Caryl.

1924-1931 Mr. Andrew.

1931-1938 Mr. Deuchars.

1938-1946 Mr. Hopkins.

1946-1963 Mr. Tombs.

1964-1990 Mr. Bourne.

1991-2009 Mr. Wetherell.

2009-2010 Mrs. Lawrence & Miss Crowe.

2010-2020 Mr. Driver.


2020- Mrs Fordyce. (Head of School)



Log Book

October 22nd 1915
Military looked over rooms to see if suitable for military hospital.

November 5th 1917
Week's holiday because of probable air-raids. During raids children kept in cellars.

November 12th 1918
World War 1 ended. Half day holiday given.

November 11th 1919
1st Anniversary of Armistice Day. School assembled at 11 am. Boys stood at the salute, girls stood with bowed heads and had 2 minutes silence.


November 10th 1924
On my first day I ( Mr. Andrew ) found 70 children being taught in one room.

January 16th 1925
Half day holiday for the opening of the first St. Peters Church.



Summer 1926
School garden started.

July 1st 1929
Holiday so children could see freeing of Kingsferry Bridge (abolition of tolls)



December 1st 1930
Children collected £1-15s-8d for Dr. Barnardo's, Our first collection.

June 11th 1934
The Inspector noted an undesirable age range in Class 2 from 8 to 14 years.

September 1935
All senior children transferred to Sheerness Central School (11 years and over ).



May 11th 1937
3 days holiday granted in honour of the Coronation of King George the VI and Queen Elizabeth.

September 1939 
World War 2 started. Children evacuated here from London.

September 1940 
Air raid shelters built.



April 5th 1941
A mine exploded a ¼ mile from the school. Many broken windows and cracked ceilings.

December 11th 1944
School canteen opened.



September 11th 1947
A new teacher starts at the school-Miss Madge Borner. She became the longest serving teacher at our school, she stayed at Halfway for 41 years!



September 13th 1949
3 new classrooms put into use. They are the horsa hut block.

100 children and 7 staff went to the Festival of Britain. Ordnance Survey arrow carved on the wall of the oldest building-Reception Classes.

June 2nd 1953
Coronation Day-Queen Elizabeth.321 beakers distributed.

Halfway school children visited the Houses of Parliament  just after the Coronation.



November 4th 1953
Cycle racks put in use.

October 18th 1955
By order of the Ministry of Health all organised games and exercises cancelled for 3 weeks, because of an out-break of poliomyelitis.



April 19th 1961 
Porch around Headmaster's room erected.

April 24th 1963
2 new classrooms taken into use.


May 28th 1963
Mr. Tombs died.

1965 and 1967
2 more portable classrooms added.


July 15th 1968
New school hall, kitchen and 2 classrooms were taken over.



July 22nd 1970
This was the end of the school as a 5 to 11 year old school.

September 8th 1970
School re-opens as a 5 to 9 year old school.



September 8th 1976
The new teaching block was taken into use today. Largest number on roll-660 children-19 classes-Headmaster and 20 staff.

Falling rolls. 7 teachers re-deployed.



Christmas 1984
The old school building is taken out of use. An oak tree was planted on the edge of the school field by Mayor Peter Morgan.

August 1994
New staffroom built.

September 1994
The school became Grant Maintained.



November 1998
An adventure playground was added. It was named " The Janice Monday Trail" after a retired teacher. It was donated by the Friends of Halfway School.



New conservatory added to the main block. The school designed and made a Millennium tapestry which went to the Millennium Dome in London.



The tapestry was returned and hung in the school hall.

July 2004
A large mosaic was designed made by children to hang on the wall near the main entrance.



August 2005
3 large horse chestnut trees were removed from the main entrance of the school to make way for a new footpath and fence to separate the road from the path and enclose the infant playground. Also the school kitchen was re-fitted.

November 2006
A complete crocodile skin was found in the loft of the old building-Reception classes.


The island schools were told they will be changing from a three tier system to a two tier system,over the next few years, to fall in line with other schools in Kent.

June 2008
The school took delivery of 2 new classrooms (mobile) set up on the school field.
It took just one day to put the mobile together and many children were able to watch the progress of the building work



July 23rd 2008
This was the end of the school as a 4 to 9 year old school.
Although we did not know it at the time, as the Schools Adjudicator was still making the decision after a late objection to the implementation from a three tier system to two tier system, this decision was made during the August summer holidays.

September 8th 2008
School re-opens as a 4 to 11 year old school.
The new mobile classrooms were taken into use today.



July 2009
Mr Wetherell retired after 18 years as headteacher at Halfway School.
Also Mrs Hold retired after 21 years working with the early years children.
We look forward to recieving our new classrooms for Year 6 during the summer break.

September 7th 2009
School re-opens as a 4 to 11 year old school (upto Year 6).
All the Middle Schools on Sheppey close, the whole island is now working on a two tier system.
Also the school has an advisory Headteacher for a short time.

March 2010
The year 6 pupils have a 5 day trip to France.



April 19th 2010
Miss Crowe takes over as acting Headteacher for 2 terms.
A new Headteacher has been appointed, Mr Ryan Driver, he begins his headship in September 2010.


July 23rd 2010
The last day of term saw a record number of staff leave after taking voluntary redundancy.
There were 5 teachers and 6 teaching assistants.
This was mainly due to the restructuring of the island schools system.
Miss Crowe the acting head,was one of the teachers moving on.


September 6th 2010
New term, new headteacher.
The school welcomes Mr. Ryan Driver.


January 10th 2011

The school celebrates its Centenary by holding a week of fun activities, covering the different eras 1911-2011, talking to past teachers/staff, dressing-up, writing down their memories of school so far, giving past pupils/staff a chance to visit the school on an "open" day, making "handprint" canvases, plus many other activities.



 Friday 10th June 2011

A whole school photograph was taken to mark the centenary of the school.


July 2011

Year 6 children wanted to leave the school with a lasting memory of their time at Halfway so they painted and decorated the courtyard area for KS1 children to use.



March 2012

Steve Brown an ex-pupil of Halfway Houses visited the school to help promote wheelchair rugby, he was the captain of the Great Britain team for the London Paralympics held in September 2012.



June 2012

The whole school celebrated the Queens Diamond Jubilee by dressing in red, white and blue, designing crowns and having a giant tea party on the school field. Teachers danced around a maypole and a 100 balloons were set off on a balloon race.



July 2012

One of the Olympic torches came to Halfway Houses School, Mr Garry Philpot, a governor at Halfway, ran with the torch during its journey to London. After the event he brought the torch into school so every child and adult could hold it. Garry also travelled to many other schools and work places raising money for charity on his visits



July 2013

Oyster catchers nested on the school roof, making lots of noise and causing chaos when the youngsters fell off the roof on to the playground. They were returned to the roof, sadly one chick died but the other survived and fledged with its parents at the start of the summer holidays.




This year sees the start of the planning stage for our new school building.

Consultations were held showing the design of our new school and what it will look like.



October 2015

Work begins on the new build.



February 2016

Ground breaking ceremony held on new site.



July 2016

The new building is coming along nicely.



8th October 2016

Halfway Houses was open to past pupils and staff to visit and say their 'goodbyes' to the old buildings.

Miss Borner who taught at the school for 34 years came to visit.

The famous crocodile made an appearance for the last time before going off to the Heritage Centre, along with numerous photographs, certificates, trophies and letters.



12th October 2016

Last day at Halfway Houses Primary School for pupils before moving to the newly built school in Danley Road.



31st October 2016

New school opens to pupils.


July 2017

New windows screening installed.



November 2017

Reception playground installed.



27th February-2nd March 2018

School closed for four days due to severe weather, snow, freezing rain and strong winds keeping temperatures down to -3.



Summer 2018

We now have a newly setup 'Forest Schools' area.

All pupils will have access to this site during the school day and hopefully as time progresses we will attract lots of varied wildlife.



20th March 2020

Friday 20th March 2020 saw all schools close across the country, except for key-worker children.

This was due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeping across the whole world, killing thousands.

This day was treated like the last day of primary school for the year 6's as we didn't know when the schools would re-open, an abrupt end to their school year.

The staff were put on a rota system, until further notice, and were only to attend when they were rotared on.



21st April 2020

Miss Madge Borner died, she was one of the oldest surviving ex-pupils (in her mid 90s) who started as a pupil at our school in 1932 and then became a teacher at Halfway from 1947-1988 - 41 years!! 

She was Halfway through and through a formidable lady.



15th June 2020

The school opens to year 5 children only, plus key worker children.

They work in 'bubbles' of about 8 children and 3 members of staff.

The children sit 2 metres apart and social distancing was observed.

Staggered lunches, play times and start/finish times.


July 2020

The school continues to open to more students, year 4 children were invited back and worked in 'bubbles' of 8, still social distancing.

More key worker children were also invited in and the groups have gone from 2 up to 3.

Giving us now 13 separate bubbles.

Some transition sessions for all of the children in school were arranged, to help allay any possible anxieties for September. 

Inviting the children in, half a class at a time, to spend some time with their previous teacher and then with their new teacher, each child had a 2 hour time slot in school in order to carry this out.


September 2020

Mr Ryan Driver steps down as Head Teacher of Halfway Houses and becomes Executive Headteacher for The Island Learning Trust, which covers 3 schools Halfway-Minster-Sunny Bank, while Mrs Lindsay Fordyce becomes Head of School at Halfway Houses.

The school is now open to all pupils but with social distancing rules and strict hygiene measures in place. 



Long ago if you were naughty at our school you may have got the cane. If so, your name would be written into a special punishment book along with your "crime" and the number of strokes you received.

Crime and strokes given 
Disobedience = 2
Laziness = 4
Talking = 1
Stealing = 3
Late = 1
Fighting = 5
Truanting = 6
Untruthfulness = 1
Bad Work = 1
Broke ruler = 4
Throwing stones = 6
Extreme rudeness = 4
Biting = 2
Bending leaves of books = 2
Inattention = 1
Nowadays the cane is not used.



Get in Touch

  • Halfway Houses Primary SchoolDanley Road, Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey,Kent, ME12 3AP

  • 01795 662875