A school built on values -

Our history, a name change

and a new House System.


Our school has a most unique and fascinating history. On Wednesday 24th March 1943 at 10.40am, a Spitfire of No. 64 Squadron piloted by an American volunteer serving with the R.A.F., Flying Officer Raimund Sanders Draper, developed engine trouble shortly after take-off. What actually happened will never be known for sure but those present believe that he intended passing to the left of the school in an attempt to land on the open ground beyond. Realising that with reduced power he could possibly hit the school, he deliberately put the nose of the Spitfire down in the playing field, whereupon it bounced up onto the gravel drive and came to rest against the wall and windows of the two end classrooms. The noise was tremendous but mercifully the high octane fuel did not ignite and only one boy, Dick Barton aged 13, was injured. An R.A.F. crash tender smashed its way clean through the wooden boundary fence but Sanders Draper was dead in his cockpit.

The boys were assembled in the School Hall by Mr. Ward, the Deputy Headmaster, where he told them the sad news. After the dinner break, schooling resumed as normal. We are forever grateful to Raimund Sanders Draper for the sacrifice he made

Name change - Sanders Draper

For reasons unknown to me, my predecessor made the decision to change the name of our school to Sanders School. I feel that this was most disrespectful to the memory of Raimund Sanders Draper and the ultimate sacrifice he made. We should not only be immensely proud of our history, but look to build our school ethos around this. As a result, we are looking to change the name of the school back to its previous and correct name of ‘Sanders Draper’. The trust and I am keen to celebrate the rich history of the school and that of the local area. As part of this we are also launching a new house system which will be based on and around the rich history of the local area, information on this can be found below.

Since taking over at Sanders, it has been both my own and the Success for All Education Trust’s focus and priority on improving the education experiences of our students. I feel that this change is an important step in linking the school to its wonderful history.

We would have ideally liked to have had the name changed in place for September 2020 to welcome our new Year 7’s. However, given the current national situation and impact of the Coronavirius, we have for the time being, paused on the name change although are pressing forward with our new house system; it is our intention to change the name back for Sept 2021.

Sanders Draper name change letter

House system

It is our intention to honour Raimund Sander Draper by changing the school name back to Sanders Draper for September 2021. The work around this is continuing. Fittingly on VE day (8th May 2020), we publicly communicated our intention to honour, remember and celebrate many other local Havering Heroes of WW2 through our house system.

We will be introducing 5 'Houses' across the school from September 2020, each student at Sanders will be a member of a 'House'; a team and community within Sanders. We aim to further recognise the teamwork, hard work and efforts of the many incredible local heroes by having them as our 'House Heroes'. Each House's Hero will epitomises our school values.

We shared via our social media @sandersschool (Facebook) and @SchoolSanders (twitter) snippets and facts of the Heroes. Our students have been completing work around this in school and as part of their distance learning activities and will recognise many of the names we will share. After sharing all of the Heroes we put the vote to students, staff, families and the extended community, as an opportunity to have a say as to who will be recognised within our school House System and the creation of our five houses.

We would like to pay homage to Hornchurch Aerodrome Historical Trust https://www.rafhornchurch.com for their support and wealth of knowledge. We very much look forward to continuing our work with them and within our community.