A To Z Index
Street Index
Message Board
Contact Us Donate to Us
Event Calendar
Fun & Games
Pubs & Clubs
Photo Gallery
Rishton Life
Web Utilities

Website Information

Whats newWhat's new?

Why not try the "Interactive Map" of Rishton, move your mouse over the map and click on the hotspots to open the page.

Search This Website

powered by FreeFind

Today in Rishton..

Current Weather

Rishton, England, United Kingdom Weather Forecast Provided by Weathercity.com

Latest News Headlines

Currently Unavailable

For more news on Rishton use this link

Website Visitors


(See the web stats page in the utilities section of the site for previous visitors)

Since February 2009 -

free counters

Class of 1990 school photograph here.

Class of 2004 School Leaving Year

1948 School Football Team

The school motto 'Here to Learn' refers not only to learning within academic subjects but also learning the skills needed to become responsible members of society. The school provides a caring, supportive environment for pupils of all abilities. They aim to ensure that pupils achieve their true potential and leave school with good qualifications and skills.

One of Norden's strengths lies in its good community links. The school has a dual usage agreement with Hyndburn Borough Council and the Youth Service. Youth groups use the school facilities three nights a week and the council puts on various sporting activities during evenings, weekends and holidays.

Norden is an 11-16 school with approximately 650 pupils on roll in each calendar year. The main intake of pupils now come from the Rishton and Great Harwood areas and as the school's popularity has increased and it is heavily over-subscribed.

Fom the air and Norden

1926 saw the Hadow report published. This report had sweeping changes for the education system, including moving all 11 year old pupils to some form of secondary school.

Plans for the new senior school were finally approved on the 15th February 1937.

On the 5th May 1938, It was resolved by the council that arrangements were to be made to rent land from the Dunkenhalgh Estate for sufficient land area for the erection of a county school. The allotment holders who were being displaced were to be accommodated for elsewhere.

The school was referred to as the "NEW SCHOOL" for many years after it opened, some people still refer to it this way now.

A letter was received by the Rishton Urban District Council on the 2nd February 1939, from the Rishton Trades and labour Council regarding the employment of local people on the new county school at Stourton Street. The clerk was instructed to write to the contractors requesting them to endeavour to carry out the promise made in August 1938, to employ as many local men as practicable. These were hard times for employment in the town, and work was sought after.

The school was opened in 1942 and was known as Rishton Secondary Modern School, catering for Rishton schoolchildren who did not pass the 11-plus examination. Later, children from Wilpshire, Mellor and surrounding villages were admitted. In 1961 the school amalgamated with Great Harwood Secondary Modern School to become Norden County Secondary School. The school operated on two sites until 1971 when the Rishton building, having had extensive building work, housed all pupils on one site. In August 1975, we became known as Norden County High School under the comprehensive system. The school is at the side of the Leeds/Liverpool canal in Rishton and looks out over the valley towards Great Harwood. Its name derives from the ward in which it is built.

In 1942 the senior Council school was finished, and opened by Sir James Aitken, who was the current Chairman of the Lancashire Education Committee. Along side him was County Councillor F. Worsley J. P., who was also the Chairman of the Rishton Urban District Council.

Norden about 1950.

It took until October 1971 for Norden to be officially opened. This was done by Lord Clitheroe.

The head master in 1942 was Mr. E. T. Hooper. The rateable value at the time of opening was set for  Lancashire County Council at Gross 460, Net 380.

In 1942, when the "New School" was opened, Captain C. B. Petre, who had left the Dunkenhalgh Manor in 1939, gave a sum of money to the school to create the Petre Prize Fund, and thus he may be regarded as the first patron of the school.

The Council resolved that the recommendation of the Allotments Sub-Committee, held on the 26th August 1943, be adopted:- "That the County Education Committee be requested to permit the taking off of the corner of the New Council School fencing to permit entry of vehicles to Goosey Butts Allotments."

Plans were submitted for a proposed School Central Kitchen and Boiler-house for the Lancashire County Council in Stourton Street, Rishton on the 8th June 1944. The Councils recommendations of the Town Planning Officer were accepted and that the plan were disapproved for the following reasons:-

The proposals were turned down, and new plans were submitted for central kitchens on Walmsley Street.

Complaints were received from residents from the sands estate on the 14th August 1952, regarding weeds alleged to have been blown from the grounds of the Modern Secondary School. The attention of the local County Councillor and the Divisional Education Committee be drawn to the nuisance caused by the weeds.

On the 18th September 1952, A letter was submitted from the Education Officer asking if the Council could arrange for the regular cutting of the weeds by members of the Highways staff. Due to labour difficulties, it was regrettable that no assistance could be given by the Council, but that it was hoped the Education Authorities would continue to keep the weeds to a minimum and, if possible, lay-out the land for its original intention, as a playing field.

In 1992 the school paid 40,000 for new floodlights to cover the tennis courts at the back of the school. This was part of a multi-thousand pound package to improve the school for community use.

In July 1996, YOUNGSTERS from Romania got a first-hand taste of what life was like in an East Lancashire school. A party of eight teenagers from Eastern Europe stayed with families in the Rishton area and spent several days at Norden High School. The visitors also visited tourist attractions across the North West including York and the Lake District. The Romanians were put in touch with Norden High School with the help of Blackburn Cyclists' Touring Club who travelled to the former Soviet Bloc country earlier in the year.  Norden teacher David Brayley-Willmetts helped to organise the visit. He said: "We wrote to all the families of pupils at the school explaining these children were coming and had nowhere to stay. "We had no problems finding places for these youngsters, the response was marvellous."1

The rear of Norden school in November 2001.

During April 1997 SEVEN schools in East Lancashire were the first in the county to achieve accredited status for the National Record of Achievement scheme. The schools had to pass a rigorous three-day visit by trained assessors who inspected documentation and talked to a wide range of people involved in the scheme.

The National Record of Achievement is designed to help people plan and manage their own learning and make the right decisions about personal career development. The scheme was opened to schools, colleges, training groups and employers. A total of 22 schools across Lancashire were presented with their awards in Chorley. They included Norden.

On the 25th October 1997, Norden and another Hyndburn school was given cash to help pay for 71 extra spaces for pupils in the borough. Lancashire County Council set aside 373,000 to fund the extra  classroom spaces earlier in the year.

Norden in July 2001.

Norden High looked set to get a new extension at the science block which would house two classrooms.

FIVE East Lancashire high schools were been awarded cash to help them link up with local sports clubs on Thursday 16 April 1998

The schools were among 113 in the North West to receive up to 1,000 each as part of more than 100,000 handed out by the English Sports Council's Challenge Fund.

Norden High School, Rishton, was to get help with its links with Blackburn Rugby Union Football Club and Blackburn and District Cyclists' Touring Club.

The Schools had to submit two action plans showing links the school had with local sports clubs and how those links were being promoted and developed.

English Sports Council regional director Sheldon Phillips said: "Encouraging young people to participate in organised sporting activities outside the school curriculum is the key to encouraging a lifelong interest and participation in sport."

The year 2002, September the 27th, saw Norden become the first school in the County of Lancashire to have its own police constable based on site. This was in part down to the Governments local beat initiative which was pouring millions of pounds into the country to try and get bobbies back on the beat. 31 year old PC Mark Skellorn was welcomed to his new post by the current head teacher, Denise Parkinson at the beginning of the school term.

Work was completed on the new astro turf playing fields by the end of April 2003. These were floodlit, like the tennis courts. This took Norden one step closer to being opened up for Community use. Hyndburn Borough Council put aside 10,000 from the 2004/5 Capital investment programme to fund floodlighting for the schools artificial playing pitch, A pitch which had cost in the region of 278,000 most of which had been raised by funding from other sources. A survey by the electric company, Transco, who run the Nation grid, in November 2003 of the new astro turf area revealed that the pylons running near to the pitch would not allow the use of metal netball posts or umbrellas. It was possible that the 400kv lines which ran over the top of one of the boundary fences could give micro shocks which were considered to be uncomfortable rather than harmful. 45 meters parallel to these were some lower voltage pylons run by United utilities.

Sadly, just 18 months later on the 21st January 2005, it was reported that the astro turf had been closed. The pitch had been classed as unsafe to use by pupils and public alike. The pitch had been classed as only 80% playable after heavy rains in early January 2005 had washed mud and debris across it. The school blamed the site of the pitch, saying that it was in a dip, but a drain was also blocked on Harwood Road, near to the astro pitch, which had caused the flooded to be worse than normal. The school had been told that it was a good location for an all weather pitch, which is true, as the all weather pitch had stood on the same location for over 20 years previously. The cost of repair to the pitch had been estimated in the region of 20,000 which was untaken. The pitch had been named the Paddy Field in memory of Mrs. Paddy Rouse, a former teacher at the school, who had died in April 2004.

Astro turf

They had also raised 1,250,000 towards the cost of the new sports hall, which work finally started on in January 2005. The Borough Council pointed out that if the facilities were opened during evenings and weekends then operational costs would be reduced.

Shortly after this it was announced that the school was to apply to become a specialist sports college. To be able to be granted funding for this the school was to have to raise 50,000 towards the costs to able other funding to become available, and events and fund raising were organised. There were 45,000 people a year making use of the existing sports faculties at this time, and this was expected to increase.

By the middle of February, this target had been achieved.

The school was set the challenge of raising the cash before the end of the month as part of its bid to achieve specialist Sports College status. Delighted head teacher Denise Parkinson said they would not have achieved their goal without the help of the Observer’s Hyndburn 600 Appeal, launched in November, which contributed 5,627 towards the final total. The appeal encouraged readers to give 50 to the cause. Those who did will get a special limited edition key ring and their names will be displayed on a roll of honour board in the school hall.

The remainder of the cash has come from a huge fund-raising campaign involving pupils, their parents and even their grandparents. The children carried out sponsored bag-packing at Asda Accrington, the Co-op in Great Harwood and Marks and Spencer’s in Lancaster, raising 1,000, and took part in several non-uniform days. The youngsters also paid 1 each to see the school close early for a day.

Mrs Parkinson said: “The pupils are now aware we have reached our target and they are quite excited. The fund-raising ideas that some of them have come up with have been fantastic.”

Staff at the school prepared the written bid, which had to be submitted to the Department for Education and Skills by 12 March 2004. Mrs Parkinson said: “Once the bid is in we have to wait to see if we are short-listed. If we are there will be an inspection of the school and then we will have to wait to find out if we have been successful.”

The school stood to gain 100,000 to build the special resource centre plus 126 per pupil for five years – additional funding of over 430,000. This would benefit the wider community as well as the school, with people being able to use the facilities in the evenings, weekends and holiday periods.

On the 1st July 2004, it was announced that Norden had achieved its Sports College Status.

Norden School in July 2001.

In June 2014, OFSTED, the Office for Standards in Education, said the school "required improvement", but by July 2016 The school was placed in special measures.

 Following the Ofsted inspection of the school in July 2016, the school became part of the United Learning trust of Academies. The school was rebranded as The Hyndburn Academy at the commencement of the September 2017 autumn term.

 Mr Tim Mitchell, the last  head master of Norden High School left for pastures new, and the school was amalgamated with Accringtons "Hyndburn Academy". Thus began a new chapter in our schools history.


Norden High School (County),

Stourton Street,



(01254 885378)


Brett Ormerod, the former Accrington Stanley, Blackpool, Southampton, Preston football player; actor Stephen Pinder (Max Farnham, Brookside).


Environment Agency

1951 Rishton on Record George A. Knowlson

Accrington Observer Archive

A Hyndburn Chronology by Paul Lanham

Lancashire Evening Telegraph, October 25th 1997.

Rishton Urban District Council Minutes, various years.

Rishton on Record, The Festival of Britain 1951.

The Lancashire Evening Telegraph on Friday 05 July 19961

Lancashire Evening Telegraph, first published Monday 11th Mar 2002.