The Upper School building was originally opened in 1933 as the “Markhams Chase Primary School”. At this time Laindon was a scattered rural community. Children came to the school from a large surrounding area.
It continued to serve the community until the building of the “Basildon New Town” caused a change to the intake area of the school. As the New Town reached Markhams Chase, hundreds of new families moved into the area and we became one of the largest schools in the town
The original Headteacher, Janet Duke, retired in 1964; this was when the current lower school building was opened as the Infant School. The schools were renamed Janet Duke Infant and Janet Duke Junior in recognition of the lifetime work and contribution that Miss Janet Duke had made to the school and community.
The Upper School building is traditional, being built of red brick with modern classrooms and the original hall. The lower school building is a more modern structure with large classrooms complete with cloakroom facilities. The school has a light, spacious hall that is used for assembly times, physical education lessons and as a dining hall.
The kitchen is an integral part of the school building. Meals are cooked here for the whole school.
There is a link corridor that was opened in April 2012 that joins the lower and upper school buildings allowing for free flow movement of pupils and staff across the school. This corridor is named ‘Willets Walk Way’ in recognition of Chris Willets, the school’s site manager, on his retirement after 19 years service to the school.