The school was built in the grounds of Throapham Manor, and was opened by Sir Percy Jackson (chair of the West Riding Local Education Authority) in 1935 as Dinnington Senior Boys’ School and Dinnington Senior Girls’ School. It consisted of a single timber building divided into girls’ and boys’ departments. In 1938 the building was extended and a separate gymnasium added.
In 1957 the two halves merged to form the coeducational Dinnington Secondary Modern School, and at that point there were already plans for a further merger with the secondary technical element of the neighbouring Dinnington Chelmsford Technical College to create the area’s first comprehensive school.
This comprehensive school, Dinnington High School, opened on 23 September 1963. The area between the two merging establishments was developed with a new campus designed by Hardy Glover of Basil Spence & Partners. This campus consisted of four house bases and a sixth form college, along with a new main hall and a second gym. The four houses took their names and badges from historical local land-owning families, and were as follows:
Athorpe: owners of Dinnington Hall. The Athorpe badge was a falcon on a yellow background.
Hatfield: land-owners in Laughton-en-le-Morthen in the 17th century. The Hatfield badge was a white rose on a green background.and its on the school uniform
Osborne: the family name of the Duke of Leeds who had property in Kiveton Park. The Osborne badge was a tiger on a blue background.
Segrave: after the de Segrave family who owned much of the local area in the 16th century. The Segrave badge was a lion on a red background.
The School is credited with the introduction of Rugby Union Football to the local area and in turn to the establishment of Dinnington Rugby Club which has produced players for the county and for Senior clubs such as Rotherham, Harlequins and Northampton.
The campus continued to be extended following the merger, with the addition technology block, sports hall, new sixth form base and library in the 1970s and 1980s.
The school came under the control of the new Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in 1974 and was renamed Dinnington Comprehensive School.
On 20 August 1996 the original 1935 school building (which still made up close to half of the teaching campus) was set alight by arsonists; the latest in a succession of arson attacks on the school. The fire destroyed the building and took with it student course-work and several computer rooms. House-bases were re-fitted into classrooms and this led to the eventual phasing out of the house system at Dinnington, which had existed in various forms even during the pre-merger days.
In 1997 a new school building was opened, standing on the site of the burnt-out original. The brick-built two-storey building also allowed a long-standing “ghetto” of 1960s-built portable classrooms (known as the Terrapin Plateau) to finally be retired. Several other ageing prefab buildings on campus have been demolished in recent years.