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Week ending 14th December 2012

LETTER FROM THE HEAD Dear Parents With less than a week to go before the end of a busy and extremely productive term there is no let-up in the activity around the school. Lessons continue to have a drive and purpose as the staff aim to complete schemes of work before the end of term and a wealth of extra-curricular activities means that all the girls have numerous opportunities to take part in the Christmas celebrations. This includes a special event “CHS Has Talent” which takes place next week, where the four Houses will battle it out in front of a very large audience! Yesterday evening the annual Carol Service took place at the Parish Church in Sanderstead. It was lovely to see so many parents and friends of the school supporting our choirs as they led us in carol singing and performed some truly memorable choral music. It was a very special event and our thanks go to Mrs Cohen and Mrs Potts for their preparation of the girls who sang so beautifully. It was a delight to meet so many parents for mulled wine and mince pies after the service. This event is a key milestone in any school year and I am sure that the girls were really appreciative of the great support given by parents filling the church. On the Christmas theme I am looking forward to attending the Key Stage 2 Nativity production this evening. This is always a wonderful event and, after seeing the heights the Key Stage 1 girls reached with their production last week, I am confident that the performance will be truly memorable. Last Saturday’s Winter Fair, organised and so ably run by the PTA, was a great success. The main hall was suitably decked out in Christmas style while the range and variety of stalls kept everyone spending all afternoon long, no doubt searching for that last minute present. The addition of a huge inflatable Santa Claus and guest appearance from a few of his reindeer certainly made for a very special occasion and early indications are that a considerable sum of money was taken at the various craft stalls, funfair activities and in the food court. As always my thanks to the PTA for all the work they do to support the Croydon High community and for all the money they raise to enhance the educational experience for our girls. Last year their fund raising went towards the purchase of a new grand piano which is now happily residing in the music room; this year I will be submitting plans to the PTA for a range of projects which they can support. Talking of fund raising I was thrilled to hear that the Sixth Form Fashion Show in November raised an absolutely outstanding total of £16,658.55 for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Trust – huge congratulations to the entire Sixth Form for this record breaking achievement! Can I remind parents in the Senior School that end of term reports and levels are being delivered electronically via the SIMS Learning Gateway. Mr Pickering, my Assistant Head, has written to all parents via SchoolComms providing details of how to access the system and giving each parent their unique Username and Password. If you haven’t accessed the system yet can I encourage you to do so – this will enable you to view your daughter’s report when it is released next Wednesday. For Year 11 their mock examinations are starting after the Christmas break and, whilst wishing them to have a rest over the next couple of weeks, I hope that they spend some of their time preparing for them. These exams always form an important part of the GCSE courses and, with a determined effort on their part, are really useful in preparing girls for the summer examination season. As in most things in life the secret lies in achieving a balance! As the Christmas holiday begins work continues in school. We will be working to complete the Learning Resource Centre in the Junior School, installing new windows in rooms 17, 21 to 24, Labs 32 and 33 together with the adjoining prep room as well as continuing with construction of the new garage to house the school minibus and car. May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and I look forward to welcoming our girls back to school on th Tuesday 8 January 2013. Yours sincerely

D Leonard


On Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th of December Key Stage One and Early Years performed their Nativity Play called ‘Born in a Barn’! The girls had been practising their play for the last few weeks and were eager to show everyone their show. During each performance the girls acted to a packed out hall and showed everyone how hard they had worked. The story of Jesus’ birth was told by the animals that lived in the barn which were mainly played by Year Two. As the story unfolded the glittering angels, played by Reception, led Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem where Baby Jesus was born. Finally the Year One shepherds and sheep came to see the new born baby, followed by the flamboyant camels and Kings. Each performance received a rapturous applause and everyone appeared to enjoy themselves. Afterwards the parents and visitors helped themselves to mulled wine and mince pies. Thank you to everyone who came to support the shows and may we wish you a very happy holiday. Merry Christmas!


After their exciting visit from the fairies last week, Reception girls were thrilled to receive letters from Father Christmas this week. It seems they have been good all year – including Miss Brown and Mrs Garrard!


This has been the busiest ever Model United Nations season, and on Monday we travelled to Benenden School (the Princess Royal's alma mater) in deepest Kent for our third conference, after Reigate in September and Latymer last month. A slightly longer journey than expected meant we arrived in time just to catch the end of the opening ceremony but the Croydon High delegations were quickly into the thick of the action. As often seems to be the case, we represented three less well known nations, Moldova, the UAE and Vanuatu (the pronunciation of our own country's name was the first test to pass), debating a variety of topics of pressing global concern. The day flew past and before very long at all, we were back in the minibus, negotiating the maze of country lanes and so called A roads which seem to be the only way to and from the school. We now look forward to our next conference at the City of London School in March.


The Year 8s went to the Harry Potter studios in Watford on the 5 December. The girls had a magical time; they were able to look at the different sets and props used in the Harry Potter films and drafted ideas for their scripts which we will be building on in form time and in Drama. The girls behaved impeccably and it was a great day out.

CHRISTMAS CAROL by Gabriella Forzani

A Christmas Carol first started coming together in early September. With a new drama teacher just arrived and a new play raising its head, the Drama department was starting to get into full swing as we began back at school. Auditions began, parts were allocated and rehearsal schedules started to come in thick and fast. Rehearsals started to get underway as the days drew closer to the production date. I was struck by the efficiency and drive of the girls in rehearsals. They were always willing to help and never fearful to get involved. The girls put on a tremendous show thanks to their effort and hard work. When working on a school production you really can see how close the girls at CHS are and how we respect, support and look up to one another. It was wonderful to work and create with everyone involved. The backstage and lighting crew deserve a huge thank you from the entire cast. Without them the show would not have been what it was. Thanks to the crew for their patience and putting up with the cast! We wish Mrs Webb success and luck with future work she produces at Croydon High School, and we wish you and your family a very merry Christmas.


This study day was specifically designed to guide students towards success in the A2 course in English Literature. Two of the sessions were led by Stella Canwell, a chief examiner for 26 years, who analysed a range of sonnets from different literary periods and gave the students some useful tips on how to organise answers. Dr Simon Avery and Nick Hutchison presented love in novels and in Shakespeare; the latter speaker also provided some entertaining insights into the dramatisation of texts. [He was delighted when a student called Romeo volunteered to read out a speech for the more famous Romeo.] The highlight of the day was the arrival of Jeanette Winterson [author of Oranges are not the only Fruit who was recently awarded the OBE for services to literature]. Her witty talk and advice were much appreciated as were her goodhumoured answers to questions. Needless to say, the CHS students were attentive throughout and benefited from the course.

Amnesty International at CHS supports YOUNG WOMEN FOR CHANGE

YWC is a group of young Afghans who want to improve the lives of women across their country by giving women and girls the confidence to fight for their rights. Our girls have been decorating posters with messages of support for these courageous women. They have participated in the ‘Write for Rights’ campaign held in the LRC, asking our own government to encourage the Government of Afghanistan to speak out publically about the importance of women’s rights. In addition, girls have splashed out on sweets ‘n treats to raise money for this worthy cause.


Over the last two days Year 11 Art students have been busy in their ten hour mock exam. The title this year was ‘Ordinary and/or Extraordinary’ and they have worked extremely hard over the last twelve weeks preparing for this and we are enormously proud of them. The work is exciting and ambitious and students have explored a variety of materials including oil painting, sculpture, clay, lino printing, textiles, felt-making, photoshop, and mixed media pieces. All of this work will go towards their coursework mark which is worth 60% of their overall grade.


The 3D design mock exam this week has seen some exciting and innovative designs brought to life. Girls have worked with a diverse range of materials and processes including pewter casting, ceramics, copper beating, resin casting and wood to create a wide range of products. This year saw the girls make a selection of furniture, lights, bowls and storage solutions in response to the title ‘Structures’.


We would appreciate it if you could telephone the school early in the morning if your daughter is going to be absent or late. This helps us to account for all pupils and prevents concern over the whereabouts and safety of girls who are not at registration. If your daughter is attending a pre-arranged appointment, a note to her form tutor a day or two beforehand is very helpful, so the register can be amended in advance. A message can easily be left by dialling the school’s number 0208 650 7500 and listening for the absence line option. Messages are picked up by the school nurse and the register amended; an absence note will be required when she returns to school. The majority of families are already following this policy, and we very much appreciate your continued co-operation and support.

LRC: EARLY CLOSING ON WED 19 DECEMBER The LRC will close at 4.00pm on Wednesday 19th November. May you have a joyful Christmas with time for relaxed reading.


If you’d walked past the school last Saturday, you couldn’t have helped but notice there was something going on. The 20 foot Santa, the funfair and the two reindeer in the staff car park would have been a bit of a clue! This Winter Fair was the biggest yet, featuring over 70 professional traders. Our students, parents and staff provided food, games, a nail bar and an angelic soundtrack. Well done to Seacole which donated the most items AND sold the most raffle tickets. Thank you to everyone who cleared cupboards or bought or sold tickets. The top prize, the iPad Mini, went to the Williams family (Bethany, Y 4). There are a raft of local businesses to thank including Farleigh Golf Club, Advanced Print (Coulsdon), Lightzone (Steve Maher, 3M), Lorimers, Croydon Tool Hire and Starbucks. It took 400 hours of planning and a team of volunteers to raise around £6,000 which will be put towards a range of good causes around the school to benefit a large number of students. If you can help with events in 2013 please talk to your Class Rep soon. For more pictures go to The PTA Committee

The House competition for selling raffle tickets was so close - just two tickets between the winner and 2nd place: 1. Seacole 475 2. Garrett 473 3. Curie 405 4. Eliot 356 Thanks to everyone who bought and sold tickets. The proceeds will make a real difference around the school.


Little Ivy’s Baby and Toddler group enjoyed a Christmas treat on their last meeting of the year, with a visit to our Nursery to see the girls’ Nativity performance. It was wonderful and much enjoyed by one and all – especially by some of the Little Ivy’s ‘tots’ who tried desperately to get in on the action ( …one little boy in the audience decided to let himself in to the Inn – he didn’t care that there was no room!). The Nursery girls were full of energy, singing and dancing and it was a welcome chance for them to practise before the big show to their parents on Wednesday. After the Nativity, the Little Ivy’s group enjoyed party food, music and games as well as some craft, making Christmas photo calendars to take home. Little Ivy’s has gone from strength to strength this year and the regular group of mums and carers who come along every Thursday have been so appreciative of everything on offer. Big thanks to Jackie Sanders and gappy Katie for all the hard work they put in every week – and to all the teachers, (especially Mrs Lovering) who give up their free time to come and support it.

HEAD LICE (again)

We have had one or two reports of head lice occurring in senior school pupils; please check your daughter’s head now, and on a regular basis. There is no need for an affected girl to stay away from school once treatment has started. Thank you for your co-operation. H Winter

Please note that school will be finishing early at 2.45pm on the last day of term, 19th December 2012.

SPORTS RESULTS SPORT EVENT AGE GROUP Netball vs Riddlesdown Year 11B Year 10B vs St Dunstans Senior A Senior B


Congratulations to Natalie Haden-Scott who has been awarded the Surrey County LTA Jean Thirwall Cup for Endeavour plus the LTA Surrey County Colours for hard work and commitment to Tennis.

RESULT Won 17-16 Lost 9-7 Won 23-14 Lost 15-9


Flora and Freya McEwan (Year 7) have been selected for the Under 13 County Age Group & Development Cricket winter-training squad starting in January. Finty McEwan (Year 4) has been picked for the U11 Cricket County Age Group and Development Squad!

Flora has also been asked by the LTA South East Talent Team to attend a Regional Training Camp!


Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson -Jade’s best friend, Vicky, dies in a car accident – and Jade wonders if it is her fault. Jade feels bereft until her friend’s ‘angel’ appears in very unangel-like guise; she is as bubbly, funny, manipulative and selfish as she was on earth. Jade struggles with new feelings – despite her affection for her friend, she realizes that she needs to be her own person. Wilson tackles the issues of loss, grief and guilt in a sensitive and even humorous way. A good read for 11-14 year olds.

The CHS Community Book Club have chosen to read one of a selection of Bill Bryson’s humorous travelogues. We meet again on Wednesday 16th January. The 6th Form B&B Club has chosen Donna Tartt’s The Secret History for their holiday reading.

CROYDON HIGH SCHOOL Old Farleigh Road, Selsdon, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 8YB Tel: 020 8260 7500 Fax: 020 8260 7461 E-mail:

Newsletter 14th December  

Weekly Newsletter: 14th December 2012