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Week ending 8th March 2013

LETTER FROM THE HEAD Dear Parents This week has been so busy with such a lot of activity around and beyond the school that it is difficult to know where to start. In fact I don’t know if it would have been possible to fit any more in to the time available! It was good to talk to so many of the parents of Year 8 girls at their Parents’ Evening on Tuesday. It is clear that this year group has gone from strength to strength over the last 12 months and that their academic progress is placing them in an excellent position for the coming years of exam preparation. It was lovely to receive so many positive comments from parents regarding their daughters’ happiness since entering the school, as this positive spirit of cooperation between staff and girls is exactly what we seek to foster at the school. This positive and warm spirit was seen again on Wednesday evening at the Careers seminar event organised by Mrs Gower. There was a great turn out of girls and parents from a range of year groups to come and hear presentations from, and ask questions of, a wide selection of careers from medicine to media, banking to biological research and everything in between so it seemed! The purpose of the evening was for girls to investigate career areas that they may not have thought about or even heard about, as well as finding out more about careers they may have firmly in mind. A major highlight for me was the way in which the girls helped with the organisation of the event, looking after our guests, directing people to the right locations and generally being as helpful and cheerful as anyone would ever want. They were an absolute credit to the school. The Year 12 and 13 mocks are taking place this week and the results of these will be really useful in diagnosing what actions need to be taken by girls over the coming weeks to maximise their performance in the summer. I look forward to seeing many th parents of our Sixth Form at their Parents’ Evening on Tuesday 19 March. We received results from public examinations taken in January and it was good to see so much progress being made by girls as they proceed through their A Level studies – I trust that this will continue and that we will be celebrating with the girls as they receive excellent results in the summer. The school was awash with visitors on Wednesday as we hosted a major GDST sports rally with gym, netball and cross country competitions throughout the day. Teams from far and wide travelled to the school and the day was marked by a spirit of friendly competition. The day went very smoothly, with both staff and girls helping to ensure that any last minute glitches were ironed out quickly and effectively. Well done to all who were involved in this major event in the GDST calendar. th

As part of the GDST’s 140 anniversary celebrations a number of girls have been busy polishing their spelling (albeit in foreign languages!) in order to compete in the GDST Spelling Bee. As you know from a previous newsletter, several of our teams progressed from the regional heats to the national finals, which were held at Howell’s School, Cardiff on Monday of this week. Yet again the girls did Croydon proud winning and being placed in a number of the different categories. This is real testament to the depth and quality of modern foreign language teaching in the school and, yet again, gives us a clear indication of the talent th that our girls possess in so many areas. Victory for our Year 10 debating team against 6 Form opposition in the local Rotary debating competition also amply demonstrates this point and reminds me why I am proud to be Headteacher of this great school. That is not to say that we don’t know how to have fun, as the Junior School’s sleepover this week illustrates, as well as the staff preparing for Red Nose Day next week with a special film being created for the girls to view (I will say no more!). Yours sincerely

D Leonard

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

JUNIOR SCHOOL WW2 WORKSHOP FOR YEAR 6 by Kate Ferguson, Siobhan Chou and Valarie Moro

On Thursday 28th February Mr Ian Roberts visited Year 6 to conduct another exciting workshop on World War 2. He brought many things to show us about life in the war as an evacuee including an Anderson shelter, toys that they used to play with and examples of foods that were rationed (and the quantities you were allowed which was not very much!) He also had a dummy person to show us how to put on a gas mask and how to transport injured people on a stretcher. Did you know you should bend from the knees and support your back with your free hand? We also tried to put out a fire with a stirrup pump. Another one of our many activities was to put out a bomb with sand, using the right equipment, whilst keeping safe at the same time. As we were all dressed as evacuees, Mr Roberts pretended to be our teacher taking us to be safe in Hastings. He also acted as a police officer and a German spy!!!! While we were doing the stirrup pump activity, he asked us questions like “What is the name of the bus that runs along this road?” Some of us gave him the answers but some of us were suspicious. After that, we had to remember as much information as possible about the ‘spy’ and describe him as well as we could.


A HUGE thank you to all the girls and parents who supported the Book Fair in the Junior School. It is always a popular event and was a great success yet again. We have received books to the value of £400 as commission which will benefit us all in the Junior School. Thank you to the great spenders!


The girls in the Junior School all came back to school in the evening on Wednesday this week for the Reading Night as part of our World Book Day celebrations. They were so excited and the school was awash with shades of pink! Year groups gathered in their classrooms or shared areas, whilst some classes made use of the Discovery Zone. They all settled down for the evening with their favourite books to read, or to share with their friends, or to listen to stories. The classes took turns to go down to Ivy Club for a delicious cup of hot chocolate which kept them going for the rest of the evening. This was a hugely popular event and will help to foster a love of reading which will last a lifetime. Thank you to all the teachers for their hard work in making such a successful evening.


The following day was World Book Day. This is a hugely popular event in our school now. To celebrate this worldwide event, the girls, and some of the staff, all came to school dressed up as a character from one of their favourite books. The girls looked amazing and parents have worked so hard to produce some incredible and creative costumes! – Thank you one and all.


The U11s have again had another very busy week of netball. Since Friday of last week, the girls have played two netball league matches, the Croydon Schools Netball tournament and the Trust Schools Netball Tournament. We had two convincing wins in our league matches against Courtwood School and Atwood School. Players of the match: Marney Ross-Johnson against Courtwood and Oluwaseyiunmi Ogunyemi against Atwood. At the Croydon Schools Netball Tournament, we were lucky enough to enter an A and B team. The B team displayed good team spirit and some lovely court play. The A team played brilliantly. They showed good attacking skills and they were able to convert many goals. We were strong in defence preventing many schools from scoring and turning over the ball. We showed versatility in our play, and many of us played in different positions. Player of the tournament in the B team was Esha Parekh and in the A team was Georgie Gill. On Wednesday, we were the host school for the U11 Trust Netball. The girls arrived with confidence and were ready to play. We showed some excellent court play in attack and when we were all focussed and concentrating as a team we were able to turn over the ball many times. Unfortunately, we were unable to convert all of our chances. The girls have come such a long way in a very short period of time. I have seen them play their best netball. I am so very proud of how they have played and coped with playing a lot of netball over the last few days. They are really starting to work as a team and everyone has showed improvements in their own personal skill and ability, from shooting technique, to passing of the ball, to defending. I really hope that the girls are inspired by their performances and continue to strive for better. I am delighted that we have reached the finals of the Croydon Schools Tournament, which will be taking place on Friday 15th March and, if we win our last league game next week, we will be heading off to another final. Well done girls!!! SPORT EVENT Netball vs Courtwood

AGE GROUP U11A U11B vs Atwood U11A U11B Croydon Schools Tournament U11A U11B


Won 8-0 Won 9-0 Won 5-2 Won 6-2 Won every match, through to finals Won two matches


Reception and Nursery girls have a special message for their mummies this Sunday. To hear and see it, please follow this link to our website. Other mummies (and daddies) will probably enjoy it too! We will all be thinking of our mums this Sunday and appreciating all they do (and did) for us. Have a lovely day Mums!


Wednesday last week marked the culmination of the Year 7 History project ‘Blood and Stone’, an investigative look at the history of the British castle between 1000-1500AD. After an initial visit to Bodiam Castle in November last year, all Year 7 students went to work on their own projects on the British castle, investigating for themselves the particular aspect/s of castle construction and design which they found intriguing. As a result, we had a range of projects which looked at a diverse set of Castles across the United Kingdom, ranging from early medieval motte-andbailey fortifications through the costal defensive fortifications of the early Tudor period. The project not only tested our students’ History skills (many of which are directly applicable to GCSE History), but also tested their abilities to construct a scale model from scratch of their particular castle. Every year, we find these models get more detailed and adventurous and this year appeared to be no different. First place and the Gold Award from the model went to Freya McEwan with her near perfect scale construction of Hever Castle, with the Silver and Bronze Awards going to Alice Male and Hannah Parsons respectively. In addition to these models, all the girls involved produced a portfolio demonstrating all of the background research they completed in order to be able to build the model. Both Mr Divall and Mrs Murray were astounded by these portfolios and the sheer effort all the girls involved put in.


We have been overwhelmed with the response from the Year 8 girls and staff! The drama studio has been full of shoeboxes to be collected and sent to solders in Afghanistan. On Thursday 7th March a volunteer from Operation Shoebox came into school to meet the girls, give a short presentation and collect the shoeboxes ready for posting out to Afghanistan at the weekend. All girls have written short notes in their boxes, and we might even get a reply from one or two of the recipients! I would like to thank all of Year 8 and the staff and parents for their support. Miss Dixon


On Thursday 28th February a CHS team of Roshni Fernando and Katie Tomsett took on a team from Warlingham in the quarter final of the Sutton and Croydon UNA competition. Katie and Roshni proposed the motion 'This House believes there is no future without GM food' and after a lively and closely fought debate, were declared the winners 79-76. This was their third straight win in the competition and they are now in the semi-final, the first time for a number of years a CHS team has reached this stage. We wish them luck!


On Tuesday evening, a CHS team of Larissa Kennedy, Ellen Lennox and Helen Springer took part in the annual 2013 Schools Debating Challenge Shield organised by the Rotary Club of South Croydon at Warlingham School. Larissa, Ellen and Helen opposed the motion ‘This House believes subsidies to the arts are a luxury we can no longer afford’ and, despite being the youngest team by some margin, were declared the winners by the judges at the end of the evening over three other local schools. A really stunning performance which signals a strong future ahead for CHS debating! STOP PRESS After the second half of the competition on Wednesday evening, Larissa, Ellen and Helen were declared the overall winners and - in their absence - Mr Vickery received the shield on their behalf from the Mayor of Croydon!


This week the senior girls enjoyed a range of activities leading up to World Book Day on Thursday, an event celebrated in 100 countries all round the world. Pupils in Years 7-9 participated in innovative lessons in the LRC which involved a Book Hunt; girls were divided into pairs and asked to locate a book on the shelf by solving a cryptic clue like this one: The ocean is deep and _______. This famous children’s author established the charity ‘Farms for City Children’. He loves (war) horses. Look for the answer at the end of the article! Pupils also taxed their brains on the ‘Booky Quiz’; girls enjoyed the discovery that a bibliophage is a keen reader, or a bookworm. ‘Phage’ originates from the stem of Greek phagein meaning ‘to eat or devour’. As a stimulus to the ‘Design a Bookmark Competition’, girls were treated to a PowerPoint presentation looking at the history of the bookmark, closely connected to the development of the book. They then presented ideas on how to use the bookmark to spread reading fever. Our Head of Art, Mrs Liz Smith, spoke to the girls about the importance of the use of colour, and well-chosen materials, in order to make a visual impact. On Thursday classes popped into the LRC, adorned with colourful balloons, to enjoy cosy silent reading time. Girls came in again over lunch, for some not-so-silent time, to play Scrabble, Dingbats, Pictionary and Articulate – all ‘fun’ ways of exercising the brain. The real delight of the day, however, was in the morning, during form period, when I popped in to see the girls in their form rooms listening, entranced, to their form tutor (or in some cases a special visitor) reading from a favourite novel. We can truly say A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic (Carl Sagan). We experienced a little of that magic this week. [Answer to Bookhunt Question: Michael Morpurgo’s Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea]

CAKE SALE FOR WATERAID by Shakira Mahadeva 10De

On Friday 1st March, 10De ran a cake sale to raise money for WaterAid, a charity which helps to provide communities in developing countries with clean running water and proper sanitation. Everybody in the form took part, contributing by bringing in lots of yummy cakes and treats, and helping at the very busy stall which attracted crowds of hungry people. The event was a great success with all the cake selling out within half an hour and the even greater achievement of managing to raise £121.50 for WaterAid. A big thank you from 10De to everyone who bought a cake!


A group of Sixth Formers celebrated the approach of half term on Tuesday 5 February with a German trip to see Kafka’s Metamorphosis. The production at the Lyric Hammersmith took a refreshing approach in interpreting Kafka’s novella; the staging was original (Gregor’s room was set at right angles to our normal geometry) and all were impressed by the physicality of the acting. Gregor’s transformation into an insect was emphasised by his unusual negotiation of the stage space, rather than by, say, a crude costume. Everyone agreed that the ending was very poignant and found the play as a whole highly profound – with such a provocative introduction to Kafka’s work, some of us might now even try to read Die Verwandlung in the original German!


Members of the 6th form B&B Club met last Friday to feast on delicious croissants, as well as Yann Martel’s intriguing holocaust fable, Beatrice and Virgil. We follow the adventures of world-famous writer Henry L’Hote who suffers from writer’s block – that is, until he meets a sinister taxidermist, also called Henry. This Henry introduces the original one to two of his stuffed animals, Beatrice, an amiable donkey, and Virgil, a howler monkey astride Beatrice’s back. The taxidermist has given these creatures the lead roles in his own play; they are his ‘guides through hell’ (p. 75). The play-within-a-novel reminds us of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot; the creatures meet on a lonely country road and talk about life, suffering and how to pass time. Henry realises that the taxidermist has attempted exactly what Henry should be doing – ‘representing the Holocaust differently’. Beatrice and Virgil is a clever narrative artefact, neatly put together. Has Martell succeeded in expressing the inexpressible, looking anew at the Holocaust, or has he merely trivialised the greatest tragedy to beset Europe’s Jews?


EVENT AGE GROUP RESULT Croydon Tournament U15 Lost to Royal Russell in the semi final U16A Beat Riddlesdown 7-2 in final U16B Lost to Riddlesdown in semifinal 8-3 vs Sutton U16A Drew 18-18 U16B Won 18-10 Gymnastics Trust Tournament U11 9th place U14 7th place O14 2nd place Cross country Trust Tournament - Congratulations to Charlotte Rhule who finished 9th Hockey vs Sutton U12 red Won 4-0 U12 blue Lost 1-3


In aid of South African children, we are raising money by having a raffle for a huge Easter chocolate hamper and many other prizes. Some year 10 years girls will be selling raffle ticket sat £1 a strip, so that you can have a chance to win the hamper and other goods. By buying raffle tickets you will be giving some that will be going towards supplies that the tour group will be personally giving to the children in October. Raffle tickets will start to be sold on Monday the 11th of March. We hope that you will support us so BUY RAFFLE TICKETS!!


Girls from Year 10 came over to Junior School last week to share some of their GCSE Citizenship work with Year 4, 5 and 6. Each group presented research on a chosen charity to inform the younger girls and enable them to make a decision in the future about becoming a supporter. The presentation on ‘Hearing Dogs for the Deaf’ involved some role play and listening to some reallife stories and situations where both adults and children are able to work and play safely with their dog nearby. The girls were given some literature to take away and had a quick quiz to see how much they had learnt. The Year 10 girls had also made cupcakes for the Year 6 which were beautifully iced with a ‘dog face’ on each one – these were a great hit of course! Well done Year 10.

CHS Newsletter 8th March  

CHS Newsletter

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