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

Vol. 1, Iss. 1

We celebrate the life of Alumna Jacqueline du PrĂŠ

Girls who are going places go to Croydon


elcome to the first of what we hope will be a regular update on all the exciting happenings at Croydon High School. Croydon High is an exceptional independent day school for girls aged 3 to 18 with an impressive reputation for consistently outstanding academic results. We are also committed to enabling our girls to discover their passions in life. We pride ourselves on how well we know them individually and how we consistently bring out the best in each and every one of them. Croydon High aims to develop young women who are high achievers in every aspect of their lives. We know they will need far more than just excellent results to meet the challenges of the modern world. Come and discover the possibilities at Croydon High School. Our impressive facilities are within a leafy 14 acre site in Selsdon. We believe that our girls have the right opportunities to go anywhere. For more information please see our website or call Admissions Registrar Wendy Hewitt on 020 8260 7543

Croydon High Celebrates Major Investment


arlier in the year, Croydon High announced that the school was to receive significant financial investment to enable us to carry out major refurbishment projects in both the junior and senior schools.The funding of around £1.5 million pounds is coming from the Girls’ Day School Trust, the UK’s leading network of independent girls’ schools, to which Croydon High belongs. Founded in 1874, the GDST has always been at the forefront of educational provision for girls and as a charity, reinvests all income into its schools for the benefit of pupils. Refurbishment of the juniors began during the summer holidays and when complete will include new classrooms, a dedicated Music and Drama suite and a fabulous new Learning Resource Centre. Part of the plan for this particular area is the installation of a 4D room – a really exciting development for the school. The highly innovative idea will use remarkable technology to create an immersive learning space, encouraging creative thinking through light, sound, projection and space. This initiative is in addition to another recently completed major building project in the junior school, their outstanding new outside play area, which the junior girls helped to plan and

design themselves. This playground was formally opened by the Mayor of Croydon on the 8th March and is proving to be a big hit with all of the girls. The senior school is also benefitting from significant financial investment. At the start of the autumn term, the brand new senior Learning Resource Centre opened its doors. This is a wonderful space, with bright contemporary décor and fittings, perfect for research, reading and private study. It also enjoys beautiful views over our grounds. The Music Room has also been completely redecorated and updated and there have been other hidden improvements all around the school, making it brighter, warmer and safer - altogether a fantastic working environment for both girls and staff.




n Thursday 12th July, just after CHS broke up for summer, Shakira Mahadeva and Ellen Lennox (now Year 10) made their way to the first annual Croydon UK Youth Parliament debate at Archbishop Tenison’s School. The debate was created to give young people in Croydon more opportunities to have their voices heard whilst showcasing their talents. The other schools taking part were Old Palace, Archbishop Tenison’s and Quest Academy. ‘This house believes single sex schools are better than mixed schools’ was the title of the girls’ first round which they won successfully taking them to the final ‘This house believes multiculturalism has failed’ Shakira and Ellen had just 10 minutes to prepare but went on to beat their opponents and to receive the coveted trophy and medals in the presence of a local MP and Councillor. Congratulations girls!



t the end of the summer term 35 pupils and four staff travelled to Normandy for CHS Singers’ biennial music tour. Their programme included sacred music, folk song arrangements, madrigals, French songs and other favourites, all sung from memory; the singing was interspersed with instrumental solos and ensembles. The girls sang to large appreciative audiences in the churches of St Aubin sur Mer and Meauvaines, as well as a retirement home in Caens and a centre for handicapped workers in Tour en Bessin. At every venue the audiences were impressed, delighted and some moved to tears by the quality singing and professionalism. There was also time for sight-seeing in Bayeux, Arromanches and Honfleur and some free time on the beach, although the weather was a little disappointing. Nevertheless, pupils and staff all enjoyed the trip and wished it could have been longer.



here was great excitement on Friday 14th September when we received delivery of our new Steinway piano. Mrs Cohen abandoned her Year 12 lesson and rushed off to the front door to watch it being carried off the van and up the steps into the school. It took only 15 minutes for the three expert piano removers to assemble the precious instrument onto its legs on the stage in the hall. The piano was left there to settle until its first tuning, in time for its launch at the Jacqueline du Pré evening on October 13th. Before it was wrapped up in its cover and blankets, lucky Sophia Patterson from Year 4, who happened to be walking through the hall after her very first piano lesson, was invited to show us how to find middle C. The Steinway’s permanent home is now Room 46, the larger music room, which had a make-over during the half term holiday. In this room more girls will have the opportunity to play it, as this is where both Juniors and Seniors hold their Informal Concerts. A Level and GCSE performances are recorded here, as well as all our termly class concerts and it will also be available for rehearsals. A big thank you to the PTA for their fund raising efforts and everyone who raised money through the Great Piano Marathon, as well as the Old Girls who sent donations to sponsor a key.



he CHS Community Book Club has just read Louise Erdrich’s The Master Butchers Singing Club: Erdrich, daughter of an Ojibwe Indian mother and German-American father, is a master storyteller, exploring Native American themes in her work while giving us a glimpse of the American Dream. German sniper Fidelis Waldvogel, recently returned from the horrors of the First World War, decides to do the honourable thing; he marries the pregnant fiancée of his best friend, killed in the last few days of war. Inspired by the sight of a perfect square of sliced white bread, unknown in the Germany of 1918, he embarks on a journey to the New World, armed with a suitcase full of his father’s marvellous smoked sausage and a set of butcher’s knives. He ends up in the little fictional town of Argus, North Dakota, sets up his own butchery and sends for Eva and her first born. Eva strikes up a friendship with Delphine who gives up an itinerant life with an acrobat to look after her amiable father, Roy, the local drunk. Their lives, and those of Eva and Fidelis’ children, become strangely interlinked. A good read, with memorable moments of melodrama and humour.



e are delighted that both our Year 11 and Senior netball teams have qualified for the Surrey finals in March‌good luck to all the girls! Four out of five of our Tumbling Squads finished 4th in Surrey competitions. In the GDST rallies, where our teams compete against their 26 sister schools from around the country, our teams put up a very good show against some extremely tough competition. The Senior hockey team reached the quarter final stages and our Under 15 netball team also reached quarter finals. Our Under 19 floor and vault team finished 4th in a recent competition against other Surrey schools.

INDIVIDUAL SPORTING SUCCESS Surrey Regional Trampoline Competition Under 15 girls 2nd Lauren Giles, 1st in team event 3rd Alexandra Edwards, 3rd in team event Under 13 girls Nayna Patel, 3rd in team event Under 17 girls Sophie Turner-Flynn, 2nd in team event


Erin Rochester, has been selected to train with the Girls Kent U15 rugby squad. Erin Rochester

‘Skern helped me make friends, face my fears and best of all have fun!’ Yasmin



he Year 7 girls and staff left school very early on Monday morning, 17th September to begin the long journey to North Devon. They arrived in time for lunch and started on the first set of activities straight away. Climbing, abseiling, high ropes and Rockets and Riddles, a series of problem-solving activities, were tackled with enthusiasm. After a much needed dinner, half the group set off on a beach walk and the rest ran around the site on a scavenger hunt looking for various objects such as a pair of red socks or something that changes colour. After a cup of hot chocolate the girls went happily to bed. Over the week the girls took part in a variety of activities including surfing, high ropes, rafting, and toasting marshmallows around a campfire, but the highlight of the week was undoubtedly the day trip to Hartland Point. The scenery here is stunning and the girls challenged themselves climbing over rocks, jumping into deep rock pools, climbing and abseiling down the cliff face. Thank you to Miss Kermani, Mrs Winter and Miss Carpenter for coming on the trip.

Croydon High helps Ben Hammond, as he attempts the world’s first dance from John o’ Groats to Land’s End to raise money for education, human rights and development in Burma.


n Saturday 22nd September, Madame Orange, Mrs Abrams and two of our intrepid Year 11 girls, Marie-Alice Berry and Temi Oyekan took a train to Birmingham to dance their way through a quarter marathon (10k). Marie-Alice and Temi are members of our Amnesty International youth group; Amnesty International are supporting LearnBurma founder, Ben Hammond, as he attempts the world’s first dance from John o’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for education, human rights and development in Burma. Dance is used as a symbol of the freedoms we enjoy but those in Burma can’t. it was a wonderful experience to dance through the streets of Birmingham with a small crowd of Ben’s supporters, inspired by music from the mobile jukebox. They made it to the finish line despite blisters, humbled to have participated in an event which will help, in a small way, to promote change in Burma.



n Thursday, 4th October, after school, a CHS team of Roshni Fernando and Katie Tomsett took on a team from Caterham in the first round of the Croydon Schools U.N.A. competition. This was Roshni and Katie’s first competitive outing of the season but they showed no signs of rustiness as they proposed the motion ‘This House believes independent schools should lose their charitable status’ with characteristic incisiveness. Caterham put up a very game defence of their case but were unable to resist Roshni and Katie’s unyielding logic, and CHS were declared the winners, 77-67. Roshni and Katie now move on to the second round, and look to, at least, emulate last year’s progress to the semi- final stage of the competition.

The following Saturday, 6th October, 16 Year 11 girls spent the day as delegates to the Reigate Model United Nations

conference. Representing Papua New Guinea, Yemen, Poland and Mozambique, they debated important international issues, as diverse as fracking and stem cell research, with teams from over 20 schools from across the South East. This was the first conference for all of the girls, and after they overcame their initial trepidation, they enjoyed both the cut and thrust of debate and the more social side of MUN. There is an ever expanding calendar of MUN conferences and our next stop will be the Latymer conference at the end of November.

were present and some sent us their memories of Jackie, the little girl who grew up to be regarded as one of the greatest cellists who ever lived. A retiring collection of over £700 was taken on the night of the concert, with the proceeds divided between the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Jacqueline du Pré Scholarship Fund.


n 19th October 1987, the legendary cellist and Croydon High School ‘old girl’ Jacqueline du Pré died, aged just 42. Her musical legacy remains as an outstanding gift that continues to inspire and thrill musicians and audiences around the world to this day. At Croydon High she will be forever remembered and her name lives on in the Jacqueline du Pré scholarship which the school established in her memory three years after her death. On Saturday 13th October, the school community joined together to mark the 25th anniversary of her death with a spectacular concert. Some of the youngest girls in the school played alongside du Pré scholars past and present, staff and alumnae, and ably demonstrated the outstanding musical talent still associated with Croydon High School. A number of the school’s alumnae

Lesley Walker remembers (nee Wilson, class of 1960) “Having just re-connected with CHS via the Ivy Link, I’m writing to you about my rather tenuous connection with Jacqueline du Pré, which began one summer day in the fifties when her mother Iris delivered her, in blueand-white candy stripes and panama, so that she could join her class for one of the subjects her consuming practice regime allowed her to study in school. The second vivid memory is of Iris, Jackie and her sister Hilary giving a recital in the school hall. All three of them stunned us lesser mortals and scandalised us by the amount of vigorous movement which accompanied their expression of the music! Four years older than she, my friends and I were a little put out that this wonderful fellowpupil didn’t have time for us! Well, before I got absorbed in my own studies at the Royal Academy of Music, Jackie was making her international debut. I joined the Scottish National Orchestra as principal bassoon in 1963. On October 13th 1967 the SNO embarked on its first foreign tour to Austria, Germany and Holland under its conductor, Alexander Gibson. Our soloists were Janet Baker and Jackie whose enthusiasm and energy lit up everything she did. So, though I never had a conversation with Jackie, all of us who backed her in orchestras around the world knew her through the language of music. I’m pleased and proud to have had the privilege of experiencing some of the wonder of that tragically short but incandescent career.”



arvest is a time of tradition for Croydon High, and this year was no different. Friday’s assembly had the Year 7s trooping in with their cheerfully decorated boxes full of cans and pasta to the front of the hall. Congratulations go to Rhea Patel, 7K, Curie, for first place, Siena Cornish, 7Sm, from Seacole for second and Adahna Ekoku, 7Si, Eliot, and Jessica Grant, 7K, Garrett, for joint third place in the annual competition for best decorated box! They were piled up with the collection the rest of the school had contributed to show the full extent of the girls’ generosity. The collection of canned goods has always had a casual competitiveness about it between classes, and this year was one of the best yet. The food was piled up impressively in large crates across the whole stage. The hall rang with heartily sung Harvest hymns by the choir whilst the Year 7s paraded their boxes in, and afterwards by the whole school. Then, guest speaker Reverend Pam Bryan from Purley Baptist Church, talked about the final destination for this food and the gratitude with which it would be received. The food will be distributed via the Trussell Trust, an organisation that works to empower local communities to combat poverty and exclusion. We are happy to give to help these people and wish them well over the winter.


ongratulations to Year 7’s Emily Slade who has won the honour of having her artwork displayed at the Royal Academy. Emily’s picture entitled ‘London in Harmony’ was the regional winner for London in the Upper Juniors category of the annual Sightsavers Junior Painter of the Year competition. The competition attracted nearly two thousand entries all using the theme ‘i:dream’. A new element for this year was the introduction of a tactile element. Thirty eight young, aspiring artists, aged 4-11 from across the UK, had their work exhibited in the Café Gallery at the Royal

Academy of Arts in London from 12 October until 21 November. This year, all the winning paintings were exhibited at children’s eye level; the winning tactile painting was displayed so that visitors could touch it. Eileen Cooper RA, Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts was one of the head judges. She said: “I have been very moved by all the amazing entries from children across the country; it has been great to see young artists embracing painting with such enthusiasm. ” Congratulations again to Emily.




he autumn term is a very busy one for girls in Year 13, as they begin the process of applying for universities around the country. The girls all submitted their personal statements at the beginning of term and within 24 hours offers were flooding in from top universities. This is always very exciting and it is wonderful to see how supportive the girls are of one another and how thrilled to hear news of each offer or interview. Credit goes to both the girls and their tutors, who work extremely hard together to produce well written statements and references. Applying to the university most suited to the individual is key and Croydon High excels here, spending a great deal of

time ensuring each and every one of the girls makes a well-considered and appropriate application for a course and a university that is right for them. Highly prized interviews for Oxbridge and Medicine arrived steadily and the whole sixth form team has worked hard to prepare the girls for their potential interviews. As the term progresses we have girls out at interviews for a wide range of subjects and we feel confident that we have given them the best possible chance of presenting themselves as they really are – bright, informed, well balanced young women with real intellectual curiosity and a love of life. We believe they can do anything!

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

CHS Highlights Nov 2012  

CHS Highlights Nov 2012

CHS Highlights Nov 2012  

CHS Highlights Nov 2012