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South Croydon, Greater London, CR2 6YT
|School type||Independent school|
|Motto||Latin: Vincit qui patitur|
("He who perseveres, conquers")
|Religious affiliation(s)||Church of England|
|Founder||John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury|
|Department for Education URN||101837 Tables|
|Head Master||Christopher Ramsey|
|School Captain||George Oyebode|
|Age||10 to 18|
|Number of students||1,478|
|Houses|| Andrew's |
|Colour(s)||Gold and Navy|
|Publication||Whitgift Life Magazine|
|Former pupils||Old Whitgiftians|
|Patron||Prince Andrew, Duke of York|
Whitgift School is an independent day school with limited boarding (120 boys) in South Croydon, London. Along with Trinity School of John Whitgift and Old Palace School it is owned by the Whitgift Foundation, a charitable trust. The school's headmaster is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
Whitgift School was founded in 1596 by the Archbishop of Canterbury John Whitgift and opened in 1600. It was founded as part of the Whitgift Foundation which had the aim of building a hospital and school in Croydon for the "poor, needy and impotent people" from the parishes of Croydon and Lambeth. It is Croydon's oldest school.
The school was originally located in North End, Croydon. In 1931 the school moved to its current site, Haling Park, which was once home to Lord Howard of Effingham, the Lord High Admiral of the Fleet sent against the Spanish Armada. Between 1871 and 1946 the school was known as Whitgift Grammar School, after which it relinquished its direct grant and became a fully independent school known as 'Whitgift School'.
There are approximately 650 boys in the Lower School and 650 boys in the Upper School. Haling Park retains the appearance of an attractive country estate with a large copse, many specimen trees, Prevost's Squirrels, maras, peafowl (peacocks), crowned and demoiselle cranes, flamingos and other exotic birds. The Founder's Garden, Water Gardens and Andrew Quadrangle provide reflective spaces as well as venues for plays, concerts and celebrations. The Whitgift Rose, created to mark the 400th Anniversary of the School, is widely planted throughout the grounds.
The original buildings have been supplemented by many additions and improvements including a Music School and Concert Hall, an integrated facility for science, technology, art and design together with library and resource centres, a separate Lower School building, and a major new Sports and Conference Centre which was opened in February 2005. A new Art Department, Performing Arts Centre and a new Sixth Form Centre were completed in the middle of 2011.
Whitgift is located in a 45-acre (18 ha) parkland site. The ship (a model of HMS Ark Royal) that features prominently on the top of "Big School" (the school hall) is a reminder of the history of the site. Additions since the 400th anniversary of the school have been a maze in the founder's garden, an aviary, an enclosure for Prevost's squirrels, ponds and a multimillion-pound sports complex.
Whitgift has a wide variety of animals, including peacocks on the grounds since the 1930s, and flamingos. In 2005 Sir David Attenborough visited the school to open the ponds, the enclosure of which also houses various waterfowl, including Hawaiian geese, which the zoo successfully bred.
Most boys are admitted to the School at the ages of 10 or 11. A smaller number of boys enter the School at 12, 13, 14 and 16. Entry is based on academic performance in entrance exams and interviews, and an assessment of a boy's ability to contribute to wider school life and benefit from the co-curricular activities offered. Scholarships are awarded offering a remission of up to 50% of the school fees. Aside from academic scholarships, they may be awarded for particular talent in Music, Art, Design Technology, Sport or as an All-Rounder. A substantial number of bursaries are also awarded up to the value of the full fees.
When in the Lower School (Lower 1st (Year 6) to Upper 3rd (Year 9)), boys wear the standard school dark blue blazer with the Whitgift crest emblazoned on the chest pocket; blue shirt with the school crest emblazoned on the breast pocket; charcoal grey trousers; dark blue v-neck jumper with the school crest emblazoned on the chest (optional); black/grey socks and, if in the 1st Form (Years 6 & 7), the 1st Form tie (navy blue body with two yellow stripes running diagonally across the centre, encasing the school crest); or if in the 3rd Form (Years 8 & 9) and or 5th form (Years 10 & 11), the standard school tie with house colours. Students in years 10 and 11 wear a white shirt and those in the Sixth Form wear black, blue or dark grey suits with the Sixth Form tie. Sixth Form prefects wear the prefect tie (navy blue body with alternate diagonal rows of the Whitgift crest and thick royal purple stripes running down the tie).
In year 7, boys must choose three languages to study; one Romance (French/Spanish), one inflected (German/Latin) and one Oriental (Japanese/Mandarin). In year 9, boys can drop a language, but can also take up either Italian or Ancient Greek which is studied off-timetable.
In the Fifth Form, boys undertake a broad curriculum in a mixture of GCSE and IGCSE subjects. Boys are typically examined in at least 11 subjects. A majority of boys take IGCSEs in separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics), resulting in three qualifications, but the number of boys studying only Dual Award science is increasing in an effort to bolster results after a particularly mediocre year. A pupil must attain at least an A grade at GSCE level, in order to continue that subject in Sixth Form. For entry to the Sixth Form, boys are required to achieve at least ten B grades at GCSE and one A.
Since 2005, Whitgift has offered the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to the Sixth Form as an optional alternative to A-Levels, as well as BTEC qualifications in sport and business studies.
The school has eight houses and their colours are Andrew's (purple), Brodie's (pink), Cross's (red), Dodd's (silver), Ellis's (light blue), Mason's (royal blue), Smith's (gold) and Tate's (green). The Houses are named after former headmasters, headboys and founding Housemasters.
Whitgift School offers co-curricular activities within the school. This is reflected in the sporting facilities as well as an array of musical activities.
Whitgift has a combined cadet force. The school has partnerships with two local state schools St. Andrews C of E High School and Thomas More School, allowing their students to take part in CCF activities. Each year an annual inspection takes place conducted by a senior figure of the armed forces, often a former student of the school. Although not designed to recruit for the armed forces, some students go on to win service scholarships.
The school has a sporting tradition, and fields teams in a range of sports. Whitgift has a £9 million sports and conference centre. It served as a training facility for the London 2012 Olympic Games, and regularly hosts national competitions in a wide range of sports. The school also has a Health & Fitness Centre, a 55 station gym and group exercise studio open to students and their families. The school was also once a training ground to Crystal Palace The Women’s GB Handball team has trained on occasions at Whitgift School as has the England Korfball team.
The first recorded match held on the school ground occurred in 1898 when the school played University College School. Since 2000, the school ground has hosted several matches for county club Surrey. The ground hosted its first match for Surrey when they played a List-A match against Warwickshire. From 2000 to 2011, the ground has hosted 12 List-A matches. In 2003, the ground held its first first-class match when Surrey played Nottinghamshire. From 2003 to 2011, the ground held 9 first-class matches. The cricket ground can hold up to 5,000 spectators.
Whitgift is the only British school to win national titles in the four major team sports, cricket, hockey, football and rugby. In rugby, Whitgift has twice won the National Daily Mail Cup (1999, 2003) at Under 15 level, and more recently the 1st XV won and retained the Daily Mail RBS Cup (2010, 2011) at under 18 level. In hockey, 2011 saw Whitgift complete an historic double by winning the National Indoor Hockey Championships at Under 15 and Under 18 levels in the same year. The school also become national Under 18 golf champions for the first time in 2014 winning on the historic Scottish links of Carnoustie. The school has links to the academies of Charlton, Chelsea and Crystal Palace football clubs, to Surrey County Cricket Club, London Wasps rugby club and East Grinstead Hockey Club.
Whitgift has a number of former sporting professionals currently coaching at the school. These include the former Surrey cricketer David Ward, the former Chelsea and Arsenal defender Colin Pates, the former Surrey spin bowler Neil Kendrick, and the former Crystal Palace and Chelsea midfielder and manager at Selhurst Park Steve Kember.
Since 2000, the school ground has hosted several matches for county club Surrey. The ground hosted its first match for Surrey in 2000, when they played a List-A match against Warwickshire. From 2000 to present, the ground has hosted 12 List-A matches. In 2003, the ground held its first first-class match when Surrey played Nottinghamshire. From 2003 to present, the ground has held nine first-class matches. The cricket ground can cope with up to 5,000 spectators.
Former pupils of Whitgift are known as "Old Whitgiftians".
The school lent its name to a locomotive in the Southern Railway V Class. This class was known as the Schools Class because all 40 locomotives were named after prominent English public schools. "Whitgift", SR no. 916 and BR no. 30916, was built in 1934 and withdrawn in 1962. The Whitgift nameplate that was formerly mounted on the front driving wheel-splasher of the locomotive is now on display in the Raeburn Library in the school. Hornby Models created an OO gauge replica of the 916 Whitgift Schools Class locomotive. Whitgift has one on display in the Raeburn Library underneath the Whitgift nameplate from the 4–4–0 train.