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Capturing Croydon is a borough wide photography competition from John Whitgift Foundation, bringing together pupils from local primary schools in Croydon for a chance to win top photography prizes.

Now in its second year, the Capturing Croydon project supports teaching Geography at Key Stage 2 by encouraging children to explore their local environment and develop their ‘sense of place’ through the medium of photography.

UPDATE: Due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus and the resulting school closures, we have regretfully had to postpone this year’s Capturing Croydon competition.

About the competition

In one-day bespoke workshops led by a professional photographer and geographer, pupils are given cameras to discover Croydon through a photographic lens. From the historic landmarks to the exciting new developments happening in Croydon, Capturing Croydon sets out to inspire children from local schools to engage with their historic and evolving surroundings.

Images taken by the children at the workshops are then entered into the competition for a chance to win prizes including cameras and photography equipment.

Capturing Croydon Year 1 (2018/19):

  • 6 primary schools took part
  • 6 workshops took place
  • 496 photos captured of Croydon
  • 165 children took part, with many who:
    • Picked up a camera for the first time
    • Learnt new photography skills
    • Discovered a ‘sense of place’ in Croydon
    • Were inspired to take up a new passion
  • 30 children selected as runners up and invited to an awards ceremony
  • 5 children won digital cameras in 5 categories
  • 1 school awarded £250 photography equipment

“I really liked using the camera to explore angles before taking a shot.”
Ramzi, All Saints C of E School student

The workshop was an excellent experience and a great opportunity for children who are not academic to be good at something.”
Emma, teacher at St Peter’s Primary School

“It was fun. The pictures I took I was proud of and the places we visited were amazing.”
Adnan, pupil and category winner at All Saints C of E Primary School

The photography workshops were led by:

  • Award-winning architectural photographer Richard Chivers. Richard’s work has appeared in the Sunday Time Magazine, Evening Standard, and New York Times
  • Dr Paula Owens, BBC geography advisor and Canterbury University Research Fellow

Year 1 Winners

Last year’s winners were announced at a special Awards Ceremony at the historic Old Palace of John Whitgift School in Croydon on 3 July 2019, with Sarah Jones MP attending to present the children with their awards.

11-year-old Estelle from Atwood Primary School was selected as the overall winner, taking her winning photo in the Queen’s Gardens in the centre of Croydon during the very first workshop.

All Saints Primary was awarded overall winning school by presenting the strongest collection of images from the workshops, winning £250 worth of photography equipment for their school.

Capturing Croydon Year 1 was sponsored by the Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Hammerson set to transform Croydon’s two main shopping centres Whitgift and Centrale into a world class retail and leisure destination.

Martin Corney, Chief Executive of John Whitgift Foundation said: “It’s fantastic to see how these young Croydonians have responded to the workshops. Some have focused on the history of the borough from the 400-year-old Whitgift Almshouses and the 12thcentury Old Palace of John Whitgift School. Others, however, have captured the community, from people walking through side streets to market sellers in Surrey Street Market. The images bring together a collective history of Croydon, and show the youth of today are beginning to understand their sense of place in Croydon today.”

Jo Negrini, CEO of Croydon Council, said: “This is a great local initiative from John Whitgift Foundation that introduces children to photography in a way that, hopefully, makes them proud to be from Croydon. Looking through the shortlist is like seeing Croydon in a new light, and it looks like these workshops have inspired these children to look at their hometown a little differently.”

Steve Yewman, Development Director, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said: “As part of the Croydon Partnership redevelopment, we are aware that we’re becoming part of Croydon’s rich history and community. I’m honoured to support Capturing Croydon, an initiative that has inspired children to discover the borough through photography.”