It is always wonderful to hear from former students of John Whitgift Schools and discover the impact that their education had on their lives. Recently, Tania got in touch with us with an update on how her formative years at Old Palace of John Whitgift School have shaped her career and beyond.

Tania’s time at Old Palace

I joined Old Palace School in 1988. At the time I did not know much about the John Whitgift Foundation or the historical importance of Old Palace School or Croydon Palace as it was originally called.

I did find that I enjoyed subjects like Greek Classical Civilisation, Medieval history, English Literature and the historical side of Latin (not the grammar or the language). I studied English Literature at university, but during that time I worked at the Summer Opening at Buckingham Palace where a lot of what I learned at Old Palace School came in useful. Then, in 2001 I started my present job at the British Museum, where my favourite collections were Greek, Roman and Medieval Europe, as I was already familiar with their historical background.

I also took part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Old Palace, which introduced me to activities I had always been interested in like hiking and volunteer work. As well as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, we always held activities like bake sales to raise money for a chosen charity. Since then I have always been interested in the work of charities and taken part in activities like Race For Life and Sport Relief.

I still live in Croydon and was recently able to get involved with the John Whitgift Foundation again by taking part in the Croydon Heritage Festival. In fact, I have been researching the historical and archeological background of Croydon for years now. I started when I learned about the discovery of a Roman villa in Beddington and learned just how ancient Croydon and the surrounding county of Surrey actually is. There is evidence that it may have existed well before its recorded Saxon origins with evidence of Roman settlement; objects such as pottery and coins have been discovered in the town centre as well as Norbury and Thornton Heath. I was able to share my discoveries during the Croydon Heritage Festival.

Lately I have started to research not just the history of Old Palace School but of the John Whitgift Foundation and discovered just how important they are and not just in Croydon. I have not just researched their origins, such as Queen Elizabeth I’s room and her visits and the origins of the Almshouses but also try to keep up with the work of the John Whitgift Foundation today. I have also been researching the origins of Almshouses in Britain and Europe and also discovered just how many still exist in this part of London today. In fact in the, I also read an interesting article Telegraph by a Patrick Sawyer about the planned revival of Almshouses as a means of affordable housing today.


About Old Palace of John Whitgift

Old Palace is a leading independent day school for girls aged 4-18, with a nursery attached for girls aged 1-4. The school prides itself on empowering girls to become well rounded, compassionate, and capable young women who are well equipped for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.

For more information about John Whitgift Foundation Schools please visiting our education section.


Share your memories

Are you a former John Whitgift Foundation School student and would like to share your memories?

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