Whitgift School is set to re-open its doors this July with an enhanced Community Summer School. The Whitgift Community Summer School is designed to support local girls and boys in Year 5 who have been most affected by the school closures since the start of the global pandemic, helping to reduce the attainment gap.

The School will seek to support Croydon pupils to achieve their full academic potential and help them look beyond the pressures they and their families may have encountered over the past 18 months. As well as encouraging academic progress, the programme aims to offer exciting opportunities to try a number of co-curricular activities, inspiring confidence and a sense of community, and making full use of Whitgift’s facilities and grounds at its Haling Park site.

Staffed by John Whitgift Foundation teachers, the Summer School will include stimulating lessons in the core subjects of English, Maths and Science as well as a range of exciting enrichment lessons in subjects such as Philosophy, Geography and Economics.
Funding for the programme will come mainly from donations from fundraising activities led by Upper Sixth Form pupils and donations from the leavers’ parents. Over 200 pupils have been offered free places in partnership with 30+ Croydon primary schools, with pupils to be selected and invited by the headteachers of the schools.

Parents whose children attended last year said:

“Blown away by the Summer School and the impression it made on our son. He enjoyed the learning, the grounds and in the words of a 10-year-old, had an epic time. Thank you to all the staff, Sixth Formers and others who helped to run this programme.”

“My daughter attended a summer programme and loved the lessons, teachers and school grounds. She wants to become a Microbiologist, and the Science lesson you gave was spectacular. She now reads more and spends a lot of time on Sumdog [a Maths app]. Thank you!”

Andy Marlow – Whitgift School’s Director of Partnerships and Community said: “We have been working in close partnership with local primary school leaders on this year’s programme, and it is going to be really enriching for the children that attend.

Our teachers, Whitgift alumni and student volunteers have shown great enthusiasm to use some of their summer holiday time to teach, inspire and mentor these local Year 5 students. We really hope that the programme will make a genuine difference to the academic progress of those who attend, as well as increasing their enthusiasm for learning and their educational aspirations.”

Whitgift is committed to increasing access to educational opportunity for the young people of Croydon, not just those enrolled as Whitgift pupils. The Whitgift Primary Project, which has been running for over 20 years and has had over 25,000 Croydon pupils attend in that time, will be re-starting in September 2021, providing a week of lessons at Whitgift to 30 primary pupils each week, with 1000 pupils from over 30 primary schools expected to attend in the next academic year.

Whitgift School pupils have also been supporting primary pupils within their schools in a voluntary capacity, acting as teaching assistants and mentors to pupils under the supervision of the class teacher. One local headteacher said: “Your students were AMAZING. The feedback I had from staff was brilliant and if they weren’t planning on going to university, I’d be trying to employ them.” Partnerships such as this, which bring great mutual benefit to pupils at Whitgift and local schools are ones we want to encourage and develop.


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