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Stories from our Inspiring Community

Femi Owalade-Coombes

Femi Owolade-Coombes Computer-coding entrepreneur and philanthropist

“Femi is a Design, Technology and engineering scholar at Whitgift. His passion for coding led him to set up South London Raspberry Jam – which looks to share his skills and knowledge with other young people.”

Femi now runs many coding and robot workshops across the UK and internationally. The community events he runs with other volunteers, have been praised for being pioneering due to their fully inclusive nature; young people with autism or, like him, tourettes syndrome are warmly welcomed. He has also won several prestigious awards including The Diana Award and The Prime Minister's Point of Light award.

He is a passionate hockey player, and having been at the School for a few years, he is often involved in mentoring  or supporting younger students at School events.


Luke Abai-Haddon

Luke Abai-HaddonHockey afficionado and economist

“The quality of the teaching at Whitgift is unparalleled; the rigour of academic study in lessons coupled with the depth of exploration in super-curricular clubs lay the foundations for a rich and engaging education.”

Luke is an exceptional mathematician and has demonstrated a strong drive and curiosity to understand new mathematical concepts. His disciplined self-reflective approach has dramatically improved his subject knowledge and he is currently studying Economics with French at the University of Nottingham.

Zain Peerbhoy

Zain Peerbhoy School Captain & Charities Committee Representative (2019-20) 

"It has been an honour to be the School Captain. I've had the opportunity to be involved in several events that have stretched my leadership skills."

Zain is a passionate scientist who has enriched his academic studies with summer work placements and helping out at Whitgift Science Taster Courses.

During his work experience at King's College Hospital, London, he saw how MRI scans are used in the diagnosis of cancer and learnt how illicit drugs impact cognitive function when the took part in Harvard University's summer programme. 

Outside the chemistry lab, Zain is a big cricket fan. He played in the School's 2nd XI team and scored for the Australian Cricket team when they trained at Whitgift in 2019 - a result that saw him rewarded with tickets to one of their World Cup matches and a lunch with the team.

'I am really grateful for opportunities like joining Whitgift's Cricket tour to Perth, which really grew my love of cricket'.

Zain is currently studying Medicine at Brown University, USA. 

Nifemi Bankole

Nifemi Bankole Stage performer and Lower School Captain (2018/19)

“Whitgift has greatly increased my confidence whether that be on the Big School stage or on the football pitch playing alongside my fellow peers.”

Nifemi was Whitgift's Lower School Captain (2018-2019).  He is a talented actor and a regular on the Whitgift stage. Performances in Around the World in Eighty Days, Hairspray, Guys and Dolls and Lord of the Flies have fuelled his taste for drama.

'Whitgift has allowed me to break from my comfort zone and expand my horizons on what is possible, whilst teaching me the importance of teamwork'.

Nifemi also enjoys sport and  is a dedicated member of the Athletics team, B team Football and C team Rugby.

Isaac Kong

Isaac Kong Award winning fund raiser and full time boarder

“The IB programme, which I hadn’t considered before, gave me the opportunity to thrive as a person and hone my interests in several subjects.”

Isaac was an Upper School Prefect and one of Whitgift's Academic Scholars having achieved 9A* and 3As in IGCSE.

He has a keen interest in Medical Sciences and holds an offer to read Medicine at Hong Kong University. He has completed work experience at St Thomas’ Hospital and enjoyed attending various lectures from gene therapy to causes of cancer. 

With some of his peers, he was an organiser of several fundraising activities for the WOHAA Charity, raising most funds for children in Malawi. Through this process he learnt values of teamwork and compassion. The team received an award for their fundraising efforts and became Wings of Hope Achievement Winners.

Max Ronte

Max Ronte Oxbridge placement & Boat Club Captain

“Whitgift’s holistic approach to education is its greatest asset. There has never been a moment, across all aspects of School life, that I have not felt completely supported. The teachers and coaches are enthusiastic, motivating, caring and reliable.”

Max Ronte achieved top grades in each of his eleven GCSE subjects and is studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University.

Inspired by his GCSE studies of Chinese, Max undertook significant research into China’s Economy by producing a presentation of undergraduate quality in its purview, freshness and clarity. Globally minded, self-motivated and forensic in his approach to deducing new languages, Max was an exceptional student of German and was awarded runner-up (highly commended) in the Institute of Economic Affairs essay competition 2019.

Max gave assemblies in his role as Holocaust Educational Trust ambassador and he mentored younger pupils struggling with social challenges of school life. He was also a devoted member of numerous academic societies including the Philosophy Society and History and Politics Society.

Max sings, plays the saxophone to Grade 7 standard, was an outstanding rower and Captain of the boat club (2018-2020), charming ambassador for the School and organiser of the prefect body in his role as School Vice Captain. He also established the school’s table-top gaming club with another student.