PRESS RELEASE: Whitgift Community Summer School

Launch of the Whitgift Community Summer School to inspire Year 5 students affected by lockdown

South Croydon: Whitgift in conjunction with Croydon Council is set to launch a Community Summer School on 27 July 2020. The Whitgift Community Summer School is designed to help local girls and boys in Year 5 who have experienced reduced education provision since school closures began in March 2020.

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 term. As well as encouraging academic progress, the programme aims to inspire confidence and a sense of community, offering pupils a chance for wider social interaction, on Whitgift’s grounds in Haling Park which have been made Covid-19 secure. 

Staffed entirely by Whitgift teachers, it will include stimulating lessons in the core subjects of English, Maths and Science as well as a range of exciting enrichment activities such as Philosophy, Languages, Sport and Music.
Funding for the programme will come from both Whitgift and donations from those connected with the School community, allowing it to run for at least 2 weeks. Around 90 pupils from 7 Croydon primary schools will be offered free places, and pupils are to be chosen by the headteachers of the schools.

Croydon Council’s Robert Henderson, Executive Director, Children, Families and Education, speaking on behalf of himself and Shelly Davies, Interim Director of Education and Youth Engagement said: “Croydon Council is very pleased to be working in partnership with Whitgift on this project. The Whitgift Community Summer School will be a great opportunity for some of our Year 5 pupils to take part in this exciting project which aims to reduce the achievement gap caused by the COVID 19 Pandemic and the extended time out of school.”

Andy Marlow, Whitgift Director of Partnerships and Community said: “We sadly had to temporarily stop our Primary School Project back in March and have been investigating other ways in which we can contribute to the education of primary pupils in the local area. The idea of the Summer School came about through conversations with Croydon Council and primary school headteachers who we work in close partnership with throughout the year.
“I’ve been delighted with the enthusiasm of our staff to come forward during the holiday period to do what they love; teach and inspire pupils. We are committed to finding ways to support children in the Borough of Croydon, not just those who are enrolled as students at Whitgift, and we really hope that this programme will make a genuine difference to the educational progress of those who attend.”

Whilst the Whitgift Community Summer School is an entirely new project, it is just one of the many ways Whitgift continues to support the local community. Recent Covid-19 related work has included:

•    the manufacture of PPE for local healthcare providers such as Croydon University Hospital;
•    transport support for over 10 weeks for Croydon Voluntary Action food distribution to vulnerable people; and
•    a student letter-writing campaign to elderly residents in local care homes.  

In addition, the Whitgift Primary Project, an initiative that runs throughout the year during term time, supports over 1000 children across 30 primary schools in the Borough of Croydon each academic year. Each primary school that attends sends a class of 30 children to enjoy a week of inspiring lessons in STEM subjects and the Arts, The Project celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2020.


Media contact
Hina Ghumra – Director of Marketing and Communications
+44 (0)20  8688 9222

Notes to editors: 
About Whitgift: Whitgift is an independent day and boarding school for 10-18 year old boys and is located in South London. The School was established in 1596 by John Whitgift, then Archbishop of Canterbury. It is part of The John Whitgift Foundation who have a charitable commitment to provide education for the young and care for the elderly in the Borough of Croydon. 


*Please note images alongside this article are from Whitgift's Primary School Project.

Primary Project Science Class
Primary School Project