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Leadership Likes: Mrs Raja’s Blog

Mrs Sarah Raja, Head of Junior School

Community (noun)

  1. A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
  2. The condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.

Croydon High School prides itself on its sense of community and it is something that we speak about often. Visitors to our school frequently comment on the welcoming and warm ‘feel’ of the place and every member of the school plays their part in this – the sense of community is evident in all aspects of school life.

However, despite what we feel, according to the definition above, to truly be regarded as a community all members should share key characteristics, attitudes or interests. So how would one characterise the members of the Croydon High community? What is it that makes us uniquely ‘us’? In my opinion the answer is simple: our people, and nowhere is this better articulated than in our school motto, purpose and promise.

Our Motto     May Her Character and Talents Inspire Others

Our Purpose  The Croydon High learning experience is characterised by academic adventure, wide ranging opportunities to excel, a balance between challenge and individual support and a passionate and dedicated staff for whom the girls are always the first priority.

Our Promise The girls who leave Croydon High School are remarkable; they are typically confident and engaged in school life and are compassionate and ambitious individuals.

Now, a cynic might point out that these are just words and that theory may not be translated into practice, but there are examples every day of our community reflecting these characteristics: confident and engaged pupils and our passionate and dedicated staff. An excellent and timely example of this is the production of Guys and Dolls, which opened last night to a packed audience. One could not fail to be impressed by the incredible talent and teamwork on show from the cast of over 140 girls from Years 5 to 13, so ably led by Mrs Webb. However, behind the scenes the community spirit was just as tangible. A team of students acting as band, stage crew, lighting techs and runners, pupils doing each other’s hair, staff offering help with costumes and props, last-minute line checks in the corridors and, of course, the incredible support and encouragement between cast members all combined to create a true feeling of community spirit.

It is equally important that our sense of community does not end at the school gate – Croydon High has so much more to offer on a wider scale. Our contribution to the GDST, for example, such as the U11 A-D netball tournament, which we hosted last week. To the community of Selsdon, such as our nursery girls’ visit to sing at a local care home just before Christmas. We frequently reach out to the wider community, supporting local schools with specific projects, for example, or by welcoming almost 150 senior citizens on Wednesday to the dress rehearsal of Guys and Dolls. They absolutely loved the show, enjoyed tea and cake in the interval and left us toes tapping and voices ringing with praise for the girls and the staff and appreciation for the invitation. And we all felt better for having them here! This sense of community also extends globally – pupils take their responsibilities in this area very seriously and wholeheartedly support initiatives such as the Junior Eco-Team and Senior Eco Council’s work to address environmental issues including plastic use and climate change.

Whichever of these one considers, it is clear that the character and talents of the Croydon High community has the power to inspire others both far and wide.

Mrs Sarah Raja

Head of Junior School

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