Today I wrote
my first line of code

Siyaa and Ria aged 5

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Today I wrote my first line of code

At Croydon High our Computer Science curriculum is taught from Nursery up. Designing a relevant curriculum for girls like Siyaa and Ria who will not hit the job market for another 15-20 years, requires foresight, imagination and a certain degree of courage. It also requires us to attempt to evaluate now how robotics and artificial intelligence will change future careers forever.

What makes Croydon High’s approach stand apart is the aspiration that we will produce ‘designers of’ not simply ‘users of’ technology and so sparking imagination and understanding early is key.

Skills are taught in an age appropriate and inclusive way, Computing Club in the Juniors is full to capacity at every session and the girls are realising that what they learn here helps them in so many other ways – through collaboration, creativity and problem solving our girls are developing the skills to excel in whatever environment they find themselves.

To build on this hunger for technology based education, we are introducing a new curriculum subject in the Senior School for September 2018 – Enterprise Technology. This programme will encompass and expand the existing computer science curriculum and provide new opportunities for all subject areas (including arts and humanities) to engage with technology.

It’s an exciting prospect.

Learn more about Enterprise Technology at Croydon High School here.

Today I discovered
a new talent

Alice aged 11

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Today I discovered a new talent

Alice’s Dad is delighted she has discovered the joys of cricket! He is not the only one.

When we asked the question “anyone for cricket?” we didn’t quite anticipate either the level of enthusiasm or the amount of burgeoning talent just waiting to be released in girls from Year 9 and under.

Because we are always looking for new ways to inspire and involve our girls in competitive sport, cricket was re-introduced at Croydon High in 2018. It’s been a steep learning curve but in true Croydon High style everyone has risen to the challenge with some outstanding successes.

Our Under 12 team won the Croydon Schools – amongst some pretty stiff competition – and our Under 14’s, competing in the GDST rally, narrowly missed qualifying for the Cup but went on to emphatically claim the Plate which, in our first year competing, was a fantastic achievement.

Under 12 and Under 14 teams also reached the fiercely contested ‘Smash it’ East Regional finals where… they smashed it! Both teams won in the finals to finish the season in style.

Best of all, girls like Alice have uncovered a new talent and who knows where that might lead?

Today I captured
my own DNA

Seanna aged 10

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Today I captured my own DNA

At the GDST Junior Science Conference at the Royal Institute, Seanna learned that 50% of our DNA is the same as that of a banana and that only 0.1% of our DNA makes us unique. She and the rest of Year 5 spent an incredible day extracting her own DNA in the L’Oréal lab, creating necklaces to take home that held a piece of their own DNA inside. Seanna even created her own personal chromosomes matching her individual characteristics.

But we didn’t need the evidence to prove that Seanna and all her friends are totally unique – we see it in every girl, every day.

Today I went into orbit

Annabella aged 7

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Today I went into orbit

For Annabella in Year 2, learning about the solar system really is an ‘out of this world’ experience.

Our innovative 4D room – an immersion space which can be programmed to deliver a learning experience in Space, in Tudor England, at the bottom of the ocean or indeed anywhere – means that our teachers can design truly bespoke learning experiences for the girls. They respond to what they see, hear and feel with incredible levels of understanding and creativity.

But it’s not just the teachers. 4D club (a group of 10 and 11 year olds) also plan and deliver lessons to younger pupils using the 4D room.

Imagination has no limits…

Today I performed
my first composition

Sophia aged 12

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Today I performed my first composition

Sophia is a Year 7 Music Scholar who discovered her passion for composing in music lessons in our Junior School.  She developed her considerable talent throughout her first year in the Senior School, with her first major composition ‘Life’ performed by a piano trio in our Chamber Music Festival.  Scored for two violins and piano, Sophia played the piano part herself in front of a large and appreciative audience. Winning a special award for composition following this performance, as well as the Year 7 Music Prize at this year’s Prizegiving will, we suspect, be only the beginning for Sophia.

Today I met
my big sister

Kiara aged 15

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Today I met my big sister

When Amy started Year 7 this year she didn’t expect to meet her big sister. But that is what Kiara has become; someone to lend a listening ear and to pass on the benefit of her experiences – and perhaps even an occasional hug if Amy’s day wasn’t going so well.

At Croydon High we recognise that positive mentoring is a key factor contributing to a general sense of wellbeing. And who best to mentor our younger girls, than the older ones who can relate first hand to all they are experiencing?

At the end of Year 9, girls like Kiara can apply to be a ‘big sister’ and are interviewed by members of the sixth form and pastoral staff. Those who show the right attributes, are given training and support and then, at the beginning of Year 10, they are matched with a “little sister” starting Year 7. The girls meet up regularly and are always available to help with any small worries and concerns.

Some become good friends whilst for others, it’s just someone to wave to in the corridor.

Just like real sisters…

Today I joined
Team GB

Amelia aged 12

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Today I joined Team GB

Sisters, Amelia (Year 8) and Francesca, together with Amber (both Year 6) have all been selected to represent Team GB in Biathle this year. Not only is the school immensely proud of the girls and their hard work, but we also admire the way these elite athletes inspire and encourage their peers and team mates.

Our annual Sports Presentation Evening is a joyous reflection of the many team and individual successes of the year.

These range from every single girl, from Year 3 to Year 7, taking part in a competitive inter-school netball fixture, to the national and regional representation from our girls in rugby, hockey, biathlon, table-tennis and swimming. These include Year 7’s Marion, who came back to school just weeks after major back surgery at the beginning of the year, was back training in the pool within months, swimming at Nationals and qualifying for the English National Championships.

Exciting futures lie ahead…

Today I encountered a monster

Eleanor aged 13

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Today I encountered a monster

Eleanor was one of the Year 8 pupils who took part in Frankenstein Day; a deep, enriching learning experience, completely outside of the normal classroom context. Teachers, from across the curriculum areas, helped girls discover the historical and cultural context behind the novel and its creation. Themes explored covered the explosion of scientific understanding which transformed Britain into an industrial nation, the emergence of medical science and its constant need of a supply of cadavers for dissection, the questioning of previously accepted ideas concerning the creation of life…

In the afternoon, girls worked collaboratively to produce their choice of artistic, literary, music or dramatic creative responses on the themes of My Monster, Mary’s Monster or Our Monster. The sensitivity, creativity and maturity of their responses was inspiring, as was their appetite for more of the same.

We may have created a monster ….

Today I lit
up the stage

Kirsten aged 14

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Today I lit up the stage

Some like to tread the boards and stand in the spotlight; some like to stay backstage and create that spotlight. We believe that every one of our girls can contribute if we take the time to help them discover their individual talents and then to use them well.

For Kirsten and Izzie, it was an opportunity to learn about backstage lighting and sound that appealed more than memorising lines and auditioning. Having the chance to work with our highly experienced  technician, meant that they developed the skills to ensure that their classmates at the Leatherhead Drama Festival this year were kept firmly in the spotlight.

Today I read a book
that changed my life

Abi aged 12

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Our ‘Read around the World’ project this year encouraged girls to explore a book from every continent. One suggestion was Adeline Yen Mah’s memoir Chinese Cinderella, which tells the moving story of a difficult childhood in the 1940s with a cruel stepmother and neglectful father.

In a passionate presentation, Abi in Year 8 was clearly moved by the courage and tenacity which Adeline showed, in heart-wrenching circumstances and in the midst of despair.

“This book has changed my life,” said Abi explaining how reading it had made her appreciate how fortunate she was, inspiring her to overcome any challenges she faces with a similar attitude to that of the author.

It’s also a book she admits she may never have picked up, without the encouragement of her teachers.

Life changing…

Today I challenged
the status quo

Megan aged 15

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Today I challenged the status quo

Megan is proud to be part of the Amnesty Club, a group renowned for being passionate campaigners for Human Rights issues, inspired to support charitable concerns and engaged in meaningful debate. Megan believes that injustice should always be challenged and the voiceless must have their stories heard.

Megan is an extremely talented actress who is already picking up ‘Best Actress’ nominations on the circuit. We believe her philanthropic experiences help her deliver credible and sensitive performances.

Watch this space…

Today I performed
at The Fringe

Jennifer and Leah aged 17

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Today I performed at The Fringe

Jennifer and Leah, in Lower Sixth will be part of the world’s largest arts festival this summer, when they (along with the rest of the Ivy Players) perform “There’s A Leak!” by Ben Hales, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

It is Head of Drama, Emma Webb’s second Croydon High trip to the Fringe and as she explains, it is a wonderful opportunity for the girls to perform in front of a discerning live audience in an incredibly inspirational environment.

Our girls should be used to that; productions in school, recently including ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ and Oliver! attract capacity audiences and we are very proud of both the level of individual performance and the fact that so many girls are keen to get involved.

Dramatic and musical events like these enhance the life of the school, with teachers and girls working collaboratively to produce outstanding productions and create unforgettable memories. Look out for ‘Hairspray’ at Croydon High – February 2019!

On with the show…

Today I reached
the summit

Siena aged 16

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Today I reached the summit

Metaphorically and literally, Siena has reached the summit this year. One of our Senior Prefect Team and an inspiring role model to younger girls, Siena has her sights firmly set on a career in Architecture. She is an Art Scholar, plays piano and flute to a high standard, sings in the Choir and still manages to keep her excellent academic progress right on track.

Siena also completed her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award this year, determinedly approaching all the challenges that make up this demanding programme, culminating in a grueling assessed expedition in the Peak District.

Today I secured my future

Alita – 2017 Leaver

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Today I secured my future

Alita is a typical example of a Croydon High girl who knows her own mind and aspirations. A true all-rounder; a Senior Prefect who regularly wowed audiences with her dramatic and vocal performances in school productions. She was also a proficient debater and a strong campaigner for Human Rights issues.

Despite being an obvious candidate for Oxbridge, Alita chose, instead, and was offered, a place on the highly regarded Liberal Arts degree at Exeter.

Her remarkable three A*grades and an A* for her EPQ in 2017 secured this offer.