Whitgift School supports the local community in the Whitgift Primary Project.
Set up in 2000 through a partnership consisting of the Croydon Advertiser, Croydon Business and Education Partnership, the Primary Project is now funded and run entirely by Whitgift School. It gives primary schools from the Croydon area the chance to attend Whitgift for one week per year, to use the facilities around the school for ICT and a variety of other subjects. Approximately 1,000 children from over 30 primary schools visit Whitgift for the Primary Project every year. The Project runs during every full school week of the year and is fully integrated into the everyday routine at Whitgift.
During the week the children are taught subjects by Whitgift staff across the curriculum. In Computer Science, children are introduced to coding with Scratch software, website design, graphics work, animation, music composition, robotics and movie making. As part of their Science allocation, the pupils experience a hands-on Chemistry lesson using Bunsen burners. Pupils have two Language lessons, currently Mandarin Chinese and Japanese; the children are introduced to the culture and geography and take part in games, role plays and singing. The pupils have a PE lesson with a specialist coach from a choice of a wide range of sports. In Music, pupils are introduced to Djembe drums and they play a copycat rhythm game. In addition to the curriculum work, pupils are given exposure to some of the exotic wildlife found at the School by undertaking drawing improvement sessions.
Through the Project, Whitgift aims to provide pupils from Croydon primary schools with the opportunity to experience a week of learning in a unique and inspiring environment. Pupils encounter a large secondary school environment for the first time, giving them an insight into life after primary school. Whitgift aims to keep abreast of advances in the curriculum, and the teaching resources available, to ensure that pupils are exposed to fresh and innovative concepts. Whitgift sees the potential in the visiting pupils and aims to inspire these pupils by showing them what they can achieve during their visit.
Laura Wallace, class teacher at Kingsley Primary School said: “I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you and the Primary Project for providing our children with an opportunity to explore learning at your school. The children had an amazing time and some are now even talking about university, which is a big step! It has opened some of the children's minds to what they can achieve, when they apply themselves. Helping to raise children's aspirations is something we value enormously.”