Ifield Community College
|Local authority||West Sussex County Council|
|DfE URN||126071 Tables|
|Colours||Black (and red logo)|
|Former name||Ifield Grammar School|
The school is entirely comprehensive, providing education for around 1000 pupils aged between 11 and 18 of all abilities.
Most pupils attending the school live within the catchment area, and transfer from one of the local primary schools:
- The Mill Academy School
- Waterfield Primary School
- West Green Primary School
- The Bewbush Academy
- Gossops Green Primary School
- Langley Green Primary School
- St.Margarets Primary School
The school has history dating back to 1852 - nearly 100 years before the coming of the new town. It began life as a free school opened by Mrs Sarah Robinson in the village of Crawley. A new building was opened in 1854 in what was later to become known as Robinson Road in honour of the teacher. In 1953, the school lost its primary-aged pupils with the opening of the new West Green county junior and infants' school. Many older pupils were moved to the newly opened Hazelwick School with the remainder transferring to the new Sarah Robinson secondary modern School buildings opened on the Ifield campus in 1956.
At this time, the secondary modern school shared a campus with the newly opened Ifield County Grammar School, built in 1955. The schools worked closely together, eventually merging in 1966 to become Ifield comprehensive school following retirement of the Headteacher at the Sarah Robinson school. A distinguished headmaster, Mr Bomford, was brought in to oversee the transition and he introduced a new formality, with senior teachers wearing gowns in assemblies for the first time. As one of the biggest schools in England, Ifield had a considerable reputation for sport, particularly soccer and athletics. The pupils at this time included Jeff Bryant, who went on to be a professional footballer with Wimbledon and Alan Minter, a future World Boxing Champion.
Developments in the early 1980s saw the two separate buildings co-locating, with former buildings becoming the home of Ifield Middle School in 1985. In 2005, a new school building opened in the centre of the campus, with the old buildings being demolished.
The campus for the school was set aside in the masterplan for Crawley New Town along the eastern edge of the neighbourhood of Ifield alongside the A23. It was shared with St Margaret's Church of England primary school, and later the Holy Cross Intermediate School.
In 2005, a new building for the school was opened in the south eastern-most corner of the large campus, maintaining the existing tree-lined boundaries. The campus is still shared with St Margaret's School, and now The Mill Primary School and the Manor Green special schools.
Ifield Community College has a very successful and accomplished choir made up of students from all age groups in the school.In 1996 it was the subject of a film by SVC television, directed by Andrew Vere. The choir, led by Patrick Allen (music educator), has performed at some of Europe's major venues, including St Mark's Basilica in Venice (2008),the Royal Festival Hall, London, Barcelona Cathedral, the Auditorium Stravinski in Montreux and a recent (June 2011) collaboration with the BBC Singers saw them performing and recording at Maida Vale Studios. They have been six times finalists at the National Festival of Music for Youth, most recently in 2009, 2010 and 2014.The choir was the subject of a feature on BBC Radio 3's Music Matters in May 2011, focusing on the integration of the choir's Chagossian Drummers. The choir also represented the UK in The Let The People's Sing Gala Concert, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in October 2011. The choir broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 in March 2012 as part of the Voice's Now festival from The Roundhouse, London.
- Hudson, T.P. (ed.) (1987). "Ifield: Education". A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3: Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) including Crawley New Town. Oxford: Institute of Historical Research by Oxford University Press. pp. 72–73. ISBN 0-19-722768-6. Retrieved 2007-01-05.
- Report and Recommendations on Reorganisation of Secondary Education. West Sussex County Council. 1966.
- Hudson, T.P. (ed.) (1987). "Ifield: Education". A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3: Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) including Crawley New Town. Oxford: Institute of Historical Research by Oxford University Press. pp. 93–95. ISBN 0-19-722768-6. Retrieved 2007-01-05.
- "New Crawley Schools get ready to welcome pupils" (Press release). West Sussex County Council. 2005-08-16. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
- "Ifield School and Thomas Bennett Community College". Nicholas Hare Architects LLP. Archived from the original on 2006-09-22. Retrieved 2007-01-05.
- Official School website
- Ifield Community College information on West Sussex Grid for Learning
- Ofsted Information on the school
- Ifield Community College Choir website