Trinity School of John Whitgift

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Trinity School
Logo trinity.gif
, ,

Coordinates51°22′26″N 0°03′35″W / 51.37386°N 0.05967°W / 51.37386; -0.05967Coordinates: 51°22′26″N 0°03′35″W / 51.37386°N 0.05967°W / 51.37386; -0.05967
TypeFrom 1968 Independent
1945-1968 Grammar School
MottoVincit qui patitur
("Who perseveres, conquers")
Established1882; 140 years ago (1882)
FounderJohn Whitgift
Local authorityCroydon
Department for Education URN101842 Tables
Chairman of the Court of GovernorsI. Harley
Head teacherAlasdair Kennedy[1]
GenderBoys, with coeducational Sixth Form
Age10 to 18
Colour(s)Chocolate and Trinity Blue    
Former pupilsTrinity Mid-Whitgiftians

The Trinity School of John Whitgift, usually referred to as Trinity School, is a British independent boys' day school with a co-educational Sixth Form, located in Shirley Park, Croydon. Part of the Whitgift Foundation, it was established in 1882 as Whitgift Middle School and was a direct grant grammar school from 1945 until 1968, when it left the scheme. The present name was adopted in 1954. The school's head is now a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC).

The school's first home was in Church Road, central Croydon, and then from 1931 to 1965 it was at North End, Croydon, in the old premises of Whitgift School, which moved to Haling Park, South Croydon. The "romantic Gothic towers and verdant lawns" at North End, a building of historical significance, dominated the area, but in 1968 the whole edifice was torn down for redevelopment, despite public opposition. Today, the Whitgift Centre stands on the site, in a stark modernist contrast to the old building.

The school's current home was built in 1965 on the site of the former Shirley Park Hotel.


The school is part of the Whitgift Foundation, alongside Whitgift School and the Old Palace School for Girls. The Whitgift Foundation was founded in 1596 by John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury. His legacy allows the School to provide outstanding facilities and a range of bursaries and scholarships, allowing children from all backgrounds to benefit from an exceptional independent school education.

Trinity School was founded in 1882 as Whitgift Middle School. Its original site was in Church Road in central Croydon, occupying the modest buildings of the Croydon Poor School which dated from 1858. In 1931 it moved to its second site in North End in Croydon. After years of confusion with Whitgift School, in 1954 Whitgift Middle School was renamed Trinity School of John Whitgift. However the school's Old Boys' Club was still known as the Old Mid-Whitgiftians until early 2010, when a vote was taken to change the name to the Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian Association.

Trinity School of John Whitgift

The school was a direct grant grammar school from 1945 until 1968, when it left the scheme but continued to take LEA-funded pupils until the late 1970s.[2][3][4]

Trinity School moved to its present and third home in Shirley in 1965, built on the site of the Shirley Park Hotel, which itself was a redevelopment of a large Georgian house called Shirley House, built in 1720, once a home of the third Earl of Eldon.

The school today[edit]

Many of Trinity's pupils come from local schools and so join aged 10 or 11, but there is also a large intake of prep school boys at 10, 11 and 13+. A traditional curriculum is studied by all pupils, with optional subjects at GCSE such as Mandarin Chinese becoming more popular.

The school has a co-educational Sixth Form, a feature that was implemented in September 2012. For this change, a new state-of-the-art Sixth Form Centre was constructed and opened by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Trinity has enjoyed regional and national success in its main school sports of rugby union, field hockey, cricket, and water polo, and also in other sports as diverse as swimming, athletics, and squash. The school has a climbing wall, two large astro-turf pitches and four hard tennis courts, along with pitches for rugby, cricket, soccer, and athletics, as well as the school's nearby field, Sandilands, and an indoor sports centre, with two large halls, several squash courts, a gymnasium, and an accompanying weights-room.

Trinity School Racing[edit]

Trinity School Racing began in 2001 with the construction of their first car TSR-1 (first known as "Trinifinity"). Now the club is a major competitor in the racing competitions competing in both Greenpower and the Shell Eco-Marathon competition held across the country with 5 environmentally-friendly cars TSR-1, TSR-2, TSR-3, TSR-4 and The Strident Trident.

TSR-4 was the brainchild of sixth-former Joshua Evans (now an engineer at Williams F1). The car was built in time for the Castle Combe heat in 2007 with a team composed of TSR4 team manager John-Luke Wilkinson and its four drivers Tom Channon, Nick Chrumka, Dan Wilkinson and Casper Ikeda. In its first season racing in 2007 it came 2nd in its first race, 1st in its second race and 2nd overall in the national final. In 2008 the car was entered into F24+ where Josh drove the car to victory in five races, claiming the 2008 Drivers and Constructors titles.[5][6]

Trinity Boys Choir[edit]

Trinity Boys Choir, led for many years by David Squibb,[7] is well known for its outstanding musical achievements,[8] especially through its choristers under the direction of Director of Music, David Swinson. It has enjoyed a high professional profile, both at home and abroad, for the past forty years. In the world of opera, the boys appear on such prestigious stages as Glyndebourne, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, English National Opera and various opera houses abroad, including the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Opéra-Comique, Paris, and La Fenice, Venice. The boys are especially well known for their part in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which they have appeared in over one hundred and fifty professional performances, and they feature in the Warner DVD and Virgin Classics CD. They can be seen and heard in many different recordings of these operas.

In recent years the boys have appeared in many productions at the Royal Opera House, including Carmen, Parsifal, Tosca, Turandot, The Queen of Spades and Wozzeck, and were honoured to perform in Her Majesty the Queen's 80th Birthday Prom Concert and the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

Recent orchestral collaborations have included work with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and his Monteverdi Choir, with whom they have given concerts in London, Spain, Germany, and Italy, including a performance of Monteverdi's Vespers in St Mark's, Venice, to mark the Monteverdi Choir's 40th birthday. Trinity Boys Choir has also performed in Vienna with the Vienna Boys' Choir, and in France, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Norway.

In 2011 the boys appeared in the music video for the song "No Light, No Light" from the indie-rock band Florence and The Machine. They also appeared on the symphonic death metal opera album Quarterpast by Dutch metal supergroup MaYaN. The choir's most recent recording, REFUGIUM, with works by Howard Moody, Graham Lack and Judith Weir, was released in 2014 as an LP and a CD.


The current headmaster is Alasdair Kennedy, previously Deputy Master at Dulwich College, who joined the school in September 2016 on the retirement of Mark Bishop.[1]

From 1882 to present[edit]

  • 1882-1908: William Ingrams
  • 1905-1919: Rev G A Jones
  • 1919-1951: Horace Clayton
  • 1952-1972: Oliver Berthoud
  • 1972-1994: Robin Wilson
  • 1995-1999: Barnaby Lenon
  • 1999-2006: Christopher Tarrant
  • 2006–2016: Mark Bishop[1]
  • 2016–Present: Alasdair Kennedy[1]

Combined Cadet Force[edit]

The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at Trinity consists of the three sections (Army, RAF and RN). Pupils have the opportunity of joining the CCF in the Spring Term of the Third Form and the minimum length of service is four terms. Cadets then follow a common recruits' syllabus for two terms before choosing which of the three sections they wish to join. At the end of the Summer Term all cadets have the option to attend a UK Central Camp.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Former pupils of Trinity School of John Whitgift are known as Old Mid Whitgiftians.




Politics and public service[edit]




Notable ex staff members[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d New Headmaster appointed at Trinity dated 30/11/15, at, accessed 25 July 2019
  2. ^ "History of School". Trinity School of John Whitgift. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Outline History Of The Whitgift Foundation". The Friends Of The Old Palace. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  4. ^ Donnison, David, ed. (1970). Report on independent day schools and direct grant grammar schools. Public Schools Commission, Second Report. Vol. 1. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. p. 49. ISBN 0-11-270170-1.
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  6. ^[bare URL]
  7. ^ "Squibb obit in Times". 13 March 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  8. ^ "BCSD - Trinity Boys Choir, Croydon". 1 January 2004. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  9. ^ Monza Year Book 1965,Montlhery Milestones

External links[edit]