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 quae patitur
("He/She who perseveres, conquers")
FounderJohn Whitgift
Local authorityCroydon
Department for Education URN101842 Tables
Chairman of the Court of GovernorsI. Harley
Head teacherMr A Kennedy
GenderBoys, 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. The current building was constructed in 1965 on the site of the former Shirley Park Hotel. The hotel was itself a development of a Georgian mansion called Shirley House, built in 1720 and at one time the home of the 3rd Lord Eldon.

Prior to this, the school occupied a large site in North End in central Croydon where its "romantic Gothic towers and verdant lawns" dominated the area. However, in 1968, the entire edifice, a building of some historical significance, was torn down despite public opposition. The old buildings of Trinity School had previously been occupied by Whitgift School prior to its move to Haling Park in south Croydon in 1931. Today, the area which once marked the old school is where the Whitgift Centre now stands in a modernist opposition to the former building. Trinity is a member of The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC).


The school is part of the Whitgift Foundation, alongside Whitgift School and 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 an extensive 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.[1][2][3]

Trinity School moved to its present and third site in Shirley in 1965.

The school today[edit]

A significant proportion of Trinity's pupils come from local schools and so join aged 10 or 11, however there is also a large intake of prep schooled boys at 10, 11 and 13+ who choose Trinity School over other public schools. The traditional curriculum is studied by all pupils at Trinity with the optional subjects at GCSE such as Mandarin Chinese becoming more and 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.

As well as in the main sports of water polo, rugby union, hockey and cricket, Trinity has also enjoyed regional and national success in sports[citation needed] as diverse as swimming, athletics, and squash. Trinity has outstanding sporting facilities including a multi-million pound centre with two large halls, several squash courts and a gym and accompanying weights-room. There are two large astro-turf pitches and 4 hard tennis courts along with pitches for rugby, cricket, football and athletics as well as the grounds at the school's nearby field, Sandilands.

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.[4][5]

Trinity Boys Choir[edit]

Trinity Boys Choir, led for many years by David Squibb,[6] is well known for its outstanding musical achievements,[7] 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 Opera 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, who joined the school in September 2016 following the retirement of Mark Bishop.

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
  • 2016–Present: Alasdair Kennedy

Combined Cadet Force[edit]

The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at Trinity consist of the three sections (Army, RAF and RN). Pupils have the opportunity of joining the CCF in the Spring Term of the Third Form. 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. The minimum length of service is four terms. Cadets have many opportunities open to them including shooting, outdoor pursuits, taking part in weekend and overnight exercises, flying, gliding and scuba-diving. In addition to traditional military qualifications, cadets can gain Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Awards.

Notable former pupils[edit]

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




Politics & Public Service[edit]




Notable ex staff members[edit]


  1. ^ "History of School". Trinity School of John Whitgift. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Outline History Of The Whitgift Foundation". The Friends Of The Old Palace. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  3. ^ Donnison, David, ed. (1970). Report on independent day schools and direct grant grammar schools. Public Schools Commission, Second Report. 1. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. p. 49. ISBN 0-11-270170-1.
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Squibb obit in Times". 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  7. ^ "BCSD - Trinity Boys Choir, Croydon". 2004-01-01. Retrieved 2012-09-01.

External links[edit]