Senior School Co-Curricular

Old Palace is committed to the concept of learning beyond the academic curriculum. For us, co-curricular is integral to the curriculum rather than an add-on. As such, we encourage all our students to develop new skills each term by joining at least three of over 80 Co-Curricular clubs and activities each term – held before and after school and at lunchtime.

These range from dance, drama, sport and CCF to an extensive number of subject-related workshops which are designed to stretch and challenge our students.

Whitgift School Annual CCF Inspection
Photography by Danny Fitzpatrick / DFphotography

Students are encouraged to enter selected competitions to challenge their thinking and creativity, such as maths and science challenges, essay and poetry writing competitions and debating events (including some in foreign languages).

Co-Curricular Clubs 23-24

Workshops and lectures are organised on a regular basis. At Old Palace, these are called “Points of Departure” (PoDs) and they aim to stimulate interest and motivate students to explore an area beyond the normal school curriculum. Recent PoDs have included:

  • Fun with flags: every country has one but what do they mean?
  • Witchcraft and the demonisation of women
  • Nature and Nurture: theories of intelligence
  • Ethics in Shakespeare
  • Comparative French and English poetry
  • Mathemagics: number tricks and how they work
  • Studying Abroad
  • Dodgy Limits – a short history of infinity
  • The Physics of the human body
  • Looking at Greek tragedy: the creepy stories of the Greeks
  • Women, sport and the media
  • Emotional Design

The Library

The Library is housed in the beautiful, Grade 1 listed Guard Room where students from Years 7-13 can visit every break and lunchtime to borrow books, use the computers for research, finish their homework and find a space for some ‘time-out’ thinking, creativity and calm. Many extra curricular clubs take place here including reading, the ‘Woolly Wellbeing’ group of knitters and crocheters, Dungeons & Dragons and Book Club.

Book Club allows students to read and complete book-related activities, including competitions and creative responses linked to shadowing shortlisted books from national and internationally recognised children’s book awards. Shadowing takes place throughout the academic year,  and shadowing shortlisted books allows students to read and compare books written by new and established authors from different genres, widening their reading experience and reflecting on what makes award-winning books.

Music: Music plays a very important part in the life of Old Palace. Many students choose to play an instrument during their time at the Senior School and we are able to offer an extensive number of peripatetic music staff who undertake instrumental tuition for approximately 200 students. Girls may elect to learn the piano, flute, saxophone, percussion, trumpet, trombone, oboe, clarinet, violin, cello, double bass, viola, French horn, bassoon, harp or guitar. Associated Board Examinations are also conducted regularly at school. We run a training and senior school orchestra as well as a number of ensembles and groups such as steel pans.


As a member of The Choir Schools Association, our chapel choir sings monthly evensong services in Croydon Minster, and also sings regularly at cathedrals around the country. Our Chamber Choir has won a number of competitions and singers from the school have recently performed with the internationally renowned London Mozart Players on several occasions, including performances of Holst’s ‘Planets’, and Mendelssohn’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. We also regularly put on school musicals such as Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and collaborate with Whitgift School. Recent productions have included ‘Seussical’, ‘Hairspray’, and ‘Guys and Dolls’.