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Riddlesdown Collegiate

Further information about the Collegiate can be obtained from the Collegiate’s website - Link

Principal of Riddlesdown Collegiate; Dr Parimal Bhatt

Chief Executive - The Collegiate Trust; Mr Soumick Dey.

The Trust’s website

Temporary Collegiate Closure - 30/11/23

An update for living residents near to Riddlesdown Collegiate - parents have been advised the entire building complex is closed for students for the remainder of this week.

The closure is related to the electricity sub station issues that they have had earlier in this week and resultant ongoing problems with heating.

Information for Residents

Update 5/9/23

This page covers news and information from the Riddlesdown Collegiate. Some residents will have previously known the School, by the name of Riddlesdown High School. The School changed its name in September 2009. The Collegiate is now broken down into four Colleges of about 400 pupils each, plus a Creative and Performing Arts College and a 6th Form College.

This Collegiate is now the largest secondary school within the London Borough of Croydon, with nearly 2,000 students attending it and about 200 staff. Our Chairman Brian Longman, is the RRA Riddlesdown Collegiate Liaison Officer. Brian (as well as some other committee members) have a lot of contact with the Collegiate Principal, Dr Parimal Bhatt and the Chief Executive of the Collegiate Trust; Mr Soumick Dey and we liaise with them on a regular basis.

If any local resident(s) have concerns about the behaviour of students entering and leaving the Collegiate, litter, or large events that the School hold, or indeed praise for the Collegiate students and staff, then please feel free to contact us, via our e-mail address Riddlesdownresidents@gmail.com

Riddlesdown Collegiate Term Dates

Information below, taken from Riddlesdown Collegiate website (8/11/22)
Term dates

School Times and Facilities

Normal school day timings ;

8.30am – 3 pm EVERY day and will no longer be a staggered finish.

However, there are various after school clubs (and some weekend activities), meaning that some schoolchildren pass through Riddlesdown later than these times.

The 6th Form pupils also pass through Riddlesdown at different times, depending on when they have lessons and breaks during the day. There are also some ‘holiday clubs’ running in the school holidays. These are listed on the Collegiate website.


End of Autumn Term - Friday 22 December 2023 (students will be allowed home at lunchtime)

Start of Spring Term -Tuesday 8 January 2024

Half Term -Monday 12 February 2024 to Friday 16 February 2023 (inclusive)

End of Spring Term - Friday 28 March 2024

Start of Summer Term - Monday 15 April 2024

Half Term - Monday 27 May 2024 to Friday 31 May 2024 (inclusive)

End of Summer Term - Friday 19 July 2024 (students will be allowed home at lunchtime)

Update 6/1/20

We have also sought clarification from Mr Dey about the release of children early (lunchtime) at the end of each full term. Mr Dey advises us that this only applies at the end of the Autumn and Summer terms i.e. December and July. It does not apply at the end of the Spring term (just before Easter, either in March or April)) when children will be in the Collegiate for the full day. Although TfL are advised of the early closure on these two days by the Collegiate, it doesn't necessarily mean there will be additional buses (or the 612 running) to take the children home, when the Collegiate finish early on these days. But the Collegiate and the RRA will try and seek clarification from TfL about this.

Collegiate Report (from The Riddlesdown Recorder- Autumn 2022)

By Soumick Dey – Principal

Our students and staff returned to the Collegiate last September, full of hope and optimism for the academic year ahead. We were no longer operating in “bubbles” or with staggered timings and all students were able to return to their Colleges. We were delighted to be able to welcome visitors again and, just as in the pre-pandemic years, we saw over 2000 people through our doors across a series of Open Events in the autumn term. Whilst it would be incorrect to say that there was no further disruption to learning – student and staff absence has still been affected, and we have again had periods of face masks being worn in indoor spaces including classrooms – this academic year has certainly felt more “normal” than the previous two.

Students have been able to resume their engagement in all the wonderful activities that make school life special: competitive sport, playing in the orchestra, singing in the choir, putting on a play and learning off-site on educational visits. Next year, this programme will be further restored as we begin to take students abroad again for the first time in over two years. A real highlight this year was our production of Shrek the Musical – a fun, funny and joyful show, performed with huge talent and enthusiasm, the perfect “comeback” show after the forced hiatus in 2021.

At the same time, students have been working hard to ensure their good academic progress. GCSE and A-Level exams returned this summer and if grades were awarded on effort alone, we could expect to see some fabulous results in August! I am confident that students will have performed very well and their success will set them up for the next stage of their educational journey.

The Collegiate site has continued to be developed this year. Our College VI refurbishment programme has now been completed with the construction of two new classrooms, a brand new Fitness Suite and an extension to the College VI Café. Our facilities now match our ambitions and further demonstrate why College VI is the place to be for Sixth Form success. Clearly, many students, including a large number from other schools, agree as we have seen a significant increase in the number of applications and enrolments.

After 7 years in my current post, this will be my last report for the Riddlesdown Recorder as from September 2022, I will be stepping into the role of Chief Executive of The Collegiate Trust – the family of schools that Riddlesdown Collegiate is a part of. This follows the decision of my predecessor, Mr Gordon Smith, to retire this summer after twenty years in Croydon, nine of which were as Principal at Riddlesdown. Our school, as it is today, reflects the vision for an exceptional education for all that Mr Smith conceived many years ago. He introduced the small schools model in 2009, he encouraged cultural and creative learning as well as a focus on academic rigour, he oversaw huge capital projects and steered the school through its change to an academy. Since 2015, he has led The Collegiate Trust, still maintaining a keen interest in and support for Riddlesdown Collegiate and its community. Mr Smith’s legacy will leave a lasting impression on our school and, on behalf of everyone in our community, I would like to thank him for his enormous contribution to what has been achieved at Riddlesdown and wish him a very happy and relaxing retirement.

My successor as Principal will be Mrs Katie Turner, who already knows Riddlesdown well, having been a part of our team since 2013 and a student at Riddlesdown High School herself in the 90s! I know that she is looking forward to engaging with the community and I am grateful for the support that I know she will be given.

Collegiate Report (from The Riddlesdown Recorder- Autumn 2021)

By Soumick Dey – Principal

When I last wrote an article for the Riddlesdown Recorder in early March 2020, I concluded by commenting that “we share the nation’s concerns about the potential impact of the Coronavirus” but that “hopefully, things will pass without significant impact on our schools or our communities” – I am not sure whether those comments ever made it to print, but little did we know then what challenges were lying ahead!

Schools were informed on Wednesday 18th March 2020 that at the end of that week, they would close to all except the most vulnerable students and the children of key workers. When students and staff left the site on that Friday, I think many assumed that the arrangement would go on till Easter and then all would return to normal for the summer term. On Monday, however, the country went into its first lockdown and so began a long period of remote learning and a huge change to our dayto-day lives. It was nearly six months before all students were able to return in September 2020 and the school they returned to was now operating in a very different way. Students had been grouped into separate “bubbles” and huge efforts were made to minimise mixing, including the introduction of staggered timings, multiple access points and separate dining arrangements. Whilst we were fortunate not to have any positive cases early in the term, as we approached Christmas, a number of students and staff were affected and many more were being required to self-isolate as we began to implement contact tracing. We were soon teaching and learning in face masks and doing all that we could to reduce the risk of transmission. As schools closed again in January 2021, we resumed remote learning and then established our own test centre in March 2021, administering 4500+ lateral flow tests as students returned from the last lockdown. For the first time since public exams began, they were cancelled in 2020 and then again in 2021, with students being awarded Centre Assessment Grades instead. We missed our shows, concerts, assemblies, sporting events and school trips. But, in spite of the difficulties, students have continued to make great progress and enjoy huge success at the Collegiate, where our clear focus has remained on PEOPLE and LEARNING. It has been the strength of our community, the relationships we have with our students and their families and our determination to adapt as necessary that have enabled us to continue to deliver an outstanding education. Of course, there have been compromises and restrictions, but we have not lost sight of what makes Riddlesdown Collegiate a special place and we are looking forward with confidence and optimism as we work to restore our exceptional normality.

As we begin a new academic year, we are celebrating students’ outstanding A Level, BTEC & GCSE results which have allowed the vast majority to move onto their preferred destinations at university or College VI. We are also looking forward to the completion of the College VI extension, which will include a brand new, modern Fitness Suite, and to further enhancements including refurbished student toilets and digital screens in all classrooms.

After a year without visitors, we shall be opening our doors again in the autumn with a series of Open Mornings and our Open Evening on 30th September 2021. Our busy programme of lettings has already recommenced and we are pleased to see so many local groups keen to benefit from our superb facilities.

Over the last 18 months, it has been clear that in so many ways, schools keep communities together. At Riddlesdown Collegiate, we are proud of the role we play in our community and grateful for the support that our community provides to us. Strong partnerships have helped us through tough times and together, we shall continue to thrive.

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