Schools mark 100th

Croydon Guardian: A century ago: Winterbourne Boys school first-ever school pictures, taken in 1908 Picture: Croydon Local Studies Library and Archive Service. A century ago: Winterbourne Boys school first-ever school pictures, taken in 1908 Picture: Croydon Local Studies Library and Archive Service.

Three schools are to celebrate 100 years of educating Croydon children.

Winterbourne Boys and Girls - the country's only two public, single-sex junior schools - are celebrating their centenary later this month. Winterbourne's mixed infants school in Thornton Heath was also opened in 1907 and is marking the same milestone.

Former staff and pupils - some from as far away as Australia - are due to attend an open day at the school on Saturday, June 30. The event will also feature an exhibition of the history of Winterbourne.

On June 29 Croydon's mayor Councillor Derek Millard will unveil a plaque at the schools and all 1,100 pupils from the three schools will release balloons to mark the start of the two-day celebration.

Councillor Maria Gatland, the council's education spokeswoman, said: "The Winterbourne Schools are extremely popular, with a long-standing reputation for high standards of behaviour and education.

"There have been a number of attempts to amalgamate the schools, in 1974, 1990 and latterly in 2001.

"On each occasion, parents rejected the proposals and the schools have continued as they are on three separate sites.

"Their success as separate schools is due in no small part to the close working relationship that exists between the three head teachers. Our congratulations and warm wishes to pupils and staff, past and present."

A specially commissioned centenary book written by children with contributions from ex-pupils will be available on the day. Named after a stream which used to flow in the winter, all three Winterbourne schools opened on January 6, 1907. The boys' and girls' schools are the last remaining single-sex, local authority-maintained, junior schools in the country.

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