Yes Mittleme, my dd is now in year 8 having joined the school in year 7. She is extremely happy and has made good friends very quickly despite joining without knowing any of the girls. She takes part in a number of lunch time and after school clubs as there are a great deal to choose from.
I agree, it is situated in a not so appealing part of Croydon and I remember having the same concerns that you have mention when considering this school for my daughter. But it is not something we think about now.It just becomes part of the norm. My daughter takes a bus home most days as we are not on the tram route. The tram stop tends to get very crowded with school children.
I must admit though, I collect my daughter from school if she takes part in an after school activity especially during the winter months when it's dark as they tend to finish at 5pm....for my own piece of mind.
If both you and your daughter enjoyed the visit to Old Palace then I think it is worthwhile considering this school. We do not regret our decision.