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Thornden School Logo
|Religious deputy head||Mrs Braithwaite|
|Staff||94 as of July 2013[update]|
|Students||Over 1400 as of 22 January 2013[update]|
|Houses||11 classes per year|
|Colours||Navy Blue and White|
Thornden School is a secondary school with academy status Chandler's Ford, Hampshire. It is an 11-16 (no sixth form), mixed specialist Arts College with Science as the second specialism. There are 1400 pupils on roll and 10 tutor groups of around 300 pupils in each year. The head teacher is Dr R A Sykes, who has held the position for over 20 years.
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The following subjects are taught at Thornden School: Art, Business and Economics, Dance, Drama, Design and Technology, English, Geography, History, ICT, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Music, Physical Education, Religious Education and Science.
The tutor groups consist of French, Spanish and German sides. There are ten tutor groups in each year, (AF, FS, AG, FF, KF, MS, MF, MG, KS, FX and GX) after the yearly intake increased and nine was no longer enough. The last year group to have nine tutor groups left in the Summer of 2007.
Each year group has their own head of year who stays with them as they progress through the school. Students are also sorted into tutor groups, headed by members of staff to enable students to be monitored throughout their time at Thornden.
The naming convention for the tutor groups dates back from former house system that was scrapped in 1995. Since then houses only held relevance during the annual Sports Day, with the difference houses competing. The houses are Albatross, Falcon, Kestrel and Merlin. At this time there were only French and German sides of the houses. FX and GX were additional tutor groups added, with the X standing for Extra.
In Year 9, pupils choose their options for GCSE. At Thornden, all pupils are strongly advised to select at least one modern foreign language from either French, German or Spanish. Some pupils are offered to take up a second language at the end of year 8, although this is not compulsory.
There are now only two MG tutors left in the school as Spanish can now be introduced in year seven.
Heads of Year
There are heads of year at Thornden to manage each year. In the academic year 2012 - 2013 these were the following:
- Year 7—Mrs K Locke
- Year 8— Miss J Ball
- Year 9—Mr R Kelly
- Year 10—Miss C Emmett
- Year 11—Mrs L Welch
At Thornden School, there are 5 senior staff.
- Dr R Sykes—Headteacher
- Mrs S Braithewaite—Deputy Headteacher
- Miss S Whelan—Deputy Headteacher
- Mr S Hicks—Assistant Headteacher
- Mrs A Parry—Assistant Headteacher
The Chair of Governors is Mr O'Connell.
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As Thornden is a performing Arts College, many productions take place inside Thornden Hall involving Thornden Pupils and the wider community. The Thornden Operatic and Musical Society have performed dozens of musicals, most notably Les Misérables, Follies, Aladdin, Oliver!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Fiddler on the Roof. Controversy was sparked however with the performance of Joseph.. because of the licensing conditions only allowing the performance to be by a school group when, going against the contract illegally, TOMS decided to use outside performers. Summer of 2007 was when the outstanding success of Smike took place, which for the first time used only the talented young singers, actors and dancers of Thornden School. Aladdin took place just after Christmas 2007 and The Diary of Anne Frank took place in early April 2008. It starred pupils from year groups 9 and 10.
Other performances take place throughout the year for example, Teachers Got Talent and Thornden's Got Talent in aid of charity and the yearly Star for a Night which takes place over 2 nights, featuring a medly of talented singers and performers at Thornden. Auditions were held on 10 September 2008 for Oliver! and Dracula, the Musical, and it had one of the biggest responses Thornden has ever seen. Oliver! (Last Years Performance) has arguably been the school's biggest success to date. Then again in 2010 Thornden produced another successful production: Wizard of Oz (1939 film). July 2011 has seen Thornden School put on what was has widely been reviewed by audience members as its most successful performance ever, playing Disney's Beauty and the Beast to sellout audiences on most nights, and receiving standing ovations after all performances. But yet again Thornden's latest performance, Annie, was a sell out performance. John Hughes, a show critic said "It was of professional standards, and was fantastic to watch. Rich with talent." In December 2012, it was announced that the July 2013 production would be Hello, Dolly. A record breaking number of people auditioned, 510, and there are only 100 places. The recalls will be on the 27th of February, and the cast list will be posted shortly after.
98% of pupils at the school achieved at least 5 A*-C GCSE grades in the Summer of 2011. The most recent inspection was in June 2007, when Thornden achieved an 'outstanding' grade from OFSTED inspectors. Including English and Maths, the figure was 98% - the best state comprehensive school in Hampshire.
Thornden's results were already at a very high level. The corresponding figures for 2010 were 97% and 98%. To have secured improvement even at these very high levels is a fantastic achievement. The provisional figures also indicate that the value added results (which take account of the level of achievement of the pupils when they entered the school) will also be very high again. There is a distinctive ethos at Thornden which combines a relatively informal and friendly approach with a prime focus on achievement of each individual student.
Thornden Hall is part of a performing arts centre, which was awarded a Commendation in the Civic Trust Awards 2005. Thornden Hall was opened in May 2003 in the presence of percussionist Evelyn Glennie. It is a concert hall designed with acoustics for music performances, with a stage large enough to accommodate a full orchestra and an audience capacity of 388 people. The venue can be adapted for other dance and drama events, presentations and lectures. In addition to the concert hall there are two specialist drama studios, two music rooms and a dance studio, as well as foyer and bar area.
Thornden Hall is the home of the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra, Eastleigh Area Schools Orchestra, Thornden Community Wind Band, TOMS, Stagecoach Theatre Arts, and Tribe Community Arts, who all rehearse or hold classes in the performing arts centre throughout the week. The concert hall is also used for meetings and presentations such as the Hampshire Sports Awards, Blake Lapthorn Linnell Challenge Lecture and Women's Institute "Evening with Kate Adie".
Fire In 2002
In the Winter of 2002 (on December 1, 2002) there was a fire at the school which caused extensive damage to the food and textiles rooms. It also damaged the maths classrooms above. The fire spread rapidly through a wing of the building and took 50 fire fighters from four areas three hours to bring under control. Temporary classrooms were used during repair work, including huts. Two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were charged with arson in connection with the fire which severely damaged the school. The school was closed for two days as a result.
- Daily Echo: Pupils set to return to fire-hit school (December 4, 2002)
- Daily Echo: Why shouldn't teens be named? (October 28, 2003)
- BBC News: Pair charged over school fire (December 2, 2002)
- "Staff List (Thornden School > Parents > Staff List)". Thornden School. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- "About Thornden (Thornden School > Information > General Information)". Thornden School. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- "Ofsted: Thornden School Adacemy". Ofsted. February 18, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
- "Subject List (Thornden School > Subjects)". Thornden School. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- "Teaching Staff List (Thornden School > Parents > Staff List)". Thornden School. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- "Heads of Year Staff List (Thornden School > Parents > Staff List)". Thornden School. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- "Senior Leadership Team Staff List (Thornden School > Parents > Staff List)". Thornden School. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- "Ofsted: Thornden School, before it became an academy". Ofsted. June 27, 2007. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
- "Pair charged over school fire". BBC News. December 2, 2002. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
- "Pupils set to return to fire-hit school". Daily Echo. December 4, 2002. Retrieved September 29, 2013.