Thistley Hough Academy

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Thistley Hough Academy
Thistley Hough Academy logo.png
Thistley Hough

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Coordinates53°00′00″N 2°12′08″W / 52.99989°N 2.20225°W / 52.99989; -2.20225Coordinates: 53°00′00″N 2°12′08″W / 52.99989°N 2.20225°W / 52.99989; -2.20225
TypeCommunity School
MottoMy open eyes desire the truth.
Local authorityStoke-on-Trent
SpecialistMedia Arts college
Department for Education URN124441 Tables
PrincipalMrs Holly Hartley Mrs Jayne Schofield (Acting)
Age11 to 16

Thistley Hough Academy is a mixed community secondary school located in the village of Penkhull in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. The school was built in 1938 as a school for girls but now caters for both girls and boys aged 11–16. It was originally housed in a classical Art Deco building.[1] The old building has since been demolished and a new £15,000,000 school has been constructed. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new building took place in September 2011[2] and was opened in May 2013 by the Chairman of Stoke City Football Club Peter Coates.[3]


The academy’s motto is “my open eyes desire the truth”, which is adapted from the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem “Freedom”. The original line appears in the following stanza of the poem:

“Her open eyes desire the truth.
The wisdom of a thousand years
Is in them. May perpetual youth
Keep dry their light from tears;”

The motto was originally adopted in 1938 when the school first opened as a girls' grammar school, and was re-established as the school motto in 2012.


The school was first opened in 1938. The current academy colours - green and purple - date from the school's inception as a grammar school for girls. The first headmistress, Miss Bamber, was a member of the suffragette movement. Local pottery companies donated pieces of pottery for the school's reception area. The pottery is still displayed in the school library today.[4]

House system[edit]

Thistley Hough has developed a house system linked into the pottery industry within Stoke-on-Trent. The four houses are:

Each house has a house captain who is responsible for overall control and organisation of house activities throughout the year. Houses compete throughout the year in various competitions from team building, sports, academic challenges and spelling bees. Houses are awarded points and every term the winning house is celebrated during a whole school assembly.

The school also operates a student leadership and prefect system. Student leaders and prefects are elected at the end of year ten and take part in several school activities in order to promote the key values and aims set out by the principal.


Thistley Hough Academy was established in September 2013 in partnership with the Creative Education Trust (CET). CET is a charity and social enterprise set up in 2011.[5]


At the start of each academic year, Thistley Hough has 150 (sometimes more if they make an exception) places available for new year seven students.

Thistley Hough has adopted the ‘Admissions Criteria for Community Schools’ as determined by Stoke-on-Trent Education Service.

  1. Children who are in the care of a local authority
  2. Children who have older brothers or sisters at the school at the time that they will start.
  3. Children who live nearest to the school as determined by a straight line measurement from the front door of the child’s home address to the main entrance of the school.


There have been several variations in uniform since the school opened as a grammar school. Originally, a shirt, tie, mid-calf skirt and green blazer. This changed with the introduction of boys to the school, in the 1970s, due to changes in the education system (and the resolution of the school tripartite system).

For the majority of Thistley Hough's recent past (under the names 'Trent Valley High School' and 'Thistley Hough High School') a black blazer, trouser/skirt and tie was worn (the tie embroidered with the particular colour that represents that student's year group).

Female students in years 7-11 now wear a purple blazer with grey stripes, emblazoned with the school badge, a white shirt, a school tie and either grey trousers or a knee-length grey skirt. A plain grey or purple Dupatta may also be worn.

Male students in years 7-11 wear a purple blazer with grey stripes, emblazoned with the school badge, a white shirt, a school tie and grey trousers.

In Year 10 and 11, students on the leadership team switch to a dark green blazer with the school badge on the pocket. This is to signify their role within school and allow their fellow students to recognise them.

Thistley Hough reunion group[edit]

The Thistley Hough Reunion group has been in place for a number of years and recently celebrated the last reunion meeting in the old building. There are five members of the reunion group who organise refreshments at parent's evenings, host events, Slimming World on Thursdays, assist with reading and assist the school whenever they can.

Notable alumni[edit]

Thistley Hough Girls' School[edit]


News items[edit]

External links[edit]