Thornden School

Last updated

Coordinates: 50°59′42″N1°21′54″W / 50.995°N 1.365°W / 50.995; -1.365


Thornden School
Thornden School Logo
Thornden School
Winchester Road

, ,
SO53 2DW

Type Academy
Religious affiliation(s)none
SpecialistsArts, science
Department for Education URN 136715 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Head teacherSu Whelan
Staff95 as of July 2016 [1]
Age11to 16
EnrolmentOver 1400 as of 22 January 2013 [2]
Houses 10 classes per year
Colour(s)Black, White and Purple Tartan    

Thornden School is a secondary school with academy status [3] in 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 11 tutor groups of around 30 pupils in each tutor group, to form year groups of around 300 people. The head teacher is Su Whelan, who in 2016 succeeded Robert Sykes (CBE) [4] who had held the position for over 20 years.


The following subjects are taught at Thornden School: Art, Business and Economics, Dance, Drama, Design and Technology GCSE, English, Geography, History, ICT, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Music, Physical Education, Computer Science, Religious Education and Science. [5]

Classes and Tutor Groups

The year groups consist of two sides based on the language taught: 5 tutor groups learn French, and 5 learn either German or Spanish.[ citation needed ] There are ten tutor groups in each year (originally AF, AG, FF, FS, FX, GX, KF, KS, MF, MS; this was removed and replaced with the initials of the tutor of each tutor group from September 2017[ citation needed ]) 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.[ citation needed ] Each tutor group has a maximum of 30 pupils as the intake increased.

Each year group has their own Head of Year who stays with them as they progress through the school, who responds to serious problems that arise between students. Students are also sorted into tutor groups, headed by members of staff to enable students to be monitored throughout their time at Thornden. Each tutor group has their own designated "tutor room" where students must report to at the start of the day to be registered; they may return here at lunch to socialise, before another register is taken at the end of lunch. If a tutor group has a PE, Tech, Dance or Drama teacher, different arrangements will be made and they will have a room used by a teacher who does not have a tutor group, such as a Head of Year. However, tutor groups who have Science teachers are not allowed in the labs at break or lunch, and can only enter with the permission and presence of the teacher.

The naming convention for the tutor groups dates back from former house system that was scrapped in 1995.[ citation needed ] Since then houses only held relevance during the annual Sports Day, with the different houses competing, although this has also been removed in favour of competition between individual tutor groups. The houses were 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.[ citation needed ]

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 may take up a second language for Year 9, which was usually Spanish prior to its introduction at Year 7.


There are 104 [6] members of staff at Thornden School. Patrick Earnshaw is the Executive Headteacher of Thornden and the HISP Multi-Academy Trust. [7] . Mr Steve Hicks is the Head of School


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 . Summer of 2007 was when Smike was presented. 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.[ citation needed ]

Other performances take place throughout the year for example, Teacher's Got Talent and Thornden's Got Talent in aid of charity, and the yearly Star for a Night which takes place over 2 nights. Auditions were held on 10 September 2008 for Oliver! and Dracula, the Musical . The most recent show was Guys and dolls.


The uniform consists of a black sweatshirt, white polo shirt (light blue for Year 11), black trousers (not jeans or tight fitting), black leather shoes or similar (plain and low heeled - no boots, trainers, footwear with logos or plimsolls), white / black socks (no obvious patterns), and tartan skirts with flesh-coloured or black tights. [8]

Academic performance

98% of pupils at the school achieved at least 5 A*-C GCSE grades in the Summer of 2011 .[ citation needed ]

The most recent inspection was in June 2022, in which the school received a 'Good' rating OFSTED [9] . The report cited students' concerns over complaints of bullying not being adequately addressed by staff and inconsistent attention to detail in safeguarding records. The report also found that teachers sometimes do not check that students' learning has been successfully embedded. [10] .

Prior to the June 2022 Ofsted inspection, Thornden School had been consistently rated 'Outstanding', although a full inspection had not taken place since 2007 [11] .

Thornden Hall

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".

In 2021, building work was completed on Thornden Hall following three years forced closure, after it suffered major roof damage when one of the roof beams was split. The Hall itself has also been upgraded. [12]


In December 2002 [13] 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. [14]

Notable alumni

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Petersfield School</span> Academy, secondary school in Petersfield, Hampshire, England

The Petersfield School (TPS) is located in Petersfield, Hampshire, in southern England. The school opened on 20 June 1958 and remains the only state-funded secondary school in Petersfield. It received Arts College status in September 2004, and became an academy in July 2011.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Court Moor School</span> Community school in Fleet, Hants, England

Court Moor School is one of two secondary schools in the town of Fleet, in Hampshire (UK) for pupils aged 11–16.

The Burgate School and Sixth Form is an 11–18 academy school. The school is situated in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, and at the current time has approximately 1000 students. The school achieves results above the national average at all levels. GCSE results in 2018 were significantly improved on previous years with a Progress 8 score which ranked the school third in Hampshire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Poynton High School</span> Academy in Poynton, Cheshire, England

Poynton High School is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form located in Poynton, Cheshire, just outside Greater Manchester. The school was maintained by the Cheshire East Local Education Authority until December 2018 when it converted and became a founder member of the True Learning Partnership. The school was opened in 1972, and was awarded Arts College status in 2002. It has 1,421 pupils between Years 7 and 13. This includes a sixth form of 285 pupils.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Highfields School, Matlock</span> Academy in Matlock, Derbyshire, England

Highfields School is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form located in Matlock, Derbyshire, England. At the time of its September 2012 Ofsted inspection, the school had 1175 pupils on roll aged 11–18, with 215 in the sixth form. It is split across two sites in the town 1.8 miles apart.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">St Aidan's Church of England High School</span> Academy in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England

St Aidan's Church of England High School is a mixed Church of England secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. It currently houses over 2500 students of both lower school and sixth form age. The school's Chamber Choir won the 2006 Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year Competition. The next time the school competed, in the 2010 Songs of Praise, the choir was awarded second place.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hounsdown School</span> Academy in Southampton, Hampshire, England

Hounsdown School is a secondary school in Totton, near Southampton, Hampshire, England The school has 1,215 pupils, spanning ages 11 to 16. Classes are held in renovated 1960s buildings and new specialist blocks built since 2000.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">South Bromsgrove High School</span> Academy in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England

South Bromsgrove High School (SBHS) is a co-educational, upper school and sixth form with academy status, located in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England. It is located opposite the housing estate of Charford. The school delivers to GCSE, and A level students from an area between Alvechurch and Malvern with around 1,350 students on roll.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mander Portman Woodward</span> Independent school in United Kingdom

Mander Portman Woodward is a group of British independent schools, with branches in London, Birmingham and Cambridge, offering GCSE and A-Level courses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Portsmouth Academy</span> Secondary, academy in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England

The Portsmouth Academy is a secondary school with academy status, located in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on St Mary's Road in the central district of Fratton near St Mary's Church. Originally established as a girls' school, it became co-educational in the 2017/18 school year.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Woodbridge High School, Woodford Green</span> Community school in St Barnabas Road, Woodford Green, Greater London, England

Woodbridge High School is a co-educational secondary school located in Woodford Green in the London Borough of Redbridge, London, England.

Bridgewater High School is a coeducational secondary school, located over two sites in Appleton, Warrington, Cheshire. The current principal is Keiron Powell, with Tracey Hatton as Head Teacher.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Darrick Wood School</span> Academy school in Orpington, Greater London, England

Darrick Wood School is a mixed secondary school in Orpington, London Borough of Bromley, United Kingdom with a current roll of 1785 pupils. It was first opened in 1975.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brighton Hill Community School</span> Community school in Basingstoke, Hampshire, United Kingdom

Brighton Hill Community School is a coeducational secondary school located in Brighton Hill, Basingstoke in the county of Hampshire in the south of England.

Cirencester Kingshill School is an academy school located on the south east side of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, in England. Opened in 1976 by the Princess Royal, it is one of two secondary schools serving Cirencester and the surrounding area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Scalby School</span> Community comprehensive school in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England

Scalby School is a coeducational secondary school located in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England. It caters for pupils aged 11–16, with around 980 on roll.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Halifax Academy</span> Academy in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England

The Halifax Academy is a mixed all-through school located in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. The school is predominantly made up of children from a South Asian background.

The Heathland School is an 11–18 co-educational community comprehensive school located in the London Borough of Hounslow. As a comprehensive school, Heathland School provides a broad general education for girls and boys.

Outwood Academy Acklam is a comprehensive secondary school with academy status, located in the Acklam area of Middlesbrough, England. It has a mixed intake of both boy and girls, ages 11–16, with over 1000 pupils on roll as of 2018.

Winton Community Academy is a mixed secondary school located in Andover in the English county of Hampshire.


  1. "Staff List (Thornden School > Parents > Staff List)". Thornden School. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  2. "About Thornden (Thornden School > Information > General Information)". Thornden School. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  3. "Ofsted: Thornden School Academy". Ofsted. 18 February 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  4. "Hampshire people recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours list". Hampshire Chronicle. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  5. "Subject List (Thornden School > Subjects)". Thornden School. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  6. "Teaching Staff List (Thornden School > Parents > Staff List)". Thornden School. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  7. "Senior Leadership Team Staff List (Thornden School > Parents > Staff List)". Thornden School. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  8. "Uniform (Thornden School > Parents > Uniform)". Thornden School. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  9. {{cite web | url= | title=Ofsted: Thornden School
  12. "About Us". Thornden Hall. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  13. "Pair charged over school fire". BBC News. 2 December 2002. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  14. "Pupils set to return to fire-hit school". Daily Echo. 4 December 2002. Retrieved 23 January 2022.