Headteacher Award for Excellence

I’m very privileged every year to present 12 students in Years 7-10 with the Headteacher Award.  T...

The N5 Project

We were very excited to have been awarded a grant of £29,500 from The Savoy Education Trust allowi...

Art Exhibition

On Thursday 14th June (4.00pm – 6.00pm), the Art Department will open its doors to show the work o...

Art in Action

Artist Lecture Visit at the Institute of Education: On Wednesday 7th March 2018, six A Level phot...

  • 6th Form Open Evening

  • Headteacher Award for Excellence

  • The N5 Project

  • Art Exhibition

  • Art in Action

'This is Therfield' Autumn 2018

Friday 5th October 2018

On 13th September we had a very enjoyable Open Evening for the school.  Students and staff were able to show some of the great things that we do at Therfield.  I enjoyed meeting all that visit the school and there were so many great things happening as you can see from the photos below.

Our One Ocean project with KBR got off to a flying start last week when a group of Year 8 students from Therfield and St John’s School visited West Wittering beach. We spent the morning sampling plastics in the sand with the National Trust and found a surprising amount of small particles which you would otherwise not notice whilst walking on the beach. We worked with KBR employees to clean up sections on the beach and managed to fill a couple of sacks with an assortment of rubbish, including shoes! It highlighted the scale of the problem and gave us a lot to think about when we meet for the first time to start our research.

On Tuesday 18th September we had guest speaker Matt Bullimore visiting from Churchill College, to talk to students in Year 11 to 13 about how to make a successful application to Cambridge University. Students from St John’s School joined our Sixth Formers to hear the best options on ‘A’ levels, how to write a good personal statement and what to expect in an interview at Cambridge University. Our Students were then able ask pertinent questions as the deadline for applications draws closer for next year’s entry and have some insight into the extracurricular activities that help them to stand out as a good candidate.

On Tuesday 25th September Year 12 and Year 13 Law and Politics A Level students took part in a BREXIT negotiation simulation event organised by The University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES).  The event was facilitated by Professor Helen Drake – Loughborough University London and Dr Mark Field – University of Portsmouth, however the students were in charge for the day.  Prior to getting round the negotiation table the students were given a character from the real life BREXIT negotiations to prepare.  The two opposing sides of the UK and the EU were to meet to discuss what should happen regarding freedom of movement following the UK’s departure from the European Union. They were set research work to complete prior to starting the negotiation day in order to find out what their character’s stance was and who likely allies in the negotiations would be.  They then completed the negotiation simulation. 

Students were moderated by Simon King and David Baker taking the roles of Tim Barrow from the UK and Didier Seeuws from the EU.  Each participant at the table had to present their initial stance on the issue, they then had an opportunity to network with each other in order to forge alliances in the hope of reaching a consensus. 

Once back round the table there was opportunity to debate differences in opinion, in which Noor Matouk (playing the role of Teresa May) did particularly well to hold her ground when coming under fire from participants from the EU and her own side. As she was noted to remind us “Brexit means Brexit”. 

The final stage was for the moderators to draft a proposal for the participants to vote on.  Our negotiators were unable to reach consensus in the final vote.    

The students gained a valuable insight into the working of the Brexit negotiations currently taking place and now have a better understanding of the complexities of what the UK Government and the EU are trying to achieve.

Year 10 GCSE Drama Students were taken on a Shakespearian adventure at Leatherhead Theatre with professional Shakespearean directors. Students took part in a workshop where they developed their characters from the upcoming performance of Macbeth with a modern twist. Students were given excellent feedback and congratulated on seeming like a professional company. They thoroughly enjoyed the experience and can’t wait to be on the stage of Leatherhead Theatre again on 28th November!

This week Year 7 embarked upon new experiences during their trip to Cambridge where they got the opportunity to visit the colleges and enjoy a relaxing trip down the river Cam in a chauffeured punt.

The students had a tour around either St. John’s College or King’s College where they took a stroll around the grounds to see the architecture and gardens. In addition to this, students were also able to take a walk around the chapel whilst learning all about the history and interesting facts about the colleges. The aim of this part of the day is to show students the opportunities available to them for further education so that they realise this is something that they can aspire too.

A highlight of the trip was the chauffeured punting down the river Cam. The tour took us down the length of the Backs between Silver Street and Quayside, lasting approximately 45 minutes. The tour included Queens' College and the Mathematical Bridge, King’s College, Claire College, Trinity Hall, Trinity College, St. John’s College, the bridge of Sighs, and Magdalene College. Being chauffeured down the river was very relaxing. Students enjoyed seeing the sights and hearing some of the interesting facts about famous academics and seeing where they studied, such as Stephen Hawking who studied at Trinity Hall and Isaac Newton who studied at Trinity College. This was followed by a picnic lunch and a friendly game of rounders to end the day before heading back to Leatherhead.

Four Year 11 students Chloe, Nicole, Callum and Alex were given the opportunity to visit 3 colleges in the local area to help them decide the next step in their education.

They visited East Surrey College, NESCOT and Guildford. The students were able to have a tour of these colleges during the normal working day, giving them a good feel for college life.

Our students were made very welcome and encouraged to ask questions. There was something on offer for all of them, huge opportunities ranging from vocational subjects like animal care which was very hands on, to IT and game design. It was commented how smart they all looked, a credit to the school.  These visits are of great benefit to the students and will assist them immensely in moving onto the next phase of their education. It most certainly has put their minds at ease.


“Be Kind.  Work Hard.  Play Hard.  Enjoy Yourself.”


James Malley

Friday 7th September 2018

As always at the start of a new year I’d like to welcome all new students, parents and staff to our school community.  2018-19 promises to be an exciting one for the school with the completion of the long-awaited new Drama Studio expected by Christmas!  Linked to the new Drama Studio every student will be undertaking a Sponsored Walk later this half-term which promises to be a lot of fun. 

The thing I look forward to most at the start of a new school year is watching our new Year 7 students take those first important steps on their “7-year Journey”.  I’ve been really impressed by our new students who have been working hard and enjoying themselves as you can see from the photos below. 

It’s also been a pleasure to celebrate a really strong set of GCSE grades with our new Year 12 students who’ve embarked on their Sixth Form ‘adventure’.  Congratulations to all the students (and of course with huge thanks to our amazing teachers and staff and very supportive parents)  for some significant achievements in the new GCSE grades.

Of course a group of students have just completed their “7-year journey” and, following A Level Results day it was a privilege to hear about upcoming plans for University and Apprenticeships from our departing young adults.  These included:-

Evani Alisoroglu who gained 3 As and a place at Warwick University to study Politics and International Relations joined by his Therfield colleagues Iain Cheverton and Elliot Skey who also gained A*AA and both go to Warwick to study Further Maths and Physics. Vicky Stanbridge who gained 3 As will take up her place to study Veterinary Medicine at Nottingham. We are delighted that so many of our students gained their first choice University destination and do hope they keep in touch via our vibrant and thriving Facebook Alumni Group.

This first Blog of the year also needs to reflect on two very successful Curriculum Enrichment days in July.  As you can see from the write-ups and photos below, students undertook some fantastic learning whilst having a significant amount of fun!

Geography embarked on a mission to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Students completed fieldwork and a tour of the park to investigate how it was made sustainably and created a legacy for London and the UK. This included questionnaires, environmental quality surveys and a visit to the energy centre in the park. Some students also braved the orbital slide in the park! Students then used all of the information to decide how the park could improve its legacy further. Ideas included: reducing waste with bins, recycling rainwater, various forms of transportation to move around the park, planting more trees and hosting more events.

On Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th July, students in Year 7 participated in a ‘Bake-off Workshop’ which enabled them to bake, ice and decorate cupcakes and create themed cake stands.

Students spent the morning in the newly refurbished N5 kitchen, measuring out and mixing ingredients to make a batch of cupcakes and butter cream topping, which would later be piped onto the top of the cakes. Students also spent time in the Art department creating artistic cupcake stands following the theme of ‘Nature’, using paper, paint, oil pastel, pencil and pen and natural forms such as leaves and flowers.  

After break, students attended a cake topping seminar in the New Dining Hall, learning how to create a caterpillar, toadstools, butterflies and animal print patterns from fondant icing. Students were totally captivated during the demonstration which they watched in total silence. This enabled the Year 7 students to see close up and first-hand how to construct these cake topping ‘sculptures’, using water and a cake brush to ‘stick’ each icing shape together. Students learnt how to mix coloured icing together and roll it out to merge shapes before cutting out, and creating their own designs.

After lunch, students re-assembled in the Food Technology department to complete their cakes by piping their buttercream, and finishing with their fondant icing decorations. Their masterpieces were ‘complete’ when finally presented on their cake stands.  Prizes were awarded by independent judges, as well as a student vote, for the ‘most inventive approach to theme (cake stand)’ and ‘most exciting icing cake topper design’. In conclusion, students were able to view each other’s and work and sample their creations in celebration of their learning and achievement.

Near 100 of the Year 10 students enjoyed the opportunity to seek some thrills at Thorpe Park on the last day of term. All staff and students had an enjoyable trip and were able to end the year with a fun and exciting day.

On Saturday 13th July at 5.30am a HUGE coach carrying 58 Year 7 students and 7 excited members of staff pulled out of Therfield car park to begin our annual Year 7 European Experience Trip to Alsace.  This is to date the biggest number of students we have taken and it was a huge success!  The students enjoyed the excitement of a ferry trip (for many the first time they had been on a ferry) and a long drive before arriving at our hotel in Colmar.  The first day was spent visiting Germany – having an insight into how rural Germany was in the past at the Open Air Museum in Gutach, and then climbing Europe’s highest waterfall in Triberg.  Monday was spent in the Alsatian capital of Strasburg, also home of the European Parliament.  Students were treated to a boat ride in the summer sun and a walking tour of the old town, learning interesting facts such as when you moved house in the medieval times (if you were lucky to own a house, that is!), you took down the timber pieces one by one, numbered them and then took them all to the new piece of land and put them together again using the numbers to help you!  A bit like medieval Lego…  The final day was spent at Europe’s biggest theme park, EuropaPark.  Whilst the students and many of the staff spent the day thrill-seeking on the crazy rides, Miss Turton and Miss Ashburner bravely manned the meeting point in case of emergencies…..

It goes without saying that the students were a credit to their parents and of course to Therfield School.  We had very positive comments from the hotel, and from a local bus driver who took us to EuropaPark about how well-behaved they were and how polite.  I was very proud to be associated with them.  My thanks go to Miss Ashburner, Mr Hostler, Miss Devonshire, Mr Worrall-Thompson, Mrs Baggs and Mrs Squire for their commitment and help and for giving up their weekend to help run such a successful trip.  And of course, to the fab 58 Year 7s, without whose enthusiasm and excitement the trip would have been very boring! Well done everyone!!  (Miss Turton)

On 16th July, 66 Year 9s undertook a journey of learning and reflection as we headed off to the Belgium Battlefields. It was an early start as we headed for the ferry before continuing our journey to Ypres to spend our first day focusing on the First World War. At Ypres town hall we met our two Belgium tour guides who took us first to Essex Farm Cemetery which was particularly poignant for our group as we visited the grave of one of our student’s antecedents. Private Joe Valentine Strudwick, from Dorking, died at 14 years old during the First World War, making him the youngest soldier killed in battle. We took a moment at his grave, discussing the significance of his age in relation to the students themselves, before moving on to learn about the medical support that was provided in the bunkers located at the end of the cemetery. Following this visit we went on to look at the difference in the German war cemetery. Students were shocked to see the low black grave stones which represented multiple men buried in one place alongside the mass grave containing thousands of soldiers. Having learnt about the causes of the First World War, students reflected on the appropriateness of these graves in comparison to the Allied graves. We then moved on to look at a trench reconstruction, learning about the organisation of the front line, including the support trenches and medical trenches. Finally we visited Tynecott Cemetery, which is the largest Allied cemetery in Ypres. Here we held a private service, during which Rosie Childs read a moving poem she had written as a memorial to a soldier. Students were then asked to leave the memorial message which they had written to a soldier prior to the trip, on a grave of an unknown soldier. There was a further particularly poignant moment when another student was able to find the grave of a relative, again making the Great War of 100 years ago, a closer reality for our students.

Following our day of guided tours, the students went back to the hotels for dinner and a chance to freshen up. After a little free time, and a lot of chocolate buying, we walked to attend the Last Post service at the Menin Gate. During this service three of our students, Owen Lewis, Tori Nevins and Rhys Sydenham had the honour of laying a wreath as part of the service. These students were chosen after entering a competition answering Why should we remember the First World War? After a long and busy day students returned to the hotel for some free time before heading to bed.

Our second day focussed on the Second World War and began with a visit to La Coupole, a Nazi war bunker in which the V2 rockets which bombed London during the blitz were invented. Students learnt about the Nazi use of slave labour and persecution to build the facility, which later developed into the Holocaust. They also learnt about the development of technology from the V2 rockets, into the atomic and hydrogens bombs which formed the Cold War, their most recent topic studied in Year 9. Students were able to enjoy a self-guided tour and watch a variety of films about events at La Coupole and during the Second World War. Our group then moved onto Dunkirk Museum where students were able to enjoy a huge variety of artefacts from the evacuation of Dunkirk as part of Operation Dynamo. Students were able to look at a range of equipment including artillery, guns, vehicles and uniforms which had been left behind by the evacuating troops. This helped students put into perspective the question of whether the evacuation of Dunkirk was a success or failure, a subject which Year 9 had grappled with earlier in the school year. Our final stop was the Eurotunnel home, during which, to no avail, students looked for Spitfires under the sea!

Year 9 was a credit to the school and their parents throughout the trip. They treated the different locations with the great respect they deserve, asking thoughtful questions and reflecting on the enormity of the two World Wars, alongside the significance of the lessons learned have on our lives today.

So, a new year begins. To all our students I wish you every success with the challenges ahead and please remember to……


“Be Kind.  Work Hard.  Play Hard.  Enjoy Yourself.”


James Malley