Closure Update - 2nd April

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School Band Performance

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Fox Grove - Therfield Sports Facility

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June 2019 Exam Certificates

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  • Closure Update - 2nd April

  • Sixth Form Application Now Open

  • School Band Performance

  • Fox Grove - Therfield Sports Facility

  • June 2019 Exam Certificates

'This is Therfield' Autumn 2017

Wednesday 20th December 2017

The end of an Autumn Term brings with it a strong focus on the approach of Christmas.  At Therfield we’ve had a number of special events in recent days.


Mr Moon and his merry musical band have been involved in a number of community events which included, Mole Valley District Council Chairman's Christmas Concert at the Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall. During the concert members of Therfield Choir sang a selection of songs both popular and traditional including ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Stitches’. Also Mr Moon and a Sixth Form student performed a guitar duet. On the 8th December Therfield concert band entertained visiting guests to the Leatherhead Trinity Primary School Christmas Fair playing seasonal music.


Yesterday saw our Christmas Service and Concert.  In front of a packed audience filled with parents, grandparents, siblings, staff and governors our students created a wonderful evening’s entertainment.  This included three drama performances that had been directed and produced by our Year 11 students.  As they’ve all spent the last fortnight wrestling with the heavy demands of a full set of mock GCSE exams this is a particularly impressive contribution.  Many adults contributed to make the event so successful and I’d like to thank Mr Moon, Miss Glide, Dr Bishop, Mrs McNeillis,

Mrs Squire, Miss Ashburner, Miss Turton for their commitment to extra-curricular Music and Mrs Nicholas, Mrs Major, Mrs Smith, Mrs Ashby, Mr Hogben, The Premises Team and the Therfield Trust, who have given up their time in helping to make this evening a success.


Last Friday saw a new, but very very special event called Christmas Kings and Queens.  This event was a Christmas tea party for local residents aged 65 and above and involved our Year 8 students preparing delicious food, serving tea and cakes, preparing beautiful decorations and buying and wrapping presents.  The Music and Drama departments performed many of their Christmas favourites and the hearty singing of carols was enjoyed by all. Seeing the generations come together gave the warmest of feelings to everyone present and it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon which I think represents the spirit of Christmas in an excellent way.  My thanks go to [email protected] and LYP. We’ve received some wonderful feedback about Kings and Queens…….

 It feels to be me we’ve started something which will become an annual event for the school.  Well done to Mrs Sime, Miss McArthur and all of our Year 8 students for leading this brilliant occasion..

Looking back at my previous Blogs from 2017 I believe this year has been a successful one for Therfield.  I’m looking forward to 2018, but before then I hope all students and staff have a fantastic Christmas holiday spent with families and friends.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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


James Malley

Thursday 14th December 2017

As I write this Blog our Year 11 students are sitting in the Main Hall taking their first set of Mock Exams.  Their attitude in these exams has been excellent.  Students have been revising hard and I was delighted to receive the following email from Mr Thornton last week.


Dear Mr Malley,


I would like to let you know that the Year Eleven students who sat their English Literature today approached the examination with a positivity and determination that I think exceeds all of the year groups I have invigilated for at this stage in previous years in my time at Therfield.


Their English teachers are very proud of their efforts today and as they were dismissed from the hall I let them know I would be personally writing to you to commend them and to let you know of their outstanding attitude today. 


Kind regards

Mr Thornton


I was able to provide each Year 11 Tutor Group with a tub of chocolates to say well done.  I’m sure the Year 11 students are particularly looking forward to a well deserved break next week.


For our Year 7 students GCSE preparation is still someway off, but as a year group they have made an excellent start to their time at Therfield.  Mrs Woodroffe organised an excellent Celebration Event for parents to see everything that the students have achieved this term.  Whether this was tasting some delicious mince pies, listening to a terrific band performance or in conversations with teachers everyone was able to reflect on a very successful first term of secondary education.


On Wednesday 22nd November, 25 Year 10 and 9 Year 12/13 students, travelled by coach from Therfield School to the Tate Modern, on the Southbank, London.

The students worked from 10am until 2pm, completing studies of their favourite Art works, installations and media pieces. Pupils were instructed to sketch one 3D form piece and analyse the formal elements within the work as part of a written response, before conducting a similar exercise for a composition which utilises space in an interesting way. Students have spent class time prior to this visit, defining the formal elements and examining artists’ work which explore different ones. The cohort are developing chapters in their sketchbooks which investigate each formal element through practitioner research, media tests and their own interpretations to Artists/Photographers. Students had time to record how work was hung, visit the many gift shops and purchase postcards of their favourite works.

Students were interested in the thematic approach to curation at the Gallery, the way in which other students and Artists were liberal in their attempt to sketch Art works ‘live’ (sitting on the floor, pouring over every detail in a piece) and the Turbine Hall installation including swings which can be used recreationally by the viewer (‘One Two Three Swing!’ created by Danish Art Collective ‘Superflex’).

When asked what their favourite Art work was and why, Emma Harvey and Mia Cooper (Year 12 Photography) explained ‘Our favourite piece was a series of photographs of a man, who took a photograph of himself every hour of every day for an entire year. We like how it showed the change in the subject and it made us think more about how we change every day’.

Chloe Stephenson and Emily Eyre said that the best part of their day was seeing the different types of Modern Art which exist and how it displays the multitude of emotions people experience in totally different ways. This was echoed by Maddy Allen and Katie Lee who commented that they had been fascinated by the different types of approaches to Artist expression. They felt that they had learnt more about how they could express themselves visually and using different types of media in the future.

When asked about his least favourite piece exhibited, Ollie Corteyn explained that he was not keen on ‘Untitled (Drop)’ by Maria Batuszovia because it was difficult to understand the context behind it. When compared to everything else, he felt it displayed less effort compared to other more comprehensive exhibits.

As a result of today’s experience, Pear Emwan (Year 13 Photography) and Harriet Austin (Year 12 Art) are making plans to collaborate. ‘We want to create a response to Ceal Floyer (1968), exploring and developing the definitions and physicality of colour’…very exciting things to come from these ladies in the next few weeks – watch this space!

On the 4th December 7 Y12 Politics students travelled to Westminster to participate in the annual Politics conference held at Central Hall.  There they joined hundreds of students from around the country gathered to hear leading figures from parliament such as Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons as well as Cabinet Ministers and back benchers from both of the two main parties.  Clive Lewis, discussed his views on the implications of BREXIT, While Nick Clegg commented on the current position of the Liberal Democrats and how the coalition was so damaging for them as the third party.  Finally Jacob Rees-Mog delivered a short speech before opening the floor for a barrage of questions from the students keen to comment on his political stand point.    


The BAE Systems Education Programme Roadshow in partnership with the RAF and the Royal Navy came to Therfield on Tuesday 28th November delivering a three part performance around the importance of control systems and computer technology in all aspects of everyday life.

The students were shown robots and drones that were being designed from tiny bots used in medicine to deliver drugs directly into the body through the blood stream up to computer controlled aeroplanes. A practical demonstration with a drone allowed students to show how hacking could lead to dangers in their use with a Therfield student taking control of the flying camera.

The second half also required volunteers from the audience to help students understand how binary systems work which they’ll be learning in year 9. Our year 7s can now speak the language of 0s & 1s and know how to use this to perform a magic trick.

The highlight of the show was the 70cm high Mia, an android robot who responded to commands from the presenters and students. She talked, danced sensed and responded to changes in her environment. When a hat was placed on her head, she commented on how dark it was and pulled the hat off! She also showed off some of her tai chi moves.

The students were, as always, very engaged and eager to learn how their learning in Science, Maths and Computing are brought to life in new technologies they could play a role in creating.

As we enter the last week or so of term there’s still a lot of great events to look forward to.  Friday sees Christmas Jumper Day, the MFL Christmas marketplace and our Year 8 students are involved in a fantastic event called Kings and Queens.  This will involve pensioners from the local community coming into school for afternoon tea and a range of entertainment.  Next week the Christmas Service and Concert promises to be a fantastic conclusion to the term.  I’ll make sure I write a Blog next Wednesday to describe all of these events.


The Therfield Trusts latest event was the Winter Wonderland Shopping Evening which was a huge success and a very enjoyable evening. The Trust members involved did a fantastic job and raised over £1000. Well done and thank you to those involved especially Lucy Allen who oversaw the event.


Councillor Mary Lewis, The Cabinet Member for Education for Surrey County Council visited the school in late-November.  Earlier in her career she was a teacher and completed her training at Therfield.  It was great to be able to talk to someone who clearly cares deeply about her brief and I was able to explain some of the great things that are going on at Therfield.  I’ve been having a number of ‘behind the scenes’ meetings which will hopefully lead to some exciting developments during 2018. 


Our Year 9 students were privileged to be the audience of a fantastic performance of Amandla!  This is a play based on the life of Nelson Mandela and was performed by the Freewheelers.  The Freewheelers are a theatre, dance and media group who work with adults with disabilities. They are based very close to Therfield on the other side of the Kingston Road Recreation Ground.  The performance was stunning and I hope we will be able to develop a strong partnership with the Freewheelers in the coming years.


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


James Malley

Wednesday 16th November 2017

Our Remembrance Service took place this morning.  The chance for staff and students to come together to reflect on what this time of year means is very important.  Miss Hill and Ms Walker have led assemblies this week reflecting on the sacrifices of soldiers from the past.  One of the soldiers was aged 14 when he died at Yypres – a battle that was raging exactly 100 years ago.  As much as times have changed the themes of sacrifice and service are certainly enduring ones.

One of my favourite experiences of the Autumn Term each year is our Year 10 production which forms part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival.  This year our interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was hilarious, poignant and simply stunning Drama.  All of the cast members were superb and, although I am very biased, I thought our production was the highlight of an excellent evening.  Year 7 and Year 8 students will get the opportunity to see the play next week.


The Year 7 football team faced local rivals St Andrews in the league. Both year groups stepped up to the challenge of playing on an 11 aside pitch with full size goals for the first time. It took a while for Therfield to get used to the space and understanding how to track their runners over this vast area. However, it was a very action packed game and Therfield left victorious with a 5-3 win. Therfield are now guaranteed promotion and need one more win against Cobham Free School to win the league which is due to be played at home on Tuesday 5th December.


Upcoming fixtures to get excited about:

Thursday 16th – Year 9 vs Whitgift – County Cup

Monday 20th – Year 8 vs Glenthorne – County Cup

Tuesday 21st – Year 10 vs St Josephs – County Cup

Thursday 23rd – Year 10 vs St Andrews – League (need a win for promotion)


In the rugby Therfield have played 7 games with over 55 boys and girls attending after school training sessions and six Year 10 students help with coaching. Our main aims are to play with tempo, team work and communication. All of which have been the driving force in learning and developing as a school team and as rugby players. Please click on the links below to read more about each match:


As part of the Geography GCSE course, Year 11s must embark on 2 days of fieldwork.  Miss Rolfe describes the trip:

We set off to Norfolk on Friday 10th November where we stayed at Overstrand Hall. Firstly we had a tour of the site and accommodation and then had a briefing for the techniques and investigation we will be doing along the North Norfolk coast. On Saturday we set off and looked at four different sites, including the town of Sheringham to study the management that is used there and whether this is beneficial to the area. On Sunday we then went to Norwich to look at the regeneration in the area, including the Riverside complex and the city centre itself. The students had a great time as well as learning a lot about the area and fieldwork techniques ready for their exam.

GCSE and A Level Media Studies students were treated to a talk this week by a guest speaker from the BBC, Home Affairs Correspondent Dominic Casciani.  Students were able to ask questions about journalism and how the news is made at the BBC and found out about importance of the news and the roles and responsibilities of journalists at the highest level.

On Wednesday 15th November 30 Year 7 students took the opportunity to visit the University of Surrey for a Physics of Sci Fi Workshop. The day was organised by the Department of Widening Participation and Outreach at the University of Surrey.  The aim is to broaden the students’ understanding of university, the careers available and help inform their GCSE and A level choices. We hope it will raise their confidence in their own ability to make decisions regarding their future education.  The programme aims to raise pupils’ aspirations and attainment levels and the evaluation will help to develop future programmes to widen participation in higher education.

Activities were interesting and an enjoyable experience for pupils which covered topics; Rocket Science, Astronomy and Theoretical Science. Sci Fi movies such as Star Wars, Thunderbirds and Star Trek were a clear theme throughout the day; using small rockets and balloons students were able to explore the effects of forces and begin to understand how rockets are propelled into space. Using a plasma ball students were asked to investigate which gas should be used to create a lightsabre. Once the students had learnt about Black Holes and the ‘spaghettification’ effect students attempted to make a person out of spaghetti and marshmallows. They went on to discover that E.T. had landed on campus and had got lost. The challenge was to find the clues around the campus to break the code to help ET get home. Overall it was a thought provoking day for the students, experiencing a university environment, opening their minds to a career in science and learning all about our universe, all in all a mind blowing day!

It’s amazing to think that with Halloween, Bonfire Night and Remembrance Events completed the country begins to look ahead to Christmas with seasonal adverts bombarding our screens.  Personally I like to put that off until – at least- double digit December dates and as a school we’ve got some excellent events to look forward to.  This week sees Anti-bullying week, Sixth Form Open Evening and the Therfield Trust’s Winter Wonderland Marketplace.  Later in November is our Year 7 Celebration and the Freewheelers performance of Amandla to Year 9 students, before our Year 11s tackle an important set of mock GCSE exams and we head towards the end of term’s Christmas Concert.


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


James Malley

Friday 13th October 2017

Last Saturday I was able to reflect on what a school 'means' to the people connected to it. We'd been approached to show a group of former students around the school before they met up for a reunion dinner. They had been at Therfield in the early 1970s and it was fantastic to see friends meet again after 40 years apart!  Mr Clarke and I really enjoyed showing them around, hearing some great stories as memories were triggered and reflecting on the changes to the school and education in general since their time at Therfield. One of the former students said to me that he'd like to contact a teacher. He described her as 'young', though, of course, she would probably be in her seventies today. He said quite simply that,  "She had changed his life."  That served as a strong reminder to me of the difference that great teachers make to the youngsters they work with. 


Sport at Therfield is now in full flow and Mr Berryman has given the following run down of how well each year group has competed so far this term:

The Year 7 football team had their first outing against the Priory last week and put on a fantastic display, winning 12-1 and hitting the woodwork (4 times). It was a great start to their league campaign and they look full of confidence for their upcoming games against St Andrews and Ashcombe in the next couple of weeks. This team is going to be one to watch.

A brilliant start in the league for the Year 8s who are now set to play St. Andrews this week. A win against St Andrews would put them joint top of the league, alongside Aschombe. They played a good game against a strong St. Peter’s team in the National Cup and narrowly lost 2-1 to a late goal.

Year 9 are currently unbeaten in League and Cup. They need to win their next 2 games against Priory and Blenheim to win the league, which will result in promotion into the higher tier after Christmas. They have progressed into round 2 of the National Cup, having beaten St Peter’s 2-0 in round 1. They face a big challenge next week, having been drawn against the current county champions and national runners-up, Whitgift, in the first round of the County Cup. The boys are very excited for this challenge and I know they will give it their all to try and get a result

Year 10 gave their best performance that I have ever seen against a tough St Mark’s Academy in the first round of the County Cup. Ben Lowery, who was playing a year up, scored a lovely goal in the middle of the first half to put Therfield 1-0. The opposition pressed high in the second half but a solid defensive performance and some great saves from Wilf Turner ensured the 1-0 win and Therfield move into Round 2.

It has been a very strong start for Therfield in all year groups and all teams are currently on course to qualify for the higher tier after Christmas.


A group of 30 Year 8 students was accompanied by Miss McArthur, Miss Goves and Mr Clarke to KidZania on Tuesday 10th October.  KidZania offers children a chance to explore a wide range of career related activities and test their skills in a variety of professions.  The cost of the trip was kindly funded by The Careers and Enterprise Network.

Our students were a real credit to the school; their behaviour was exemplary and they threw themselves – quite literally in some instances –into a range of different jobs.  From firefighters to cleaners, shop assistants to airline pilot, Cadbury’s chocolate maker to dentists, our students embraced every activity with enthusiasm and smiles.

All agreed that the trip was great fun and very informative:

Louis Atkins: “I really enjoyed the job of a pilot, we flew an A319 in a simulator. Also, Jack, Eddie, Harry and I hosted a radio show on Capital FM. It was quite educational and it also gave me a chance to see what job I wanted to do when I am older.”

Thomas Matthewson: “I really liked the news presenter job and the police force.”

Ella Van Loo: “Kidzania is a very educational place, children of all ages have an amazing time. My favourite bit was looking after the babies and also being a firewoman and singing in the fire engine!”

Shay Kurn: “I liked the news project because it gave me a chance to show off my drama skills but being arrested and put in jail by the police wasn’t as fun!”

Year 12 attended the University and Apprenticeship Fair at the Emirates on 29th September and were able to have direct conversations with representatives from over 80 Universities. They also attended seminars on how to write their personal statement for University entrance, student finance and a talk on Life at University. A fantastic and inspirational introduction to Sixth Form life for our Year 12s and a range of useful tips on how to complete applications for our Year 13s

To close out September, 32 students braved the weather in the Peak District to hone their navigation and camp craft in their practice expedition for the Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. After briefly refreshing the essentials they learnt during the Bronze course, the students expanded their skill set to be able to tackle the challenging terrain and advanced navigation. All students successfully completed the requirements to undertake the qualifying expedition in June. Not an easy feat with the groups hiking roughly 20 miles across the two main hiking days in near constant rain. Congratulations to all students involved!

The 25th September was the annual European Day of Languages and at Therfield we spent the week celebrating by launching the Interhouse programme for the year. Teams from each year group competed against their fellow students in a series of languages-related contests, including general knowledge about flags and capital cities, a blindfolded international taste test and a Tour de France race-off. There were excellent performances from all houses but in the end Juniper was the first house to bag a win. In addition to the Interhouse, tutor groups competed against each other with tutor time quizzes on international celebrities, sports and traditional cuisine, and sayings from around the world (e.g. ‘one log does not burn alone’ (German) or ‘a scalded cat fears cold water’ (French). Again there were some excellent entries and the winners were 7MMH, 8LSR, 9GMB, 10 AMB and 11KAT. Well done to all and many thanks from MFL to all the tutor groups for their excellent participation and enthusiasm.

Our Modern Foreign Languages department use Vocab Express throughout the year to learn and practise vocabulary with our Key Stage 4 students. Vocab Express organises a League of Champions contest to coincide with the European Day of Languages, and we took part in it again this year. Our size category is ‘piccolo’ which has up to 150 students competing – we had far fewer than this, but after a week of hard battling still managed to come 7th in the world in our category for German! This was down to hard work on the part of all the students involved, but was definitely helped along by a pizza evening in school on the last night of the contest. In top place within the school was Giovanna Thomas, closely followed by Rebecca McDonough (both with over 5000 points), and the other top 10 ‘genius’ scorers (in descending order) were: Sophie Gill, Lucy Hughes, Olivia Nevins, Samuel Wild, Rachel Smith, Emily Fitzwater, Harriet Williamson and Sabina Shahi. Congratulations all on an amazing and feisty David vs Goliath performance


The Therfield Trust warmly invite you to come along and support their Winter Wonderland Shopping Evening on Friday 17th November from 7pm. Details below:

I'm looking forward to seeing parents at Meet the Teachers next Wednesday. This is a great evening as we look at how students have started their academic year. For many of them they will be reflecting on what their teachers have done for them since the start of term. I wonder what their memories of school, their friends, and their teachers will be in 2060 as they look back at their own school days. 


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


James Malley

Friday 29th September 2017

We talk a lot to the students about their "7 year journey" and one of the great pleasures of my job is watching children becoming successful young adults ready to make a significant contribution to society. It's fantastic to watch our Year 7 students take their first important steps on their Therfield journey. Last week this involved a very special trip to Cambridge. Mr Chamberlain has written up the trip below and I'm really looking forward to finding out which of the students will be returning to Cambridge as undergraduates in 2024!  As I write this 32 Year 10 and 11 students are departing on their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. With autumn upon us this will provide a fantastic opportunity for them to live the school values. I hope that they have great fun and stay dry!  Our Year 12 and Year 13 students are spending today at the Universities Conference as they plan their ongoing education and career paths for the time when their “7 year journey” comes to a conclusion.  I’m looking forward to catching up with them in the next week as their plans begin to take shape.


After an early departure from school, the Year 7s arrived in Cambridge to a very peaceful and sunny day. A short walk from the coach drop off point brought the students to the river Cam at Silver Street bridge where they waited patiently before boarding the chauffeured punts that would take them along the college ‘Backs’, and give them an insight into the beautiful and longstanding colleges that are located in this part of the city.

Starting at Queens’ College, the students took a guided tour of the eight colleges and nine bridges that occupy this prestigious position by the river. The heritage of the ‘Backs’ was immediately noticeable as the students passed under the Mathematical Bridge, designed by William Etheridge in 1748 to represent the tangent lines of a circle. The current bridge is over one hundred years old and is the third replica that joins the Tudor part of Queens’ to the dining hall and Cripps building.

The river was very peaceful and the students enjoyed taking in all of the sights along the river, with the chauffeurs giving details about the University as a whole and particular facts and stories about the colleges that we passed.  There were noticeable gasps as the students arrived at St. John’s College and saw the majestic Bridge of Sighs that joins the New Court halls of residence with the Library and Kitchen building. It truly is breath-taking and hopefully something that the students will remember for years to come.

Following the punt tours, the students met on the Mill Pond and had pictures in front of Darwin College, the old Darwin family home. We then walked into the city and met outside Kings College chapel, where students were intrigued to learn that it had been used as a stables by Oliver Cromwell when he occupied the city and kept his cavalry inside the chapel under the huge fan-vault ceiling.

The students then got into teams of 11 and took part in a ‘treasure hunt’ task that enabled them to learn more about the history and odd details of the colleges. Mrs Sandy’s group won the quiz and this will be celebrated in assemblies next week.

Lunch was fast approaching, so we took a picturesque walk through the city, along Quayside until we reached Jesus Green. Students enjoyed their lunches together and the day was finished off with a tutor rounders competition with each of the tutor groups competing against one another.

Departing the city, the students were very happy with their trip and lots of them were overheard saying, “I want to go to Cambridge University when I finish school.” which was fantastic to hear and certainly a clear ambition for many of our youngsters.

Last year was a very successful football season with every year group qualifying for the Higher Schools League as well as a fantastic National Cup run in Year 8.

Therfield has made an extremely positive start to the football season. This year, Year 8, 9 and 10 have all been entered into the local School League as well as the National and County Cup. They have made a great start with 6 wins out of 7 games so far.  The Year 9s played St Andrews yesterday afternoon with a 4-0 win!


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


James Malley

Friday 8th September 2017

It’s always enjoyable to come back to school after the long Summer break, but I think we have had an exceptional start this year.  I’ve been particularly impressed with our new Year 7 students who have impressed with their hard work, care for each other and terrific enthusiasm this week.  You can see a selection of photos from their first week below.

It’s also been a pleasure to visit lessons from all year groups and seeing excellent learning across the school.  I promised at the end of last year that I would update you in this Blog on the final events of 2016-17 which culminated in our trip to Borneo and Curriculum Enrichment Days.  I’m sure you agree that the visits and activities they participated in, fully enabled students to embrace Therfield’s motto – “Excellence. Leadership. Opportunity.”

Mr Jenkins who helped lead our group of students in Borneo describes their journey from the beginning -

A group of Year 11, 12 and 13 students, Miss Rolfe and I set off on an incredible expedition to Borneo with Camps International. The students undertook a year’s worth of fundraising for this once in a lifetime experience; they came up with ingenious ways of raising the money needed, ranging from cake sales to staff quiz nights. Before we arrived in Borneo, we met our composite school group, which we would spend the next month with. Our two groups blended seamlessly, and overcame every obstacle as one team.

On the trip, we took part in a variety of community projects. We dug ditches for a drainage system of a market square in Camp Narawang; plastered, painted and cemented a community centre in Camp Bunakon; participated in a reforestation project in Camp Bataputeh which involved being waist deep in mud (We planted 700 trees in 3 days and got the record); Painted the walls of a community centre and laid the foundations of a toilet block in Camp Gana. At every stay, we were welcomed by the community with local dances, and on departures were met by the whole village, with entertainment, presents, a lot of dancing and song. Throughout community projects, we had the opportunity to be involved in numerous activities. Three highlights, in order of fun to extremely fun are as follows:

1. Taking a river cruise in crocodile infested waters to see a range of animals that resided on the banks of the river, the edge of the rainforest.

2. Going to a fish spa where hundreds of fish as big as your arm congregated to munch on the dead skin on your feet and legs (It hurt when they caught a hair).

3. Seeing Orang-utans in the rehabilitation centre, and seeing them in the wild! Other animals spotted included: A scorpion, variety of spiders, a flying lizard, sun bears, crocodiles, eagles, snakes, massive beetles, massive millipedes, bats, and birds that made nests out of their spit.

One part of the trip that pushed everyone to their limits was the unforgettable 5 day trek into the deep jungle. We slept in hammocks, walked in the night with head torches, climbed mud slopes and rock faces and got extremely dirty and sweaty, where washing was mostly done in a river, which was bliss after an average 8km trek each day. Within the jungle we got to learn traditional hunting methods, drank water from trees, made bamboo cups, went on night walks to spot nocturnal animals, and learnt how to make a fire using traditional methods. This experience built resilience, and displayed strength in every person, showing what they could achieve. After all of the work, we were rewarded with a trip to go snorkelling where we saw an abundance of fish and a few giant clams, and then a zipline experience, two at a time racing each other, across water, between two islands.

The trip was highly successful, with memories I’m sure everyone will never forget.

For the curriculum enrichment days 50 Year 7s embarked on the European Experience trip, led by Mr Mackula and accompanied by Miss Ashburner, Ms Turton, Mr Maclaren and Miss Devonshire. The group stayed in the lovely town of Colmar near the French/German border, and spent a day in Strasbourg, a day in the Black Forest, and a day at Europapark. The group had to deal with all sorts - long journeys, hot weather, long walks, language challenges, mass games of football and unfamiliar food, and they did it all with smiles and good humour. They were an absolute pleasure to spend time with and were a credit to their school and their country.

150 students descended upon Tilgate Park, Sussex. Students were able to take part in a range of fun and adventurous activities such as canoeing and kayaking where they were taught basic skills but also set challenges such as to walk along a row of canoes often ending up in the water, the whole experience was a lot of fun. Students then went onto take part in navigational challenges developing the students’ map reading, teamwork and problem solving skills. In addition to this students worked as a team to build their own raft and race against other teams across the river. This took a huge amount of team work, cooperation and determination. Overall the day was a complete success and the students had a lot of fun.

Year 8 spent two days exploring the scientific world around them. The first day was an opportunity to experience the huge variety of career paths that open up through science studies.

In one session, the students looked at how engineering can be applied to the real world. The students got into the role of a Royal Engineer and had to design and build a bridge as part of a team. They then built their design using nothing but straws and tape, and some very impressive structures were made!

In a second session, intrepid scientists had the opportunity to explore the Martian landscape and learn how science can help us develop bio-habitats on Mars. They learnt how we can use knowledge of heat transfer to construct an efficient yet cosy environment on the red planet.

Investigator hats were put on to help solve a murder case by looking at fingerprints, chemicals found at the scene and ink analysis amongst other techniques as the students explored the world of forensic science.

Other sessions then showed the students how skills they had developed in lessons could help them in the roles of Environmental Scientist, Medic and Oceanographer!

Day two allowed us to explore the past, present and future of scientific theory and design through a trip to the Science Museum. There were some fantastic exhibits which showed students just how many areas of our lives is touched by the work of scientists. Interactive activities enabled the students to explore alternative energies and how we can do our part to live more sustainably although the dress made of drinks cans may have been a bit too fashion forward for some of us!


Year 9 students visited Ypres, Belgium to remember those who had fallen during the First World War. The day began with an early start as we made our way to Belgium. Our first port of call was an incredibly informative guide around the Menin Gate, German war graves, war graves from the British Empire and a section of the trench system. We were shocked to see that the German men had been buried in group graves and had black headstones which lay flat on the ground. It was clear not many people visited here due to the lack of flowers and crosses left at the grave. By comparison, Tyncot cemetery was full of flowers and symbols of remembrance for those who had lost their lives. The number of graves at Tynecot stunned us all and graves were found from men who were as young as 14 years old.

We held a remembrance ceremony during which Charlotte Dentus and Jack Parkinson read poems and Charlie Duffell, Charlie Mellish, Ellen Awcock and Katie Palmer all laid flowers at the memorial to the unknown soldiers. A number of students had family members who had fought in the Great War. Charlie Mellish found his Great Uncle’s name at the Menin Gate and Charlie Duffell found his Great Grandfather’s grave at Tynecot, these were moving and poignant moments for us all.

On 18th July Year 9 continued their journey to Musee La Couploule. Built by slave labourers it is a symbol of the Nazi oppression and taught us about the conditions in the nearby concentration camp, Dora. Then used as a Nazi bunker, it is now home to displays on Nazi developments of science and technology including the V2 rocket. The Nazis had intended to launch V2 attacks from this base which were mass-produced here. Following this visit the group had the exciting opportunity to watch a 3D film about the D-Day landings. It taught us about the movement of the Allied troops and the technology they used to regain a foothold in mainland Europe.  The group then went to visit one of the landing beaches which shows no indication of the horror or heroism that once took place in the same spot.

Year 9 were a delight to take on this residential trip and represented the school beautifully, showing integrity and respect for those who lost their lives in both wars.

On 13th July we saw around 180 Year 5s from Leatherhead Trinity, West Ashtead and Oakfield descend on the school for the annual Sports and Languages Festival. Miss Ashburner and Miss Rennie coordinated the day but all the activities were run by students. The Year 9 MFL Sports Leaders prepared and taught three different French sessions, each with a sports-related theme, and meanwhile the Year 10 Sports Leaders ran football and handball training and matches out on the astro turf. The Year 5s were escorted throughout the day by trainee leaders from Year 8. We really enjoyed hosting the Year 5s and hope they all had a great day at Therfield.

After a stressful couple of weeks of GCSE mocks, the Year 10 German group ended the term on a lighter and tastier note by experiencing some German cuisine first hand. The class divided into 7 teams, each of whom selected, researched and then prepared a typical German main dish or dessert. There were a few moments when it looked as though we would have to go to the canteen after all but in the end we all shared a very tasty and varied lunch. Many thanks to Mrs Sime, Mrs Sandy and Mrs Galvin for letting us invade the food rooms and keeping an eye on us.

This week it was enjoyable to meet with Year 10 parents and carers as their youngsters embarked on their two year GCSE courses.  There was a lot of information for everyone to take on board, but it was a great opportunity to reflect on the all-important partnership between the students, the teachers and other adults at school and parents and the wider family.  By working together we will ensure that everyone can be successful in those all-important exams in the summer of 2019!


Next Thursday is Open Evening.  It’s always a really enjoyable occasion and I’m looking forward to meeting some of our future students and their families.  Everyone is very welcome and the doors open at 5.30pm.


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


James Malley