Therfield School Virtual Open Evening

  Thursday 1st October 2020 6:30pm Please come back to find the link to the event here on 1st...

Transition to Therfield from Year 6

  As a parent/carer of a Year 6 student joining Therfield in September, please click on the link ...

School Band Performance

Members of the Jazz Band had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon performing at Wates Head Office.   ...

Fox Grove - Therfield Sports Facility

We are excited to share with you that after many months of planning the Department for Education h...

  • Therfield School Virtual Open Evening

  • Transition to Therfield from Year 6

  • Sixth Form Application Now Open

  • School Band Performance

  • Fox Grove - Therfield Sports Facility

'This is Therfield' Summer 2016

Friday 15th July

The end of an Academic year in a school should bring all of the students’ and staff’s hard work together to celebrate and show their success. The last fortnight at Therfield has shown 'success' in spades!

Of course 'success' comes in so many different shapes and sizes.  Achievement in learning heads our priorities at Therfield and I've been delighted with the hard work of students in preparing for, taking and reflecting on their end of year exams. This dedication will pay off in the years to come and it's been a pleasure to visit lessons this week as students have been setting themselves targets to make the next steps in their learning.

The German exchange trip visited Munich from 28th June to 5th July. A group of 23 Year 9 and 10 students stayed with their exchange partners who they had got to know earlier in the year when they visited us in Leatherhead. During the trip the group did all kinds of things – visiting our partner school the Willi Graf Gymnasium (grammar school), getting to know the centre of Munich, finding out about historical events which took place in and around the city. This included a visit to Dachau Concentration Camp and Weisse Rose Stiftung where students learnt about the anti-Nazi resistance movement. Another excursion took students to the Olympic park and Neuschwanstein Castle (of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fame) and much fun was had at Therme Erding on the longest collection of water slides in Europe. At the weekend, everyone was with their partner’s family, and got up to all manner of things including trips up the Zugspitze mountain, taking part in a festival in traditional clothing, swimming in the (freezing cold) Eisbach in the Englisher Garten and visiting Tollwood, a music festival that was on while we were there. The students faced all the challenges in their paths with positivity, bravery and good humour (speaking German, staying with families in an unfamiliar country, navigating around on the metro, flying (which several of them had either not done before or were scared of) and eating unfamiliar food. All in all the students were outstanding ambassadors for their country and their school, the staff thoroughly enjoyed their week with them and mentioned how proud they are to be their teachers.

On Wednesday we welcomed Year 6 students to the school as they embark on their "7-year Journey" at Therfield. It was an excellent day. I visited all six tutor groups and they demonstrated that they will be able to meet my expectations of what learners at Therfield should be like: engaged, polite, hardworking and all with oodles of enthusiasm. There were great lessons in English, Art, Maths and Science as you can see from the photos below.  Of course it was a pleasure to welcome parents and carers in the evening too. It'll be fantastic to see all of our new students in their uniform on 2nd September.

The day after Induction Day was Prizegiving for Year 7-9 students. This was a very enjoyable evening which gave parents and staff the chance to say well done to so many of our students.  I was impressed by the gratitude that the students showed and their round of applause for their parents and carers was a powerful reminder that educating young people requires strong teamwork.  For 12 exceptional students I awarded a new Headteacher Award this year.  This is an award that a student can only win once in their time at Therfield. This year I based the awards on 'Excellence'. All students awarded have excellent Attitude to Learning Scores and strong attendance too. As well as a badge to wear on their Blazers, the Headteacher Award will also have a reward day each year. This year the 12 winners, with an adult of their choice, came with me to the London Eye followed by lunch at Pizza Express. Students, parents, grandparents, Ms Breen and I had an excellent outing on a beautiful day ensuring clear views over the capital.  It was an extremely difficult decision for me to make my choices this year as many more than 12 students were in contention for the award, but I'm already looking forward to choosing a different cohort of students next year.

Last week saw an excellent Sports Day helped by us picking a dry day in this wet, wet summer.  I was keen that Sports Day should recognise the achievement of students so this year we introduced a podium and bronze, silver and gold medals for all winners.  I hope that students enjoyed this new approach and I thought the atmosphere of commitment and strong support for each other was terrific. We were also able to celebrate a number of school records broken so well done to those students.

My thanks go to Mrs Rennie for her outstanding leadership in putting together a terrific week of events for the students and to the PE staff who ensured that events ran smoothly throughout.

This week we moved from the sporting arena to another great strength of the school, the performing arts, with a stunning Summer Showcase. There was so much talent on show - of course the result of a lot of very hard work from staff and students - and the music and drama produced was of a very high quality. My thanks go to all the staff involved and in particular to Ms Lindsay for everything done to ensure that Therfield has such a great reputation for music and drama.

We have our Curriculum Enrichment Days to look forward to next week. Please look out for updates on the school's Twitter Feed.

So we are nearly at the end of a great year for the school. I'd like to thank parents and carers for all of your support to the school throughout the year. I'm privileged to lead such a dedicated and hardworking staff team and I'd like to thank them for everything they do to promote "Excellence, Leadership and Opportunity". I hope that everyone connected with Therfield has an enjoyable and safe summer and I'm looking forward to writing my next Blog in mid-September welcoming our new students to the school.

"Work Hard. Play Hard. Enjoy Yourself."

James Malley


Friday 1st July

It has been a momentous week for the United Kingdom. As a historian, lasts week's referendum and the decision of the electorate to leave the European Union feels like a significant turning point for our country. I was delighted that Therfield students were able to join in this important national debate and to make their mark on their own ballot papers in the referendum organised by Miss Hill and Ms McGregor. Our students voted by 64% to 36% to remain in the European Union. Our thought for the week last week was Voltaire's famous quotation "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." which succinctly sums up what democracy means. We are privileged to live in a democracy and the values that we hold dear at Therfield (Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Perseverance and Independence) are essential for our current and future leaders to live by as they seek a strong path for Britain’s progress as a modern, tolerant and successful country.


Rob Hart (Chair of Governors) and I wrote to parents and carers this week to inform them of our proposal to form a Multi Academy Trust with The Ashcombe School and the Warwick School. I know the governors thought very carefully about how we continue to improve things for our students at Therfield. I believe that this proposal is the best way for us to keep what makes Therfield such a special place whilst ensuring that we can work strongly with our partners to make it even better. Governors and I welcome any feedback from parents, students or anyone who has a view on the proposal, please use [email protected] to comment.

The GCSE and A Level exams come to a close this week. The commitment of students and staff throughout this exam season has been clear to see and I trust that all the hard work will pay off come results days in August.


It is of course right that at the end of the GCSE examinations there is a celebration. Year 11 students and staff came together on Wednesday at the Burford Bridge Hotel at the bottom of Box Hill, Dorking for a fantastic prom. Despite mixed weather, unsurprising in this summer of course, it was an excellent evening that was enjoyed by all.

One of our Year 10 students Calum has been attending the Therapy Garden in Normandy one day a week working towards a City and Guilds certificate in Skills for Working Life, Land based (Horticulture). During this course he has been outside working in all weathers and has been responsible for planting and weeding areas of the garden. As you can see he has done a fantastic job.


23 students and a number of staff travelled to Munich for the away leg of the German exchange. They are having a great time, embracing new experiences and engaging with the locals as shown by the regular updates on twitter.

We are about to enter the last few weeks of term. There’s a lot happening and I look forward to reporting on all of the following events in my final blog of 2015-16:
• KS3 exams
• Sports Day
• Year 6 student Induction Day
• Prizegiving & Sports Awards
• Summer Showcase
• Curriculum Enrichment Days


"Work Hard. Play Hard. Enjoy Yourself."

James Malley


Friday 17th June

I've had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon today with 13 Year 7 students, Mrs Woodroffe and Mr Hostler as we got to put the new school minibus 'through its paces. The opportunities in having this resource are unlimited giving the students easy access to curriculum based and extra-curricular events. The privilege of the first outing has gone to the winning Year 7 students of the ‘Just tell me where you want to go’ creative writing competition. We had the pleasure of taking them to Box Hill during lunch time for cake and tea. Some of the winning entries are below:

Sunlight streamed through the few fractures in the emerald green canopy, shining strange patterns onto the moist soil on the ground. Water flowed nearby, adding a gentle - but strong – pulse to the harmony of nature which spread far and wide. Hanging down overhead, vines and creepers swayed in the warm breeze, as graceful as swans dancing in the rivers. But within the beauty, there was darkness. Shadows that concealed tearing claws, glistening fangs, and toxicating venom. Things that lived to take life from others. Alas, light always overcomes obscurity, birds still sing in wonder, young flowers still flourish with freshness, rivers still gush in elation, and every corner brings a new mystery, a new adventure, a new world. For this is the Amazon Rainforest.
By Rosie Childs

With water splashing at my ankles, the sun sets into a beautiful purple, pink and orange sky peacefully floating away into darkness. I see boats docking and sea-gulls wondering around in search for leftovers left from the people before.
I hear the graceful waves crashing to shore, the seagulls squawking and happy family’s talking amongst themselves.
I feel the grainy sand as I brush my gentle touch through the salt water and the fragrance of the salty sea.
Sunbeds everywhere with umbrellas sheltering them, people lay gracefully waiting for the sun to do its magic. I’m in love with the beach.
By Brooke Taylor-Richardson


The MFL department have had a busy time, 3 of our talented students took part in the National Final of the German Translation Bee on Wednesday 15th June, Sophie Gill, Giovanna Thomas and Olivia Nevins (Year 9 students) participated in the event at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. This involved translating as many English sentences into German as quickly as they could in 60 seconds. They competed against students from all across the country who had won a place in the final. Out of the 8,000 students who entered, we came in the Top 10 for German in the country. The girls would like to thank Mrs Lock for all of the practice sessions throughout the year as well as driving to Cambridge to compete. The students have found this experience invaluable.



MFL also took a group of talented linguists from Year 8 and 9 to Surrey University for the World of Work festival. The festival gave the students an insight into the benefits of learning and using a language for work and the scope of opportunity it offers. The students were given a taster of Italian and Mandarin, which are new and unusual languages to the students who described them as ‘fun to learn!’.

Throughout the last fortnight GCSE and A Level exams have been in full flow. The Year 11 and 13 students have been working hard towards their final exams and there have been many revision sessions. Well done to the students and staff for all the hard work they have put in during this time. Next week we see the rest of the school move into their assessment weeks.

The Art and photography held an exhibition showcasing some excellent work, well done to all those involved:



48 Year 10 students successfully completed their bronze qualifying expedition last weekend. Students walked from Newlands Corner to Bentley Copse campsite. All groups arrived in good time. Students put up their tents and cooked their dinner. On the Saturday they were keen to rise early to get back in plenty of time for the Football. All groups were back by 3.30pm. Many thanks to all the staff who helped out. Mrs Pickett, Mr Maclaren, Mr Hogben, Dr Di Salvo, Ms Squire, Ms Eaton.



On Thursday 23rd June the country will decide if we stay or leave the EU. Students don’t get to vote so Therfield is holding a mock EU referendum. As part of their tutor time skills session students have learnt about the main reasons to vote to remain or leave and discussed the importance of voting. Next week the students will get a chance to have their say by debating either side within their form groups. No doubt the debate will become quite heated before they take part in making the biggest decision in a generation.


"Work Hard. Play Hard. Enjoy Yourself."

James Malley


Friday 20th May

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to set students up for public exams at this time of year. I'm grateful to Mrs Harvey and Mrs Gamache for all the administrative work to make it all work like clockwork and to all the invigilators for their supervision and care. The sign to me that exam season is here is watching Rhys, David and Paul from the site team putting hundreds of exam desks up in the Hall and various other rooms around the school. For the majority of exams students won't know how they have done until they open that all-important results envelope in August, but for a few subjects we can see evidence of hard work and great learning before we know the final results. For GCSE Drama we had an excellent night of performances last Friday. As always with Therfield Drama there was a strong sense of togetherness amongst all students. You can see photos of GCSE and A Level Art exam pieces below and also some examples from the Year 10 Catering exam. I'm sure you agree that students have been working very hard to produce some stunning work.


Last weekend saw Year 10 students embark on their Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition. I've heard some stories of groups heading off in the wrong direction at times, but it's always a pleasure to speak to students in the days after an expedition as they reflect on their achievements. My thanks go to Miss Reynoldson, Mr MacLaren, Mr Hogben, Mrs Pickett, Miss Rolfe, Miss Hill, Miss Eaton, Mrs Major for supporting our students develop their leadership and teamwork skills in this very special way.

On Wednesday this week I was delighted to be asked by Miss Rolfe to be a judge in the Geography department's Year 7 Rivers competition. There were some absolutely brilliant entries and I'm grateful to parents for supporting your children with their models. The winners for each tutor group were: Ben Lowery, Charlotte Fitzwater, Jessica Buchanan, Rosie Childs, Amelia Penfold, Summer White, Chelsea Dawkins and Todd Olsen-Smith with the overall winners being Jack Tye and Leo Bradley. Well done to everyone for producing these brilliant models.



By the time I write my next Blog the Year 13s will be on study leave as their A Levels will have started. I've always believed there is something very special about a "7 year journey" at school and this cohort has given, and I hope received, so much in their time at Therfield. Tonight sees the Ball which is a great chance for students and staff to celebrate together their time at the school. I'm also looking forward to the staff inflicting a defeat on the Year 13s on their leaving day next week in the traditional rounders match! Whilst it is still a little early, and they've plenty of work to do yet, I'd like to wish all of them every success in their exams and for the future.


"Work Hard. Play Hard. Enjoy Yourself."

James Malley


Friday 6th May

Last week’s performances of Guys and Dolls was one of the highlights of my career to date.  For me, at no point in the last 23 years or so, has any school production come close in terms of quality and the sheer entertainment provided.  More importantly everyone involved fully lived the school’s values.  The sense of togetherness, harmony and ‘team’ was palpable.  A lot of staff and students  gave up more than the “Extra Mile” to make it happen and I’m sure they all have a huge sense of achievement.  


Just in case you don’t believe me, I thought I’d share some of our “Five Star” reviews:-


‘I just wanted to congratulate Therfield on their production of Guys and Dolls this week…… both performances were outstanding.’ 


‘I would like to say how much we enjoyed Guys and Dolls - the whole show was wonderful!’


‘I must congratulate you and your whole team on putting on a fantastic performance last night. An absolute credit to Therfield, each and every actor/ actress did the school proud, all so talented.’


‘Wow what a show! You must be absolutely thrilled. Well done you and the rest of the team....a fabulous night out!’


‘May I take this opportunity to say how much we enjoyed the Guys and Dolls performance last night.  It really was wonderful.   The talent was incredible, well done to all who were involved, you must all be so proud.’


‘I am so proud of all the students involved! I am astounded at how much talent we have at Therfield’



There was no rest for four of our leads from Guys and Dolls as they moved swiftly onto a unique piece of theatre at the Leatherhead Drama Festival on Monday.  The play “Reverse” was written and directed by the hugely talented (and very hardworking) Bronte Skey.  It provided the audience with deep thought around gender stereotyping.  For the four performers- Bronte herself, Danielle Cunnington, Ben Whitnal and Oscar Leonard– it provided a significant challenge just days after Guys and Dolls.  Of course they performed with aplomb, excellent timing and combined humour with thought-provoking and hard-hitting theatre.  Well done, all.



There is a lot to come this summer term, but at this time the school has to be thinking carefully about the new academic year in September.  This year we’ve introduced a “Meet and Greet” Evening for next year’s Year 7 parents.  It was very enjoyable to speak with so many parents and to hear about their children’s aspirations and we’re all really looking forward to our Induction Events in July.  


Earlier today we celebrated the second year of our Inspire Awards.  These awards are presented by the Year 13 students who received awards at our recent Presentation Evening, to Key Stage 3 students who have been nominated in the same category.  The Award Winners are shown below; congratulations to them all.



First name


Contribution to Music Year 7



Contribution to Music Year 8



Contribution to Music Year 9



Creative and performing arts Year 7



Creative and performing arts Year 8



Creative and performing arts Year 9



KBR Award for Maths Year 7



KBR Award for Maths Year 8



KBR Award for Maths Year 9



The Cath Baker Award for Science Year 7



The Cath Baker Award for Science Year 8



The Cath Baker Award for Science Year 9



Service to the School Year 7 Boy



Service to the School Year 7 Girl



Service to the School Year 8 Boy



Service to the School Year 8 Girl



Service to the School Year 9 Boy



Service to the School Year 9 Girl



The Sports Award Year 7



The Sports Award Year 8



The Sports Award Year 9



Young Adventurer Award Year 7



Young Adventurer Award Year 8



Young Adventurer Award Year 9



The Erica Chaffey Award Year 7



The Erica Chaffey Award Year 8


Le Brun

The Erica Chaffey Award Year 9



Character Award



Service to School Sport Year 7



Service to School Sport Year 8



Service to School Sport Year 9



The Millennium Award for Academic Excellence Year 7



The Millennium Award for Academic Excellence Year 8



The Millennium Award for Academic Excellence Year 9



The Millennium Award for Academic Excellence Year 9



The Future Leader Award Year 7 Boy



The Future Leader Award Year 7 Girl



The Future Leader Award Year 8 Boy


Ali Shah

The Future Leader Award Year 8 Girl



The Future Leader Award Year 9 Boy



The Future Leader Award Year 9 Girl




This year Therfield entered the United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad for the very first time. The contest involves looking at a range of different languages, and using examples of accurate words and phrases competitors have to translate or produce new ones. There are four different levels, from Breakthrough to Advanced. A number of students from Year 8, all the way up to Year 12 practised dealing with sample questions in all kinds of languages, I also went to try to spot patterns in Japanese! In the Spring term, five of the bravest students went on to compete against other linguists from around the world. They entered at Breakthrough or Foundation level, and showed excellent ability to think outside the box, figure out patterns and outstanding levels of perseverance and grit. All students received certificates from the organisers for their excellent performances, but although it was only our first year of doing it, two of the students received Silver awards for being in the top 10% of the entire cohort (Rebecca McDonough, Y9 (Breakthrough Level) and Giovanna Thomas, Y9, (Foundation Level) 

Today they received their certificates.



GCSE exams started this week with a small number of students taking some English exams.  Next week sees the GCSE Art exam for which Year 11 students have been preparing for meticulously.  I’m really looking forward to seeing the great pieces that are produced next week.  By the time I write my next Blog the exam desks will be set out in the Hall and the ‘main’ exam season will be upon us.  Good Luck to everyone preparing for important GCSE and A Level exams in the next few weeks, though I’d also ask you to remember Gary Player’s famous line, “That the harder you work, the luckier you get!”


“Work Hard.  Play Hard.  Enjoy Yourself.”

James Malley


Friday 22nd April

It’s nice to be writing this first Blog of the Summer Term at the end of a week where we’ve seen some sunshine and can look forward to (hopefully) some excellent weather ahead.  I’m sure it didn’t feel like summer for our Year 10 students and accompanying staff on the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Training Expedition last weekend.  Ms Reynoldson who led the trip emailed me to say “They all did exceptionally well, and were a credit to the school. Despite the freezing cold temperatures overnight and very little sleep pupils were in great spirit. I have to say the most well behaved, tidy, polite year I have seen on D of E so far!!”  My thanks go to Miss Egan, Miss Breen, Mr Clarke, Mr Hogben, Miss Ashburner, Dr D ‘Salvo, and Miss Eaton who gave up part of their weekend to support the trip and my congratulations to Year 10s for living the values of the school despite waking up with frozen hair in some cases!


We were able to celebrate completed Duke of Edinburgh Awards alongside so many other great achievements at Presentation Evening.  I view this as one of our most prestigious evenings and over 140 Year 10 to Year 13 students received awards and I had the great privilege of reading the citations for the Special Awards on the evening.  Young people often (unfairly) get a ‘bad press’, but I found the words of those citations inspirational and I felt extremely proud to be their Headteacher.  Every student who received an award should feel rightly proud – we certainly are of them – our main Award Winners were:


Mark Castles - Contribution to Music

Oscar Donlan - KBR Award for Maths

Morgan Channell - Service to the Sixth Form Community

Bronte Skey - Service to the Sixth Form Community

Oliver Ayres - The Sports Cup

Joe Crowhurst - The Millennium Award for Academic Excellence

Daniel Cullen - The Matthew Poole Trophy

Matthew Munnings - The Matthew Poole Trophy

Kai Bingham - The Duke of Edinburgh Award

Brandy Miller-Holmes - The Erica Chaffey Award

Amber Galvin - Sixth Form Character Award

Anna Creswell - The Rex Thorn Award

Callum Kent - The Rex Thorn Award


Just before Easter I visited our Year 11 Students who attend East Surrey College one day each week to study hairdressing.  This is a high quality vocational provision which complements our more traditional academic curriculum and sees students engage with a range of skills and techniques relating to hair and beauty.  Many past students from this course have taken their studies further and I was very impressed by the students who have produced portfolios of evidence to demonstrate their learning.  Well Done to all concerned.



One of the things I occasionally have to do as Headteacher is sign cheques for significant amounts of money!  Last week I was able to sign one for the school to buy a brand new minibus.  This will add to our ‘old’ minibus to enable us to provide many more opportunities for students.  I’m not sure when we get delivery of the bus, but I will update you when it arrives.  


We’ve also been able to invest in a new learning package for Key Stage 4 students called GCSEpod.  This provides a full set of podcasts for the majority of GCSE subjects.  These are an excellent resource for revision but can be used any time by students to enhance their learning.  In just three weeks Year 11 students have watched well over 3000 podcasts!  Year 10 students will be given access to the website later this term and I welcome feedback from students and parents about this resource.  (If you would like any further details about it please contact Mr Cowlin.)


Amy Wild represented Therfield at this year’s Routes into Languages French Spelling Bee at the regional finals in Brighton this week. She did a fantastic job at spelling a high number of words in one minute. This is what she said:

‘This week I was given the opportunity to go to the Spelling Bee regionals. It was tough. I was nervous before hand but when I was on stage I was calm and happy and will remember my amazing experience.’



There has been a lot going on ‘behind the scenes’ in the run up to our performances of Guys and Dolls.  I’m hugely looking forward to Monday and Tuesday’s performances.  Tickets are selling fast; Monday is now sold out but we’d be delighted to welcome you on Tuesday evening!



Looking forward to the new academic year and our new cohort we are pleased to be meeting the new Year 7 parents at the Parent Induction to Secondary School Evening on 5th May. This is an informal event where new parents have an opportunity to speak with Heads of Year and the Leadership Team at the school. 


You may recall that we have previously mentioned the Transform Leatherhead initiative which is part of the wider Capital to Coast redevelopment project.  Therfield students were involved in the consultation when members of the local group came to school to gather the thoughts of a number of year groups regarding what the local young people wanted and a vision for the area.  The Student Council then went to the Council Chambers in Dorking to give follow up opinions later in the project.


This project has now gathered pace and the group are sharing the Final Draft Masterplan.  This project will have a significant impact on Leatherhead and its surroundings and there will be a display of the proposals at Therfield School, 3-5pm, on Wednesday 27th April.  Representatives will be there to take feedback and answer questions and we are inviting, and strongly encouraging, all Therfield Students, Parents, and Local Residents to drop in to see the plans.


Further information can be found at: 


“Work Hard.  Play Hard.  Enjoy Yourself.”

James Malley