Therfield Presents Alice in Wonderland

Therfield presents   Alice in Wonderland   Wednesday 24th April 2019   Thursday 25th April 2...

French Immersion Activity Trip

A group of 28 year 9, 10 and 11 French students embarked on a brand new trip to the Château de la ...

  • Open Evening

  • Open Morning

  • GCSE Art Exhibition

  • Therfield Presents Alice in Wonderland

  • French Immersion Activity Trip

'This is Therfield' Summer 2019

Friday 19th July

The post-examination season for a school brings a wealth of enjoyable experiences at Therfield and the last few weeks have been packed full of excellent occasions.  For our Year 13 students who are completing their “7-year journey” we celebrated with a superb ball which was held at Drift Golf Club.  It was a pleasure to watch this terrific group of young adults enjoying time together before the moves into higher education, employment or ‘gap-year’ travelling.  For our Year 11 students – at the end of the GCSE examination challenges – coming together with staff for a superb prom held at Denbigh’s was very enjoyable.  I think you can see from the photos below that the school had a very successful ‘prom season’ and students in both year groups really deserved their revelries and we look forward to celebrating further success on Results Days in August.

From the 10th - 14th June our Sixth Form had their annual Higher Education week. Students came off timetable for five days to embrace their future choices, be that university, apprenticeship, gap year travelling or employment. The students had the pleasure of visiting speakers and interview gurus. In addition to this we were able to offer an extended appearance from our fortnightly Yoga instructor to enrich the programme.

Students had detailed sessions from our UCAS expert Miss Aldemir in order to begin their first draft personal statements. This was followed by University of Surrey giving their application Dos and Don'ts. We had representatives from Kingston University talking about the jump from A-Levels to degrees, as well as student accommodation and socialising. Once again we had the wonderful Richard from East Surrey College talking us through the latest developments in Apprenticeships. For midweek activities we gave our students the chance to unwind and consider their mental well-being with mindfulness activities and guest Yoga instructor Kate from Power Sanctuary. We also had Samaritans and YMCA East Surrey reps presenting on mental health. 

The week was wrapped up with an incredible presentation from Gap360, a chance for students to consider travelling abroad in a safe and highly organised and energetic fashion. Finally, the week was rounded off with the superb Platform17 to give our students some excellent interview tips including body language, posture, eye contact and language techniques. For 10 students, their Friday looked a lot different to usual. They were invited to St. Johns for a day of Oxbridge application skills and processes.

All in all, our students benefited from a huge range of activities and speakers. They all completed their first draft personal statements and engaged with the external visitors with maturity and interest. We would like to thank all students for their efforts as well all supporting staff and those people that took their time to come in and speak to our students. 

 

Another academic year coming to a close and another Year 13 cohort we are saying farewell to. 

Our Sixth Form Student Committee, led by our Headgirl Noor and Headboy Simon had worked very hard to put together a fantastic prom for their year group. Senior leadership team, tutors and teachers greeted the students as they arrived in the beautiful settings of the Drift Golf Club. We then sat down for our 3-course meal and filled the room with laughter and great memories that we shared throughout the time we have had.

It was great to see how our students' journeys came to a close at Therfield but we know that they will be taking with them the values they have gained while they were on this journey. They have forged relationships with their peers and teachers that they will remember and continue with. Looking around the room, it was evident to see how all staff were extremely proud of the Year 13s and what a great bunch of young people we were saying goodbye to. We know that we will see them again for Alumni Days and gatherings, perhaps at Parents' Evenings when they have their own families or even welcome them back to Therfield as colleagues. It was not necessarily the venue or the sounds of the 80s and 90s music that was played by the DJ that made the night great, it was the young people themselves and their interactions and their zest for life that made it an unforgettable night. We wish each student from the Class of 2019 a life where they fulfil their potential, hold on to their hopes and reach their goals and dreams! 

 

In the week of 8th July, we held our annual Mock Interviews for the Year 10 cohort.  This was an opportunity for all students to have a short interview, and receive some feedback, from local business contacts that were unknown to them (not a teacher, not a family member or friend).  We strongly believe that the Careers and Work Related Learning curriculum and activities that we run at Therfield are a strong programme that gives our students a wide range of opportunities and this week is one of the key aspects of this programme. 

The students completed an application form earlier this term focussing on transferrable employability skills (teamworking, communication, initiative, etc.) which were then shared with the interviewers in advance.  Each student then had an appointment and they were asked questions based on their form before getting feedback on aspects such as eye contact, quality of answers, and body language.  Many students were nervous going in but all students I spoke to after spoke very positively about the process.  I hope this will leave them a little more confident when they go into a ‘real’ interview in the future. 

We had over 30 business volunteers in over the week from CGI, KBR, Adnitt Acoustics, Wellers Hedleys, NHS, Clarion Futures, Mole Valley District Council, Coast to Capital, Grant Thornton, UK Finance, Menzies, and Balfour Beatty and we thank them for their time and support.  At least two colleagues came in on 3 different occasions and all have passed on very positive feedback.  Balfour Beatty actually ran a graduate style recruitment process with presentation, group task, and longer interviews for 10 students who completed the strongest application forms – this provided an extra bit of challenge for these students.

 

On the morning of Monday 8th July, five Year 10 students: Hannah S, Charlotte F, Tori N, Ibrahim M and Rosie C went to Leatherhead Trinity Primary School to give an assembly about the troubles that plastics have caused across the globe, especially throughout the oceans and how it then impacts the marine life. The assembly consisted of lots of information to further educate the children about the problems that the planet is currently facing and we talked to them about our current roles at Therfield where the group of us are part of a scheme called the Community Leaders.

We have already done lots around the school, including: running Year 7 tutor time activities, doing assemblies and running a House junk modelling competition. As a group of Year 10 students, the five of us were included in part of a workshop in which a company called Vegware came to talk to us about the new plastics that they have made entirely from plants; these are compostable plastics, with products such as straws, food boxes, cutlery and more. Vegware talked to us so that we could start to spread the word about this small company and how over time by spreading awareness, we can develop the use of Vegware to try and remove single-use plastics. This linked into the assembly as we introduced Vegware to the children and then expanded on the positives of the company in the year 5 workshop that we ran later. My favourite part was seeing all of the children getting involved with the activities, such as splat -- this was where we placed images on the board and two volunteers would go up to the board and the first person to splat the image that could be recycled won. For the main task  we got them to design a robot of their choice that would help the stimulus of ‘Starbucks have a rubbish issue and need you to design a robot to help them’ to create their own wacky robots that would sort or dispose of rubbish efficiently. We were especially proud of their knowledge before the session and how they all got involved and came out of the workshop having confidently presented their robots in front of everyone, learning some new facts to widen their knowledge on the topic, and having had a lot of fun.

By Charlotte F

 

A group of Year 7 students went on a Geography trip to Kew Gardens to experience all the different environments there. They also had an education session with Jane about rainforests. They students conducted experiments to compare the environment in the rainforest and the outside environment at Kew e.g. soil moisture, humidity and air temperature. They also investigated the different plants that grow in the rainforest and the threats humans are having to the habitats.

Quote from Kelsi W - I enjoyed seeing all the wonderful landscapes and getting to meet Jane and exploring. We all got to go in a room where it felt like a rain forest (it was hot)! My favourite part was getting to see all the beautiful flowers. It was tons of fun and I would love to go again.

 

Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award

Over the weekend, 40 Year 10 students ventured out on their Silver DofE Qualifying expedition. All groups worked well as teams to successfully navigate the 40 km trek over the weekend. With the added challenge of sharing the campsite on the Saturday evening with several other schools, our students impressed their assessors by being packed up and walking before 7:00, when most of the other schools hadn’t even woken up. The early start set the students up to be able to take a slower pace on the final day to enjoy their beautiful surrounding in the Chiltern Hills.

 

It is always a great couple of days when we welcome September’s Year 7 students for their July Induction days.  I was very impressed by how much the students achieved in such a short space of time and it was great to meet families in the evening too.  I’m sure that everyone is looking forward to embracing the opportunities of secondary school life in September.

 

As always Sports Day was a hugely enjoyable occasion. Congratulations to Leith for their narrow victory and well done to everyone who participated.  

The summer concert was superb.  A huge variety of the highest quality performances were showcased including Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, music composed by Vivaldi, George Gershwin, Chris Martin and Sia and a stunning “Buckets Ruckus” percussion group performance.  The audience were thrilled that the hard work of so many students (much of which had taken place in our new Drama Studio so an investment already paying off!) led to a very enjoyable evening.  Well Done to everyone involved. 

Our final set-piece event of the academic year was Key Stage 3 Prizegiving.  It was a privilege to be able to present awards to so many students who have achieved so much in 2018-19.  It was also excellent to listen to two students from each year group who talked about their year and were able to reflect on their personal “Excellence. Leadership. Opportunity” experiences over the last 12 months.  It was great to reflect on how much goes on at Therfield and to recognise the positive impact these opportunities have on so many people.

 

As I write this I’m about to depart on safari with our Year 8 students!  In September I will update you on this and all the other fantastic Curriculum Enrichment Day experiences that conclude our academic year.  I wish everyone connected to the school a safe and highly enjoyable summer holiday; “we go again” in September!

 

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

 

James Malley


Friday 28th June

I’m writing this blog entry whilst sitting in heavy traffic on our return from the Headteacher Reward Trip. It’s been a hugely enjoyable day spent with 12 exceptional students and their parents and grandparents. You can only win the award once at your time at Therfield and it is a very hard decision for the Head of year and me to make.

The award winners this year were:-

Olivia B

Timothy N

Ruth D

Theo C

Sara S

Ali A

Jamie L

Bea W

Ollie N

Andre V

Thomas R

Georgie T

I also was able to present the award to three long serving members of staff; Paula Sime, Paul Clark and Julia Buckell who have a combined service of nearly 60 years at Therfield! It was also a privilege to present Rob Moorhouse's award to his son, William.

At the beginning of June, 62 Year 9 students ventured out on their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Qualifying Expedition. They were met with both heavy rain and scorching sun on the first day, but all groups worked well as teams to successfully navigate the 12km trek. With a much more welcoming forecast for the Sunday, all groups were up and moving before 8 a.m. to tackle the onwards journey. With some slightly more complicated navigation on the second day students had a chance to impress their assessor with the navigation skills they had learnt. All groups made it back successfully and students reached the requirements of the expedition element of their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

On Wednesday, we were fortunate enough to benefit again from our strong links with local business and welcomed staff from CGI (@CGI_UKNEWS) to run a STEM Camp (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) with groups of students from Year 8.  CGI is a global business with 77,000 professionals in hundreds of locations across the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe who provide end-to-end IT and business process services that facilitate the ongoing evolution of our clients’ businesses.  We are very lucky to have worked with staff at CGI to support students at Therfield for a number of years.

The STEM Camp was a session full of various activities; ice breakers, presentation about CGI, bridge or tower building challenges, careers networking session, presentation about career routes and apprenticeship options, and culminating in the main activity – Marty the Robot!  The students had challenges set working with a programmable robot (including scoring a goal – much like the Lionesses last night!) and this provided, for some of the groups, the opportunity to apply their skills in Scratch learnt in their Computing lessons.

The students engaged brilliantly in the day, demonstrating many of our school values, and I am sure it gave them food for thought about STEM Careers and the potential paths they could take.  Playing with robots as a career anyone?!  I would like to extend my thanks to colleagues at CGI for the opportunities they continue to offer Therfield’s students and the way they enhance the curriculum.

I’ve been very impressed with the students approach to their end of year exams. Students have applied themselves to numerous revision activities and have approached the challenge of the exams with real vigour.  Preparing for important GCSE and A Level exams is a great thing to do, but it's also important to me that our school creates leaders through the opportunities we provide.  The last few weeks of term include the following events, activities and trips where I'm looking forward to seeing our students demonstrate Excellence Leadership and Opportunity.

Year 13 Ball

Year 6 Transition Days

Year 11 Prom

Sports Day

Curriculum Enrichment Days including trips to Europe at the Belgium Battle Fields and the European Experience.

Prizegiving

Summer Showcase

 

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

 

James Malley


Friday 24th May

It’s been my pleasure to hand out the Inspire Awards to students in Years 7, 8 and 9 this week.  These are based on our inspirational sixth formers who received awards at Presentation Evening and we give the award to our younger students who are ‘following in their footsteps”.  It gives me a feeling of immense pride to hear about the huge successes of our students based on their efforts. Congratulations to the nominated students: 

For our Year 13 and Year 11 students their efforts are currently being rewarded with the challenges of a round of public exams!  I’ve been very impressed by the approaches that everyone has been taking and there’s a real sense of togetherness between them all.  The care they’ve shown each other has been terrific.  All of them get a ‘breather’ next week to take stock and focus on some clear revision days before the last fortnight or so of exams in June.  At that stage I hope all the students can enjoy some very relaxing and well deserved summer days alongside a couple of very special proms to celebrate their achievements and friendships that have been forged at Therfield.

This term, Therfield students from Year 9 have been tackling social issues by supporting local charities as part of a Programme provided by educational charity First Give. Students engaged in direct social action and spent weeks raising funds with events such as ‘sponge the teacher’ and ‘wax the teacher’! Students also raised vital awareness of the amazing work these charities do. After all their hard work and dedication, the representatives from each class competed in a final, where they presented in front of all the Year 9 students.

At the School Final, the judges, which included our Head Boy and Head Girl, along with Chair of Governors Katie Miller, saw presentations from the students on a range of charities such as those that help people suffering with post-traumatic Stress Disorder, to charities that help victims living with Dementia. Every student epitomized our school values of excellence, leadership and opportunity and it was truly a very special and emotive event for all involved.

It was the class that supported the Combat Stress that took home the £1,000 prize for their charity and it felt great to be a part of something that is going to help so many people. All of the presentations were nothing short of brilliant and the dedication of our young people to local causes in the community was inspiring.

Ms Aldemier, Assistant Director of Sixth Form talks about the efforts and final part of the students 7 year journey at Therfield…..

 It has been a fantastic year of achievements and opportunities within Therfield Sixth Form once again and we could not have been more proud of our current Year 13 students who have just had their Leavers’ Assembly on Friday, 10th May. The Sixth Form Committee members, led by Eduardo, Simon and Noor, have prepared an amazing presentation to display in the assembly that demonstrated the journey that each student has been on since they joined our school and the fun that they have had along the way.

As per Sixth Form tradition, we proceeded onto the annual barbeque and no rain was going to stop us from enjoying our food. As the teachers, tutors and senior leadership team, including Mr Malley, joined us, we were all hoping that the rain would hold up long enough to allow us to play rounders; Year 13s versus staff. It was great to see how the lower year students watched the Year 13s having a great time and acting as remarkable role models.

Although Year 13 students will continue to come to school until the end of their A level exams, they are now officially on study leave. They still have their prom to look forward to, which is taking place on the 28th June, however, today, it certainly started to feel like another chapter was coming to an end. All the hard work and dedication from the teachers, tutors and all support staff in school will come to its fruition soon and we will say goodbye to Year 13 knowing that we have done our best by them. I am certain that we will see them back with us in the future as our alumni and even perhaps as colleagues.

Looking around the field today, I have no doubt that I was not alone in thinking how proud I was of our Year 13 students. I wish them all the success in their forthcoming exams and hope that they will have an amazing time at the prom.

 

The Year 9 Language Leaders completed their first challenge on 22nd May with a visit to the Greville Primary School in Ashtead. They worked in teams to prepare lesson plans and activities and then taught them to small groups of Year 4 pupils, working their way through the entire year group. Lessons improved as the morning went on – the students got more efficient and their confidence grew, they worked to improve their activities and make them more enjoyable and interactive. The Year 4s responded really well, and were enthusiastic and eager to join in with everything. There were friends, neighbours and family members of the Year 9s in the classes which made it even more special and reminded everyone how far they had come since they were in Year 4 themselves. The group were a credit to the school and I look forward to working with them on the MFL and Sports festival in the summer which will be a challenge on a completely different scale!

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

 

James Malley


Friday 10th May

Most readers of my Blog will be aware that a Therfield teacher, Rob Moorhouse has recently passed away.  Rob was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer early in 2018.  During the time since, which involved significant treatment, Rob continued to teach great lessons and maintained his cheerful supportive approach to school life. There are so many former Therfield and Riddlesdown (the other school Rob worked at in his career) who are so grateful for what Rob did for them.  Everyone at Therfield will miss Rob hugely and I’ve felt very proud of our community in raising nearly £1,000 in the week after his death for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.  If you would like to support this great cause, please follow the link below to the Just Giving page set up by Julia Buckell (Rob’s wife).

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/julia-buckell  

The last month or so has been very busy for us with some fantastic opportunities ‘seized’ by so many of our students.  Over Easter saw the Ski Trip.  Therfield students travelled across Europe to Zell-am-Zee in Austria to take part in the school’s annual ski trip.  Staying in a valley surrounded by the Austrian Alps was a fantastic experience for the students and everyone make excellent progress in their skiing and snowboarding throughout the week – which concluded with the group attending an Austrian ice-hockey game at a local stadium. 

‘It was a fantastic experience and if you’re thinking about going on the ski trip in coming years you will definitely have a brilliant time,’ said Louis H, Year 10.

The first weekend of the summer term saw a very wintry Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition. From the 26th to 28th April, 42 Year 10 students battled the elements and completed their Silver Duke of Edinburgh training expedition despite the worse conditions that the award at Therfield has seen in recent years. With constant rain for majority of the hiking and wind chills down in minus temperatures the students pushed through with commendable resilience and teamwork to finish the weekend with a positive outlook towards their qualifying expedition in July.  #TherfieldProud.

Our ‘big’ whole school play this year was “Alice in Wonderland”.  Students excelled themselves over four performances in two days following weeks of dedicated rehearsals.  The play gave so many students the opportunity to display their comedic acting talents and the production was expertly directed by Miss Glide, Miss Owen and Year 13 student Danielle Cunnington.  I’m already looking forward to next year’s musical!  

Our senior students’ achievements were recognised at an excellent Presentation Evening last week.  It was a pleasure to speak with so many proud parents and grandparents and to present certificates to so many youngsters who ‘live’ Therfield’s values every single day.  Listening to Noor, Simon, Lucy, and Archie (Head Girl and Head Boy for 2018-19 & 2019-20) describe their experiences of their time at Therfield helped me to reflect on how special the “7 year journey” from primary school to adult life is.

Of course with the calendar turning to May ‘exam season’ is really upon us.  Over the last few weeks students have risen to the challenge of PE, Art and French exams and from next week hundreds of exam desks will be set up in the Main Hall for 4-5 weeks of further challenges.  I’ve been impressed by the commitment and hard work put in by our Year 11 and Year 13 students over their two year courses and I wish them well for the challenges the next few weeks will hold.

 

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

 

James Malley