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Headteacher Blog

December 2023

Kings and Queens

On Wednesday 6th December, Year 8 came together to host Kings and Queens where we welcomed a number of those from the local community for an afternoon of festive entertainment and food. The Year 8 students spent weeks in the build up to the event preparing decorations, quizzes and gifts. All food served was prepared by students from scratch with support from the Food Technology Department. Students served a range of afternoon tea style nibbles from sandwiches to meringue kisses. It was a wonderful event to see us into the Christmas break and a fantastic opportunity for the students to serve those in the community and showcase the wonderful talent, camaraderie and kindness they possess.

 

 

Computer Science in Action

Our Sixth Form students had an exciting experience at the recent Computer Science in Action conference.

The adventure began with our journey to the conference, a combination of train and underground tube travel. This not only added an element of excitement to the trip but also served as a real-world illustration of the technology and systems our students are studying in their computing classes.

At the conference venue our students had the incredible opportunity to attend talks delivered by respected professionals in various computing fields. These experts included professors from leading university courses, pioneers in quantum computing research, specialists in user interface design, and authorities in artificial intelligence.

One of the highlights was a talk on best exam practices by a distinguished professor from Birmingham University. The session emphasized the importance of key term mastery and the ability to relate classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios. This insight proved invaluable, providing our students with practical strategies to excel in their examinations and beyond.

Students not only absorbed the knowledge shared at the conference but also conducted themselves with utmost professionalism. They actively engaged in discussions, asked thoughtful questions, and represented Therfield impeccably to well-respected industry professionals. This not only reflects their enthusiasm for the subject but also speaks to the quality of education and values instilled at Therfield.

The Computer Science in Action conference empowered our students to envision the future possibilities within the realm of computing. The insights gained from the talks will undoubtedly inspire them in their academic pursuits and future careers.

In conclusion, the trip was a resounding success. We hope this experience will continue to motivate and guide our budding computer scientists towards a future of innovation and success.

 

Castle Competition

Year 7 took part on the Castle competition this term building on their learning in class looking at how William I took control over England after the Battle of Hastings.  There was an impressive selection of castles from Motte and Bailey, to Stone Keep to Wild card castles.  As in previous years we had many castles made from recycled materials and a few cakes and this year for the first time we had a castle made from pegs.  The winners were announced in assembly.  Well done to all the year 7s we were very impressed with your work. 

 

 

The Therfield Trust Christmas Fair

The Trust held a fabulous Christmas shopping event last week, thank you to all those involved. Our Food Technology students and Eco Committee held their own stalls selling produce they had made from recycled items.

 

 

Schools Shakespeare Festival

Drama students got into character to perform Othello at the Schools Shakespeare’s Festival at Leatherhead Theatre in November. The students were amazing, please see the performance appraisal below:

 

 

Therfield Choir visit to All Saints Pre-School

Our festive and talented Choir visited All Saints Pre-School to spread some jolly Christmas cheer and were a real credit to Therfield! All Saints were kind enough to let us know their children enjoyed the performances.

 

MFL Christmas

This week saw all our Year 10 groups running mini Christmas markets - planning as a team, researching and baking French Christmas recipes, decorating their stalls and producing posters. Delicious! 

 

The Year 11 German group put on a German language version of the Christmas story, much to the amusement of Mrs McCan and Olivia who helped the group with their speaking last year & had come back to visit. 

 

Mental Health Support over the Christmas Break 

Earlier this week we emailed information to all parents regarding mental health support that can be accessed over the Christmas break. This can also be found here: Mental Health Support Letter. 

 

After such an amazing term full of fantastic events we all enjoyed a superb Christmas concert yesterday evening.  Every time I go to a Therfield concert the quality of performance astounds me and the audience appreciated wonderful entertainment and reflected on the significant effort involved from students and staff.  It provided a great sign off to 2023 at Therfield and so I wish you all a very Happy Christmas before we all 'go again' on Wednesday, 3rd January.

 

 

 

November 2023

Therfield MFL - Château Trip

At the beginning of November MFL students travelled to France for a French immersion trip. This involved speaking French while day today and undertaking a number of activities. Students arrived at the Chateau and after a tasty dinner they were given a tour of the grounds before everyone settled in their dorms ready for a busy day.  There were 6 groups of students all doing different activities each day. These included climbing and initiative activities, archery, bread making, tending to animals as well as trying the cuisine.

All the students embraced the language and were TherfieldPROUD in experiencing new things.   

 

On 8th November Year 10 and Sixth Form Art students visited the Tate Gallery and spent the afternoon immersed in artwork and creating sketches/photographs along the way. Students were excellently behaved and represented Therfield perfectly!

 

We recently received our First Give report for last year where our Year 8s spent time tackling social issues in their English lessons by supporting local charities as part of a programme provided by educational charity, First Give. They have spent weeks raising funds and awareness for causes they care about and they also raised vital awareness of the amazing work these charities do. Please see below a summary from the First Give Foundation about our students:

‘Another fantastic year for First Give at Therfield School! The students were passionate about making change in their local community and carried out impactful social action, including planting wild flowers, designing a poster campaign and orgnaising a monthly foodbank which I am very pleased to hear will be an ongoing project. The majority of students met with representatives of their chosen charities which will have supported the development of their professional communication skills, and I was thrilled to see charities representatives also in attendance at the Final event. The students worked very hard on their presentations with our Facilitator commenting that there was a real improvement following the presentation skills workshop. Some of the students had to overcome significant nerves in order to present at the Final, which they were able to do and should be very proud of themselves. The Final itself was a fantastic event with the judging panel being made up of 2 local councilors, the Head Teacher and and ex First Give student. It was a close call for the winning group but the group representing Wild Life aid pipped their competitors to the post due to their strong charity engagement and creative social action. The students raised an impressive £303 for their charities as well as the £1000 won by Wildlife Aid, not to mention the awareness raised throughout the programme, and the Final brilliantly showcased all the hard work and passion demonstrated by students and left judges and guest feeling very inspired! Thank you to Mr Jenkins and Ms Byrne for coordinating a fantastic programme and I look forward to working with Therfield school again next year.’ 

 

Year 7 Football:

The year 7 team has started very brightly after drawing 2-2 away to St Andrews in their first match in September. They then struggled for a few matches as they couldn’t find a win -loosing in the national and surrey cups to Southborough and Harrodian School. After another draw away to TRA and a home loss to Epsom and Ewell, eventually they found form with 2 wins at Esher and at home to Blenheim. Going forward we have several league matches to play and a B team tournament.

 

Year 9 Football:

The year 9s have lost in both the national and surrey cups at home to Kingswood House and away to Oaks Park. After a strong win against TRA 8-0 they then lost 3-0 to Southborough. They then were joint winners of their 5-a-side tournament @TRA. Next week they play Ashcombe at home on Wednesday 13th.

 

Year 8 and 10 boys Football:

The Year 8s and 10s have both been drawn in a very tough pool in the league cup. Both years have shown a lot of progress in their most recent fixtures but unfortunately lost 2 very challenging and close fought matches against 3 Rivers & Hinchley Wood. The year 8s are attending a 6aside tournament on November 21st, hosted at 3Rivers and they are also playing St Andrews on 22nd November. The year 10s are due to play in a 5aside tournament on Thursday 23rd November.

 

Remembrance:

Students had spent time in assembly reflecting on the service of those who have given their lives in service for our country.  This culminated in our annual whole school Remembrance service with readings by Robbie McMillan and Finley Smith and the last post played by Oliver Blogg. 

UK Parliament week:

UK Parliament week was at the beginning of November and we were pleased to be able to welcome two external speakers to work with our Sixth Form students.  Kieran Persand who works as a parliamentary researcher and represents Epsom and Ewell council for the Conservative party, visited to discuss how route into politics and the declining levels of political participation today especially amongst young people. We also hosted Helen Maguire who will be standing for election in the next general election to represent the Liberal Democrats in the reformed constituency area of Epsom and Ewell.  She spoke to all the Sixth Form students in assembly about why their political voice is so important and she fielded questions from students about future growth of the economy and housing.  She then met with the Y12 politics students for a Q&A session and spoke to them about her route into politics. 

 We hope use these visit as a spring board for wider discussions with the older students on political engagement and would welcome any links with the Labour party to ensure we are offering a balance to our students.  Please get in touch with Ms Walker fwalker@therfield.surrey.sch.uk if you have these connections. 

 

National Languages Competition:

Year 9s took part in the National Languages Competition and were wonderful – they showcased the best of Therfield students with their teamwork, collaboration, respectful behaviour, resilience, thinking hard while having fun, giving up lunchtimes and working hard after-school.   There were over 3000 teams competing from across the UK.  In the final standings, all our teams came well within the top half  - a massive well done to all the teams and students who participated, with a particular mention going to the Amused Grinning Peacocks who came 159th out of over 3000 !!!  2nd in the Therfield standings were the Charming Famous Puffins, at 332nd, 3rd place went to the Honest Young Elks who came 363rd with the Zany Fair Rabbits (late joiners and a team of only two) coming a very commendable 845th out of over 3000.  Given that we were up against, amongst others, private schools who had full days off timetable to complete this, they did exceptionally well and embodied everything that is great about our school.  Well Done to you all #TherfieldPROUD

 

 

Year 7 Platinum House Points - Headteacher Hot Chocolate 

 

 

20th October 2023

This has been a very successful half-term for the school and students can look back on the last seven weeks or so with a collective sense of a great start to their 2023-24 race!

I am very proud of the students who make the transition to the school, and this group of Year 7 students have settled in very well and are already living our values of "Excellence. Leadership. Opportunity" and we have seen that particularly through: -

In mid-September, the Year 7 students visited Cambridge. We had beautiful weather, which made the punting on the Cam and doing the walking tour seem that bit more special in the sunshine. The students were very impressed with seeing the colleges and the beautiful bridges along the Cam and asked lots of interested questions of the tour guides. In the afternoon, on the journey home, the students visited Mountfichet Castle. Here, they had the chance to walk around a restored motte and bailey castle and have a go at the various learning activities associated with life in the castle grounds. It was a very enjoyable and inspiring day with lots of social time for students to build their new friendships.

Cambridge 2023 

Year 7 had their first Careers Day last Wednesday. The entire year group were involved with a business activity and had to pitch their Team Therfield styled key rings to the SATRO Dragon’s Den Team. Negotiation and innovation were at the forefront of this high paced and exciting day. We were helped by Year 12 Business and Economics students who did a smashing job of supporting the younger students. Well done to 7CCL who won the most Teamwork tokens, which was the main employability skill focus of the day.

Great day-to-day learning during the half term:

food tech

learning 2

learning

I hold a Headteacher hot chocolate break through the colder months to give a small reward to students who have achieved a range of success. Previous sessions have been for school sport teams, students who have made big improvements or those who have contributed to school drama and sport. The students below were the recipients of last week's hot chocolate with the most house points so far.  The 21 Year 7 students have already amassed 4,597 house points and it was a privilege to be able to hear about their achievements over their first few weeks at Therfield. 

Livvy, Lucy, Ava, Youssef, David, Ellie, Ciaran, Anaya, Harrison, Will, Marnie, Thomas, Caleb, Lyla, Ben, Dylan, Oliver, James, Joel, Penny, Joe

 For our older students, the success that comes through achieving a Duke of Edinburgh Award is exceptional. Over the weekend of 16th and 17th September, 62 Year 10 students successfully complete the expedition section for their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. The weather was on their side for most of the weekend, with some heavy downpours in the final couple of hours on Sunday. The students arrived bright and early at Woldingham with their bags packed and boots on, excited to start the expeditions with their friends. Once teams had been briefed, they set off on their planned routes to our campsite. At the campsite, we saw some excellent team cooking and what looked like tasty meals being tucked into! Tired, students were tucked up in their sleeping bags by 9.30pm. Another early start Sunday saw one team lose their lunch to a hungry dog on the campsite! They did not go without though, we picked them up some sandwiches and delivered them in the minibus, a story I am sure they will be telling for years to come! Another great day of navigating saw groups finishing on a high ready for a bath and an early night!

Bronze DofE 

Well done to the 25 students that have already got everything signed off and completed their award! We are looking forward to presenting their certificates and badges to them and launching the Silver Award after half term.

The Silver cohort are also doing well getting sections signed off and we are welcoming our next cohort of Bronze award students having launched with Year 9 last week.

The first interhouse of the year was run by the languages department to coincide with the annual European Day of Languages on 26th September. Teams of participants from each tutor group were invited to compete against the rest of their year in a range of activities with an international theme, and the outcomes were combined to find the overall winners. Year 7 completed a quiz on flags from different countries, Year 8s quiz was on capital cities, Year 9 did a taste test of foods from around the world and Years 10 & 11 had a tour de France / rowing across the channel contest in the new fitness suite. There was good participation across the year groups, but the final outcome was: 1st Polesden, closely followed by Juniper in 2nd place, with Norbury coming in 3rd and Leith 4th.

A particular shout out to Year 7 for absolutely fantastic participation across all houses, to Year 9 for being brave enough to willingly eat food while blindfolded, to PE for letting us gatecrash the fitness suite and of course to the MFL staff for running the events. Watch this space for the introduction of a pétanque contest in next year’s interhouse, and later this year students may get the chance to compete in another MFL bake off challenge.

MFL mont

 MFL mont 2

 

A great sporting start to the year with fixtures for all year groups. It has been a very busy start to the football season with a great deal of league & cup matches, as well as small sided tournaments. The netball season commenced last week with a tough match against Three Rivers Academy. The rugby and girls football league will be kicking off in the first week back after half-term. Numbers at extra-curricular clubs have been very positive this year with over 30 girls attending football club and over 50 students attending the Year 7 boys football trials. Mr Phelps ran a very well organised and successful dodgeball inter-house tournament with Norbury house being crowned the overall champions. We are all looking forward to another busy and successful half-term in PE.

 

On Thursday, 21st September we had a very important visit from guest speaker Dave Parvin from Drug Sense to deliver student, staff and parent sessions. As a former drug squad officer, Dave has a wealth of experience and since leaving the police he has delivered hundreds of Drug Awareness Sessions to schools and colleges across the country. Dave focused his age-appropriate sessions on the dangers of vaping, drugs and how students can keep themselves safe. The sessions were interesting and informative, and we have received positive feedback from students and parents.

On Friday, 13th October we partnered with ITV’s Get Britain Talking Campaign to encourage Therfield students to share any concerns they have with a trusted adult. If you feel your child requires any additional support for their mental health please do contact their tutor or Head of Year, and please find attached the support services we offer at Therfield.

Mental Health Support

 

For our Year 11 students there has been strong focus on the GCSE exams that will start in about seven months time. This included sessions with Michele Miller - including a meeting for parents too- which provided excellent revision strategies. Over the last fortnight this has included a strong commitment to a first set of mock exams which will provide a great 'base camp' towards the challenges of next summer. For our students studying Geography this terms learning included two field trips. Students completed their physical fieldwork by visiting Worthing and investigating the extent that longshore drift is present at this beach. This involved sediment analysis, beach profiles and throwing an orange into the sea to test the direction of longshore drift! We also went to Portsmouth to investigate an urban area to see if quality of life varies across two different parts of the city. Students completed environmental quality surveys, transport surveys and shop analysis. Despite the very windy weather in Worthing, both days were a success and students can now apply the theory from the classroom to real life examples. 

On the last Friday of September Therfield’s Sponsored Walk returned after a four-year hiatus. Our sixth formers led the way supporting all students and this was a very special day where our whole school community came together to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease and the Therfield Trust. At the time of writing over £8,600 has been raised and it is not too late to send sponsorship if you would like to support this cause. https://gofund.me/2c1b8962

Sponsored Walk mont 

I am always very grateful to the Trust for their amazing support to the school and on Sponsored Walk Day that included providing free fruit to our students and selling some snacks and drinks to the students on their return. Next up for the trust is the quiz on 2nd November - please do visit ParentPay if you would like to book a team for this brilliant event. If you have any queries regarding the evening, please email Trust@therfield.surrey.sch.uk.

Trust Quiz

It was great to catch up with so many of you at "Meet the Teachers" last night and do please get in touch if you ever have any feedback from me or other colleagues.

 

 

 

 

25th September 2023

It's been a very successful last few weeks at Therfield as we have begun the 2023-24 academic year with some significant success.  The summer saw a lot of building development with the following aspects being new this term

Another aspect that happens in the summer is when students come in for GCSE and A Level results and share their achievements with parents, wider family, friends and school staff.  I think you can see from the photos below how happy and proud the "Class of 2023" were!  Congratulations to all our students.

 

It was brilliant to welcome so many visitors to the school for Open Evening.  It's a great opportunity for our students and staff to show what a great community we are and you get a sense of the vibrant and positive atmosphere throughout the school from the photos below.

 

 

Although a couple of months ago now it's also worth reflecting on our very successful Curriculum Enrichment Days in July.  The events included a PGL trip for Year 7s, The European Experience for Year 8s and our Year 9 students visiting the World War One Battlefields.   These wider opportunities are key to our success as a school and I know our new Year 7 students are already looking forward to their trip to Cambridge and Mountfitchet Castle and we'll bring you up to date with that, amongst many other events in our October Blog.

 

 

31st March 2023

It has been great to have a successful term and we remain extremely grateful for your support as parents and carers and your positive messages.  

As always, we help our students to expand their knowledge by finding opportunities for them to shine and there have been some terrific events over the last few weeks.  

 

Over the weekend of 17th March, 29 Year 10, 11 and 12 students headed to the South Downs to complete their training and practice expedition for the Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Miss Smith led the event:

 

“Friday morning was spent learning about emergency procedures, first aid and route planning for their qualifying expedition in July. The sun came out for us in the afternoon and we headed out for a rather muddy walk to refresh navigation and compass skills. We had a soggy start on Saturday; teams walked from their campsite in Poynings up and along the South Downs to Ditchling where a pleasant evening allowed for some lovely views whilst cooking dinner on Trangias. Sunday’s weather was much kinder and the teams completed another day of walking from Ditchling to Burgess Hill. All of the students seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves despite the amount of mud! They all did fantastically well and I look forward to taking them on their qualifying expedition in the summer.” DofE silver 03 2023

 

There have been plenty of other important events and activities taking place.  We’ve had Parents Evening for Year 9 students, ‘Walking talking’ mocks for Maths for our Year 11s, GCSE Options Evening for our Year 9 students and families.   

 

Year 8 have spent this term tackling social issues in their English lessons by supporting local charities as part of a programme provided by educational charity, First Give. They have spent weeks raising funds and awareness for causes they care about and they also raised vital awareness of the amazing work these charities do.

 

The school final was a fantastic event. We had a past Therfield Head Boy, Elliot Dunham come in to judge the final alongside two of our local Councillors who got to see students epitomizing our school values of excellence, leadership and opportunity and it was truly a very special event.

 

It was the class that supported a local charity, Wildlife Aid, that took home the £1,000 prize for their charity which will go towards the fantastic work they do to support and rehabilitate the wildlife in our area. For more information on the charity please follow the link: http://www.wildlifeaid.org.uk/ 

 

 The English Department had some success with their Young Writers Competition receiving a Runner-Up and High Commendation amongst our entries!

 

Lucy M (Year 7) was given a High Commendation for her poem. The judge’s comments were: “What a delightfully philosophical poem. I had hoped for more entries considering just what peace might be. I wanted more. Congratulations and thank you.”

 

Ellah M (Year 10) was Runner-Up in the Senior Category. The judge’s comments were: “I love your script. It feels like an outpouring of ideas with no restraint. Internal peace seems to coexist with mental turmoil. The words rush on and are exciting to read.”

 

All students submitted for entry will be receiving certificates, Ellah received £10 W H Smith voucher as a prize.

 

Year 13 with help from Year 12 have spent the last week raising money for charity. RAG week is an annual event here at Therfield and the students have been magnificent at the end of a long term, carrying out their duties with a smile on their face. Every day has seen a different event with students dressing up in fun costumes with the aim of raising money for local charities. We have witnessed the hugely successful Therfield’s Got Talent show with acts across all year groups, alongside doughnut selling and sponge the teacher. We salute them all. Thanks to the Sixth Formers and for all the students and staff that have helped in the rain! 

 Year 12 music had a really enjoyable evening at the Opera this week, to see Philip Glass' Akhnaten.

A mix of minimalist music based on prayers and text, sung in Egyptian, Hebrew and Akkadian. Breath-taking staging and scenery added to the rhythmic drive of the work, interplayed with slow motion acting. 

 

This week The One Show came to film the Ashtead All Stars netball team on site in our Sports Hall, if you would like to watch the episode it aired on Thursday.

 
I hope that you have a great Easter break spent with your family and friends and ‘we go again’ at 9.30am on Monday, 17th April.

 

 

17th March 2023

The last few weeks have seen a couple of very special events that I think show Therfield firmly putting the pandemic times behind us and to get back to doing the things that make our school special.  Parents often told me how much they value the rich variety of trips we offer and our recent 'new' trip to San Francisco and Silicon Valley was a stunning example of this.  Every student I've spoken to said they had a simply amazing time and you can read more and see more below with the video and write-ups Mr Pettitt produced for the trip.

 

17th February 2023

Good morning from San Francisco!

 Yesterday was a phenomenal day!

 Students were treated to a city wide tour of some of San Francisco’s most prolific landmarks. Starting, of course, with an up close look at the Golden Gate bridge, where we learnt about how its iconic colour came to be. It turns out that it was originally supposed to be painted yellow and black. However, after they covered the bridge in the primer paint, they decided that was much better and left it, which resulted in the rustic red that now makes it so recognisable across the world.

Following this, we took a trip up to Ocean Beach and walked along beautiful trail, taking in the breath-taking sight of the largest ocean on the planet, the Pacific.

 Twin Peaks was our next stop, which did not fail to deliver a stunning view of the entire city of San Francisco. I have attached some scenic photos to this email. Hopefully your child has forwarded some photo’s of this to you already, If not then I am sure they will be eager to show you when we are home.

 Yesterday also marked our visit over to Alcatraz island, AKA “The Rock”. We have been incredibly lucky with the weather conditions, and everyday has been clear skies and sunny. This has meant that the iconic fog that usually surrounds Alcatraz was not there, resulting in a clear view of the entire island and a view of the Golden Gate bridge as we crossed over on the ferry. Students were provided with a headset, and taken on a audio assisted tour of the prison including information about some of the most infamous prisoners incarcerated on the island. We all walked out of the tour in amazement of the history of the places we had just walked.

 We visited Pier 39 following our ferry back from the island, where some students purchased items like personalised hats, ornaments and more food! We were also treated to an excellent view of a group of sea lions that occupy the jetty at the end of the pier.

We have been ensuring we check in regularly with every student and all seem to be in very high spirits and have thoroughly enjoyed every day. When I asked a student in year 10 if she had enjoyed herself so far, she welled up and said it had been the trip of a lifetime, and she doesn’t want to leave.  

Mr Das and I have been filming and photographing our excursions and will be providing a trip video to all students to keep as an additional souvenir, we have some incredible footage and photos of the students that we can not wait to share with you also!

 

18th February 2023

Good morning from San Francisco!

Today marks the beginning of our return journey. However, it is not over yet!

This morning students will have one last opportunity to buy souvenirs as we visit the West Fields San Francisco Centre.

Yesterday was another incredible day, we visited Tech Interactive, which featured lots of coding related challenges, including in-depth exhibitions demonstrating how the developments in Computer Science are driving innovation in the medical sectors across the world. In addition, students had a chance to learn about genetic engineering, vehicle automation and virtual reality roller coasters to name a few things. Following this, students were treated to an IMAX showing of a documentary about the very rare Spirit Bears of Northwest British Columbia, narrated by Ryan Reynolds.

The Intel Museum was next on the agenda, which did not disappoint. Students learnt how the devices they use every day have come into existence, and what the future of computing may look like in 2050. The Museum had lots of interactive experiences demonstrating the speed of current processors, including a challenge where students had to attempt to wave quicker than a sensor could detect, which was practically impossible. The on site gift shop also provided students with the chance to buy some souvenirs including stickers, hats, t-shirts and notebooks, all Intel branded.

Upon speaking with the local San Franciscans, they highly recommended we visit the city’s Arena for the Giants basketball team, which coincidently was hosting a promotion event for P!NK’s new tour. So of course, it would have been rude not to! Many students purchased clothing and basketballs from the Giants official shop and had an opportunity to speak to local fans of the basketball team and P!NK.

At the start of the trip, I pro-actively purchased 70 dollars’ worth of sports equipment just in case we end up with some spare time at the hostel, and yesterday that opportunity came around! As the sun set over the golden gate bridge, (which we can see from where we are staying) the students played a full 90 minute football match with staff, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. Needless to say our legs are a little sore today!

Please click the video link to see more: San Francisco - Silicon Valley Trip

 

The end of February saw our first musical since the spring of 2019 with an absolutely stunning Bugsy.  Cast, crew, directors and musicians produced a fantastic production which was enjoyed by everyone (even those of us lucky enough to be splurged!) who has able to get hole of a ticket.  It's wonderful to see this team of students come together from every year group in the school to create something that we will all remember for a very long time.  I know that Miss Owen and her team are already homing in on next year's musical choice so I'm already looking forward to that.

 

 

 

Our Year 8 students had a brilliant day of reflection with the Human Utopia Team which provided great opportunities for thinking and talking about relationships, bullying and future ambitions.  We were very impressed by the way the students went about the day supported brilliantly by Year 12 students too.

In terms of our academic side of the school it has been great to see students in all year groups having great success in exams.  Our Year 7 students recently took part in French oral exams which is all part of building their confidence for their (long way in the future!) GCSE exams in 2027!  The GCSE Food Technology exams require a Masterchef style performance from each student as they race against the clock to produce a two-course meal.  The standard has been exceptionally high!

 

It has been a pleasure to catch up with Year 10 parents in the last week as well as seeing Year 11 and Year 13 parents for our curriculum evening as we build up to the summer examination season.  Our focus turns to Year 9s in the coming weeks as we have both parents Evening and Options Evening as the adults work together to guide the students regarding their choices about futures.

 

And speaking of futures, last week saw tens of thousands of individual conversations about careers and the world of work at our annual career fair.  With over 60 business and organisations represented this event provided a terrific insight for our students as well as providing a great opportunity for developing the softer skills involved in speaking to adults.  We are hugely grateful for everyone who gave up their time.

 

 

 

10th February 2023

I’m writing having just spent a fantastic Friday afternoon watching our Year 9, 10 and Year 11 football team compete in the Dorking Wanderers tournament. It was a brilliant tournament with our ‘Invincibles’ yet again living up to their name with a terrific group stage where they won three and drew one.  That performance qualified them for the final against Reigate School who had topped the other group.  What followed was an exhibition of skill, effort and some really great football with a sublime hattrick from Bella too, a 5-1 victory for Therfield.  All of the girls represented Therfield exactly how I would expect them too and it made me very proud to watch them win some silverware (As a Portsmouth fan I’m not used to this!).

It’s been another great half-term of sporting achievement with fixtures in table tennis this week. Our extra-curricular offer has never been stronger and it’s been a pleasure to see the commitment, energy and enjoyment for so many students. I enjoyed meeting some of our sporting stars (with tennis, diving, netball, rugby and football all mentioned in our meeting) for a celebration hot chocolate this week.


I’ve also caught up with students in different year groups to say ‘really well done’ based on nominations from Tutors and Heads of Years, and thanks to our admin team for creating the hot chocolate (with marshmallows) for our students. Our students are our biggest asset of course and it’s amazing to think they’ve earnt over 356,215 house points already this year. There are lots of opportunities for celebrating success to follow in the second half of the academic year with House Colours, Presentation Evening, Prizegiving, Sports Day medals and the Headteacher Reward Trip too!

 

Like most schools Therfield remembered the Holocaust last month with thoughtful sessions in tutor time and for our Year 9s there was a webcast with a holocaust survivor. There will be only a handful of future year groups who will be able to hear directly from eyewitnesses to the horrendous events of the Holocaust and it was a privilege to be able to see the reflection from our students.

 

There is one event every year at Therfield which doesn’t really involve any students directly, but which nevertheless is very important to improve everyone’s learning, our Annual TeachMeet. We were able to run this for the first time in three years and it’s an absolutely fantastic event where teachers come together to share their good practice and to really think about how to create great and engaging lessons. We had over 20 schools represented and over 120 teachers coming together to think, discuss and enhance their teaching skills. It’s a real privilege to work with a group of staff who are so committed to spend their time into the evening, thinking creatively about how to ensure even better learning opportunities for our students.

 

Our Year 11 and Year 13 students have been working tremendously hard on their mock exams. It has been very impressive to see the youngsters coming together spending their time revising and really giving this set of exams their ‘very best shot’.  Of course, their education has been impacted by the pandemic and yet they will face a full set of GCSE or A-level exams this summer.   For tackling these preparations with great effort, with togetherness and with plenty of hard work they are making us all feel very proud.

 

Revision techniques and study skills are essential tools for students taking exams. Elevate Education have been in school to deliver motivation sessions to our Year 11 students in January and study skills this week to our Year 10 students. The aim of the session is to share a range of study skills and revision techniques and give students the opportunity to practise them. This will be followed up by using these skills in weekly tutor times to explore the techniques in more detail. There is also parent access to a series of webinars on how to support your child at Key Stage 4.

Thank you to Milestone Infrastructure who came in to speak with our Sixth Form for National Apprenticeship Week. Students were advised on routes into engineering, electrical infrastructure and the business side of the company. It was a good insight into the great opportunities out there.

On Thursday, 26th January, the KS4 and 5 Drama students travelled to London to watch Frantic Assembly’s Othello at the Lyric, Hammersmith. The performance was outstanding; it was a blend of Shakespeare and modern-day life which was enjoyed by all. The students had a fantastic experience and it was wonderful to be back at the Theatre. All of the students who attended behaved impeccably and were a credit to Therfield. 

This week was our Hyundai event for Year 8 students. It was a brilliant day and included a fantastic team of Hyundai staff who visited Therfield to talk about the future of driving sustainably and their innovation in driving. The Year 8 students were tasked to design their own ideas using greener energy. They had to work on their business skills presenting and creating their ideas as a team. A big thank you to everyone at Hyundai for visiting and creating excitement surrounding future technology.

It’s been great to reconnect The Blog after a few years away and I hope everyone has a great half-term and I’ll include information about the Silicon Valley trip in the next Blog.