Thornden School

Thornden School

Thornden School is a secondary school on "Winchester Road" in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire, which is a specialist Arts College and Science College. " [] "

Telephone: 023 8026 9722



The school is an 11-16, mixed comprehensive school, with 1400 pupils on roll. They are a specialist Arts College with Science as the second specialism.It has no sixth form. The head teacher is Dr R A Sykes who has held the position for over 10 years.


On the evening of November 30 2002, a fire was [ started] at the school by [ two 17 year old boys] from Chandler's Ford, which caused £3m of damage. The school was closed for 21 days. The arsonists received two and three years at a Young Offenders Institution. Fifty firefighters from four areas fought the fire.

The school [ hosted] the Radio 4 Any Questions programme in January 2008, and [ Sebastian Coe] in June 2008.


The tutor groups consist of a French and German side. There are ten tutor groups in each year, (AF, AG, FF, FG, KF, KG, MF, MG, FX and GX) after the yearly intake increased and nine was no longer enough. The last year group to have nine tutor groups left in the Summer of 2007.Each year group has their own head of year who stays with them as they progress through the school. They also have a tutor who looks after them and monitors them throughout out their time at Thornden. Their tutor is the head of their tutor group (meaning there is one per tutor)

Starting in 2008 there is also going to be Spanish tutor groups. Which means students have the chance to do 5 years of Spanish, instead of the previous idea where Spanish was only taken by the pupils who chose it in Year 9, and selected for it in Year 7.

Thornden Hall

Thornden Hall is part of a performing arts centre, which was awarded a Commendation in the Civic Trust Awards 2005. Thornden Hall was opened in May 2003 in the presence of percussionist Evelyn Glennie. It is a concert hall designed with acoustics for music performances, with a stage large enough to accommodate a full orchestra and an audience capacity of nearly 270 people. The venue can be adapted for other dance and drama events, presentations and lectures. In addition to the concert hall there are two specialist drama studios, two music rooms and a dance studio, as well as foyer and bar area. Thornden Hall is the home of the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra, Eastleigh Area Schools Orchestra, Thornden Community Wind Band, TOMS, Stagecoach Theatre Arts , and Tribe Community Arts, who all rehearse or hold classes in the performing arts centre throughout the week. The concert hall is also used for meetings and presentations such as the Hampshire Sports Awards, Blake Lapthorn Linnell Challenge Lecture and Women's Institute "Evening with Kate Adie".


In Year 9, pupils will choose their options for GCSE. At Thornden, all pupils are strongly advised to select at least one modern foreign language. These will normally be either French, German or Spanish. Spanish was previously given to Year 9 pupils who were exceptional at there first language (Freanch or German) but in 2008 Spanish was added to the list of tutor groups which means Year 7's who end up in a Spanish tutor group can study the language for up to 5 years.


As Thornden is a Performing Arts College, many productions take place inside Thornden Hall involving Thornden Pupils and the wider community. The Thornden Operatic and Musical Society have performed dozens of musicals, most notably "Les Misérables", "Follies", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Fiddler on the Roof". Summer of 2007 was when the outstanding success of Smike took place, which for the first time used only the talented young singers, actors and dancers of Thornden School. "Aladdin" took place just after Christmas 2007 and The Diary of "Anne Frank" took place in early April 2008. Both were a huge success. It starred pupils from year groups 9 and 10.Other performances take place throughout the year for example, Teachers Got Talent and Thornden's Got Talent in aid of charity and the yearly Star for a Night which takes place over 2 nights, featuring a medly of talented singers and performers at Thornden. Auditions were held on 10th September 2008 for "Oliver" and "Dracula" where over 350 pupils turned up. The two shows are bound to be another success for Thornden.

Academic performance

94% of pupils at the school achieved at least 5 A*-C GCSE grades in the Summer of 2007 fact|date=September 2007. The most recent inspection was in July 2007, when Thornden achieved an 'outstanding' grade from OFSTED inspectors. Including English and Maths, the figure was 85% - the best state school in Hampshire.

Thornden's results were already at a very high level. The corresponding figures for 2007 were 94% and 84%. To have secured improvement even at these very high levels is a fantastic achievement. The provisional figures also indicate that the value added results (which take account of the level of achievement of the pupils when they entered the school) will also be very high again. There is a distinctive ethos at Thornden which combines a relatively informal and friendly approach with a prime focus on achievement of each individual student.

External links

* [ Ofsted report]
* [ Thornden School Website]
* [ EduBase]

News items

* [ Naming arsonists in parliament in October 2003]
* [ Returning to school after fire in December 2002]
* [ Fire in 2002]

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