Thornton College is an award-winning Independent Catholic boarding and day school for girls and is situated between Milton Keynes and Buckingham. It is the most successful non-selective school in the area and educates girls aged 3 to 18 years. Thornton currently has over 400 students including international borders.
Thornton is a Catholic school with a strong ethos and values - girls from all faiths and none are welcome. It is a school family where students learn and grow together.
The Right Reverend David Oakley, Bishop of Northampton, visited Thornton College, the leading day and boarding school for girls, located on the Bucks/Northants border.
29th April 2022 — Thornton College were thrilled to receive and welcome The Right Reverend David Oakley, Bishop of Northampton, to the school. Bishop David is new in his role as Bishop for the Northamptonshire Diocese and is busy visiting schools in the Diocese.
Bishop David arrived in the morning and met with Chair of Governors, Sr Helen and Trustees, Sr Claudine and Sr Brenda alongside the Head Teacher, Mrs Holmes, Deputy Head, Dr Louise Shaw, Head of RE and Chaplaincy, Mrs Shauna Murphy, Assistant Head and DSL, Mrs Tracey Wilks and Development and Marketing Director, Mrs Jennifer Walker.
Bishop David celebrated a whole school Mass in honour of St Claudine, the Foundress of the Thornton College J & M Congregation. All students and staff, of all faiths and none, attended Mass as a whole school celebration. Bishop David shared stories of his early life in Birmingham and gave the lesson that no ‘Saint’ began their journey believing that one day they would be a ‘Saint’ – like them, as individuals, students should take small positive steps and make decisions that benefit others. Bishop David went on a tour of the school with Head Girl, Victoria and Sixth Form Student Elizabeth before returning to the Drawing Room for lunch with Ethos Club students and staff. Bishop David then met with Thornton's youngest students in Pre-Prep and shared with them who he is and why he wears a ring, a funny hat and walks around with a stick!
Mrs Val Holmes, Head Teacher said:
“It was lovely to welcome Bishop David – such a ‘down to earth’ and genuine gentleman with an excellent sense of humour. He took time to greet each student in the school after the Mass and inspired us all with his presence as well as with his words. We were proud of the students and their participation in the day. They read, sang, played, prayed and chatted with confidence and respect and were all a real credit to the school. We look forward to welcoming Bishop David back to Thornton soon.”
Shauna Murphy, Head of RE and Chaplaincy, who had organised the events of the morning, said:
“It was a pleasure to have Bishop David come to Thornton for the day and gain an insight into our school life. It was lovely for the girls to have the opportunity to speak with Bishop David and share with him some of the wonderful liturgical and outreach work that they do.”
Thornton College students have achieved excellent results in their GCSEs
Thornton Year 11 students achieve excellent GCSE results.
12th August 2021 — Thornton College students have achieved excellent results in their GCSEs with the following key headline statistics:
97% of all results were grades 9 – 4 (Pass)
86% of all results were grades 9 – 5 (legacy A** - C)
72% of all results were grades 9 – 6 (legacy A** – B)
54% of all results were grades 9 – 7 (legacy A** - A)
36% of all results were at the highest possible grades 9 / 8 (legacy A**)
100% of students achieve A* - B for their HPQ (Higher Project Qualification)
Thornton students have yet again achieved fantastic results, enabling them to fulfil their ambitions. Several students have achieved the highest grades, including: Eloise for achieving nine 9s (A**s), Aliyah and Poppy, for achieving eight 9s (A**s) and two 8s (A*s), Betsy for achieving seven 9s (A**s) and three 8s (A*s) and Victoria for achieving six 9s (A**s), three 8s (A*s) and one 7 (A) .
Val Holmes, Head Teacher said:
‘I am incredibly proud of each of the girls, of their results, their support of one another and of the grit and resilience, which they have developed over the past eighteen months during some challenging and unsettled times. At Thornton we did not miss a day of learning and this group of students, who have received their results today, should be proud of how they continued to access lessons and continued their learning, always with the end goal in mind. These results are due to hard work and commitment, and they are thoroughly deserved – well done’.
Mrs Frances Gabriel, Head of Year 10 & 11, echoing Mrs Holmes:
'We are so proud of each student, as they have shown such immense determination over the last two years. They should be proud of what they have achieved despite the challenges faced and commended for the good humour with which they have tackled these.'
Family members and students who visited the school today to collect their results said:
“Thornton is a very special place; it’s a unique school” (Students)
“Every single aspect of school life has been flawless, despite all the challenges that Covid brought. A massive thank you from us for everything. All the girls are so very lucky to be at such a special school with amazing staff.” (Parent)
“I think Thornton is an absolutely brilliant school for all the students as they’ve grown into young people, developing friendships, getting to know the teachers over the years and it is clear today the love that they have about the place” (Parent)
“Seeing the emotions of the teachers today shows how much they really do care. “(Parent)
“As a non-selective school Thornton do brilliantly as they help all the students flourish as individuals” (Parent)
“It’s magic here, our daughter has been at Thornton since nursery and it has been brilliant for her – it has taught her to believe in herself” (Parent)
“I’m really happy with my results and I’m looking forward to the Sixth Form environment at Thornton, the Café, the resources, common rooms and my chosen subjects and the activity weekend!” (Student)
“I think Thornton is more of a family than a school and in my opinion it’s just a really lovely place to be” (Student)
“Thornton has made her blossom into a confident young lady and with the foundation she has got here at Thornton she can mix with confidence in any circles she meets throughout life. We’re looking forward to Thornton Sixth Form. The Thorntonian family is special and there’s nothing else like it”. (Parent)
Thornton College students achieve oustanding results
Thornton students have achieved outstanding results in their A Level and Vocational Qualifications, with 100% securing a place at their first-choice university.
10th August 2021 — Thornton College students have achieved outstanding results in their A Level and Vocational Qualifications, with 100% securing a place at their first-choice university.
54 % of all grades A*/A or equivalent
79 % of all grades were A* - B or equivalent
91% of all grades were A* - C or equivalent
68% of students achieved one or more A*/A grades or equivalent
100% of students achieved A*- B in nine of our A Level subjects
100% of Vocational Awards graded at Merit Distinction and Distinction* and 83.3% achieved Double Distinction* or Distinction* Distinction.
Again, this year we have a number of students who have achieved straight As and A*s and, in particular, we would like to congratulate Janis for achieving 4 A*s achieving a scholarship to study Architecture at the University of Bath; Abi for achieving 3 A*s to study Medicine at Newcastle; Shekinah who achieved 3 A*s to study Marketing and Management at Loughborough; Holly who achieved 2A*s and 2 As to secure her place at Bristol to study Veterinary Science; Asha for achieving 2 A*s and an A to study Law at King’s College London.
Students all secured their first-choice universities, pursuing courses including architecture, animal science, archaeological science, medicine, law, psychology, and veterinary science at a range of institutions including King’s College London, York, Nottingham, Bristol, Bath and Newcastle.
Our students have yet again achieved fantastic results, enabling them to fulfil their ambitions and we are very proud of them.
Val Holmes, Head Teacher at Thornton said:
“The grades that each student received today are not just grades that have been plucked out of the air, they are evidence of hard work over the last two years and over many years to reach this point. As a school, we didn’t lose a single day of learning during lockdowns and restrictions and we believe this has paid off. The fact that each girl continued to attend live lessons every day via Zoom and submit work for marking and feedback, tracks clearly the efforts and results over time, which has led to these outstanding results today. I am very proud of the resilience of every student and the fact that they kept working hard with the end goal in mind through two challenging years – congratulations”.
Families and students who joined us on results day said,
“The best decision I ever made was to move my daughter to Thornton College for her A Levels from her previous independent school – she’s been cared for, nurtured and made to reach her full potential” (Parent)
“I would like to thank Thornton for giving me a lot of support and whenever I’m stressed the teachers are very approachable. Teachers give me advice and help me to know how to improve and get a better mark. I’m going to miss Thornton and because I couldn’t go home due to living overseas and coronavirus restrictions Thornton has let me stay and it has become my home – I have had help with everything”. (Student)
“I am tired after a very sleepless night with worry! The results day is such a big point in a child’s life – my daughter has made big decision and worked really hard to achieve these results and now she will get to do the course she really wants and leave home in six weeks. I am so sad she will be off but happy for her” (Parent)
“My daughters joined in Year 7 and it has been a magical journey since day 1 – the care of and interest in our girls to make sure they didn’t just achieve their potential but more than they ever thought they could. Thornton College allowed them to dream and said yes you can” (Parent).
“I would like to say thank you to the teachers - A Levels go so quickly, and the teachers already know how you work and what methods you use to learn”. (Student)
Thornton Win Two Categories In The ISA Excellence In Remote Learning Celebration
Thornton College, the Independent Day and Boarding School for Girls, located in north Buckinghamshire, wins two National Categories in the ISA Excellence In Remote Learning Celebration 2021.
12th May 2021 — Thornton College has won two categories in the Independent Schools Association (ISA) Remote Learning Celebration 2021 for providing excellence in remote learning since the beginning of the pandemic, March 2020.
ISA launched a nationwide Celebration of Remote Online Learning 2021, in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic and lockdown learning. Each of the 559 member Independent Schools were encouraged to submit online learning lessons, (nominated by students), in four categories, Arts, STEM, Sports and Other.
Thornton College entered three recorded live online lesson submissions and won two of the four categories; a Year 11 Drama Lesson taught by Miss Rigby entitled ‘Too Much Punch for Judy’ and a Year 4 Science Lesson taught by Mrs Sablon entitled ‘Mrs Nerg – On the Line’.
Miss Rigby, Head of Drama and Year 7 said, “I was incredibly touched when I found out that I had been nominated for this award, by one of my Year 11 students. All of the staff at Thornton put an enormous amount of effort into online learning, continuing to deliver the full curriculum in an exciting and engaging way, so to know that the students really appreciated this made it so very worthwhile. I have been absolutely blown away by the resilience of the students and their ongoing commitment to learning, from home. It is never easy to perform in front of an entire class, let alone on Zoom, yet my students still created such beautiful, moving and in many cases utterly hilarious Drama pieces, over lockdown. I am thrilled to receive this award and truly do feel it is also a reflection on my fabulous students”.
Mrs Sablon, Year 4 Teacher said “Mrs Nerg (Mrs Sablon's alter ego) and I are so honoured to win this excellence in remote learning award; it simply couldn’t happen without the incredible dedication and commitment from the entire staff body at Thornton who work tirelessly to ensure the remote learning provision is superb in every way. My biggest thanks go to my lovely, long-suffering class who always humour my terrible jokes and have endless enthusiasm for every weird and wonderful lesson I send their way – thank you 4C!”
“These awards are richly deserved and reflect the resilience and inspired creativity that girls and staff continued to show through such challenging times. Our submissions really captured the spirit of our community and we are delighted that ISA have recognised this” added Dr Louise Shaw, Deputy Head.
Thornton College is absolutely thrilled to win these two categories and would like to recognise both Miss Rigby and Mrs Sablon especially for winning and also all teachers for their contribution to providing excellence in online learning. Thornton College also commend their students of all ages, from 3 – 18 years, who have shown such positivity and enthusiasm during online learning.
Thornton Does It Again!
Thornton College also won the Independent Schools of the Year Award 2020 for its Student Careers Programme and was a Finalist (Final three top schools) from hundreds of entries in the ISA Awards for Outstanding STEM Provision. These recent online excellence wins for the schools surely add to the success the school has achieved this year alone and cement the school’s position as the only leading boarding and day Independent School for girls in the area!
Thornton College consistently ranks in the Sunday Times top 10 non-selective schools in the UK.
“I am delighted that we won two out of the three categories we entered, especially when considering ISA has 559 member schools! Special congratulations to our winners - Miss Rigby and Mrs Sablon and to all the staff and our amazing students who did not miss a day of learning during lockdown and can truly claim to be remote learning experts!” commented Mrs Val Holmes, Head Teacher.
THORNTON COLLEGE WINS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS OF THE YEAR AWARD 2020
Thornton College, an independent girls day and boarding school in Milton Keynes has won the Independent Schools of the Year Award.
14th October 2020 — Thornton College, an independent girls day and boarding school in Milton Keynes has won the Independent Schools of the Year Award.
Mrs Val Holmes, Head Teacher said, “To be The Independent School of the Year for our Careers Programme from all the hundreds of schools that entered the Awards is an amazing recognition for our school and especially for our Careers Team, who go above and beyond to provide outstanding opportunities for our students. The judges particularly noted the relationship we have developed with our local business community and the number of companies involved directly in our Careers Programme. A huge congratulations and thank you to the whole community at Thornton, including our students and their families, our incredible staff who go above and beyond each day and our corporate supporters. We are all absolutely thrilled to win this national award”.
The Independent Schools of the Year Awards is an annual celebration of the successes of schools and their students across the independent education sector in the UK and British schools overseas. Showcasing the excellence of the educational experience available to students of all backgrounds, these awards recognise and applaud the varied and imaginative ways in which independent schools prepare young people for their future lives. The 21 award categories have been designed to reflect the breadth and diversity of life in an independent school in the 21st century and are intended to acknowledge the contribution these often long-established institutions make to both their local communities and wider society in today’s world.
This year Thornton College has been recognised for its outstanding Student Careers Programme.
Each year Thornton College delivers an extensive STEAM, (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) programme, which includes inviting other schools to a broad range of events providing employer and university encounters for students from Years 7 – 13. Recent events include building a Formula One car with Sahara Force India and constructing a prototype level crossing with Network Rail. Thornton also runs an Annual STEAM Careers’ Event hosting over twenty leading companies including Unilever, AECOM, Tesla, PwC, Aon and Sport Pesa Racing. This year over 350 students from local schools attended the event and found out more about the range of pathways available on our doorstep. Thornton is also recognised for leading the way in introducing robotics across the curriculum supporting SEND children in social skills and stretching the more able. Thornton College is home to a family of ten Mekamon robots which visit classrooms in the Prep School across a range of specialist subjects.
Mrs Jo Scott, Careers and Enterprise Leader said, ‘We are proud of our extensive Careers Programme and our commitment to supporting students with individualised, bespoke guidance. We passionately believe in providing a broad range of employer and university encounters to allow all our students to build the employability skills that companies seek. To win in such a prestigious competition is fantastic!’
Another Year of Excellent GCSE Results at Thornton College
Thornton's Year 11 students enjoy tremendous GCSE success.
20th August 2020 — Thornton College students have achieved excellent results in their GCSEs with the following key headline statistics:
• 98% of all results were grades 9 – 4 (Pass)
• 88% of all results were grades 9 – 5 (legacy A* - C)
• 45% of all results were grades 9 – 7 (legacy A* - A)
• 27% of all results were at the highest possible grades 9 / 8 (legacy A**)
• 100% of students achieve A* -C for their HPQ (Higher Project Qualification)
This year has been a challenging one for students, teachers, schools and the education sector in general. At Thornton we continued to deliver a full online curriculum for all our students from Reception through to Year 13 during lockdown to ensure learning was not lost during the summer term and that all our girls are up to date for the start of the new academic year.
Val Holmes, Head Teacher said, ‘All our students in Year 11 continued to access work, attend live lessons and complete their learning during lockdown. They have all worked incredibly hard during a difficult time to achieve their well-deserved results. As a non-selective school, which values the talents of each individual, we recognise that success comes in all shapes and sizes and that excellence is achievable in all sorts of different ways. I am incredibly proud of each of the girls, of their results, their support of one another and of the grit and resilience, which they have developed in the past months, in particular. It will serve them well in the next stage of their journey in education and as they face an increasingly competitive world.'
Family members and students who visited the school today to collect their results commented, “I am over the moon with her results as she has worked so hard. As a parent it has been a worrying time due to recent national media coverage regarding downgrading of results but I was reassured with the fact that my daughter is at Thornton as I trust her teachers and the school” Parent
“I had every confidence that the finest job would be done at Thornton” Parent
Melissa a student at Thornton explained that “I was apprehensive but I trust my teachers’"
Sophie who also attends Thornton said 'I am now looking forward to doing my A Levels at Thornton in History, Physics, Maths and Philosophy and Ethics’