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Thornton College

Thornton College is a leading independent day and boarding school for girls aged 3 – 18 years. It is one of the most successful non-selective schools in the UK and offers a warm and nurturing educational environment alongside a rigorous and exciting curriculum. REQUEST INFORMATION..
KEY INFORMATION: In 2020 Thornton College won the prestigious Independent School of the Year Award for its outstanding Student Careers Programme and Thornton was one of three Finalist schools for the ISA Outstanding STEAM provision Award, from over 550 independent school members across the UK. Students receive an outstanding education and make excellent progress at Thornton College. Your daughter would be encouraged and expected to achieve her personal best in all she does.
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LOCATION: located in Thornton, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK17 0HJ, United Kingdom. The college is well situated for easy access to several international airports including London Heathrow, London Luton, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Birmingham, and East Midlands airports. The distance from each airport to Thornton College varies, and the closest airport to the college is London Luton. 40 mins – 1 hour by car to Luton Airport Parkway 1hr 20 mins by car to London Heathrow REQUEST INFORMATION..
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HISTORY: Thornton College occupies the former Manor House of Thornton.  The Manor dates back to the 11th Century and is mentioned in the Domesday Book, but most of the House still in use today is part of a mid-14th Century development.  Three families, Cavendish, Ingleton and Tyrell predominantly owned the Manor prior to the Sisters’ purchase in 1917.  It is these families which give their names to our school Houses. Thornton College has a rich traditional history full of character and stories and many of the architectural features that exist in the school today relate to the families that once owned Thornton Hall.
EXTRA-CURRICULAR: Thornton provides over 80 extra curricular clubs across the week. The vast majority of these are included in fees and are run by enthusiastic and dedicated staff. Clubs range from chess, debating, engineering, sports, choirs, orchestra to glee, slime, touch typing, knitting, fun and friendship, Formula 1 Racing and more! We do have external coaches for clubs such as yoga, badminton, karate and cricket. There are charges for externally coached clubs. There are opportunities for students to have one to one or dedicated lessons in Music, Speech & Drama and Ballet with peripatetic staff.
ENGLISH SUPPORT: All international students are required to attend ESOL lessons initially with our dedicated full time ESOL Teacher. Once students reach the required level of English it is not compulsory to attend ESOL lessons. However, most students will join and attend ESOL lessons each week in place of Modern Foreign Language lessons (French / Spanish). English as a Foreign Language (ESOL) teaching is charged at £675 per term.
PRE-16 QUALIFICATIONS: Everything we do at Thornton College focuses on the happiness and welfare of the children in our care.  Of course, we can claim academic excellence; we are one of the top performing non-selective schools in the UK, but few schools can match the feeling of community and happiness. Thornton College has a strong work ethic and your daughter will be encouraged, and expected, to achieve her personal best in all that she does. We believe that teaching and learning should be both challenging and enjoyable for students of all abilities and we aim for the highest possible standards. Teaching at Thornton is of an exceptional standard across all disciplines and teachers engender both a love for their subject and a love of learning.
ACCOMMODATION: At Thornton College we have a range of accommodation for various age groups in two main boarding Houses; Barton and Chastillon.  For the majority of students, boarding is upstairs in our Manor House in large bedrooms with stunning views, lots of space, high ceilings and natural light. Accommodation for girls in Year 13 is in The Villa, a beautiful detached house located in the school grounds.
PASTORAL: At Thornton each child is know individually (day and boarding). Thornton provides excellent pastoral care across the school with engaged and caring Form Tutors, committed Head of Year staff, an outstanding Learning Development team, Designated Safeguarding Leads and Deputy Head, Head of Safeguarding and Boarding, full time Nurse and on site medical centre, dedicated boarding House Mistresses and wellbeing initiatives such as Listening Ear, Wellbeing Wednesdays and Fun Fridays.
Thorntons community: Thornton College is a community where girls thrive; where outstanding pastoral care and a wonderfully creative and broad curriculum and co-curriculum enables each girl to become the very best version of herself.   We are a vibrant and diverse school, welcoming girls from 3 to 18 of all faiths and none, from across the UK and the world – including many of the Jesus and Mary Schools situated in 29 different countries. We embrace and celebrate our differences knowing that we are also a community, a community bound by a shared set of values. At Thornton, we educate girls so that not only can they make a difference, but they want to make a difference. We do this by providing a curriculum and co-curriculum that inspire curiosity and by providing classes and clubs that stir debate and instil the belief needed to formulate and share opinions; Thornton girls learn how to listen and empathise, to work together and share ideas but also how to lead. Our small class sizes allow us to know each girl as an individual, to grow with her on her educational journey, crafting a school experience so that she is not only able to discover her talents but more importantly – use them to the full!
Being at Thornton has been a lovely experience and I could never imagine it was going to be like that because living at school has been a different experience with different languages. I never thought I was going to have this fun and meet these different people living here with the other girls and sharing things with them. I really enjoy the activities we do in boarding on Saturdays because they take us to places and we have visited London, Oxford and Cambridge and I hadn’t really had the opportunity to go to these places but we go every weekend with school. On Sundays they always find activities we can do so we are never bored and even if I am in school I am having a really great time. Even in the weekdays all the students are really nice and I met them and made lots of friends and it’s a really nice experience because I am learning another language and the way they teach me is an easy experience for me to learn it so I can improve my way of speaking and listening to them helps me day to day. My English has changed a lot because I am all the time listening and also the way they teach me it helps me for my speaking and all the classes make sure that I really understand it. First I thought I couldn’t speak to lots of people because it’s everything in a different language and maybe I didn’t have the words to express myself but they really helped me and now I’m used to speaking in English and all the girls understand that I’m not English and they just help me a lot. The timings of the day are strange at first because I eat much later in Spain so here it was different but it is fine because I get used to it and the food in school is really nice and I never really thought it was going to be like that. At school in Spain you have a plate of food and you have to eat it but here you have lots of food to choose it. In my class students are really nice and I have made friends with everyone and also because we mix classes in lots of subjects we do a lot of projects in teams and I have also had the opportunity to meet all the other people in other classes. I think this experience has helped me because it is another way of thinking because it is in a second language. I really enjoy Chemistry here because we do a lot of experiments and I really enjoy the labs here they are amazing and also the teachers explain it really well and so I understand the subject. I like the sports here because the sports we do here I don’t normally practise them like hockey I’ve never played it before and netball I have never played netball before and now I am in the team and I play it every week. I went to other schools and played matches. My favourite trip has been Oxford – we went to Oxford when it was the Christmas Market and everything was really nice and in a few weeks we are going to London and I am really looking forward to it. Alejandra Year 9 - Thrive Globally Studied at: (International Boarder)
scared joining Thornton because it is a new place, a new world so far away from my country and I was crying a lot in the first week. Then the first person who I met asked me if I wanted a hug and I immediately felt warmed and welcome because you are alone and in a new place and you want someone to be with you. I think at Thornton the boarding part is really nice because in the first week you play games and get to meet each other. Also at dinner you sit with different people and you get to make new friends from different countries. I have friends from Nigeria, Korea, South Africa, India and all around the place. We all talk about different cultures because we don’t know much about each others countries so we ask lots of questions and learn from others. It’s nice because when you visit those countries in the future you can meet your friends again and know more about those places already. I like the boarding common room because we can hang out there and play games, relax on the sofa, buy snacks, make noodles and watch TV. I have been at Thornton for four years now and I am so pleased because I never thought I would study in a different country so far away from my country Hong Kong but I am enjoying it so much. I like science because we do lots of different practicals and experiments. MY favourite subject is biology. I am doing separate science, geography, photography and ESOL for my GCSES. Esol is for people who English is not their first language to learn basic English and do exams to be able to work and study at university. I enjoy the weekend trips – we visit museums, art galleries, and go shopping! My favourite trip has been ice skating at Milton Keynes and going out for pizza! I have made lots of friends with UK students across the whole school because last year we did a Guys and Dolls drama production and I was backstage so I got to help everyone so that’s the time I got to meet everyone in the school. Friends invite me to their homes for their birthday parties and at the weekends for a sleepover and it’s really nice. In boarding at dinner we do lots of different culture food. I liked the geography trip so much and I play the piano. I learn to play the Ukulele with Mr Ireland and he teaches us the songs he has learnt and I really like playing cricket in the summer. Jamie C - Thrive Globally Studied at: (International Boarder)
So at first I was actually really nervous when I came to Thornton but then I found a really nice bunch of good friends and the teachers helped me a lot in different ways. I joined at the start of Year 7 last year. It was like joining a family because I used to live in Hong Kong and this was my first school and time in England. Thornton was really great at helping me adapt because schools in Hong Kong are really different to here. School here is really relaxed and in Hong Kong the teachers are really strict but here they are happy and I’m enjoying myself. I’ve got different clubs, I do choir, jazz works, orchestra and string ensemble because I really like music. I play the cello and piano. I like the cello because I really like the sound of it – it is really rich. I take part in all the music concerts at Thornton. I used to be really shy but now being at Thornton I am now brave. The teachers encourage me to not be scared at all and play solo in concerts and I have a bunch of friends and teachers that support me to do these things. I like the variety of clubs at Thornton because I didn’t get that many options in Hong Kong. Kianna - Thrive Globally Studied at: (International Boarder)
LIFE AT Thornton College We have been helping overseas students gain entrance to Thornton College for a number of years now, progressing to high profile careers in the UK. Find out more about this school below.
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