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Thornton College has a spectacular co-curricular programme. 


In addition to the host of regular lunchtime, after school and House activities there are special events throughout the year dedicated to the development of the girls' all-round education. Two major events held each year are 'Curriculum Enrichment Day - Time to Shine' and 'Activities Week'. 

Curriculum Enrichment Day 

Time to Shine takes place each March and showcases the best in the girls creative and performing arts skills. Leading up to the event the girls represent their Houses in performance and non-performance categories including photography, creative writing, making 3D models of food and writing short stories and performance categories including group musical and individual dance performances. During the first half of the Lent term, Pre-Prep, Prep and Senior students prepare their entries for the non-performance categories and heats are held for the performance categories. 

On Enrichment Day, the finals are held for the performance categories and all the non-performance entries are displayed, with winners indicated.

Activities Week is held during the last week of June each year and normal classes make way for experiences of a lifetime, including action-packed adventure holidays and creative workshops.  


Activities Week 2016

Activities Week in 2016 took place during the first week of July. Pre-Prep and Prep girls enjoyed life-enriching day trips, plus a fabulous range of hands-on activities and workshops within the school grounds. 

  • Years 5 and 6 girls spent an exciting week at Barton Hall, a PGL site in Devon
  • Years 3 and 4 visited The Living Rainforest near Newbury
  • Years 1 and 2 had a stimulating day out at the working farm of Greatworth Hall

The children had the most splendid time during their day trip to a working farm. In the morning we went to the wheat field to hear about how wheat is harvested and the children learnt about all the different machines which are used from ‘Seed to Harvest’. The highlights were going to the grain shed to look at the combine harvester and the mountain of grain! (Back at school, the children learnt about how wheat was harvested a long time ago by hand).

In the afternoon, the children found out about rearing sheep and chickens. They had the opportunity to see a lamb being weighed - all agreed that the lamb’s wool felt warm and soft. Carlton the cockerel made his presence felt all day long with his loud calling and there were lots of speckled hens roaming freely. The girls were able to go to the hen house to touch the eggs and later they held the chicks which were chirping loudly in a small  enclosure. We even managed to squeeze in a cookery lesson, following a recipe for delicious rhubarb crumble. 

Mrs Mathieson


Activities Week 2015

Each year, during the summer term, lessons, as we traditionally know them, stop for an entire week and make way for some creative, adventurous and very hands-on learning to take place.

This summer pupils were out and about all over the school and the UK, experiencing everything from abseiling to Indian cooking.

  • Years 5 and 6 PGL Trip took them to Boreatton Park
  • Years 3 and 4 visited the Warner Bros Studios in Watford
  • Years 1 and 2 met the animals at Cotswold Wildlife Park





School Trips

Warwick Castle, March 2017

The long-awaited trip to Warwick Castle for Years 1 and 2 was a very special day as the girls were going to see first-hand all the many parts of the castle, having learned about them in their Creative Curriculum lessons. 

On arrival, we saw the Gateway and Portcullis which the girls had previously drawn in such detail during lessons. Much to their amusement, they had their photos taken in the stocks. From there, we explored as much of the castle as possible, from the Great Hall down to the Trebuchet by the river, which made a peaceful location for our picnic lunch. 

On our return, I asked the girls which part of the day they liked best and had such enthusiastic responses. Some liked the huge bedrooms upstairs, with all the ‘made-up’ people. A few girls enjoyed seeing the baby in the nursery and the people playing the piano. Others loved learning about King Henry the Eighth’s many wives and seeing all the books in the library. Some girls liked the Kingsmaker rooms because they were dark and scary and most of the girls enjoyed the wonderful, spiral staircase in the middle. 

As well as a huge amount of fun, a great deal of learning about history took place and we managed to avoid any scary dragons all day!
Miss Firstbrook


milton keynes museum, october 2016

Pre-Prep girls travelled back in time at a local museum to introduce them to the concept of the past.

Our purpose was to learn all about how people lived a long time ago when there was no electricity. The museum is an old house which has been laid out as it would have been in Victorian times. Our guides were dressed in Victorian costume. One of them, Mrs Hastings, set the scene when she lit the oil lamp in the parlour and little faces looked up at her and listened with rapt attention as she took us on a journey back in time. 

There were many high spots on our tour. The Victorian classroom was a favourite; the children sat at desks and wrote on slates, they heard that Victorian teachers were very strict and the children may have had the cane if they were naughty.

We went to the laundry where we all had a go at wringing out the wet clothes.  In the kitchen we learnt that bread was cooked on a kitchen range. The important people ate the ‘upper crust’ and the servants ate the sooty bottom. Yuk! Every part of the pig was eaten even its toes – this news was accompanied by loud squeals of horror.  We learnt a great deal about ‘Life in the Past’ and we came away understanding how hard life had been for the Victorians.
Mrs Mathieson


Woburn Safari Park, March 2016

Bedfordshire’s wild animal park was the destination for Years 1 and 2 as part of their Creative Curriculum topic. Prior to the trip, the children had been learning about animals. Their starting point was The Carnival of the Animals by French composer Saint-Saëns, which prompted them to look at African animals in different landscapes. This trip gave them an exciting opportunity to go on their own safari and see the animals at close quarters.

A member of staff from the safari park also talked to the girls about different habitats and how animals adapt to them.


Cotswold Wildlife Park, June 2015

Years 1 and 2 enjoyed meets and greets with the likes of camels, snakes, meerkats and penguins at Cotswold Wildlife Park in a full day of fun and adventure.


Warwick Castle, March 2015

Years 1 and 2 had a wonderful day at Warwick Castle with the trip bringing to life all that the girls had been learning about castles. To begin, they witnessed the firing of the mighty trebuchet and cheered loudly as the flaming stone was blasted into the distance. Next, they looked at the outside walls of the castle. As the children craned their necks to look at the battlements, they began to appreciate that the castle was indeed a stronghold.

Their visit to the Kingsmaker, which is a waxworks of castle life, provided the opportunity for them to look closely at objects they had learnt about. They listened to the blacksmith hammering away on his anvil and saw the shining armour he had made. In the Great Hall, meanwhile, there was a special treat – the curator allowed the children to hold the sword, very safely of course. It was a pleasure to see the children’s enjoyment and their appreciation of this historical monument which is part of our English heritage.
Mrs Mathieson


Time to Shine

Students came off-curriculum for Time to Shine 2016 to celebrate their talentS.

In the non-performance element of the event, Pre-Prep girls showcased their artistic talents with some wonderful collages and paintings. Following performance heats, our enrichment day culminated with representatives from Tyrell, Cavendish and Ingleton Houses going head-to-head in a thrilling performance-based competition.

Year 2’s Eleanor P opened with a beautiful rendition of The Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond, for which she earned first place for Cavendish. Following on, Years 3 and 4 wowed the audience with assured instrumental solos while girls from Years 5 and 6 recited their favourite poems. Prep School students also took to the stage and showcase their vocal, instrumental and dance skills.

Some amazing gymnastic routines and elegant dance and musical performances by Senior School pupils demonstrated to us just how much talent we are nurturing throughout the school.

Tyrell House came third with 84 points and Cavendish placed second with 98 points. To cheers from the crowd, Ingleton House captains raised the winning trophy with a total of 104 points.


In 2015, We ditched the normal academic curriculum on 5th March for our yearly Enrichment Day – Time to Shine.

Leading up to the event, the girls took part in heats for musical and choreographed solo and group dance performances. On the day itself, they represented their Houses in non-performance categories that included photography, story writing, and painting – we had more than 120 entrants for the biscuit, cake, mug and plate decoration competitions alone. 

The nail-biting stuff really began in the afternoon when battle for first, second and third place kicked off in the performance categories. Talented movers and shakers took to the stage to wow us with musical and choreographed solo and group dance performances in front of the entire school and an external judging panel. It was a fantastic day of showmanship, with everything from juggling and balloon modelling to poem recitals. Cavendish House won the event overall. Ingleton narrowly beat Tyrell to come in second. A massive well done to all the houses to make 2015 bigger and better than ever.

Junior Fun Morning

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was the theme for Thornton’s Junior fun morning in March 2015.

It was less a case of ‘off with their heads!’ and on with the top hats as headmistress Miss Williams transformed herself (very convincingly) into the Queen of Hearts to front a morning filled with arts and crafts and eye-spying around the grounds.

All our Nursery and Junior school children and their families were invited to the event. They enjoyed lots of making and doing in the sports hall all morning. Decorating heart-shaped biscuits was a tasty option and the children also got the chance to make their own Mad Hatter top hats from circles of foam – set at a jaunty angle they looked really dashing.

They also embarked on a hunt around the grounds to find 22 wooden red hearts dangling from trees and hidden in the walled garden and around the church. Once they had ticked them all off they were entered into the tombola to win a chocolate Easter egg, handed out by the head of our Junior school Mrs Wethey looking as pretty as a picture as Alice.


Our most recent school production has been Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, with Years 5 and 6 raising the roof of Thornton College School for Girls during their four performances in March 2015.

All the girls sang and acted their hearts out to produce a fantastic performance.