girls sat in the chapel

A Catholic Foundation

Thornton College is an all-girls Catholic school, founded by the Sisters of Jesus and Mary in 1917, which upholds Christian principles and values. We are an inclusive community and we welcome children of many different denominations and faiths as well as those of no faith.  Today around 20% of our student population is Catholic.

We encourage our girls to recognise their unique gifts and abilities, to work towards their full development and to respect the faith and beliefs of others.

We endeavour to ensure that every voice is listened to, valued and accepted, so that we can work together to build our community.   In this way, we enable our pupils to be mature, responsible and active members of our own school community and, later on, of the wider community, as they understand and practice the value of service to others.

“The ethos encompassing Christian values of self-respect and tolerance of difference, means that everyone is equal here.  Equal doesn’t have to mean the same – it means equally important”.

Prayer is an important aspect of the life of our school and we worship together as one community.  Each morning begins with prayer either in the Chapel, Assembly Hall or classroom, and every girl has an opportunity to lead and to take an active part in our worship.

We recognise that each girl is making a personal spiritual journey and we invite all members of our community on a journey of self-discovery by offering time and opportunity for reflection and consideration of the spiritual side of life.  In this way each child may grow and develop as an individual who can look outside herself with empathy, wisdom and a sense of purpose. 

For those students who wish sacramental preparation takes place outside the classroom in liaison with home parishes. Boarders attend Mass each Sunday and there are ‘night prayers’ on Monday and Wednesday evenings.  On Holy Days of Obligation and when marking special occasions, Mass is celebrated for the whole school community.  


The Sisters of Jesus and Mary have educational centres in 29 countries across four continents.  Founded in 1818 by Saint Claudine Thévenet in Lyon, France there are today more than 100,000 children and young people in these educational centres.  Thornton College is one part of this large international educational family.


The Religious of Jesus and Mary founded Thornton College in 1917 and the Sisters continue to play an active role in the daily life and management of the School. 

Members of the Congregation are the Trustees of the School and serve on the governing body.  A Community of Sisters live in a small cottage within the school grounds and provide daily support for both staff and pupils.