At Thornton College we provide an award winning Student Careers Programme. Please click on the links below for further details of our careers work across the school.

YEAR 7 TO 11

Careers in the Senior School is taught as part of the PSHEE programme.  The Careers lessons encourage students to understand more about themselves, know where to look for useful information and plan for the future.  It is felt that self-awareness, self-determination and self-improvement underpin aspiration, ambition and achievement in Careers, learning and the world of work.  In 2018/19 the STEPS Careers programme was introduced, enabling students to keep a record of their work in individual Careers booklets.


Sixth Formers either progress to university or apprenticeships at the end of Year 13.

The Sixth Form Careers Programme allows students to explore higher education options as well as opportunities to go into the workplace.

Our Careers and Enterprise Leader, Mrs Jo Scott, has individual discussions with Year 12s about their options at eighteen and she is available to offer support and advice to students on an ongoing basis, throughout their journey in the Sixth Form.

Additional workshops and careers’ trips are also organised during the year.


In October 2018, Thornton introduced a Joint Careers Programme with St Columba’s College in St Albans.

St Columba’s is an independent school for boys from ages 4-18, with similar moral and spiritual values to Thornton.

Joint workshops and clinics run by Mrs Jo Scott, our Careers and Enterprise Leader and Mr Paul Kelly from St Columba’s, give our students the opportunity to work together, gain further insight in workplace practices and maximise their employability skills.

Events for 2020/21 can be seen on the school calendar and Firefly and include UCAS workshops; Employability Skills events; Industry-specific Careers’ Talks; Debates; Team Building Days; Careers Inspiration Event and TEFL course.


At Thornton we offer an extensive STEAM programme for:

  • All our girls at different stages throughout the school;
  • Our link school St Columba’s;
  • Surrounding independent and state sector schools through our partnership programme.

Thornton consistently delivers on the Gatsby Benchmarks and we are proud of our STEAM offering. We are delighted that a third of our current Year 12 cohort are taking one or more STEM subjects and indicators are that of our current Year 11, 40% of them will study one or more STEM subjects at A level.

At Thornton we have worked hard to develop strong partnerships with over 20 local companies who offer careers evenings, debates and workshops as well as work placements and apprenticeships. Through meetings with conference delegates, we have been instrumental in setting the agenda of workshops for MK Innovates, a festival to showcase the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths excellence in Milton Keynes. In addition, Thornton has links with local Universities including The University of Buckingham and Cranfield University. Looking forward we are already working with MK:U, a new, ground-breaking university with a focus on STEAM subjects, which includes our students collaborating with faculty leaders, in the form of consultation groups.

Our provision includes:

  • Our Annual STEAM flagship careers’ event with over twenty leading companies attending and over 350 students from nine local schools.
  • Cyber security workshops.
  • Developed a partnership with ReachRobotics to be one of the first schools in the country to trial robotics in the classroom and throughout curriculum. Even our youngest students have learnt to code and programme a Mekamon to move like an animal of their choice! Our family of Mekamon robots are a firm favourite amongst our students.
  • Developed a partnership with Cranfield University to develop our coding programme for our younger students and run an example robotics class at MK Innovates. Senior students will regularly visit Cranfield’s laboratories to observe post graduate robotics’ project work.
  • Regular careers’ talks and workshops for our Years 7-13, these include building a Formula One car with Sahara Force India, constructing a prototype level crossing with Network Rail, designing buildings made of spaghetti with Malcolm Hollis, digital railway tasks with Siemens and creating different ways of using drones with PwC. This year, HSBC, Santander and Network Rail have delivered several workshops to our Year 5 and 6s, including Money Talks and the People like Me programme.
  • Partner work with Northampton University delivered a designing shoes and jewellery workshop with their Fashion Department for our Years 3 and 4 and a lecture for senior school pupils on the importance of STEAM subjects for their art degree courses.
  • Lesser Spotted Sciences Day and Bio Medical Engineering Workshops with Oxford University.
  • Birmingham City and Nottingham University STEAM workshops.
  • 1:1 Careers’ interviews with students aged 15-18 introducing students to careers and courses in the STEAM sector.