Headmaster's Welcome & Blog
At Thorpe House we pride ourselves on knowing every boy and having a genuine family atmosphere. These are attributes to which virtually every school in the country would aspire, but we believe that we actually achieve them. However, it is only by visiting a school that one can get a true sense of what makes the place tick and what it really stands for. Therefore I hope that you will be able to find the time to come and look around after you have studied the information on this website.
If you do visit us you will find a group of pupils who are happy to be at school and cannot wait for the next time that school is open. They enjoy their lessons and the extraordinary range of other activities on offer and the company of their friends and the adults who look after them.
You will also find a group of staff who are completely committed to the success of the school and, by that token, the success and happiness of each individual boy. This does not just include the teaching staff - everyone who works at the school understands the important part that they play, whatever it might be, and gets to know the boys.
Schools are about people and at Thorpe House people are central. We join in celebrating the many successes that our boys chalk up and we share in their disappointments when they do not quite achieve what they had hoped and help them to do better the next time. We are a very happy, successful school and we would love to meet you and your son. If you would like to discuss the possibility of your son joining Thorpe House, please contact us to see if there are spaces in the relevant year and to arrange a visit.
Headmaster's BLOG - November 2013
This has been a very strange term for me - I announced at the start of term that I would be retiring at the end of the academic year and since then I have known with every event that comes along that it will be the last time I am taking part in it. That is far from being a universally sad emotion as there are many aspects to being a Headmaster which are 'less than exciting'. Paperwork has become the bane of the profession and I will not miss having to keep policy documents up to date, sending in returns to the Department for Education or writing reports on one thing or another. The things that I will miss enormously are the events I take part in with the boys. I will miss teaching lessons, taking part in assemblies in all three parts of the school and being part of the big occasions that take place. Particularly now I am looking forward with mixed emotions to the Carol Services, the Nativities, the School Play and the Junior School Christmas Concert with 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'. I know I will enjoy each one of them but I suspect I will feel very sad after they are all over.
Strangely, one thing I have found to be very positive has been the appointment of the person who will take over from me. I realise it is my own choice to leave but I would not have felt happy to do so when the time actually comes if I did not believe that the school had found a good person to take over from me. As it is, I know that Terry Ayres is a very worthy successor and that he will lead to school onto even greater heights in the years ahead. As I write this we are looking forward to welcoming Natasha Doran to meet the Pre-Prep parents tomorrow night and I am sure that when Natasha and Terry are here in tandem next year they will give the school a new impetus to move forward.
Therefore, I am determined to enjoy the remaining eight months although I have no misapprehensions that there will be many ups and downs along the way.
Headmaster's BLOG - August 2013
I always feel sorry for the boys who take their exams in May and June and then have to wait until the end of August before getting the results. Other than when sitting GCSE and A Level, there is no other time in a person's life when there is such an enormous gap between sitting important exams and knowing how you have done. When the powers that be eventually finally announce the definitive plans for the future of these examinations, perhaps they will consider doing something about the torture which our young people have to endure in seemingly endless waiting to find out about their futures.
Meanwhile, the wait was finally over for our Year 11 boys at the end of last week and the vast majority were delighted with the results that they had gained. As a school we were 'over the moon' with the overall grades that the boys achieved, and with over half the grades gained being A or A* it is clear why that was the case. However, GCSE results are not actually just another set of statistics but were, in this case, the individual results from seventeen boys. Amongst those boys were inevitably some who did not do as well as they would have hoped alongside those who had exceeded expectations. Therefore, although there was much to celebrate, those celebrations were slightly tempered by knowing that one or two boys are having to re-assess what they are going to do next year. There will be a mix of results once again next year but hopefully the high level of A and A* grades this year will act as a target for the next set of boys who have to endure a summer of waiting for their results.
Headmaster's BLOG - June 2013
It is a great relief that the cold weather seems to be finally behind us and we have eventually reached a point when we are getting more of the weather we expect at this time of year. It has in fact been a lot drier than usual at this time of year which has been a great bonus. It has meant that the huge raft of outdoor activities that take place at this time of year have been able to go ahead without interruption. We have had to cancel very few cricket matches and all our Athletics meetings have taken place on schedule too. The after-school activities such as sculling, sailing, tennis and golf have been able to take place in pleasant conditions for the boys as well. The boys are very hardy and keep going with most sporting activities despite wet or cold conditions but it is always much more fun to take part in the dry and warm.
The real bonus was last Saturday when our Parents Association were able to hold their Summer Fair on a lovely afternoon - dry and mostly sunny. This was the first time for a number of years when it has been held on a nice day and it very much showed in relation to the attendance. It was wonderful to see the Pre-Prep field full of people enjoying themselves and the organisers should be very pleased with the huge amount of positive feedback which the day generated. The other positive is that it will have raised a lot of money towards their twin projects of putting astroturf onto the tennis court and putting an interactive whiteboard and projector in the Pre-Prep hall.
As the term moves on the Year 11 boys have virtually finished their GCSEs and the rest of the school are heading towards examinations. We are hoping that the Year 11s will be able to repeat the tremendous success they gained in their Science GCSEs across the board. We will know in August!
Headmaster's BLOG - April 2013
Having had the coldest winter in the memory of the pupils and many of the staff, (at least those who are younger than me and do not remember 1963) we are now hoping that the Summer Term might bring some better weather and that everyone's Vitamin D levels can build up again.
This term is always full of events, and it is difficult to imagine how both the boys and the staff will manage to get through the programme in one piece. At certain points in the terms the pressure is on for the parents too, with a number of events for them coming in close proximity to one another. The first big occurrence is the Senior Play, this year taking place at Chalfont St Peter Memorial Centre to give the boys the experience of taking part in a production on a full stage. Miss Smith and her cast are putting on The Caucasion Chalk Circle and it is looking like being another tour de force, so we are looking forward to 10th and 11th May. Things such as swimming galas, Sports Days, Prizegiving and end of term concerts loom on the horizon, but of course there is the small matter of school examinations to get through before we get to them. The boys who are about to take their GCSEs have even more important examinations ahead of them but I am sure they will have been boosted by gaining absolutely superb results in their Science exams which were completed last term.
The various outdoor events really do need some decent weather to make them enjoyable and a number had to be curtailed or cancelled altogether last year. Therefore let us hope that the recent up-turn in temperatures is the start of a glorious summer.