Thornton College get closer to commerce

Thornton College has appointed Ruth Coates as the school’s new Head of Sixth Form. Mrs Coates joined Thornton just as the Sixth Form opened in 2016 and is excited by her promotion.

“It has been great to see the Sixth Form come to life and fantastic that we are now offering exciting new courses, such as BTEC Criminology and Forensics, to complement the broad range of A Level and vocational qualification options on offer.”

In addition to preparing students for university, Thornton also forges relationships with businesses, as several girls have discovered that degree-level apprenticeships offer excellent options for them.

“What makes Thornton Sixth Form so special is the commitment of everyone involved to support students in finding the right pathway. The school has the students very much at its heart, treating each girl as an individual, rather than a statistic. The school is a very special place,” added Mrs Coates.

Thornton regularly hosts careers-focussed events, workshops and seminars. Jo Scott, the school’s Employment and Enterprise Advisor, is particularly adept at organising guests to come into Thornton to talk to students about opportunities available to them after leaving school. In recent weeks, several leading companies have visited Thornton, including Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Network Rail, Unilever, Tesla, BP and Renault Formula One to name a few.

Thornton College - Ruth Coates
Thornton College - Ruth Coates

Mrs Scott organises a hugely successful Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers event every year, which is open to students from several other local schools, with approximately 20 local, national and international companies attending.

During their time in the Sixth Form, girls meet Mrs Scott individually and learn how to align their interests, hobbies and positions of responsibility or work experience with the professional skill set and soft skills required by employers. They prepare answers to four generic application form questions and create a CV. All good preparation for life after education.

Thornton also has several internal clubs promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship. The school’s Enterprise Society, for example, is given the opportunity to work on the Peter Jones Foundation Tycoon in Schools competition.

Val Holmes, Head Teacher of Thornton College, is also an advocate of building relationships with businesses. She says: “We cannot emphasise enough how important it is for young people today to be forward thinking and to make all-important links with industry, which can lead to a very successful future.”