Students at Thames Christian School are a story waiting to be told – each individual and each unique. In fact, individuality is at the heart of the school’s ethos which aims to help pupils understand their value both as individuals and as part of the community, attaining academic excellence, but more importantly nurturing skills and talents for their life beyond school.
Stephen Holsgrove, Headteacher, explains, “Every child’s potential is more than they think when they arrive. Each is gifted. What we do is create an atmosphere of trust, and the freedom and responsibility for every student to discover what their gift is and pursue it.” The school can do this because it’s small, with less than twenty students per class, each supported with a personalised education plan.
In 2022, Thames Christian School moved to a larger, eco-friendly, state-of-the-art site, but it has no intention of becoming a large school, accommodating only 300 students once it launches its new sixth form in 2023. The school will soon offer a wide range of A-levels and co-curricular subjects to help children navigate the next phase of their lives.
The new building also provides more facilities to support and stretch the potential of each child. A new food technology lab, an art department with purpose-built lighting, two DT rooms, several high-tech sound-proofed music rooms, a large theatre and stage all provide the space for students to flourish. Pupils are also free to pursue activities outside the curriculum. For example, those who don’t enjoy traditional sports, can take up recreational sports, such as rock climbing, and the school will support them.Staff go the extra mile too, with passionate teachers who enable the students to develop self-awareness and resilience by equipping them with critical skills such as communications, leadership, problem solving and teamwork. Beyond the rich and varied curriculum, the school also provides extra resources to help each child fulfil their potential. For example, a student can take a Computer Science GCSE, but the school plans to offer professional computing qualifications relevant to the workplace too. From Year 11, pupils have one-on-one careers advice tailored to their gifts and are exposed to a variety of careers they can pursue.
Thames Christian School students are happy, calm, confident, and have a strong pupil voice, even deciding on aspects of their new building and uniform. They have a student council, a school newspaper, and in the lockdowns, launched their own radio station. There is a strong sense of community and responsibility and on any given day, you will find the older pupils mentoring the younger ones.
The student body is truly diverse, representing a range of cultures. Students are drawn from the local community and further afield, given the school’s convenient proximity to Clapham Junction station. They are of all faiths and none, but all identify and embrace the school’s Christian values of compassion, respect, courage, openness and diligence, all highly desirable attributes – writing their own stories for the future.