Headmaster Announcement

08 February 2021
Headmaster Announcement

Mrs Gillian Swaine, Chair of the Governors at Sutton Valence School, is delighted to announce that the Governing Body has appointed Mr James Thomas as the new Headmaster of the School, effective as of September 2021. Mr Thomas will succeed Bruce Grindlay, who departs at the end of this academic year after 12 years of outstanding leadership of the School. Mr Grindlay leaves SVS to take up the post of Principal of Rugby School Thailand.

The appointment follows an extensive search with a strong list of candidates applying for the post. Despite the current challenges impacting the interview process, the Governors were pleased to be able to complete the process in a timely fashion.  Mrs Swaine commented, ”We are delighted to have attracted such a high-quality candidate in James Thomas and we are looking forward to even more success in the future for the School and its students.”

Mr Thomas studied at St Paul’s School, London, and then went on to receive his undergraduate degree in Theology from Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. He holds an MA in Educational Leadership from the University of London and also the National Professional Qualification for Headship. In his early career he was a Head of Department (Theology and Philosophy) at both Dulwich College and Wellington College, where he was also in charge of Oxford and Cambridge applications. He then became the Director of Studies at Harrow International School Hong Kong before moving to the highly regarded British School in Tokyo in August 2014 where he is currently Head of the Senior School. Beyond work and spending time with his family, Mr Thomas’s personal interests include music, choirs, sport, travel and current affairs.

The South East, and Kent in particular, is very much ‘home’ for Mr Thomas. In that regard, as well as being a great professional opportunity, it is also a wonderful personal one for him as he, his wife Katherine and three young boys move back to the area, with his children due to attend Sutton Valence Preparatory School. Mr Thomas commented “I am absolutely thrilled and indeed honoured to have been appointed as the next Headmaster at Sutton Valence School. The School is in a wonderful position and I look forward to leading it in its next chapter. The opportunity to work with the students, staff, parents, governors, Old Suttonians and the many friends of the school community fills me with excitement.”

Community forms such an important part of life at Sutton Valence School and, in many ways, defines the legacy left by Mr Grindlay. His commitment and passion, not just to the School, but to the community that makes it so special, has characterised his 12 years at the helm. He leaves the School in a strong position, both academically and in terms of its outstanding co-curricular achievements, and the Governing Body is immensely grateful for all that he has achieved.

As the School heads towards its 450th anniversary in 2026, the Governing Body has every confidence that Mr Thomas’s appointment will allow Sutton Valence to continue to go from strength to strength, building on the successes of the recent past, as one of the leading independent schools in the South East and, truly, the heart of Kent education.

As an introduction, Mr Thomas has recorded the following message as a welcome for the SVS community.

 

 

Highlights and Events News Prep School Prep School Newsletter Senior School Senior School Newsletter

Highlights and Events, News, Prep School, Prep School Newsletter, Senior School, Senior School Newsletter

  • Big Cat Sanctuary Design Challenge

    Big Cat Sanctuary Design Challenge

    22 July 2021
    The Design and Technology department is challenging the First, Second and Third Forms this summer to design a new enclosure for one of the small cats at the Big Cat Sanctuary.
    MORE
  • Prize and Award Winners

    09 July 2021
    The Summer Term Prize and Award Winners.
    MORE
  • United Westminter and Grey Coat Foundations Athletics Winners

    United Westminter and Grey Coat Foundations Athletics Winners

    07 July 2021
    Due to the current circumstances, this year’s annual United Westminster and Grey Coat Foundation Athletics competition took place virtually.
    MORE
  • England Rugby U18 Development Camp

    England Rugby U18 Development Camp

    07 July 2021
    Congratulations to Nathan Michelow (Lower Sixth) who has been invited to attend the England Rugby U18 Development Camp at the end of this month.
    MORE
  • LWOST Trip to the Big Cat Sanctuary

    LWOST Trip to the Big Cat Sanctuary

    07 July 2021
    This week, a group of Fourth Form Design and Technology students were able to gain an understanding of the different cats and the different enrichment activities that take place at The Big Cat Sanctua...
    MORE
  • Flambeau Tour

    Flambeau Tour

    07 July 2021
    Flambeau has grown rapidly since its inception in 1975 and is one of the leading plastic manufacturers in the UK, specialising in plastic manufacturing processes using blow moulding, injection mouldin...
    MORE
  • Digital Learning

    Digital Learning

    02 July 2021
    Year 6 has been using an online photo editing tool on their Surface Go’s using their stylus for their topic on Image Editing.
    MORE
  • Year 4 Theatrics

    Year 4 Theatrics

    02 July 2021
    Year 4 dramatically constructed theatres from recycled cereal boxes.
    MORE
  • Year 6 Art Exhibition 2021

    Year 6 Art Exhibition 2021

    02 July 2021
    Our Year 6 children's masterpieces captured the children’s creativity and individuality perfectly.
    MORE
  • Year 6 Play 2021

    Year 6 Play 2021

    02 July 2021
    The Year 6 production is always a highlight of the year and, despite the fact we were unable to welcome a live audience into the Bates Hall, the children put their hearts and souls into their performa...
    MORE
  • Message from the Deputy Head - 2nd July 2021

    Message from the Deputy Head - 2nd July 2021

    02 July 2021
    The final weeks of this term have been full of firsts and lasts.
    MORE
  • Cricket Celebrations

    02 July 2021
    Thursday saw two Cricket teams participating in Cricket tournaments.
    MORE
  • The Dale Cup 2021

    The Dale Cup 2021

    02 July 2021
    At the end of last week, the most anticipated football tournament of the Summer got underway.
    MORE
  • DofE First Aid Training

    DofE First Aid Training

    02 July 2021
    It is not only the pupils that need to undergo refresher first aid training, as our staff are also required to update their knowledge and skills.
    MORE
  • Geography Trip - Reculver

    Geography Trip - Reculver

    02 July 2021
    On Tuesday, the Lower Sixth Geography students battled the wet weather conditions like true geographers during their trip to Reculver.
    MORE
  • Target 4 Green

    Target 4 Green

    02 July 2021
    Last Thursday, our First, Second and Fourth Form pupils were excited to welcome Peter Milne from Target 4 Green to the School to hear his talk on climate change.
    MORE
  • Camber Sands Field Trip

    Camber Sands Field Trip

    02 July 2021
    Last Friday, our Lower Sixth Biology students had a wonderful field trip to Camber Sands, to measure the biodiversity of the different habitats located there.
    MORE
  • Junior STEM Day

    Junior STEM Day

    02 July 2021
    It was wonderful to host the Junior STEM day on Thursday this week.
    MORE
  • Tea Dunking

    Tea Dunking

    01 July 2021
    In true British fashion, our First and Second Form Mathematicians used tea to solve some of their problems! Their mission: to create a biscuit that can endure the tea-dunking test.
    MORE
  • CCF Third Form Range Day

    CCF Third Form Range Day

    01 July 2021
    On Wednesday, our Third Form CCF students went to Hythe Ranges.
    MORE
  • Poetry Sharing 

    Poetry Sharing 

    01 July 2021
    On a wet Tuesday afternoon, some of our First Form students and residents at Sutton Valence Care Home shared another session of virtual poetry reading.
    MORE
  • Sports Leaders 2021

    Sports Leaders 2021

    01 July 2021
    We are delighted to announce that all 20 students who completed their Level 3 Qualification in Sports Leadership successfully passed.
    MORE
  • Equestrian Selection for England

    Equestrian Selection for England

    01 July 2021
    This week has been a fantastic week for Alfie Miles (Fourth Form), who has been selected to represent England in Equestrianism.
    MORE
  • Life Explorers

    Life Explorers

    25 June 2021
    This term, Year 5 has been exploring life - more specifically, animal lifecycles.
    MORE
  • Surreal Towers

    Surreal Towers

    25 June 2021
    Year 3’s Miro-inspired sculptures have been a towering success.
    MORE
  • Fine Feathers 2021

    Fine Feathers 2021

    25 June 2021
    On Tuesday, our Year 6 pupils had the opportunity to extend their creativity in a glass workshop led by artist Sarah Sillibourne.
    MORE
  • Who Are You?

    Who Are You?

    25 June 2021
    Edward A (Year 6) has written his prefect piece this week called Who Are You?
    MORE
  • Super Sandwiches

    Super Sandwiches

    25 June 2021
    In English this week, Year 3 has been exploring the skill of writing instructions by making the most delicious sandwiches!
    MORE
  • Message from Head of Pre-Prep - 25th June 2021

    Message from Head of Pre-Prep - 25th June 2021

    25 June 2021
    Earlier this week, I was greeted by Charlotte in Year 6 who said ‘Morning Miss McCarmick, don’t you just love the British weather?’.
    MORE
  • Super Salads

    25 June 2021
    Perhaps we underestimated quite how important a self-serve salad counter is to our corporate wellbeing! 
    MORE
  • Sixth Form Induction Day

    25 June 2021
    Earlier this week, we were delighted to welcome our new students who will be joining the Sixth Form in September.
    MORE
  • 1st VII Rugby Success

    1st VII Rugby Success

    25 June 2021
    On Wednesday, the 1st VII Rugby squad took to the pitches for the first time this academic year to play in a friendly sevens tournament hosted at The Duke of York’s Royal Military School.
    MORE
  • Summer Sports Camps 2021

    Summer Sports Camps 2021

    25 June 2021
    We are delighted to be hosting both a Girls' Hockey and a Boys' Rugby camp, run by Saracens, this summer.
    MORE
  • Choir Celebrations

    Choir Celebrations

    24 June 2021
    Congratulations to Florence Powell (Second Form) who has gained a place in the prestigious Canterbury Cathedral Girls’ Choir.
    MORE
  • CCF Guard of Honour 2021

    CCF Guard of Honour 2021

    24 June 2021
    This week, the CCF were proud to take Mr Grindlay’s final CCF Parade. 
    MORE
  • Message from Academic Deputy Head - 18th June 2021

    Message from Academic Deputy Head - 18th June 2021

    18 June 2021
    Repetition is the First Principle of All Learning
    MORE
  • SVS Induction Day 2021

    SVS Induction Day 2021

    18 June 2021
    On Monday, a number of our Year 6 children, who are moving up to the Senior School, attended their virtual Induction Day.
    MORE
  • P4L Round Up

    P4L Round Up

    18 June 2021
    P4L has proven to be a great success this year.
    MORE
  • Mixed Cricket Tournament

    Mixed Cricket Tournament

    18 June 2021
    What a fantastic week of Cricket we have had!
    MORE
  • Queens Birthday Honours List

    Queen's Birthday Honours List

    18 June 2021
    A few weeks ago, we posted a story about the success of Old Suttonian, Ian Jones (1992 M) and his business, Hill House Farm.
    MORE
  • Record Breakers

    Record Breakers

    18 June 2021
    On Friday, we welcomed Sevenoaks School for an Athletics meet, featuring our First and Second Form students.
    MORE
  • Kent Cricket Hardball Competition

    Kent Cricket Hardball Competition

    18 June 2021
    On Monday 14th June,  Miss Jelfs and the Girls' U15 Cricket team travelled to Mote Cricket Club to compete in the Kent Cricket Hardball Competition.
    MORE
  • CREST Projects 2021

    CREST Projects 2021

    18 June 2021
    It has been fantastic to see a number of our Fifth Form students return to School, for two afternoons each week, to undertake a Silver CREST project.
    MORE
  • Violin Masterclass 2021

    Violin Masterclass 2021

    18 June 2021
    Our Music department had the pleasure of finally being able to host an on-site Violin Masterclass, inviting Professor Miller back into the School to work with several of our advanced violinists.
    MORE
  • First and Second Form Induction Day 2021

    First and Second Form Induction Day 2021

    18 June 2021
    On Monday, we held our virtual Induction Day for the new First and Second Form students joining us in September.
    MORE
  • King of Hearts

    King of Hearts

    11 June 2021
    We were delighted to hear that the Sutton Valence Preparatory School’s baby Elmer 'King of Hearts' will be positioned in the Royal Star Arcade.
    MORE
  • Mathematics Measure for Measure

    Mathematics Measure for Measure

    11 June 2021
    During their Mathematics lessons this week, our Year 5 children have been focusing on measures.
    MORE
  • Colts A SVS six-a-side Cricket Tournament 2021

    Colts A SVS six-a-side Cricket Tournament 2021

    11 June 2021
    On Wednesday, Mr Davey took seven boys to SVS for their annual six-a-side competition.
    MORE
  • Message from the Head - 11th June 2021

    Message from the Head - 11th June 2021

    11 June 2021
    In this week’s assembly, Mr Watkins reinforced the SuperHoot learning powers of independence, initiative, reflection, empathy, flexibility, tenacity, bravery, curiosity, originality and collaboration....
    MORE
  • Richie Richardson U11 Cricket Tournament

    Richie Richardson U11 Cricket Tournament

    11 June 2021
    On Wednesday 9th June, we hosted the annual Richie Richardson Boys' Cricket U11 tournament on Upper.
    MORE
  • Silver DofE Expedition 2021

    Silver DofE Expedition 2021

    11 June 2021
    This week, 29 Fifth Form students completed their Silver expedition practice.
    MORE
  • Blind Veterans Night Walk

    Blind Veterans Night Walk

    11 June 2021
    On Friday 28th May, as the rest of the school was getting ready to start their half term, a hardy group of teachers, parents, students, ex-students and an Italian Spinone were setting off on their nig...
    MORE
  • Bronze DofE Awards 2021

    Bronze DofE Awards 2021

    11 June 2021
    Our Third Form students have been working on completing the various sections of their Bronze DofE Award, despite the challenging times. 
    MORE
  • Mark Benson U10 Boys Cricket Tournament 

    Mark Benson U10 Boys' Cricket Tournament 

    02 June 2021
    Last Wednesday saw the return of the annual Mark Benson U10 Boys’ Cricket tournament.
    MORE
  • Poetry Speaking Competition 2021

    Poetry Speaking Competition 2021

    02 June 2021
    It was wonderful to be able to hold our annual Poetry Speaking Competition in the Bates Hall again this year.
    MORE
  • Message from the Head - 2nd June 2021

    Message from the Head - 2nd June 2021

    02 June 2021
    Over the course of the first half of term, it has been super to see the children engaged in a wide variety of enrichment events.
    MORE
  • Cricket News - 28th May 2021

    28 May 2021
    We have had a fantastic week of Cricket, including three tournaments. 
    MORE
  • Spots and Stripes Day 2021

    Spots and Stripes Day 2021

    28 May 2021
    The Big Cat Sanctuary in Smarden created a Spots and Stripes Day, to raise awareness for big cats.
    MORE
  • Exceptional Cricket - Grace Scrivens

    Graced with Talent

    28 May 2021
    We are delighted to announce that Grace Scrivens (Lower Sixth) made her debut for the 1st XI Cricket team last Saturday against The Judd in a Twenty/20 match.
    MORE
  • Fabulous Florals

    Fabulous Florals

    21 May 2021
    In Art, Year 5 have been focusing on the artist Georgia O’Keeffe.
    MORE
  • Prefect Piece - Isabella A (Year 6)

    Prefect Piece - Isabella A (Year 6)

    21 May 2021
    Isabella A (Year 6) brings you a delicious recipe this week, saying "If you have a sweet tooth and an exceptional love for chocolate, then the Fudgy Brownie is your type of treat."
    MORE
  • Cricket Results

    Cricket Results

    21 May 2021
    It's been wonderful to see sports fixtures being held again!
    MORE
  • Musical Performance

    Musical Performance

    21 May 2021
    The excitement in the Music Department was palpable this week as the Senior String Group prepared to perform in Friday’s Celebration Assembly.
    MORE
  • Message from Head of Pre-Prep - 21st May 2021

    Message from Head of Pre-Prep - 21st May 2021

    21 May 2021
    What do we all think of this weather?
    MORE
  • Sailing Win

    Sailing Win

    21 May 2021
    Following on from his first Sailing race last week, Edward Smith (Third Form) took part in the KSSA Topper Race at The King's School, Canterbury on Saturday.
    MORE
  • International Cooking Club

    International Cooking Club

    21 May 2021
    This term, a small group of Fifth Form students escaped the stress of revising for their RCAs by attending International Cooking Club in their activity slot each Thursday.
    MORE
  • CCF Shooting Day

    CCF Shooting Day

    21 May 2021
    On Sunday, our Shooting team embarked on its first outing of the year at Hythe Ranges.
    MORE
  • Relationships and Boundaries Art Competition

    Relationships and Boundaries Art Competition

    21 May 2021
    Our Art department was blown away by the entries for the 'Relationships and Boundaries' Art and Photography competition they held.
    MORE
  • Consent and the Law

    Consent and the Law

    21 May 2021
    On Wednesday, we welcomed Eleanor Laws QC and Tom Rawstorne to the School to give a talk to the Sixth Form about consent and the Law.
    MORE
  • Sports Day Preparations 2021

    14 May 2021
    This term all pupils from Nursery to Year 6 have begun Athletics.
    MORE
  • All Hands on Deck

    All Hands on Deck

    14 May 2021
    Year 6 had their hands full in Design and Technology this week, working hard on their lampshade project.
    MORE
  • Who Knew?

    14 May 2021
    Who knew how multi-talented our visiting music teachers are.
    MORE
  • Girls Cricket U10 Tournament 2021

    Girls' Cricket U10 Tournament 2021

    14 May 2021
    On Wednesday, we were delighted to host our first Girls’ U10 Cricket tournament.
    MORE
  • Message from the Head - 14th May 2021

    Message from the Head - 14th May 2021

    14 May 2021
    Bill Gates said that “patience is a key element of success”.
    MORE
  • First and Last Hockey Game of the Year!

    First and Last Hockey Game of the Year!

    14 May 2021
    On Friday 7th May, our first and last Hockey games of this academic year were played at the School against Cranbrook School, who brought both their senior Boys and Girls teams for a match each.
    MORE
  • Ginetta Junior Championship 2021

    Ginetta Junior Championship 2021

    14 May 2021
    Last weekend, Joshua Miller (Fourth Form) had a fantastic opening race in the 2021 Ginetta Junior Championship, placing second on the track.
    MORE
  • CCF Army Skiing

    CCF Army Skiing

    14 May 2021
    This Wednesday, the Fourth Form CCF Army students completed their beginner's course in Skiing at the Chatham Snowsports Centre.
    MORE
  • Saracens Game - Saturday 8th May 2021

    Saracens Game - Saturday 8th May 2021

    14 May 2021
    On Saturday, following on from a great win last week, the Saracens U18s played against London Irish U18s in two fixtures.
    MORE
  • The Big Cat Sanctuary Fundraising 2021

    14 May 2021
    On Thursday, we had a visit from Tanith Brown who works at The Big Cat Sanctuary in Smarden.
    MORE
  • U10 Cricket Tournament

    Girls' Cricket U10 Tournament

    14 May 2021
    On Wednesday, we were delighted to host our first Girls’ U10 Cricket tournament.
    MORE
  • P4L Pupil Voice and Action

    P4L Pupil Voice and Action

    07 May 2021
    It has been so nice having the students back in School partaking in P4L; hearing about their thoughts, ideas and potential new activities they would like at SVPS.
    MORE
  •  Year 6 Independent Projects

    Year 6 Independent Projects

    07 May 2021
    There is a real buzz in Year 6 this term, as they alternate between preparing for their upcoming production and working on their new independent projects.
    MORE
  • Body Works

    Body Works

    07 May 2021
    In Art, Year 4 has been focusing on the human figure. Our amazing bodies have intrigued artists for many centuries and our pupils were just as curious.
    MORE
  • Message from Academic Deputy Head - 5th May 2021

    Message from Academic Deputy Head - 5th May 2021

    07 May 2021
    Why is it important to widen our children’s reading experience into reading non-fiction and information books?
    MORE
  • Speech Day 2021

    Speech Day 2021

    07 May 2021
    The Chair of Governors and the Headmaster warmly invite parents and family members to the Senior School's Speech Day on Saturday 10th July 2021.
    MORE
  • CCF Army - Lower Sixth Cadet Session

    CCF Army - Lower Sixth Cadet Session

    07 May 2021
    This week, the Lower Sixth CCF Army cadets took advantage of the sunny weather and taught the Third Form Army cadets how to move with and without a rifle, as part of their fieldcraft training.
    MORE
  • U16 Saracens Selection

    U16 Saracens Selection

    07 May 2021
    Congratulations to Alfie Jarrett, Alec Martin, Oliver Murch, Fynn Page and Ethan Wynne (all Fifth Form) who have been selected for the Saracens Kent U16 Rugby Player Development Group.
    MORE
  • CCF Navy - Windsurfing

    CCF Navy - Windsurfing

    07 May 2021
    It was great to finally get the CCF Navy cadets back on the water.
    MORE
  • Ski Selection

    Ski Selection

    07 May 2021
    We are delighted to announce that Maximilian Laughland (Lower Sixth) has been selected for the 2021/2022 GB Alpine FIS Squad. He will represent Great Britain on the international race circuit for the ...
    MORE
  • KSSA Regatta

    KSSA Regatta

    07 May 2021
    We were delighted to hear that Edward Smith (Third Form) took part in the KSSA Regatta on Saturday, the first serious event he’s been able to attend since early 2020, due to the pandemic.
    MORE
  • Copy Prize Winner - Ben Knighton (Lower Sixth)

    Copy Prize Winner - Ben Knighton (Lower Sixth)

    07 May 2021
    During the Headmaster's Assembly today, we were delighted to learn that Ben Knighton (Lower Sixth) has been awarded a Headmaster's Copy Prize.
    MORE
  • Saracens Success

    Saracens Success

    07 May 2021
    On Saturday, the Saracens U18s Junior Academy enjoyed its first game of the year against Northampton Saints’ Academy at the Saracens' home ground, the StoneX Stadium.
    MORE
  • Head of School speech - Isabel Bruce-Lockhart (Lower Sixth)

    Head of School speech - Isabel Bruce-Lockhart (Lower Sixth)

    06 May 2021
    During this week's assembly, we heard Isabel Bruce-Lockhart (Lower Sixth), recite her Head of School speech to the School. You can also read her speech below.
    MORE
  • P4L

    P4L

    30 April 2021
    Year 6 have been working on their leadership skills by planning an international sporting event.
    MORE
  • Super Stars' and Courtesy Badge Winners

    30 April 2021
    You can see this week's Super Stars' and Courtesy Badge winners below.
    MORE
  • Funky Furnishings

    Funky Furnishings

    30 April 2021
    In Design and Technology, Year 5 has been sitting atop the topic of cushions!
    MORE
  • Digital Art

    Digital Art

    30 April 2021
    Year 3 has been working on their ‘Digital Art’ topic this term.
    MORE
  • Marvellous Mandarin

    Marvellous Mandarin

    30 April 2021
    This week Year 6 began an exciting language initiative in place of their French lessons.
    MORE
  • Time Travellers

    Time Travellers

    30 April 2021
    Year 1 had a fabulous start to their topic on 'Time Travellers' through their Steampunk Workshop.
    MORE
  • Welcome Mme West

    Welcome Mme West

    30 April 2021
    We are very pleased to welcome Mme Annick West to our SVPS community.
    MORE
Click here to view our news archive

Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL

 

Tel: 01622 845200

Email: enquiries@svs.org.uk

© Sutton Valence School    |    Terms & Conditions    |    Privacy & Cookies    |    Site by Blue Level