Former student who has outdone JK Rowling


We would like to congratulate former student Zoe Sugg, who is pictured on the front cover of The Daily Telegraph, after her first novel became the highest first-week selling book since records began.
She has also been voted one of the UK’s most powerful people in the media, coming 90th behind the likes of Larry Page (Google) Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Tim Cook (Apple), according to The Guardian.

Zoella, a YouTube blogger who is followed by millions online, has become the fastest selling debut novelist since records began.

Girl Online, the story of a teenage blogger and her relationship with an American musician, sold 78,109 copies last week, more than JK Rowling, Dan Brown or EL James achieved with their first books. It is the highest first-week sale since Nielson BookScan began compiling data in 1998, according to The Bookseller.

Zoella, real name Zoe Sugg, was given a two-book deal with Penguin Random House earlier this year after the publisher’s chief executive, Tom Waldon, consulted his 13-year-old god-daughter. The video blogger, 24, who sang on the latest Band Aid single, grew up in Lacock, Wiltshire, where she attended The Corsham School, and lives in Brighton. She said: “I’m so grateful to everyone who has bought a copy of Girl Online. This year has been so exciting and this for sure is the icing on the cake.”

Article reproduced from The Telegraph by Anita Singh.

Link to The Telegraph website

Link to The Guardian website

Student Report – Bolivian Trip

Bolivia (1)

How my Itchy Feet will Help Children in Bolivia

I thank The Corsham School for my itchy feet, although World Challenge might also have something to do with it.

I finished at The Corsham School in 2007, and it is definitely true that you don’t realise how wonderful school days were until you arrive at the ominous gates of the ‘Real World’. Among many highlights of my time here was a month-long expedition to Zambia with World Challenge. It opened my eyes to the amazing opportunities other cultures have to offer and left me with the terrible condition of itchy feet. I believe this is medically defined as ‘an inability to remain in the UK for a period longer than 18 months due to an overwhelming desire to learn and explore’.

I wanted to share my latest project with you for two reasons. Firstly, I want to show you where you can end up if you take the amazing opportunities The Corsham School offers. Secondly I ask that, if you can see the value in young people being able to take part in projects such as this, you might make a donation to a very worthwhile cause.

In September 2013 I will be moving to Bolivia for 12 weeks to volunteer with a charity which supports local children and young people to build their own futures. Bolivia is the poorest country in Latin America and half the population is under 18 years old. Many of these young people won’t get access to healthcare or a great education like we do in England and this is why the charity has requested help from people like me and you.

Bolivia (2)This project is one of many run by ‘International Citizen Service’ (ICS). From 2012-2015 they will send out 7,000 young people aged 18-25 to work in 28 of the world’s poorest countries alongside local volunteers. It costs £7,000 to send out each volunteer, including flights, accommodation, food, in-country staff, visas, immunisations and much much more. The great thing about this programme is that all of that is paid for by the UK government (Department for International Development to be precise) as they realise the amazing work that young people can do. If you are currently in the 6th form (or have a son/daughter/friend who is!) then please look up ICS as it would be an amazing thing to do over the summer or before university.

One request made to all volunteers is that they fundraise to help keep the project running. Although the UK government will pay for me to go on this project, they do not pay for the amazing work of the UK charities that actually make it happen. These charities work long and hard to organise the placements for 7,000 young people, allowing them to use their skills to make a difference to the world. Therefore I plan to fundraise £1,500 to make sure that other young people get the same opportunity I have. And here’s all I ask…

If you would like to help other young people continue to take part in life-changing opportunities which make a difference to the world, then please make a donation towards my £1,500 target at

I hope you have been inspired to look up ‘International Citizen Service’ and even if you are not going to be 18 any time soon, please take advantage of all that Corsham School has to offer you. If I hadn’t, then I wouldn’t be doing things like this today!

By Steph Hovey

Former Student Ben Sparks is aiming high

Photo: Wiltshire Times

BEN Sparks is aiming to prove that he’s a cut above the rest as he chases his dream of breaking into the professional game.

The 22-year-old, who works as a greenkeeper at Cumberwell Park Golf Club near Bradford on Avon, made his debut for Gloucester on Tuesday evening.

Sparks featured as a substitute as the Cherry & Whites beat Fiji, who included 13 players which played against England last weekend, 31-29 in a friendly at Kingsholm.

Back row Sparks, a former Corsham School pupil, plays part-time rugby for Forest of Dean side Cinderford.

Link to read the full story in the Wiltshire Times

Corsham girl realising her dream


Sixth former Amy-Rose Charlesworth, 16, got the thumbs up from judges for her rendition of Lady Gaga’s The Edge of Glory during her audition at St George’s concert hall in Bristol.

Now she’s hoping to drum up support from the local community for her repeat performance at the hall as part of the competition’s regional finals in the 16 and under category.


She said: “I’m really pleased to have got to this stage and now I’m practicing hard for the next stage of the competition.”

Link to read the full Gazette and Herald article

For more about the competition, visit and to support Amy-Rose at the regional final, call her on 07501 147811 for information about how to obtain tickets or collect from Ms Bryan at school.

Paralympic Inspiration

As you may already know from local BBC News bulletins, ex-Corsham student and Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Millward has added to the two silver and one bronze medals she has already won in these games. She has taken silver in the SM9 Individual medley ahead of two other British athletes.

Stephanie was a student at The Corsham School between 1993 and 2000. Already an outstanding swimmer before being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, she has gone on to amazing achievements. Her success in the Individual Medley is made even more remarkable by the fact that she began working on her breaststroke only two months ago.

Link to Corsham Inspirations page on Stephanie

Photo credit and link to article in The Telegraph newspaper

Rob Thomson – Running for Bolivia

Photo: Gazette and Herald
Link to read the full article

Congratulations to Rob Thomson (Year 11)  who has completed a 172 mile run, over half term, from the source of the Thames to Tower Bridge in 7 days. The individual days mileage and times were:

Day 1 = 23 miles 3 hours  55 mins
Day 2 = 23 miles 4 hours 55 mins
Day 3 = 30 miles in 5 hours 30 mins
Day 4 = 27 miles in 5 hours 15 mins
Day 5= 23 miles in 4 hours 15 mins
Day 6 = 25 miles in 4 hours 33 mins
Day 7 = 22 miles in 3 hours 18 mins

He has raised around £1,000, from the run, to fund a £4,000-trip to Bolivia next summer where he intends to do a mountain trek followed by charity work.

“He didn’t stop during the runs for breaks. He drank loads of water, Lucozade and ate Jelly Babies to keep going,” said his Mum, Suzanne Thomson. 

Student Inspirations – Joe Lynch

I had never thought of rowing as a sport that I was ever going to do, but last November Mr Holden told me that a Sport England scout had asked if anyone had the potential to be a rower and he put me forward.

Now after several tests and trials I am on the Great Britain Rowing World Class Start programme. I have to go on rowing camps every month in Nottingham, and the overall aim is to go to the 2016 Olympics in Rio representing Great Britain.

I am tested all the time by doing skills and rowing, and I have to continue improving at a certain rate. World Class Start have coaches, dieticians, nutritionists, doctors, sports psychologists, physiotherapists and we are sponsored by Siemens and the National Lottery.

Joe Lynch


Student Inspirations – James Threlfall

I am launching a new category on The Corsham School blog called ‘Student Inspirations’ that will showcase our students’ amazing achievements outside of school. To launch this new category I am profiling James Threlfall. Look out for more in the coming months and let me know if your child has achieved something amazing!

Mr Parsons


  • Skateboard on what’s known as vert
  • Finished 3rd overall in the UK this year
  • Now been promoted up to A group, which is the highest group in the UK for competition
  • Sponsored by four companies (DuFFS, Skate Warehouse, Suso Drinks and Sutsu) who provide boards, clothing, drinks, shoes etc for free in return for promotion
  • Vert is being introduced as a pilot sport in the 2012 Olympics
  • Hopefully going to the European’s in Sweden again in February
  • Ran the Wiltshire Skate Series across 3 different towns in Wiltshire recently for youths in conjunction with Wiltshire Alternative Youth Sports, Wiltshire County Council, Skate Warehouse, Monster Energy Drink and We Are Rollers. This attracted a couple of hundred people to each leg

Team Interview for James by Sutsu

Name: James Threlfall

Alias/nickname: Freefall

Location: Bath

Years skating: About 5 in total, 2 on vert

Favourite skatepark: Gotta be Bath! Going with the local haha. Our local vert’s there and the midi ramp they have there’s real nice.

Proudest moment: I’d say picking up my first athlete’s pass at Boardmaster’s 08 was a big deal for me. I’d been there when I was 12 and became really determined to get into vert at some point when I saw the guys riding the ramp, so to be on the athlete’s list a couple of years later felt pretty cool. I guess I was inspired…

Signature manouver: Frontside air variations are always in my runs… I’d say I rep lien airs pretty frequently haha.

Best thing about being a vert skater: Almost everything’s an adrenaline rush. Learning something new on vert is always feels a lot more crazy than on any other ramp, I guess that’s one of the most rewarding things.

And the worst?: Going faster and higher has its downs I guess… You hit the floor harder.

How do you deal with skating and school?: It’s not bad, my school are actually really cool with my skating and give me days off here and there when I need them for competitions and stuff. They also let me out at 1 on a Wednesday to go and skate vert so I get a good bit of practice in there, they’re really supportive of me.

Future ambitions: Just to keep skating! It’d be great to have a job involving skating, but other than that I just want to keep riding to see where it takes me!

Photo credit: Jacob Box