Unique partnership between schools

IT is a unique relationship between two schools, with staff and pupils working together on one site.And now the “magical” benefits at Thurleston High School and Thomas Wolsey School are brightly there for all to see.

IT is a unique relationship between two schools, with staff and pupils working together on one site.

And now the “magical” benefits at Thurleston High School and Thomas Wolsey School are brightly there for all to see.

A year ago the pupils at Thomas Wolsey, a special school for children with learning disabilities, moved from their old isolated school into their new home on the same site as Thurleston, in Defoe Road.

Today the schools are celebrating after creative Year 10 students from Thurleston have put the finishing touches to the Thomas Wolsey primary school corridor.


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As part of the ongoing work between the schools, the design and technology group were given a brief for the project by head at Thomas Wolsey, Nancy McArdle, who gave them a �1,000 budget for the work.

Their aim was to design and make a series of vibrant sensory panels with different colours, textures and functions for the pupils, to help them learn.

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Mrs McArdle said: “When we moved from the old school we had some sensory panels which we used to distinguish between the main school and the primary and nursery areas. But we only had enough for part of the corridor.

“We thought it would be great if the design group could get involved in making the panels. We thought it would be more meaningful.”

Working for a real client to real specifications was a boost for the students, helping them to work to tight deadlines, after staff and pupils decided to aim to have the new inspirational panels in place in time for the recent visit by Her Royal Highness, the Countess of Wessex.

Year ten pupil Ema Scrivener said: “We had to choose materials that not only looked colourful and interesting but had a variety of textures. It was good fun and it's great the pupils from Thomas Wolsey are pleased with our work.”

And James Sheridan added: “This was a difficult challenge, but it gave us a lot of enjoyment. It is one I will not forget.”

Thurleston head teacher Mike Everett said the work between the schools has been “absolutely stunning”.

He said: “It has had great benefits for our students getting experience of a real-life context with real clients they could build a real relationship with.

“It has been brilliant for them.

“This is just the start, we are seeing the real possibilities open to us now, working together and the skies the limit.”

Mrs McArdle, who is preparing to retire next month, said she is “exceptionally proud” of the Thurleston students who took part. And she is confident the schools will continue to work together, benefiting all the pupils.

She added: “They are stunning. You can clearly see now where the primary department starts. This is just the beginning I just think the whole thing has been magical. It is great to see the pupils learning more about people learning in the face of adversity.”

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