Thurston Community College

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Visit the policies page to see policies relating to SEND (including our accessibility plan)

View the SEND Local offer

Thurston Community College is committed to a policy of inclusion: one in which the teaching, learning, attitudes, achievements and wellbeing of all our students matter - including those identified as having special educational needs and disabilities. 

We believe an inclusive school removes barriers to learning and participation, provides an education that is appropriate to student needs, and promotes high standards and fulfilment of potential for all students.

This means we are committed to:

  • Promoting positive relationships, active engagement, and wellbeing for all students
  • Understanding our student's learning needs using the graduated approach of 'assess, plan, do, review'
  • Ensuring all students have access to the highest quality teaching
  • Complementing high quality teaching with carefully selected small group and one-to-one interventions
  • Effective deployment of in class academic mentors who supplement the teaching of the class teacher
  • Adopting a positive and proactive approach to behaviour for learning

Thurston Community College has a specialist Academic Support Team, which is led by Miss Claire Blanchford, our Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs). They are supported by a team of Academic Mentors (previously referred to as Teaching Assistants).

Our planned support follows the tiered model

1) Quality First Teaching 

2) Targeted Academic Support

To enable this we have Lead Academic Mentors (HLTA) for:

  • Communication and Interaction: Autism or characteristics of Autism Spectrum
  • Communication and Interaction: Speech, language and communication
  • Cognition and Learning: Literacy
  • Cognition and Learning: Numeracy
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

They work out of our Inclusion Hub and along with our SENCOs are responsible for:

  • Identify students in need of intervention
  • Planning the interventions
  • Delivering 1-1 or small group interventions
  • Analysing the impact of the interventions
  • Liaising with teaching staff to give feedback on individual student need as necessary

3) Wider Strategies

We also:

  • Conduct an Annual Review for all students with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), parents/ carers will be invited into school for this.
  • There is opportunity to discuss the students progress in interventions with the intervention leader on a termly basis.
  • Play a key role in the transition of SEND students from primary schools and to post-16 education
  • Liaise with external agencies including for example; educational psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and specialist advisory teachers
  • Liaise with the Governor responsible for monitoring the provision of SEND
  • Student needs may also be supported by Student Support Officers (SSO); the Attendance Team and the Inclusive Learning Room (ILR) staff.

The following documents provide information on Thurston Community College’s approach to SEND:

SEND Information Report November 2023

If you are concerned about your child’s progress or wellbeing, please contact your child’s tutor. If you feel that addition support is needed, or you wish to discuss the support further being offered please speak to a member of the Academic Support Team by telephone on 01359 230885 or by email.