Thornhill Park School

Thornhill Park School is an independent specialist school based in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear for pupils aged 4-19

Our mission is to work together inspiring, supporting, celebrating and equipping autistic and neurodiverse children, young people and adults.

The week after half term arrived and although it was a normal routine for most, this week was the first for new starter Grace.  

Understandably, Grace was cautious and arrived at school with the usual nerves you would expect. We can assure you there was no need. Grace has absolutely smashed week one, excelling in her literacy and numeracy lessons, conquering nerves in independent living, making friends and laughing throughout it all.

During class one’s cookery session Grace used her initiative and decided that seeing as she had missed pancake day with us, now was the opportunity to show off her culinary skills which she did producing some awesome examples of pancakes.

Grace has been shopping to the local supermarket with staff, making lists, paying for goods, and broadening her road safety knowledge by listening well to staff. In the same proximity there is a local park which Grace enjoyed visiting with her peers, showing how fearless and competitive she could be. Grace climbed, swung, and slid, convincing staff to join in with the giggles. 

These activities really show a pupil's abilities to problem solve, work as a team, and show compassion, which Grace did by ensuring her classmates were okay.

After Grace showed such enjoyment playing alongside her friends, she participated in the weekly bowling trip. Grace showed great skill and won her game, however she was very humble and congratulated her friend for such a good game. Grace had a great aim and was on top of the scoring throughout showing off her numeracy skills again!  

Tuesday saw Grace showing staff how confident she was in the trampoline. Moves like swivel hips were shown to staff, with the instructor saying she should do very well in the lesson with the potential to earn many certificates. Grace finished the lesson watching our instructor show us some moves of his own, with back flips and amazing spins which Grace and her staff applauded with amazement.

Class one regularly takes food donations to our local food bank. This is very close to the schools heart and Grace was asked if she would like to help deliver this week’s collection with some other people from her class. With her staffs support, Grace gathered the supplies, loaded the school bus and help take the urgently needed donation. As the weeks continue Grace will continue to learn more about the importance of community with the help of the team.

Grace finished on a huge high. She had mentioned to staff that she was very nervous to use public transport at the beginning of the week. Grace had expressed that she didn’t like them being busy and she wasn’t sure she wanted to participate in a lesson that involved using one. Staff reassured Grace, built trust with her and later told her exactly what would happen if they decided to use public transport, and if anything changed when out, they would be there to support and help her.

On Friday morning, as part of independent living, Grace went on the number 16 bus to Sunderland town for pens. She was amazing. Grace read the timetable, alerted staff when she was a little overwhelmed, laughed and overcame some of her fears.

Here's to week one Grace and we are looking forward to our journey ahead, hitting targets, smashing goals, giggling all the way!