Thornbeck College

Thornbeck College is an Independent Specialist College providing personalised programmes to autistic and neurodivergent individuals

Working together to inspire, support, celebrate and equip autistic and neurodivergent people to fulfil their potential in life.

On Monday 4th April, Thornbeck College opened its doors to pupils and staff from the Society’s three schools: Aycliffe School, Thornhill Park School and the Mackenzie Thorpe Centre.

Almost 100 children and young people gathered at the college for a fun-filled morning, as Thornbeck learners and staff hosted a sensory walk as part of Autism Acceptance Month.

Nicola Dunn, Vice Principal at Thornbeck, helped to arrange the day of activities, which was a huge success.

"It was great to see so many of the children and young adult across the education services at NEAS come together to celebrate and a fun filled morning," Nicola said.

Learners' progress and achievements are celebrated within the school/college environments on a daily basis however this provided an opportunity for all services to celebrate their learners together.

The sensory walk took place in the college grounds at the North East Centre for Autism, in Newton Aycliffe, and featured a range of stations centred around different senses.

There was a water station, where the young people could try out water guns and splash in the sprinkler, as well as a ball pool, bouncy castle and fairground-inspired games such as a Coconut Shy and Hook-a-Duck.

Young people could also get their hands dirty by exploring giant sensory trays filled with slime and jelly, and cooled off with something sweet from a local ice cream van that visited.