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Thurston Community College

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Latest News Archive

Painting with Lights

BBC Ten Pieces Project

Earlier in the year some Year 7 students took part in an after school photography workshop with Miss Spofforth as part of the BBC ten pieces project.  The work they created was sent to the BBC, we are delighted to announce that they have been selected to be showcased on the BBC Ten Pieces Project website.

13 July 2016



College bannerCollege banner makes a little bit of history

Thurston Community College has become the only school in the country to receive a specially-commissioned Government banner marking 800 years since the creation of the Magna Carta in 1215.  Our Sixth Form Campus is now the official custodian of one of the 18 banners that was hung at Westminster Hall last year marking the anniversary.  We were delighted that artist Paula Stevens-Hoare was able to attend our unveiling ceremony, Paula said "I couldn't have chosen a better place for it to end up".

7 July 2016


Rising star gains place at drama school

Robbie Noonan, ex-Thurston Community College student, has been successful at gaining a place at a top London Musical Theatre School - The Musical Theatre Academy (MTA).  Robbie has been selected out of hundreds of other young hopefuls to join the Academy in October this year.  Robbie is a five-time former Suffolk Festival Vocal Young Champion. and has been a regular member of the Voice Squad Youth choir since the age of nine, where he is currently an Assistant Musical Director with the Cadet Squad.

Places at the academy do not attract any Government funding or access to the usual loans on offer, therefore Robbie is working to raise funds through sponsorship and from fundraising.  Anyone wishing to help him achieve this once in a lifetime opportunity can donate via www.gofundme.com/morningnoonannight

22 June 2016



Inspirational Young Person of the Year - Gemma WoodhouseRaising the Bar Awards 2016

Thurston Community College are pleased to announce that three members of the College were shortlisted for Raising the Bar Awards; Rising Start of the Year (Secondary) - Aaron Farmer, Inspirational Young Person of the Year (Post 16) - Gemma Woodhouse, Support Staff of the Year - Lucie Rush. 

We are pleased to announce that Gemma and Lucie both won the awards in their categories, well done to all.



Lucie Rush - Support Staff of the Year    Raising the Bar Award - TCC Nominees

15 June 2016


Thurston Community College studentsThurston Village Queens 90th Birthday Celebration

On Saturday 11 June, five Thurston Community College students  Patrycja, Emily, George, Bronte and Dominic, were a true credit to the College when they attended the Thurston  Village Queens 90th Birthday Celebration.  The students volunteered to give up their entire Saturday to entertain the children at the celebration with lots and lots of face painting! Our students had a great rapport with the children, parents and grandparents, and they did a great job face painting over 50 youngsters.  The students worked their socks off!  At the end of the day not only did they pack up their items and cleaned down the tables they had been using but then they also volunteered to continue to help get things sorted in the hall.  They were a credit to themselves and to the College and we are all very, very proud of them.

15 June 2016



Rotary TrophyRotary Trophy for success at 'The Swimarathon' Event

Following the success of the charity swimming event ‘The Swimarathon’, raising money for Clic Sargent and EACH. Jenny Benfield, President of the rotary club of Bury St Edmunds, attended Thurston Community College to present two trophies to members of the College alongside the trophies’ sponsor, Brian Daniels.

The first trophy was presented to the staff team.  This trophy was for ‘Adult Team Completion of the Most Lengths’.

The second trophy was presented to one of two student teams for ‘Student Team Greatest Sponsorship Raised’.  The student swimmers in this team were Matthew, Oliver, Imogen, Ashley. Ella and Alice.

Congratulations to all who participated.

10 June 2016


Thurston LibraryWith a little help from our friends

Suffolk's libraries are a valued part of community life, and Thurston Library is no exception.  Open every day, except Mondays, the library is right next to Thurston Community College and serves not just the village but the surrounding area.  Richard Fawcett, former head teacher, is the chairman of the Friends of Thurston Library, "Back in the late 1990s we were able to persuade Suffolk County Council that a joint library for the school's sixth-form and the community would be possible.  Today the sixth-form has relocated to the old Beyton Middle School site, leaving Thurston with a community library."

4 June 2016


Phoebe MercerCommunity Achievement Awards Ceremony

We are delighted to announce that Phoebe Mercer from Thurston Sixth won the Rising Star Award and was overall winner at the Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Council Community Achievement Awards Ceremony.  Phoebe was nominated by the Head of Thurston Sixth for her charity fund raising for Help the Heroes and St Nicholas Hospice. 

  • Phoebe Mercer nomination video

  • Video from the Babergh District Council Community Achievement Awards

5 May 2016



Young EnterpriseStudents impress the judges of Young Enterprise competition

Thurston Community College Young Enterprise group took part in the 2016 Suffolk Young Enterprise Competition which was staged at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich. The Strive team proudly set up their trade stand displaying their individually designed "Jars of Joy" made by reusing glass jars.  The Strive Team were delighted to be awarded the Social Innovation (East of England Co-op) Award.

5 May 2016



Adam YoungmanAdam Youngman receives IET Diamond Jubilee Scholarship

Thurston Community College is very proud to announce that Adam Youngman, a former student at Thurston has been awarded the IET (Institute of Engineering) Diamond Jubilee Scholarship

27 April 2016


Service Above Self Awards DinnerService Above Self Awards Dinner

We are delighted to announce that one of your Year 12 students Gemma Woodhouse was awarded the 'Service Above Self Rotary Club Award'.  This award is given to local students who exemplify the Rotary concept of 'Service Above Self', given their age and the opportunities open to them.

Service Above Self Awards Dinner

27 April 2016


Thurston Tea PartyStudents put on a tea party for lunch club

Members of the Thurston Lunch Club were invited to a tea party at Thurston Community College as part of an event planning exercise for a group of Business Studies students.

Nine members of the club enjoyed an array of cakes and goodies in the library.  The students will use the experience gained from the day to help them organise future events

21 April 2016


Year 7 Photography workshopYear 7 Students enjoyed a photography workshop

The workshop was part of a collaboration between Music and Art in response to a BBC project called ‘The Ten Pieces.’


During the workshop the students listened to different pieces of classical music and responded to the sounds they were hearing through drawing with coloured lights. These drawings were captured on camera.

Their drawings were inspired by the music they were hearing and also by the artist Wassily Kandinsky, who the students have been studying in their art lessons.

Year 7 students enjoying photography workshop     Year 7 students enjoying photography workshop

11 March 2016


Dr Rob Loe. Educational Research Director at Relational Schools in CambridgeGood relationships

Dr Rob Loe, Educational Research Director at Relational Schools in Cambridge speaks to Years 9 and 10 about the value of good relationships. We were delighted that Dr Loe could visit us at Thurston as part of our PSHCE Day.  Previously he was Assistant Principal here and is now conducting leading research into relationships in schools and how this impacts on our whole lives.




9 March 2016


World Book DayThurston teachers celebrate World Book Day

Today is World Book Day (WBD) and staff at Thurston Community College are among those in the area celebrating the event.

Teachers at the school have been dressing up as their favourite book characters for the day with superheroes, fairytale characters and Roald Dahl’s imaginary creations all making an appearance.

School librarian Rob Gwilliam, who has dressed up as Harry Potter’s Colin Creevey, said: “The kids have loved seeing us dressed up today.”

He added: “Classes have been coming in and out of the library here and they’ve been reminded how much they enjoy books and reading."

The school has held two WBD quizzes and a photo competition where pupils have had to guess which books the teachers’ characters are from. (Article courtesy of Bury Free Press)

4 March 2016


Phoebe MercerSixth Form student honoured at Cadet Military Awards

Cadet sergeant Phoebe Mercer, one of our Thurston Sixth students was honoured at the Cadet Military Awards on Wednesday 24 February 2016.  Phoebe was appointed as a Lord Lieutenant's Cadet, who will accompany Lady Euston Suffolk's Lord Lieutenant at official events.  Phoebe was delighted to be given the award to represent the Army Cadet Corps.

1 March 2016


Sixth Form student honoured at Cadet Military AwardsSuccess at County Swimming Championships

Thomas Clare gained fantastic success at the recent County Swimming Championships There are 17 possible individual events across the County Championships.  Thomas competed in 15 of these events and got Gold in his age group for 14 of them, he is now the 15 year old male champion.

The events are:

50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 1500m freestyle
50m, 100m, 200m backstroke
50m, 100m, 200m butterfly
100 IM, 200 IM, 400 IM (Individual Medley)

Thomas Clare MedalsFinals also took place for the 50m and 100m events for the 14/15 group, Thomas won gold in each event.

During the championships Thomas set two new short course Suffolk County Junior records for 50m backstroke and 100m backstroke and won the Overall County Champion by setting the best time for the 50m backstroke and the 200m backstroke.

In the Skins event (the knockout competition for the top 8 swimmers in the County) he was the youngest competitor by far and made it through to round three.

1 March 2016



Year 9 and Year 12 Public Speaking TeamsYear 12 Public Speaking Team

Our Year 9 and Year 12 Public Speaking teams took part in the West Suffolk Rotary Club competition last night.  Both teams performed brilliantly.  The Year 9s spoke on 'Gender equality' and the Year 12s on 'The art of procastination'.  The Year 12s won their competition and overall the team were runners up.


1 March 2016



Young EnterpriseYoung Enterprise Group attend the East Anglia Real Business Challenge

The Young Enterprise Group attended the East Anglia Real Business Challenge at the Open Venue in Norwich, the event is organised by Coca-Cola Enterprises. It’s an event which is offered to all schools. During the first round students have to design a drink based on a brief. 56 schools entered this from our region and Thurston Community College was among the 11 schools that were selected for the regional final.

The Young Enterprise team had the opportunity to work together and present in front of a charge crowd of participants.  Helen Lagdon, Team Leader at Coca-Cola Enterprises, said "I just wanted to pass on my congratulations and thanks to your students that represented your college yesterday at the East Anglia Real Business Challenge.

The students were a credit to your school and as a business mentor I was impressed with their organisation, team work and creativity they demonstrated throughout the day.  They all had a role to play in the challenge and used their strengths to support each other throughout."

24 February 2016


Save the PoolSave the pool campaign launches

Campaigners looking to save an outdoor community pool in west Suffolk have now started in earnest.

The Beyton swimming pool, as the former middle school site, faces closing down for good if around £50,000 can not be raised to replace a broken heating system.

The group is appealing for volunteers, especially those with the skills to apply for grants.  If you can help contact Steve Chubb on spchubb@btinternet.com or Helen Geake on hg260@cam.ac.uk.

5 February 2016


Emily SpampanatoNODA East Award for Best Young Performer for 2015

Thurston Community College is delighted to announce that Emily Spampanato has been chosen as the NODA East, District Four South Best Young Performer of 2015 for her role as Belle in Beauty and the Beast.  NODA was very impressed with her performance as Belle and believe she justly deserves this recognition.  Emily has been invited to attend the Annual NODA East Gala Awards Ceremony in April to receive her award.


5 February 2016


Thurston Young CarersGold Award for Thurston Young Carers

Thurston teachers Alison Jeffries and Rachel Truscott were presented with a gold award from Lucy Farrell of Suffolk Young Carers for the work and support they provide to the Thurston Young Carers Group.

Gemma Woodhouse and Polly Plampin, two of our Sixth Form students helped to present the award, along with a 'Pledge of Support'' for the Thurston Young Carers to display in the ARC at Thurston Community College.

4 February 2016




Students in Years 8 and 9 have been nominated by their teachers for aptitude and interest in Science, Design Technology, ICT and Maths. Alongside staff from those departments, the club is being run by John Parnum, an accredited STEM Ambassador. Each student will be working towards a bronze British Science Association CREST Award certificate to be completed by the end of the school year. In a recent session John Parnun helped the students with the challenge of breaking bars of soap.

3 February 2016


Year 6 Thurston Partnership Schools Tuesday ClubYear 6 Thurston Partnership Schools Tuesday Club

This year the Tuesday Club has been visited by 13 different Primary schools, the students have been able to enjoy activities which include Drama, Maths, Creative Writing, Science, History and Music.  The students have thoroughly enjoyed the clubs, many parents enjoyed the Thurston Community College hospitality whilst they waited for their children.  The leaders of the Tuesday Club received several comments:

  • “ The communication between TCC and our primary school has been great and we feel reassured that our daughter will settle in such a big school really quickly”
  • “By the end of this year my son would have been up so many times that they will know the place already!”
  • “My daughter has been so excited about coming up tonight and looking forward to the drama session and the fact that she could do it with her friends from her school but also meet other pupils as well”
  • Photos of Year 6 Thurston Partnership students participating in the Tuesday Club

28 January 2016


Captain Chris FinbowEx-Thurston teacher receives Sun Military Award for Best Reservist

Reservist Captain Chris Finbow spent four months training Nigerian troops battling the hard-line Islamic terror group Boko Haram.  The violent outfit – which has pledged allegiance to IS – is responsible for untold misery and bloodshed in the African nation.  But thanks to the skill and professionalism of Afghan veteran Capt Finbow , the Nigerian forces were better prepared for the fight.  The 33-year-old, of the 3 Royal Anglian Regiment, said: “They were extremely keen to learn and it was so rewarding to see how they responded to our soldiers.  ”The married dad of two, from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, added that knowing his charges would be sent into battle focused the mind of his team, saying: “We wanted to show the utmost professionalism at all times.”

28 January 2016


Phil Eeles, Honest BurgersEx-Thurston student has found a winning recipe for burgers

Phil Eeels, ex Thurston Community College student wanted to start a burger revolution.  "Restaurants and pubs are using frozen, flavourless beef and pork mince".  Phil and his friend Tom Barton started up Honest Burgers in 2010, their first restaurant opened in Brixton, South London, business was soon booming, today Honest Burgers has 11 restaurants and in the capital with plans to open another nine this year.

27 January 2016


Year 6 Thurston Partnership StudentsYear 6 Thurston Primary Partnership students visit Thurston College fitness suite

Some of our Year 6 Thurston Primary Partnership students recently visited out fitness suite.  The students were given an introduction to using the resistance machines in the fitness suite. We focussed on Muscular Endurance as a fitness component and after inducting the students and them having a try at each station they were asked to get into small groups and challenge each other. The challenge involved how many repetitions they could complete in a row without stopping at a level from 4-6 which they recorded on a workout card. We has some great performances where Kayleigh was able to achieve 200 abdominal crunches and Leo was able to achieve over 100 hamstring curls!!

They were great and thoroughly enjoyed learning about muscles and how to train them all.

22 January 2016


Bronwyn JacobsThurston student presents HRH The Duke of Edinburgh with a cadets ornament

Bronwyn Jacobs was chosen to represent the cadets and invited to Buckingham Palace, to present HRH The Duke of Edinburgh with an ornament to thank him for his time as patron of the cadets.

Bronwyn Jacobs

14 January 2016





ex-Thurston student Joshua DavidsonDigital learning tool wins BAFTA award nomination

A former Thurston Upper school pupil has been nominated for a BAFTA award for his innovative contribution to learning and education.  Four years ago Joshua Devidson launched the Night Zookeeper, an interactive educational website which inspires creative writing.  The London-based company, which he co-founded with friend and primary school teacher Paul Hutson, is based on the adventures of a night zookeeper and encourages children to invent their own magical animals and use illustrations and stories to bring them to life.  It has even produced a Night Zookeeper and the Spying Giraffes story book and an animation short about the world of the night zookeeper.

And BAFTA has taken notice, nominating the digital learning tool's development team in its new British Academy Children's Awards 'Learning - primary in 2015' category.

Mr Davidson, who holds a Masters degree in digital art, said: "It's a school product and that's what BAFTA have nominated us for.  We're up against the BBC for best online interactive learning destination for children.  We're the only independent company that's produced something that's been short listed so it's a huge honour to have our work recognised at that level."

The 33 year old from Beyton, has won other awards previously but is excited BAFTA 'have the opportunity to shine a light on categories beyond film' because it is such a well known organisation.  "I love film and we're making something that's very story driven - we're more than just a piece of education technology," he said.

Bury Free Press article: Digital learning tool wins BAFTA award nomination

18 December 2015


Students captivate audiences with 'tale as old as time' in colourful musical

Students at Thurston Community College wowed audiences with a 'tale as old as time' in their latest captivating musical Beauty and the Beast.

About 50 students were involved in the production with five performances last week, which featured costumes and sets used on the West End and a UK tour of the show courtesy of UK Productions.

Sally Scurrell, Head of Drama and Dance, said "It went really well and we had a standing ovation for our first night.  We wanted to do something that had a lot of Christmas spirit and as the school now has Key Stage 3 we needed something everyone can come and see."
"Everybody was really blown away by the band."   Claire Hollicks, Head of Music at the College, was the show's musical director.

Bury Free Press Article: Students captivate audiences with 'tale as old as time' in colourful musical

18 December 2015


Beauty & the BeastBury Free Press Article: Students at Thurston Community College are wowing audiences with a ‘tale as old as time’ in their latest captivating musical Beauty and the Beast.

About 50 students are involved in the production, which features costumes and sets used on the West End and a UK tour of the show.

Sally Scurrell, head of drama and dance, said: “We had a standing ovation for our first night.

“We wanted to do something that had a lot of Christmas spirit and as the school now has Key Stage 3 we needed something everyone can come and see.”

Claire Hollocks, head of music at the college, is the show’s musical director.

The show runs until Saturday, December 12 with performances each evening at 7pm and an additional matinee performance at 2pm.

 14 December 2015


Young CarersYoung Carers Christmas Pantomime Trip

On Friday 11th December Brad, Emily, Lydia and June had a fun night out at Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal to see their Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime. A wonderful Christmas treat for them with Emily and Lydia bringing those they care for.  Archant donated tickets to the Rotary Club of Stowmarket who gave them to the Thurston Community College young carers group.  Our party was looked after wonderfully by the Theatre Royal, being greeted at the door with programmes, drinks and nibbles before the performance and during the interval.  The novelty of the boxes, character and history of the theatre and a brilliant, fun performance saw them thoroughly enjoy themselves. A huge thank you to Archant,  the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket Rotary Club for a fantastic night out!

The Young carers group meet after school on a Thursday.  Please speak to Miss Jeffries if you are interested to find out more about Young Carers and support available in the College.

14 December 2015


Thurston Christmas FestivalThurston Christmas Festival

The Thurston Christmas Festival is taking place on 12th and 13th December, is being organised by Thurston Community Library and St Peter’s Church for all the residents of Thurston and the surrounding villages.  One of the attractions of the event has been to have Christmas Trees which have been provided by local businesses and village organisations for everyone to enjoy.

As part of this festival the Thurston Community College Young Carers Group have been working with the staff from G H Bullard & Associates and R&D Construction to place a ‘joint venture’ Christmas Tree in Thurston Community Library. 

G H Bullard has provided the funds to purchase the Christmas tree, which the students personally chose.  R&D Construction has been able to offer materials from their Civil Engineering workshops for the Young Carers to develop in to Christmas decorations.

The Young Carers have been working with Mr Josh Brown from G H Bullard and the College Design Technology teachers to design and create their colourful and unique ornaments.

Josh left the College in 2004 having studied Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and German to Advanced Level, now he is inspiring the younger year groups to be creative and to achieve their best in this very worthwhile activity.

As stated by Mr Dan Henning, a Partner of G H Bullard and Associates:

“As a local civil engineering practice, our partnership with Thurston Community College is hugely important and worthwhile to us. We see it as an investment for our future as offering work experience placements allows us to convince potential future civil engineers that the profession is for them. Furthermore, we can then support them through College offering paid placements during the school holidays. Ultimately, if workload permits, we may then offer the graduate engineer a permanent post, knowing them well and to be a great asset to our Practice. Josh Brown pursued this as his career path and he is now a Partner of the Practice. Furthermore, Dan Bloomfield and Toby Bass, both ex-students from Thurston Community College are at University and regularly return for paid work placements.”

In addition to the Young Carers Group supporting the Thurston Christmas Festival, Thurston Community College Year 10 students will be reading Christmas Stories to the Under 8s at the Community Library and the GCSE Catering students will be placing an entry into the ‘Bake Off’ competition, with judging also taking place in the Library.

11 December 2015


Families First AwardThurston college is UK’s first to receive quality award

Thurston Community College is the first secondary school in the UK to complete the Families First Quality Award.

The award recognises schools’ excellence in providing information, advice and assistance to local families.

Helen Wilson, college principal, said: “The challenge of the rural environment has served as an increased incentive to ensure our parents, carers and wider families are fully involved in their children’s education.

“It is vital families are aware of the support available to them - receiving that support can improve the quality of family life and the educational outcomes for their children.”

Krystyna Pinches, of Family and Childcare Trust, which coordinates the award with the National Association of Families Information Services, said: “For many schools, it is a challenging time as they are being asked to work more efficiently while still delivering excellent outcomes.

“The award gives schools the recognition they deserve and functions as an effective quality improvement tool, giving staff the confidence they need to provide an excellent service to families in their local area.”

Cllr Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, said Suffolk County Council was part of the partnership that helped develop the award and he would encourage as many schools as possible to complete them.

Schools are evaluated against a set of standards that demonstrate excellence in information provision for parents and children, especially disadvantaged or hard-to-reach families.

7 December 2015



Reading ChallengeThurston College launches Reading Community

A college has come up with a new way of encouraging enjoyment of reading and development of reading skills among its pupils.

Thurston Community College’s ‘reading community’ launched last month with an ‘evening of ghost stories’.

The event included readings of ghost stories from William Hussey, acclaimed author of the Witchfinder trilogy, award-winning ghost stories from students and a spooky and dramatic performance.

A college spokeswoman said: “We recognise that reading skills are critical to student enjoyment and ‘success in learning’ at school and beyond. As a result, we have formed the ‘TCC reading community’.”

7 December 2015


Shoebox AppealSuffolk pupils give to show box appeal

School students in west Suffolk have been collecting money and items to donate to those in need in other countries.

Since October half term students at Thurston Community College and Thurston Sixth Form Centre have been collecting items to put into shoe boxes to send overseas.  The shoe boxes were collected by Blythswood Care on Wednesday morning and are destined for either Serbia or Romania.  Students filled in excess of 70 boxes and donated more than £130.  The boxes will go to homeless, orphanages, those in care homes and others in need.

Volunteers from the Blythswood Care charity will fly out to Romania and Serbia to help to distribute them.  Blythswood is a Christian charity set up in 1966 which also provides funding for emergency vehicles in developing countries among other appeals.

                                                                                                                                                                                       24 November 2015



School to take part in Big DrawSchool to take part in Big Draw this week

Thurston Community College is taking part in the annual October Big Draw art event, joining hundreds of schools across the country, this week.  A range of creative events will take place, from photography to 3D game design, while giant piece of artwork will be made outside by students from all years.

10 November 2015



Charlotte Jacobs and fatherWoolpit teenager meets Earl of Wessex and receives Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award

Charlotte Jacobs (19) of Woolpit attended St James’s Palace yesterday to receive her gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Former Thurston Community College student spent the last two years working independently for the award, voluntarily looking after an elderly frail couple, undertaking dance studies and several unsupported week long adventure expeditions. The first expedition to the lake district in sub-zero temperatures and deep snow drifts, the second was to Scotland in high temperatures and strong sun.

Charlotte told the Earl of Wessex at the ceremony how she completed her residential element by spending 2 months in Tanzania, initially summiting Kilimanjaro and then working with a local community to build irrigation channels directing water supplies to crops and teaching children at the village school about safe sanitation. Charlotte said “I feel very honoured and a great sense of achievement. I am extremely grateful to family and  friends across Suffolk who supported cake sales, an Easter sale and a week-long sponsored silence to raise the funds for supplies for the irrigation project.”

Charlotte is currently in 2nd year studying for a BA honours in Contemporary Dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Dance and Music in Greenwich. Her work for the award has taught her so many skills that have assisted in her dance training and will be vital in taking her into her future career.

                                                                                                                                                                             28 September 2015


TV presenter inspires pupils at her former schoolTV presenter inspires pupils at her former school

Kate Quilton, who works for Channel 4, particularly on the show Food Unwrapped, spoke to Thurston Community College students on Thursday as part of the school’s Headspace talks series.

Amanda Walden, head of Year 12 and 16-19 enrichment, said: “The main aim really was for them to hear about her journey and just because you come from a village in Suffolk it doesn’t mean you won’t make it.”

She said the TV presenter was “incredibly inspiring” and helped advise students on how to get into the media industry.

Mrs Walden, who organises the Headspace talks, said a student who aspires to be a travel photographer had said afterwards “it’s a nice thing to want to do, but I actually believe I can do it now”.

She added: “If she changed one young person’s mind that they believe in themselves, that’s the purpose really.”

Mrs Walden said Headspace was to open the students’ eyes to “what’s out there in the world”.

EADT Article - TV presenter inspires pupils at her former school

                                                                                                                                                                             28 September 2015



Amelia CelebtratesSainsbury School Games for England Juniors at Volleyball

Thurston Community College student, Amelia Hadjianastasi earned her first call-up to the England Juniors Volleyball Squad for the Sainsbury's School Games which were held in Manchester from the 4 - 6 of September 2015.  The first two days comprised of a group stage in which England Juniors played five matches. Amelia, who trains with Bury Bobcats VC and is part of Volleyball England's satellite academy at The Boswells School in Chelmsford, featured heavily in these matches as England Juniors went unbeaten to earn a place in Sunday's final against Scotland West.

Scotland West took an early 4 point lead in the first set.  They extended this to 7 before England got back to within three at 14-17. Scotland West re-opened a five-point lead at 15-20 which England clawed back to three at 17-20. The teams traded points to 19-22. Scotland earned four set points at 24-20, England saved one, but Scotland West took the next to take the first set 25-21.

A deceptive roll-shot from Hadjianastasi got England level at 3-3 in the second set before she was part of the block that gave them the lead at 4-3. England extended the lead to 11-5 before further increasing it to 15-8. Scotland West clawed it back to 15-10, but England re-gained the seven-point lead before extending it to eight at 18-10. Amelia rotated back-court at 19-11 and started by serving an ace. Another strong serve forced a poor pass from Scotland and England were able to take advantage. Amelia's run of winning serves extended to four to reach set-point at 24-11, but she served long.  It wasn't long, however, before England clinched the set at 25-14.

In the deciding first-to-fifteen set, England took the lead at 4-2, but Scotland West recovered to lead 4-5 before extending their lead to 6-8 at the change of ends. Good cover from Hadjianastasi allowed England to set up a winning attack to get it back to 7-8. England's recovery continued as they took the lead at 9-8 before Scotland bounced back to take a two-point lead at 11-9 which they extended to give them three championship points at 14-11. Scotland West served out on the first, but they successfully received the next to take the set 15-11 and claim the championship.

The end result was Silver Medal’s and Overall Winners on points for the England Junior Team. 
                                                                                                                                                         10 September 2015


Thurston Students Write Winning AnthemThurston Students Write Winning Anthem

Year 12 Performing Arts students at Thurston Community College have created an inspirational anthem for the Suffolk School Games afer winning a competition.   The song ‘Win the Games’ is to be recorded in a studio and played at the games opening ceremony at the athletics track at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre on July 10.

The song was created by Alfie Henwood, Alex Monk, Lucy Bertram, Maya Lindberg, Max Adnett, Zoe Rogers and Callum Hurst.  It was chose by a panel of judges including representatives from Suffolk County Council Music Services, Suffolk Sport and BBC Radio Suffolk.  Claire Hollocks, Head of Music at the College said “the project allowed students to work collaboratively as a song-writing team, applying techniques we had used and discussed in lessons, but also working to a tight deadline and responding  to a specific brief.

James Payne, Children & Young People Officer Suffolk Sport said “I am delighted to say that ‘Win the Games’ was selected by all members of the judging panel as their winning song".

"Win the Games" - Wav (CD)

"Win the Games" - MP3

EADT article - Thurston students write winning anthem

20 July 2015


School visit by former diplomat

School visit by former diplomatThurston Sixth has launched a series of talks with its inaugral visit by a former senior diplomat.

Dame Veronica Sutherland visited Thurston Sixth to speak to students about Britains place in the world, specifically around our intervention abroad and how we are dealing with the current situation with so-called Islamic State.

EADT article - School visit by former diplomat


16 July 2015


Students learn from theatre professionals

Students learn from theatre professionalsThurston Sixth students have been working with Ipswich-based Gecko theatre company, as part of a new drama programme being piloted in the county. 

The Gecko theatre company have been helping Sixth Form students to develop their creative learning in line with the 2016 drama curriculum for GCSE and A Level.

EADT article - Students learn from theatre professionals


29 June 2015


Mobile lab takes science to pupils

Mobile lab takes science to pupilsA mobile science lab parked at Thurston Community College to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Lab in a Lorry offered 11 to 14 year olds the chance to explore science through interactive experiments.

EADT article - Mobile lab takes science to pupils


18 June 2015


Ninth Annual 'Thursties' Awards

ThurstiesThe ‘Thursties’ awards are our equivalent of the ‘Oscars’ where we celebrate the amazing cinematographic achievements of our Film & Media Studies students.  As has become tradition, students dressed up for a glamorous awards ceremony and a packed auditorium watched the nominations and final awards.  A particular highlight this year was the presentation of a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ to Georgia Nicholls for her outstanding dedication to film making throughout her time at Thurston.

The 'Thursties' winners are:

Year 13 Music Video: Alex Payne, Ed Hurren
Year 12 Thriller: Charlie Clark, Servais Coulber, Max Curdy, Freddie Denny
Year 11 Horror: Ella Wells, Ellie Lowes, Harry Binks, Harry Cornish
Life Time Achievement (short film): Georgia Nicholls
Year 13 Top Student: Ed Hurren
Year 12 Top student: Amy Garrrod
Year 11 Top Student: Ella Wells
Year 10 Top Student: Shannon Flack

Further 'Thursties' photos can be found in our Photo Gallery


13 May 2015


Who Asks UsWho Asks Us

The Who Asks Us project seeks to inspire and enthuse students to aspire to achieve through an interactive, informative and exciting programme. Who Asks Us ethos is to bridge the gap between students, schools and employment by developing innovative pathways towards improved communication, higher achievement and aspirations! 

The Thurston students made a documentary film of their project showing their journey and used the video as a way to have their voices heard by a wider audience.

As part of the film our students interviewed some Thurston Community College teachers to find out why they decided to take the career path of teaching.

As part of the project the students interviewed parents, visited Sufolk ONE, The Apex, Sainsburys and Seamans Building.


5 May 2015


U16 Boys Badminton TeamU16 Boys Badminton Team are Eastern Region National School Champions

Congratulations to our U16 Boys Badminton team they are now the Eastern Region National School Champions.

Craig, Tommy, Josh, Ben and Elijah were outstanding throughout the competition.  Firstly winning the game against Thomas Deacon Academy from Cambridgeshire 4-1 in a comprehensive victory. The next game was against Davenant School from Essex (who had been Eastern Region champions for the previous 12 years in one or more age groups) and our boys went 2-0 down but showed tremendous character and skill and came back and win 3-2.  This set up a final game against a very talented group of players from Verulam School in Hertfordshire. After the match was level at 2 games each, Ben and Tommy captured the title for Thurston winning 21 points to 15 and in turn the boys were crowned  Eastern Region National School Champions.

The team have now qualified for the Center Parcs National Schools Badminton Finals in Nottingham in May, which is a fantastic achievement and one that the team, the PE department and all of Thurston Community College are very proud of indeed!


Zoe Tries Out Life as a Cambridge UndergraduateZoe Tries Out Life as a Cambridge Undergraduate

Zoe Maddison student of Thurston Sixth, Beyton Campus has been trying out life as a Cambridge undergraduate, as one of 420 participants in the 2015 Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU) Shadowing Scheme. 

Organised annually by CUSU, the scheme aims to give bright young people from non-university backgrounds the opportunity to experience life at a top university.

Zoe, studies 4 AS Subjects, in Chemistry, Maths, Biology, French and is completing an Extended Project on renal disease in dogs. At Cambridge she teamed up with a student from Robinson College, attending lectures, supervisions, and social events, for a taste of what undergraduate life at the University is really like.

Zoe, who is interested in studying Veterinary Medicine at University, said that her experience as a shadow really changed her thoughts about Cambridge “ The students were really friendly and amenable. I really enjoyed spending time with them and experiencing university from their eyes. I also loved attending the lectures and supervisions as the group sizes were very small allowing students to participate. I visited the chemistry laboratory and observed experiment on the effects of drugs on a rodents small intestine, it was really interesting. Overall, it has made me feel much more confident in my application process because I have a mentor to support me”.

Helena Blair, Access Officer for CUSU and one of the organisers of this year’s scheme, explains:

“The Shadowing Scheme gives bright students from state schools the chance to experience university life, and really helps to break down the myths surrounding Cambridge. 

“We know that some students may be put off applying to Cambridge by misconceptions and negative stereotypes, while others just may not have considered Cambridge or Higher Education as a viable option at all. 

“There’s no better insight into being at University than shadowing a student for a few days during term-time, and we hope the experience students like XX get from the Shadowing Scheme will help them to make an informed choice about their options post-sixth-form.”

This year’s Shadowing Scheme was the biggest yet, with priority for places given to young people with a strong academic track record, but who attend schools with little experience of sending students to Cambridge or Oxford, and who have few family members with experience of Higher Education.

‘Shadows’ stay in a Cambridge college, attend lectures with their undergraduate mentors, and try out social activities with the University's student societies. Cambridge’s 700 societies cover almost every interest, from journalism to American football, and theatre to debating.

Applications for the 2016 Shadowing Scheme will open in October 2015. More information is available at: www.applytocambridge.com or www.applytocambridge.com/shadowing

CUSU also offers free talks about Cambridge and university life, delivered by Cambridge students, which schools and youth organisations can request via www.target.cusu.co.uk.