Tuesday 02 March 2021

Primary Partnership Programme

Our partner primary schools are:

Barnes Infant Academy

Barnes Junior School

Broadway Junior School

Diamond Hall Infant Academy

Diamond Hall Junior Academy

Hudson Road Primary School

Richard Avenue Primary School

Although the majority of our pupils join us from our partner primary schools, we are always pleased to welcome pupils from other primary schools in Sunderland…..the UK and even other parts of the world! 

Parents of children in all primary schools are welcome to apply for places. For more information and to apply for a place online click here.

We have a well established primary liaison programme whereby all pupils in our partner primary schools benefit from learning experiences here at Thornhill.  As well as specialist lessons in Thornhill, pupils in years 1-6 also receive teaching visits from Thornhill Staff in their own schools.

Our wide and varied programme introduces primary pupils to Thornhill and enhances a safe and successful transition process for those many pupils who join us for their secondary education.

Primary Liaison Transition Team

“Our aim is for pupils to experience a successful transition from key stage 2 to key stage 3”

All Thornhill teachers share this aim but our Liaison Team in particular work in close collaboration with primary staff and parents to ensure that we achieve our aim.  We pride ourselves in the care shown to pupils and this care begins even before children join us.  This means we get to know pupils (and many parents) before they become part of the Thornhill family so that when they do join us they feel happy, confident and ready to learn.  Parents can be assured of a close working relationship between home and Thornhill.

During the past 2 years we were pleased to host a range of exciting primary liaison events to which year 5 pupils were invited.

Our highlight event was hosting a planetarium in school in conjunction with Kielder Observatory as part of British Science Week in March. Primary pupils were able to experience the wonders of our night skies and they found their visits to Thornhill “amazing” and “fascinating”.

In June 2019 we hosted “Rainforest Adventure Days” whereby year 5 pupils were able to learn about life in rainforests as well as become acquainted with rainforest animals such as snakes and lizards! Thornhill teachers were very impressed by the creative art work produced by pupils on these days. Unfortunately we were not able to hold this event this year but it will be reinstated into our programme as soon as possible!

Previously year 4 pupils visited us for Bastille Day celebrations in July, whereby they got to learn all about the history of Bastille Day, play French boule and speaking in French, order food from our French café. Pupils said they had “a brilliant time”. We were especially delighted to welcome pupils from Broadway Junior School to our primary liaison events. It was particularly pleasing to see a number of Broadway pupils choose Thornhill as their preferred secondary school.

Due to school closures we were unable to host our usual transition days in July.  However to help get to know our new children we hosted 2 Activity Days in school at the end of August, involving lots of fun and social activities.  These days really helped integrate our new starters and allay any fears.  We have then been delighted to welcome them as new Y7 pupils September 2020 and already they seem happy and confident in their new surroundings which of course is always our aim . Currently our focus is to engage with Y6 pupils and parents considering Thornhill for September 2021.  Please contact us should you wish to discuss any aspect of your child's future here at Thornhill.

A dedicated team of staff are already working on a range of primary liaison events for the year ahead, starting this term….. Watch this space!

Personal Testimony - Y11 School Officer

When I first started Year 7 in Thornhill, I was extremely nervous and unsure of whether I’d like the school or make new friends. I can tell you now, after being in the school for 5 years that it took me maybe two or three weeks to make friends, and find out where everything was (and if you get lost you can always ask a teacher or someone with a silver or purple braid). It seems massive when you first start, but it gets easy to find things as all the departments are in certain areas. I was mesmerized when I started year 7, as we were able to do practical sessions in the food technology building where I made pizzas, curry and a variety of other things. Along with the design and technology department, where I made a gumball dispenser and a cushion with a custom picture on.

When I first started, I was also shocked that the physical education department had a swimming pool! I have to admit, it was pretty fun. I also enjoyed going into the sports hall and playing basketball, badminton and an array of other sports. The thumbprint (the cafe) was also pretty big, and had all different types of food, hot and cold food along with making your own wraps and sandwiches. (It’s much better than food from your old school!)

The Learning Resource Centre was an amazing facility which gave you the opportunity to use computers, and take a large variety of books out, run by an amazing librarian. You can also play different games there on break and lunchtimes - it's worth the try, and you can make some new friends whilst you're at it! This is also where you can find the peer mentors to help with any problems.

Thornhill gave me some amazing opportunities, such as being a School Officer and a Peer Mentor, where I assisted with dealing those who were potentially facing bullying or other issues, along with reading mentoring where I helped younger pupils improve their reading skills.

Bullying does happen in Thornhill, and every other school. But Thornhill dealt with issues efficiently and quickly, and offered peer mentors to speak to the younger pupils if they didn’t feel comfortable reporting issues directly to teachers. I also had the opportunity to be involved in a radio interview and radio advert, and helped host awards ceremonies. 

Unfortunately, COVID-19 hit before I finished Thornhill. But I can say with confidence that the teachers were some of the best I’ve ever had. The Religious Studies department helped me get a strong 9 (A*) which was absolutely mesmerizing (Thanks Mr. Rice). I also got some great grades from the English, Maths and Science Department, and I’m hoping that my English teacher doesn’t read this because it's definitely not going to be the standard she expects (Thanks Mrs. LeRoy).

If I went back, and had to pick between Thornhill and any other school I’d definitely pick Thornhill any day of the week. It offers things that different schools most definitely can’t. Along with the talented teaching staff.