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Thurston Community College, Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, rated ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors

A Suffolk secondary school has retained is Ofsted rating of ‘good’.

Inspectors visited Thurston Community College, Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, over two days in March.

It was praised for its ‘high aspiration’ within the curriculum and ‘high quality learning experiences’ at its sixth form campus in the nearby Beyton.

Principal Maéve Taylor with students
Principal Maéve Taylor with students

Highlights of the report include:

● There is high aspiration in the curriculum which enables all students, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, to achieve success.

● The school has set high standards for how it expects students to behave and [the majority of] students are well behaved, polite and respectful.

Thurston Sixth Form students
Thurston Sixth Form students

● Students feel safe in the school and safeguarding is effective.

● Sixth form students enjoy high-quality learning experiences in a positive, calm atmosphere where expert teaching helps students to understand complex ideas.

● Students have many opportunities to participate in sport, the arts and general interest clubs.

● Staff are proud to work at the school.

Principal Maéve Taylor
Principal Maéve Taylor

A spokesperson for Thurston Community College, said following the report, it will strive to work on two targets set by inspectors in relation to student behaviour and assessment methods.

Work has already begun on these areas prior to the inspection and is ongoing, they added.

The report notes that recent changes have started to have a positive impact.

Principal, Ms Maéve Taylor said: “I know that Thurston Community College has great students, fabulous staff and a supportive wider community and with all of these in place we can build upon our strengths to make our school a centre of excellence, on the main Thurston campus and the sixth form campus in Beyton.

“My personal goal as the principal is to make the college a place where people want to be.

“I want to be able to recruit and retain the best teaching and support staff to make this a school which students are excited to join, where they thrive and succeed, in order to achieve their best futures.”

In a letter to parents and carers, Ms Taylor also said “Thank you for your support now and as we move forward in achieving our goals for all of our young people, present and future.”

Thurston Community College is a large secondary school with over 1500 students, comprising two campuses; including a Sixth Form site in Beyton.

It is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary year, in which it was announced it has been included in the government School Rebuild Programme.

It was also rated ‘good’ in 2018 and 2013.