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The Willink School

The Willink School

Head's Blog

Posted 12.03.18

Since the last edition of WeLink we have had, of course, two snow days. This has not happened for a few years – but each time it does we have a few enquiries as to why it was necessary to close the school. The simple answer is health and safety – yes ice and snow around the site, but also guaranteeing the level of staff supervision. We have staff travelling as far as Wantage in the north, Slough and High Wycombe in the east, Petersfield in the south and Marlborough and Whitchurch in the west; whilst motorways may be clear local roads can be treacherous – so staff safety is paramount too.
We do expect our students to complete work during school closure days; not all subjects will set homework, must most do and it is available by 10am via Show My Homework. However, we also encourage students, including the Sixth Form, to spend some time in the snow!
A partial casualty of the snow days was parents’ consultation. The year 12 evening has been re-scheduled for Tuesday 27th March. Our year 7 consultation was also affected because the snow days were prime days for appointments to be made. In the end there were some staff absent and some parents were disappointed not to have appointments; we shall quickly reflect on this and improve the organisation for next time around. If you we unable to make an appointment and have requested teacher feedback this should take place by the end of this week. Please contact the school office, or myself, if you have not received contact.
Finally the next

Painting and Decorating Volunteer Day is scheduled for 9am on Saturday 21st April.

Posted 26.02.18

I do hope you have had a relaxing half-term break. Welcome to term 4 - a short term but a crucial one for our exam years as they complete their courses and begin revision for the summer exams.

We often discuss with pupils the importance of high attendance and the correlation with high achievement – but our recent year 9 and year 11 parents’ evenings hit the dizzy heights of almost 95% attendance. We discussed at a recent Parent Forum the importance of parent engagement and the correlation with high achievement and pupil well-being. We have year 12 parent consultation this week. Next week is year 7; we know there will be some disappointed parents who will not be able to make appointments on the evening (some of our staff teach six or seven classes – so if this affects you please contact the school office and the teacher concerned will provide feedback). If you have ideas on how we can improve parent consultation further please let me know.

As an Eco-School, we are keen to promote environmental issues – indeed my assembly theme last week was “make do and mend” and this week the School Council is leading on “Fair-trade fortnight”………. so we have planned (actually luck of the diary rather than planning!) our spring painting and decorating morning of the end of this fortnight on Saturday 10th March from 9am. Please
book your place by contacting the school office. There is much to mend, inside and out, and you are most welcome to come along.

Posted 23.1.17

Dear Parents/Carers and Students

This is such a busy time of year for the Willink Sixth Form. Following the rush to complete university applications, we are delighted to announce that our students are being offered conditional places by top universities once again – almost on a daily basis. Our particular congratulations go to Elizabeth Holdcroft (Oxford, mathematics), Oliver Wisett (Cambridge, natural sciences) and Henry Wright (Cambridge, computer science) who have successfully gained Oxbridge places for September 2017. Meanwhile last week year 11s were smartly dressed for their mock interviews (some fantastic reviews by our visiting team of interviewers) and are now having their interviews for the Sixth Form for September. The cycle goes on.

Please do remember to refer to the Trips and Visits tab on our website for current information; it provides details of trips that have taken place, those planned for this year and those approved for next.

Finally, just a reminder of this week’s Parent Forum (6.30pm, Thursday in the Drama Studio). Please do come along if you wish to provide feedback on the school and quiz the Head! As always we welcome your comments.

Posted 9.1.17

Happy New Year! I do hope you had a relaxing and congenial Christmas break.

Term started on Thursday with our annual Celebration of Success event; a grand title for an enjoyable informal occasion where last year’s school leavers return to meet staff and fellow students to catch-up and tell stories of life at university and beyond Willink.  Abi Spoor, Tabitha James and Amy Stewart shared this year’s A Level Achievement Award – each achieving two A*and an A grade in the summer 2016 exams. We, of course, wish all our leavers all the very best.

Continuing on a positive theme, we received confirmation, just before the break, that our examination results in 2016 were “above average” (top 30% nationally) in value added terms. For full details please look at the DFE Performance Tables.

Finally, we warmly welcome Mrs Eddy as Teacher of English and welcome back Mrs Lawrence, from maternity leave, as Head of Music and Tutor for 7S.

Posted 14.12.16

Welcome to the very first edition of We Link, our new fortnightly summary e-newsletter. This has been a particularly busy term! Congratulations to our new Year 7 students who have made a tremendous start to life at Willink – and as I write this are off to the pantomime to see Snow White. Although staff and students are all looking forward to a well-earned rest, we are eagerly anticipating the Annual Christmas Cabaret on Thursday which you are very welcome to attend.

Sadly we are saying farewell to a few staff at the end of term: Mrs Parkes (science) and Mr Parkes (music) are moving to Cambridgeshire, Dr Lancaster (science) is uprooting to the USA, and Mrs Holloway (English) begins her maternity leave. Mrs Randall (learning support) is also leaving us. We wish our Christmas leavers all the very best.

Please remember that school closes at 12.40pm on Friday 16 December. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a restful Christmas Holiday and look forward to welcoming students back to school on Wednesday January 4th.