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The Willink School

The Willink School

Prospectus Addendum

Head's Welcome

Dear Parents and Carers 

Welcome to The Willink School, a high achieving community school with International School status.  Although located in Burghfield Common in West Berkshire, students attend The Willink from a wide area of Hampshire, Reading and Wokingham. In September 2016 students joined us from over 30 primary schools! The school prides itself on being a vibrant, caring, high-performing and rather special place in which to learn and grow – as a centre for teacher training this applies as much to staff as students. 

The school has a strong and sustained track record of academic success. Over 70% of students regularly achieve seven or eight good grades at GCSE and almost half gained the English Baccalaureate in 2016 – twice the national average. Our 10% most able students gain A*/A grades in all their subjects. Almost all students including those with special needs make excellent progress in English, mathematics and science. As a result of this success, the proportion of students progressing to the UK’s top Russell Group universities including Oxbridge has increased significantly in recent years. The school featured in the Good School Guide in 2015. 

The Willink School’s motto is “village school, global outlook”. As a village school, there is a very happy atmosphere at Willink. It is genuinely a place where young people of every talent and aptitude can thrive and blossom. We do aim to develop every student’s potential; to build on strengths; to encourage them to be well-disciplined, polite and considerate, well-motivated, compassionate and confident. The school is small enough that we know individuals well, but large enough to offer a full balanced curriculum and substantial extra-curricular opportunities. 

As for the “global outlook” aspect of The Willink’s motto, the international dimension features strongly throughout the curriculum. Almost all students study a language to at least GCSE level. Annually, students visit France, Germany and Spain on day trips, residential visits or exchanges. Students undertake community work in Moldova each year and fundraise for business projects around the globe. Essentially the Willink’s goal is for students to be responsible citizens equipped with the adaptability and communication skills needed to meet the challenges of our global society. 

We hope you enjoy your visit to The Willink School.

Peter Fry

Additional Information

School Leadership Team 2016/17

The Senior Leadership Group

Heads of Learning(HOL)

Mr P Fry Head Teacher Mr M Rakowski Year 7
Mr M Summers Senior Deputy Head Mr R Golding Year 8
Mr A Sizer Deputy Head Miss N Fry Year 9
Miss J Evans Assistant Head Mrs S Murtagh Year 10
Mr A Collot Assistant Head Mrs R Wise Year 11
Mr D Green Senior Teacher Mr I Ballantyne Sixth Form
Mrs N Browning Senior Teacher    
Mrs J Carpenter School Business Manager  

Student Voice

Student matters are represented through the School and Year Councils.  Tai Davidson (Head Girl) and Henry Wright (Head Boy) lead the School Council and represent the student body on staff groups and Governor Committees. Year 10 students are given the opportunity and training to become Peer Mentors for year 7 students, whilst year 11s are nominated as Senior Students. 

School Uniform

We encourage students to take pride in themselves and in their appearance, therefore we expect them to wear school uniform as outlined in our Uniform Policy and we hope that you can support us in maintaining these high standards.  Please refer to the Uniform Policy on the school website for full details of the uniform and latest information and guidance.

The Willink School uniform is:

Boys  Girls 
Trousers Dark grey or mid grey Trousers: Navy blue, dark/mid grey, straight leg
Shirt Navy blue polo shirt with school logo Skirt Navy blue pleated, worn on or just above the knee
Jumper Navy blue v-neck with school logo Shirt Navy blue polo shirt with school logo
Shoes Black Jumper Navy blue v-neck with school logo
Socks Plain dark or white Shoes Plain black low heels
    Socks/Tights White/dark socks or grey/navy/neutral tights
All Students     
Jewellery Only one small stud worn in the ear lobes is allowed 

Personal Property

Students should be fully equipped and bring all relevant materials to all lessons, all of which should be named. Likewise we strongly recommend that all clothing is also clearly named. Lost property is taken to the school office from where it may be collected. Secure lockers are available for storage of personal items at a cost of £12.  Parents are urged to take advantage of this facility and to encourage the use of the locker.  The school cannot accept responsibility for property that is not in a secure place

Items such as mobile phones or other electronic devices should not be brought to school.  Should they be brought into school they must be switched off and not used during the school day. We cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage and should such items be seen in school they will be confiscated under the Behaviour Management Policy and returned at a later date.

School Meals

For morning and lunchtime breaks a cafeteria service is operated offering a wide choice of hot and cold dishes.  Students pay cash at the till.  Packed lunches may be brought to school and are eaten in the Hall or courtyard at lunchtime. Free dinners are available for students who are entitled to them. Parents and carers can apply for Free School Meals  at www.westberks.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals.

School Records

In line with Local Authority policy, school records are computerised.  The system contains necessary safeguards for retaining confidentiality in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Please keep us informed of any contact changes including; names, home address, telephone numbers and email addresses.

Medical Matters

Students who injure themselves on the premises or feel unwell should report to the main office.  If a hospital visit is required, every possible effort will be made to contact the parent to take the child to hospital.  Permission to go home when unwell is only given by the Head Teacher, members of the Senior Leadership Group or Head of Learning, on the recommendation of the First Aid Staff.  If your child has any disability or any special medical requirements, please make sure that the Head of Learning is informed so that any necessary help may be given.

The Willink Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

All parents of students are automatically members of the school’s PTA.  It is run by a committee of parents and staff who organise a number of social and fund-raising functions throughout the year.  New members are always welcomed to join the committee, please email pta@willink.w-berks.sch.uk

Parent Forum

Parent Forums are scheduled three times a year. This is an informal event where small groups of parents are invited to discuss school issues, recent issues included assessment, anti-bullying, literacy and drugs awareness. Conclusions made during these events contribute to the review of policies and practices and ultimately help to shape the strategy of the school

School Policies

School policies are available on the school website. The following may be of interested to prospective parents and students:

*Behaviour Management *Charging & Remissions *Collective Act of Worship
*Curriculum *Uniform *Sex & Relationship Education
*Attendance *Complaints *Home School Agreement

Visiting the School

In addition to our Open Evening, we also invite prospective students and their parents to visit our Open Morning when you’ll have the opportunity to observe lessons and get a flavour of the typical school day. Our next Open Morning is Monday 19th September at 9.00am, please book your place by calling or emailing the school on 0118 983 2030 or office@willink.w-berks.sch.uk However, visits at other times can be made by appointment. 

Academic Organisation

The School Day

The school day begins at 8.40am and ends at 3.05pm.  There are 6 lessons in a day, each lasting for 50 minutes. There is a morning break of 20 minutes and a lunchtime break of 40 minutes. Extra-curricular clubs take place prior to school, during lunchtime or after school.

Classes

At key stage 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9) class sizes average 26 with learning support available for students with special needs. Students are ability set for English, Maths, Science and Languages, other subjects are mixed ability. Departments decide upon the type of grouping which will gain the best learning outcomes for their subject. At key stage 4 (Years 10 & 11) the average class size for Option Subjects in 2016 is 21.

Curriculum

Our aim is to provide a strong academic curriculum tailored to suit the needs of all students. As a school with a strong international ethos, we believe that the study of languages are very important today for inter-cultural understanding.  Some aspects of some subjects are taught through a foreign language (Content & Language Integrated Learning). Language learning and encounters with foreign cultures encourage a problem-solving approach to life and develops self-confident and articulate individuals.

The Library Resource Centre

The Library Resource Centre is open each day from 8.15am and is staffed by a full-time Library Resource Centre Manager.  Students have free access at morning break and at lunchtimes.  The LRC is also open after school Monday to Thursday from 3.05 - 4.15pm. There is a wide range of subject-specific, general interest and fiction.  Additionally, the LRC offers online resources, newspapers and magazines. Students are welcome to make suggestions for new stock.

Personal Social, Health & Economic Education (including Citizenship & Careers Guidance

PSHEE is timetabled throughout the school and is taught by a dedicated team of teachers. Our Sex and Relationship Education Policy and Curriculum is published on our website.  Careers guidance is part of the curriculum in Years 8 to 11 through PSHEE lessons. The school recognises the value of careers education and all students in KS4 are required to take part in work experience placements in Key Stage 4.

Attendance and Holidays

We are proud to have one of the consistently highest overall attendance rates in West Berkshire.  We actively promote good attendance and use a variety of methods to support students when attendance deteriorates or causes concern.

Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind.  Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school. As part of our attendance monitoring, we keep a close eye on students with persistent absence (PA) set at 90%. Students with absence falling below 90% are monitored carefully, often with intervention from the West Berkshire Education Welfare Service.

The Education (Pupil Registration) England Regulations (2013) stipulates that Heads may no  longer grant any leave of absence during term-time unless there are exceptional circumstances, defined as a ‘family crisis’ or where parents have specific dates for leave as a member of the Armed Forces.

Year 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Attendance 95.5% 95.6% 96.1% 96.2%

We reward high attendance during end of term Assemblies where certificates are awarded to students with a perfect attendance record. At the end of the last academic year in July there were over 80 students with 100% attendance.

Your co-operation is sought in ensuring your child’s regular attendance but we understand that illness can mean your child may be unexpectedly absent from school. In this event, please telephone the school prior to the start of the school day and send a letter to confirm the reason for their absence with your child when they return to school; this is a valuable part of a register check. 

Please attempt to make any clinic appointments out of school hours. Should this not be possible please send a written request in advance to your child’s tutor. All requests are monitored.

All holidays are expected to take place during school holidays. Fixed penalty fines are imposed for unauthorised absence (see school attendance policy).

Admissions

For September 2016 Intake:

Number of places available 180
Actual Student Intake 182
No. of Applications (first place) 182
Number of places available for 2017 intake 180 

The Willink School Admission Policy (2016) is as follows:

The Willink School, in line with Government Policy on more open enrolment, will meet parental preference wherever possible.  Looked After Children and those with a statement of Special Educational Needs have priority.  Applicants living in the designated areas of the following feeder schools will also be given priority:

  • Aldermaston C of E Primary (South of Railway Line)
  • Burghfield St. Mary’s C of E Primary
  • Garland Junior, Burghfield Common
  • St. Mary’s Junior, Mortimer
  • Sulhamstead and Ufton Nervet C of E Aided Primary

After allocating places to students within the catchment area any remaining places will be allocated to siblings of existing pupils, out of catchment. Any further remaining places will be prioritised by distance from the school to a home address.

Each year we accept students from outside our catchment area whose application selects The Willink as their first choice school. In 2015 & 2016 we accepted students from the non-feeder primary schools listed below. There will be up to 40 places available in September 2017 for children living outside the school’s catchment area.

Bradfield C of E Alderbridge The Cedars   Kennet Valley
Lambs Lane Silchester Theale C of E Crossfields
Southcote Primary School Woolhampton English Martyrs RC All Saints
Springfield Primary School Farley Hill The Coombes C of E Downsway
Calcot Junior School Kennet Valley Loddon Valley Beenham
Basildon Primary Crudwell Bishopswood Primary Englefield
Compton CE Primary Hemdean House Curzon CE Combined Long Lane
Manor Primary St Andrew’s Meadow Park Academy Wilson Primary
Westwood Farm Junior St Paul’s Catholic     

 Curriculum Subjects Years 7-11 (September 2016)

 SUBJECTS IN THE YEAR 7 TO 11 CURRICULUM

Subject Years
  7 8 9 10 11
Art  ** ** ** Opt Opt
BUSINESS EDUCATION       Opt Opt
CAREERS EDUCATION  * * ** ** **
COMPUTING  ** ** ** Opt Opt
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY                ** ** ** Opt Opt
DRAMA                 ** ** ** Opt Opt
DANCE  ** ** ** Opt Opt
ENGLISH **  ** ** ** **
GEOGRAPHY ** ** ** Opt Opt
HISTORY ** ** ** Opt Opt
LANGUAGE (French, German and Spanish) ** ** ** ** **
SECOND LANGUAGE   ** ** Opt Opt
MATHEMATICS ** ** ** ** **
MEDIA STUDIES                      Opt Opt
MUSIC ** ** ** Opt Opt
PHYSICAL EDUCATION ** ** ** ** **
PERSONAL SOCIAL HEALTH EDUCATION & CITIZENSHIP ** ** **   **
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION ** ** ** ** **
SCIENCE ** ** ** ** **

KEY:
**           =  Compulsory
Opt        =  Optional

There is optional GCSE in PE for Year 10 & Year 11

For details of the Sixth Form curriculum please see our separate Sixth Form prospectus

Transition Programme

It’s extremely important that every new child joining us settles in quickly and as smoothly as possible, to ensure this we have a dedicated team of staff and students, committed to supporting every child during the transfer period from their primary school. This includes a Head of Learning and Pastoral Support Assistant for Year 7, Service Family’s Child Liaison, Gypsy & Roma Traveller Liaison, Family Schools Support Worker, Student Peer Mentors, Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCO), More Able & Aspiring Students Co-ordinator and an Assistant Head Teacher overseeing the transition.

Our Transition Programme provides a number of opportunities for your child in Year 5 and 6 to become familiar with the school before joining as outlined below:

  • Our dedicated team of Student Peer Mentors and Peer Mentor Co-ordinator visit feeder primary schools and run team building and ‘getting to know us’ activities, with  Year 6 students in the summer term before they join us
  • Our SENDCO visit feeder primary schools to gather information about Year 6 students including social, emotional and learning needs so we can be ready to support these in September
  • Our Family Schools Support Worker visits primary schools and works with families to support them through the transitional period which includes offering extra visits to our school for students who are more vulnerable
  • We offer two Year 6 induction days for your child to meet their new tutor and experience a school day at The Willink before they join us.
  • We provide a personalised welcome pack to each student which contains key school information as well as a handy FAQ booklet, key dates, examples of a timetable, a school map and much more.
  • We organise individual parent and student interviews with their Willink tutor in the summer before joining the school.
  • Our Year 9 students help run a Year 6 competition with UK Mathematics Trust
  • We hold a gifted and talented maths master class
  • Year 5 information evening is held in June for prospective parents
  • Year 6 new student evening is held also in June giving an opportunity to meet new tutors
  • Open evening and open mornings are held so prospective parents and students can visit the school
  • We invite Year 6 students to take part in a Languages sports day
  • Every feeder school is invited to send a group of Year 5 students to take part in our Key Stage 3 Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) club.
  • We run afterschool maths club for Year 5 and 6 students
  • The Willink maths quiz is sent to primary schools throughout the year
  • We invite Year 6 students to watch our Year 7 French and Spanish Carol Concert
  • Our newsletter is sent to primary schools so students can keep up to date with the activities at The Willink School
  • We liaise and meet with primary school Head Teachers to ensure we continue to develop our transition programme and provide the best support for our students
  • We arrange for Year 6 to visit Year 7 classes in the autumn term to meet their old students
  • Our Maths and English teachers liaise with Year 6 teachers to ensure the continuity in teaching and learning.

Once students have joined us in September there are several processes in place to help them settle in;

  • Year 7s have the first day of the autumn term in school on their own to help them learn their way around the school while it’s quieter
  • We provide every tutor group with two class Peer Mentors as well as pairing up individuals with 1:1 mentors if needed
  • For the first two weeks of the autumn term we allow Year 7 students to leave five minutes early from lessons to give them that extra bit of time to find their way to their next lesson, be first in the lunch queue and first on the buses
  • For the first two weeks of the autumn term the library is open to Year 7s only
  • Year 7 assemblies are held more regularly to provide information to students.

Parents are always welcome to contact us with any queries and we have several staff working with Year 7 to ensure that we can positively resolve any concerns

 GCSE Results 2016 – The Willink School 

Expected Levels of Progress from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4

 

English

Mathematics

 

%3+ levels

%4+ levels

%3+ levels

%4+ levels

The Willink 2016

87

44

75

42

England 2015

69

30

66

30

  •  A*-C E&M = percentage of students achieving A*-C grades in English and mathematics
  • Ebacc (English Baccalaureate) = A*-C passes in English, mathematics, two sciences, history or geography, a language.
  • Attainment 8 = Average score for best 8 GCSE grades
  • Progress 8 = The average progress a student makes in the same 8 subjects from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school. +0.5 indicates an average half grade per subject above expectation.  This figure uses the 2016 co-efficient.

Subject

+

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

U

Art

2

5

5

6

0

4

0

1

0

Biology

12

27

17

3

1

0

0

0

0

Business Studies

0

7

12

10

5

4

1

1

0

Chemistry

13

24

13

9

0

1

0

0

0

Dance

0

1

2

0

3

1

0

0

0

Computer Science

2

5

11

4

0

0

0

0

0

Creative iMedia

0

4

3

6

1

4

0

0

0

Drama

2

9

7

7

3

2

1

0

0

English

9

18

38

59

31

7

1

0

0

English Literature

9

24

52

37

21

0

0

0

0

Food Tech

2

2

3

4

6

3

0

0

0

French

11

7

11

16

13

7

3

0

0

Geography

9

13

20

22

11

3

3

2

0

German

5

4

5

2

4

0

1

0

0

Graphic Products

0

0

1

6

2

1

0

0

0

History

12

14

23

16

9

10

4

1

1

Mathematics

21

20

45

37

21

7

6

5

1

Media Studies

3

9

11

6

8

0

0

0

0

Music

2

3

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

PE

0

2

7

17

15

3

0

0

1

Physics

10

20

20

8

2

0

0

0

0

RE

12

23

38

25

30

13

4

6

0

Resistant Materials

0

1

1

6

3

2

0

1

0

Science Additional

2

8

29

34

9

3

2

0

0

Science BTEC

0

0

0

6

0

0

9

0

0

Science Core

0

5

19

44

19

8

6

1

0

Spanish

14

9

6

6

13

9

8

4

0

Statistics

19

32

43

33

21

6

5

0

1

Textiles

0

1

7

6

1

0

0

0

0

Travel and Tourism BTEC

0

0

0

0

0

0

8

0

0