Tel: 0118 983 2030


The Willink School

The Willink School

November Sixth form Updates and Announcements

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In this edition

November 2016 Edition

This has been a busy but productive first term in the Sixth Form year and there is a fantastic, positive working environment in the Sixth Form area. Year 12 have settled in well and have shown a great work ethic, particularly in independent study, and we’ve been pleased to see the extended study room being used effectively by students.
It has been exciting working with Year 13 as they develop their plans for the future and start putting in applications for university, apprenticeships and work. Now that their goals are in sight students are showing real determination and resilience to work towards them.

Our Senior Students have been demonstrating enthusiasm and independence in shaping a number of activities and issues in Sixth Form Life. Our thanks also go to all the students who helped out at the Open Evening for Year 11s – the feedback from parents was that they helped promote the Sixth Form and subjects in a professional, mature and dynamic way.

Thanks to all parents who have arranged Learning Review Day appointments for Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd December. A reminder that Year 13 only need to attend for their appointments and should spend the rest of the time studying. Year 12 have a timetable of assessments. If one of these clashes with their appointment they will be given additional time to complete the assessment once returning from their interview.

Mr Ballantyne and The Sixth Form Team

Moldova Trip 2017

We are pleased to announce details of our 13th annual Sixth Form trip to Moldova from Friday June 30th to Sunday July 9th 2017.

Students spend a rewarding week running a summer playscheme for 6-16 year-olds at a village school. Students stay in groups in local houses within walking distance of the school. The trip also includes opportunities to get to know Moldova through sightseeing trips.

Click here for letter and full details. To be considered please complete the form and return it with a deposit of £100 by Wednesday 30th November.

Mr Price

Champions of Enterprise Event

On 20th October, all of Year 12 successfully took part in the Champions of Enterprise event hosted here at The Willink. Champions of Enterprise is an inter-school competition designed for sixth formers and aims to help develop work-ready skills.

As part of the event, students worked in teams to evaluate three real local businesses and decide which real life business challenge their team is going to solve. This year Gist Ltd, Waitrose Newbury and Environmental Solutions Waste Management put forward their business challenges. The pupils produced fantastic presentations demonstrating hard work and excellent teamwork!.

Congratulations goes to Eddie, Rachel, Grace, Danyal and Edward, who were selected by a panel of judges to represent The Willink School in the Grand Final, held at Regency Park Hotel. Good luck to our finalists!

Mr Leach

University Application Deadline

We are excited to see a number of offers starting to come in from students’ university applications – these are being posted and shared on the board outside the Sixth Form Office.

A reminder that our deadline for applications to be submitted before Christmas is November 25th.
Our final deadline for UCAS applications is Friday January 6th.

Mrs Gordon

AWE Apprenticeship Opportunity

Applications have now opened for the AWE’s award-winning apprenticeship programme.
This maybe of interested to some students wishing to apply for apprenticeship roles in the near future. AWE apprenticeship open days please click here.

Here is the PR36 16 Apprentice applications information
For more detailed information, please visit

Mrs Morris

Speakers 4 Schools – Bruce Melizan, Interserve

Bruce MelizanWe were pleased to host Interserve Director Bruce Melizan who spoke to our Year 12 and Business Students in early November.

Mr Melizan gave an excellent insight into apprenticeship opportunities, the world of business and tips on what employers look for when recruiting graduates.

Mr Ballantyne

Inter-form Dodgeball by our Competition Senior Students

In early October the whole Sixth Form took part in a Dodgeball competition, giving a chance for the students to enjoy a break away from A-Levels and revision and take on their friends in the first competitive event of the year.  The students were split into their forms, ranging from all sorts of ability.Dodgeball

A round-robin format was established to find a winner from the seven forms. The teams waited in anticipation to discover who they would be facing first off and with the crowd of Sixth Formers cheering them on, the competition set off. 

After several rounds of Dodgeball action and many disagreements between the eager participants a winner was announced. The crown of the Dodgeball competition went to Mr Debuire’s form group, rounding off a lunch time full of quality Dodgeball from all who took part. However, this was only the first of the competitions, with many more to come such as Uni-Hoc and the Sixth Form quiz.

Fin Bowen, Year 13

Twitter- Keeping everyone up-to-date

The Willink Sixth Form Twitter account is beginning to pick up speed and interest. The main role of this account is to keep pupils up to speed with regards to events and activities around the Sixth Form. We also regularly tweet UCAS- relevant information, including ‘help guides’ on writing personal statements and future deadlines for different aspects of the application process.

The Twitter handle to search for is @WillinkSixth and please feel free to follow the account as parents or students.

Mr Leach

ICAEW Parents’ Evening

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) have informed us of a Parents’ Evening they are holding at The Green Park Conference Centre in Reading on 29th November 2016. The evening outlines routes into chartered accountancy and offers an opportunity to network with potential business employers. If your son or daughter is interested in chartered accountancy, Click here for the leaflet to this event

Mr Ballantyne

October Newsletter

A warm welcome back to all our Sixth Formers. The Sixth Form is an exciting time whether you are starting as a Year 12 with a new-found sense of independence or whether you are a Year 13 embarking on the last year of your school career with new opportunities on the horizon.  

We are a few weeks into the new term and it is fantastic to see a positive, enthusiastic working atmosphere in the Sixth Form block. The new, enlarged study area is being well used, Year 12s have signed up to a wide variety of enrichment activities and the Year 13 Senior Students are busy making plans and organising events.  

There are some staff changes to notify you about this year. Mr Ballantyne takes over from Miss Flipping as Head of Sixth Form. Miss Flipping moves to a new role as Head of Social Sciences but joins the Sixth Form tutor team taking over Mr Parkes' tutor group. Mr Leach has been appointed as Assistant Head of Sixth Form and Mrs McDonald takes over M. Collot's tutor group.   

For a full list of staff please see the student handbook which was issued in the first week of term. This contains all the information students need to get the most out of Sixth Form including an independent study guide and record plus an enrichment list of “50 Things to do Before You Leave The Willink”.  

If you have any queries or concerns, please do get in touch with the Sixth Form team via or 0118 983 2030.

Mr Ballantyne

Exam Results Summer 2016

Exam ResultsWe were pleased to celebrate a fine set of A Level results for our Year 13 students this summer including 13 students who achieved two As or above. All students who had applied for university were successful in securing places.

For a full summary please see the attached file. 

Click_Here for the A Level Results August 2016

Reading College Higher Education Fair

Higher Education fairOn Wednesday 5th October, Reading College are hosting a higher education fair at their Kings Road Campus. Around 50 universities will be in attendance and this will be a great opportunity to inform students about future courses and offers a chance to ask questions about possible future destinations. The fair is open from 3:30pm- 6:00pm and prior registration is not required.

In Spring 2017 we are planning to take all Year 12s to a an official UCAS event at Surrey University where a wider range of universities will be exhibiting.

Mr Leach

Flying Pigs - Moldova trip

Moldova tripThe Flying Pigs trip is an excellent opportunity to experience a different culture whilst developing various important life skills such as communicating, team work and organisation whilst running a play scheme. You will live with one of our amazing Moldovan host families, and experience what life is like in Europe's poorest country.

The Willink is one of only two schools in Britain to travel to Moldova, making this a very unique experience. Flying Pigs from 2016 are very welcome to return too! Letters will be out soon once travel details are finalised. 

Mr Price

Can you help? A call for resources

 Call for resourcesWe are continually looking to ensure we have a fantastic and suitable working environment for all of our Sixth Form students. Therefore we are on the hunt for some computer chairs to help replace a handful of well-used and now tired chairs in our study room. If you or your company can help in any way at all, be it one chair or ten, please contact Mr Leach (

Thank you in advance.

Mr Leach 

Twitter in the Sixth Form

TwitterThe Willink Sixth Form has taken a leap into the 21st century and has created a Twitter page to help keep students and parents alike up to date with sixth form events, dates for UCAS applications, university open days, key information and much more.

The Twitter handle to search for is @WillinkSixth and please feel free to follow the account, retweet anything and share the information. The more students it reaches the better!

Introducing the Sixth Form Council

School CouncilThis year has seen the creation of the first Sixth Form council comprising of both Year 13 and Year 12 students. Both year groups have a voice in Sixth Form and bringing them together has already begun to fuse the year groups in unity. The council is made up of the Head Boy and Head Girl and their deputies, a lead senior student representative from working groups across Sixth Form (Competition, Charity, Social, Year Book, Area) and a Year 12 representative from all 7 forms groups. 

Chaired by the Head Students, the inaugural meeting of this council took place on Tuesday 13th September and many items were discussed. Senior students representing the different groups proposed their actions leading up to half term. 

Lydia, lead student for the Social group outlined the up and coming Ice Breaker events, while Fin, representing the Competition group pitched the idea of an inter-form Dodgeball tournament. Henry, lead student for the Area group outlined some key areas that require improvement in the Sixth Form and possible actions to combat the issues. Finally, the Charity group have proposed a MacMillan coffee morning to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Care and the Year Book group outlined their research into possible designs and styles. Many more events to come so watch this space! 

For a full list of senior students, please see this document.

Willink Debating Team attend EYPUK

Debating teamThe Willink School debating team were delighted to travel to Liverpool last week to represent the Thames Valley in the European Youth Parliament UK.

Modelled on the EU, each student was a member of a different committee, formulating resolutions on topics from Gender Identity to the Environment, and the sustainability of cities.

On Saturday these resolutions were defended at General Assembly.

All our students participated well, and spoke in committee and at General Assembly.   Although Thames Valley did not win the competition three of our students (Henry Wright, Oliver Wissett and Finley Bowen) have been chosen to go through as individuals to the next round. Willink was the only English comprehensive, and the competition from private and grammar schools was very strong.

Congratulations to the whole team: Dylan Hinde, Elizabeth Holdcroft, Emily Coleman, Ella Dunn, Charlie Holmes, and Will Bray. They were an absolute credit to the school, from the first Greek meal, which they provided, to their behaviour and the quality of debate.

Mrs Downey and Mrs Gordon

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