23th March 2017 issue 7
Message from the headteacher
This is the week of two letters. Last week we received a letter from Minister of State at the Department for Education, Nick Gibb, congratulating our students in achieving the English Baccalaureate in 2016 – amongst the top 10% state-funded schools in the country. This includes Grammar Schools – so not a bad effort! Please see the letter by clicking here. Our examination performance in 2016 also means The Willink is eligible for membership of the SSAT’s Leading Edge, the national network exclusively available to high-performing schools.
The second letter, following on from the last edition of We Link, concerns the funding crisis hitting schools. Please click here to see the letter recently sent from the school to John Redwood MP outlining the school’s position. Your support in lobbying your local representatives is much appreciated. I shall hopefully publish on-going correspondence in future editions of We Link.
Willink students take part in BBC news School Report
Researching, interviewing, filming, recording, and editing—all skills that were being put into practise last Thursday (16th March) when 20 Year 8 students took part in BBC News School Report Day. With the help of a group of teachers the students had prepared for the day by considering what makes a good news story and how to present the news. Then the day itself saw intense activity—with the keen newshounds active around the school gathering information, filming and interviewing while back in the newsroom (otherwise known as N5) the pressure was on to complete the editing process in time for the deadline. Subjects covered included children’s health, the school’s 60th anniversary, gender equality, budget cuts to music equipment, lazy students, and gaming.
The results of the day can be seen on the Willink Media Blog page. Click here to have a look at all the great work produced throughout the day
Adam scoops photo prize!
Above: Adam Petty’s winning photos
Below: Finlay Rowles’ photos which earned him a Merit from the judges
We are very pleased to report that Adam Petty 7M has been announced the winner of the Newbury Rotary Young photographer competition in the 11 –15 age group.
This annual competition is organised by the Rotary Club. Entrants are required to submit three photographs on a theme—this year’s theme being ’Reflections’ - and the entries were judged by three professional photographers. All entries are on display at the West Berkshire Museum in Newbury until 25th March so if you are quick you can still see them and also take part in the public vote. The winner of the most public votes will receive the Newbury Weekly News sponsored trophy.
Adam is now being put through to the next stage at District level and we all wish him the best of luck. Congratulations also go to Finley Rowles 7P who was awarded a Merit in the competition.
Volunteer painting day
Pictured (right) are a group of parents painting the top corridor in the Sixth Form during the Parent Volunteer Painting Day on Saturday 11th March. This is valuable work saving the school hundreds of pounds each year and we are very grateful for all the help.
Parent information evening—e-safety—30th march
Please note there is a parent information evening hosted by the Police on the topic of E-safety (to include information about social media and ’sexting’) in the Hall on Thursday 30th March at 6.30—8pm.
News from the 6th form
The 6th Form Quiz Night last Thursday (16th) saw the teachers team reign supreme with their super-high newspaper tower helping them to victory! Organised by the 6th Form students themselves and compèred by the Head Students this was a succesful social event enjoyed by all participants.
The European Youth Parliament (EYP) Competition is held in regions across the UK every year. The Debating Team writes: “This year our Y12 Debating Team were invited to take part in the Thames Valley heat, held in The Oxford Union, on 17th March. We competed against eight other schools.
Back L—R: Jake Spong, Matthew May, Elliot Jones, Piers Dunham.
Front L-R: Laura Misson, Rachel Lee-Mohan, Aneesa Ahmed,
There were six debates which focused on issues that affect citizens who live and work in the EU. The debate that we had to prepare to oppose was centred on how the EU should tackle the prevention and treatment of people who suffer from mental health issues.
We had regular meetings to prepare and research all of the debates so that we felt confident taking part and contributing ideas throughout the day. The experience was extremely enjoyable and we all spoke in the debates. Aneesa made our opening speech and Abi did the summation for our debate however, a special mention goes to Rachel who made a speech in French in the closing debate.”
KEY Diary Dates
28th March: Year 8 and Year 9 Rosas trip departs
30th March: Parent Information Evening—E-Safety, 6:30pm
1st April: Rosas trip returns
5th April: Year 10 Parents Evening
7th April: End of Term, school finishes at 12:40pm
7th April: China trip departs
8th April: Ski trip departs
24th April: Staff training day
25th April: Start of term, 8.40am