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The Willink

Parent Guide - Joining The Willink

Parent Guide - Joining The Willink

Welcome to New Parents

We would like to extend a warm welcome to The Willink school community. Our prime aim at The Willink is to provide the highest standard of education for all of our students so that every student achieves their maximum potential. With a blend of personal care and attention to detail, we continue to build a school community where students, parents, staff and governors work together in partnership to forge a creative and healthy environment for learning and personal development. Our ethos is encapsulated in the phrase “village school, global outlook”: to develop mature and responsible citizens who, as members of society, will go on to make a positive contribution to Britain in a global context.​

There is a very happy atmosphere at The Willink. It is genuinely a place where young ​people of every talent and aptitude can thrive and blossom. At The Willink we all "Engage, Respect and Achieve". As such, we do aim to build on, and recognise, every child’s strengths; to encourage our students to be well-disciplined, polite and considerate, well-motivated and compassionate. We are very proud of the confident, skilled and ambitious students who leave us and look forward to supporting your child during this next phase of their learning journey with us. ​

Mr P Fry, Headteacher  ​& Ms N Browning , Headteacher Designate ​

Parent Guide - Joining The Willink

We have put together a guide to share some of the key information for parents of children who are joining us at The Willink in September 2023:
Parent Guide - Information for New Starters 2023/2024

Term Dates

Our term dates for 2023/2024 can be found here.

Inset Days:​

  • Friday 1st September 2023​
  • Monday 4th September 2023​
  • Friday 22nd September 2023​
  • 2 Twilight​

Learning Review Days:​ Thursday 30th November and Friday 1st December 2023​.

Please note: School will close  at 12:40pm on Thursday 21st September 2023 in preparation for Open Evening​. 

The School Day 

The school opens every week day, during term time, at 8:40am. The school day finishes at 3:05pm. To learn more about the structure of the school day, click here.


Our curriculum is designed to promote our vision, philosophy and aims encapsulated by our motto “village school, global outlook”. The school’s paramount concern is the development of the individual: their personal character development, their achievements, their cultural capital and their career needs.​ 

Click here to learn more about Curriculum, please click here.

Full details of what your child will study within each curricular area, and at what stage, can be found on our school website: Curriculum - Faculties.​

Modern Languages

The Willink is a specialist languages school.  Year 7 students will be taught foreign languages using full immersion.  This means that they will be taught to operate entirely in the foreign language in the classroom.  ​

​During Year 7 students study their first foreign language. Students will study their first foreign language until the end of Year 9.  All students will study a second foreign language from Year 8. It is possible to continue both first and second foreign languages in Key Stage 4 and the Sixth Form.  A language is a compulsory element of the curriculum until the end of Key Stage 4.​

Access to a dictionary for their first foreign language will support progress and learning. Students will also need a set of earphones, to be kept in their school bag, in order to access our multi-media language learning software. Earphones can be purchased from the school.​

Students study the same foreign languages as the peers within their form tutor. Towards the end of Year 7, there will be an opportunity for students to submit language preference for study of second foreign language in Year 8 and 9. Prior to this, they will have taster lessons. By the end of Year 9, students will have covered the same topics and skills in both languages studied. 

An introduction to our French and Spanish lessons can be viewed here.

Extra-Curricular Activities

At The Willink there are lots of different clubs that you can join. Whatever your interests are, there is likely to be a club to suit you. There are many sports clubs (such as netball, badminton, football, basketball and swimming) as well as clubs in Art, Science, Dance, Drama and Design technology. Not long after students start in September, there will be a Clubs Fair held one lunchtime where they can find out about the different clubs on offer and sign up to any that interest them. Some of these are during lunchtime and some are after school. If by any chance the thing they are interested in is not a club at the moment, they can easily look to set one up.​

​In addition to the weekly clubs, there are other activities to get involved in throughout the year. For example, school drama and music performances, competitions (both inter-house and against other schools) and helping at fundraising events for our school’s KIVA charity work.

A list of extra-curricular activities running each term can be found on our website.

Attendance and Punctuality

Further information can be found here

School Canteen and Free School Meals

Further information can be found here.

School Uniform

Wearing The Willink School Uniform with pride is integral to a sense of identity, standards and community belonging.

To find out more about The Willink Uniform and where to purchase, please click here.

Oliver Signs & Embroidery is our supplier for PE Kit. Please visit www.oliverembroidery.co.uk and select ‘School Shops’  to order any PE kit item.  Please note, all shirts, girls’ sweatshirts and boys rugby shirts should have surnames printed on the back. 

If you would like to try on Uniform before ordering, we are holding drop in sessions between 3:15pm and 4:30pm Monday 12th June – Friday 16th June 2023 (just turn up).​

​To guarantee your order from Oliver Signs & Embroidery  is ready for the first day of term, orders must be placed by 19th June 2023.​

A Facebook Group has been set up for the sale and purchase of second-hand school uniform. If you would like to donate uniform, or are looking for second-hand uniform, please get in touch: https://www.facebook.com/groups/773852673302355/​. 

School Transport

If you live more than three miles from school, or indeed more than walking distance or relatively safe cycling distance from school, you will no doubt be concerned about transport for your child to/from school.  ​ ​

At present students who live within the catchment area of The Willink but who live greater than three miles from the school can apply for transport from West Berkshire County Council or Hampshire County Council (dependent on the home address).

Some students living fewer than three miles from school may be eligible for transport due to other circumstances. Fare paying seats may be available on these routes for students who are not entitled to free transport. The relevant local authority will be able to advise you about whether you are eligible. ​​

We advise parents and carers to apply for transport as soon as possible. Fare Payer Applications will be processed by 16th June 2023. ​

​Once your application for free transport is approved by West Berkshire, the bus pass plus details of pick up place and time will be sent to your home, not the school.  More precise details will be made available later this term by the transport company including ‘pick-up’ points, times and costs.

To find out more about transport to and from The Willink, click here.


Our success is based on meaningful collaboration with parents and students and good communication is at the heart of this.  There are several platforms for communication.​ Click here to learn more about how we communicate with parents/carers.