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The Willink

Student Guide to Joining The Willink

Student Guide to Joining The Willink

Welcome to New Students

Welcome to the Willink School community. You are joining a supportive and dynamic school community where you will meet new people, develop knowledge and skills to become confident global changemakers who can make positive contributions to society. ​

At The Willink we all "Engage, Respect and Achieve". If you engage, making the most of the many opportunities available to you, in a way that is respectful to yourself, your environment and others, then you will achieve success and aspirational goals. Your teachers will have the highest expectations of, and for you, will work hard to support your individual needs and we will recognise and reward your success. ​

Making the transition from primary to secondary school is an exciting opportunity but we know that you may also feel nervous. Use this Welcome Pack to help you to prepare and remember that your peers are all experiencing the transition with you. ​

We look forward to greeting you in person in July when we embark on the next phase of your educational journey - your Willink ERA - together.      

 Ms Browning,  Headteacher 

Student Guide for New Starters

Below is our 'Information for New Students Guide 2024/25'. This guides contains lots of useful information about The Willink, including:

  • A message from Ms Browning, Headteacher
  • Information about the Year 7 Key Contacts
  • Letters from our current Year 7s who share their experiences of joining The Willink
  • Frequently asked questions, with answers
  • A map of The Willink school 
  • An example of a student timetable and guidance on how to understand it
  • Information about a typical school day at The Willink
  • Insight into some of the exciting school clubs run for students
  • An introduction to 'Willink Ways' (This is how we celebrate your individual success as you make the most of your ERA:  Engage, Respect and Achieve!)
  • The Willink House System
  • Peer Mentors and how they will support you in your transition to The Willink

...Plus there are some fun challenges to complete in this booklet too!

You may wish to download, save and/or print a copy of this guide:

Information for New Students 2024-2025

Learning Support Centre

Sometimes, students find school and learning difficult and there can be many different reasons for this. The Learning Support Centre (LSC) is there to provide extra support to those students who need it.  The Learning Support Centre is located in the S Block and can be accessed by all students. 

Watch this video to learn a little bit more about our Learning Support Centre:

 Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I eat lunch? 

You can eat inside the school hall or at our outdoor picnic benches within the courtyard (labelled Covered Area on your map) and table tennis area (next to L Block). The canteen provides a wide selection of cold and hot meals or you can bring your own packed lunch. 

How do I join after school and lunch time clubs?

In September we run a Club Fair for Year 7 students where representatives from lots of different clubs come along and encourage you to sign up.  As well as attending the Club Fair your form tutor will tell you where and when the clubs are and your PE teacher will tell you more about the sports clubs. There is a Clubs List in this booklet and a new one will be issued when you join. 

 

How many different lessons/classrooms will I have in a day?​

The answer is 6. You will see 6 teachers, usually in 6 different rooms. Peer Mentors (older students) will be there to guide you on your first day and you will quickly learn your way around so don’t worry.​

​Where are the toilets?​

There are toilets located in most of the blocks and they are easy to find.​

What do I do if I feel unwell at school?​

If you feel unwell you should let your teacher know. They may advise you to have some water or fresh air. If you are really unwell staff in the main office (above the Library Resource Centre in the Admin Block) will contact home for you.​

Are mobile phones allowed?​

Mobile phones should be turned off and stay in the bottom of your bag if you need to bring it to school. Mobile phones seen, or heard, during the day will be confiscated. Staff working in the main office will contact home if you are unwell so there will be no need to use your mobile phone during the school day. 

What will happen on my first day in September?​

On your first day you should go to the school hall where your form tutor will meet you. Only Year 7 students and Peer Mentors will be in school then so you have some time to get to know your way around.

How much homework will there be?​

Year 7 students can expect to have homework from each subject weekly. Some subjects such as Maths, English, Languages and Science may be slightly more frequent. Homework tasks and deadlines will be set on the ClassCharts website and app. Our Library Resource Centre is open to students during morning and afternoon break and until 4.15pm (2.30pm on Friday). ​

​Are we allowed to have lockers?​

Yes. Lockers are located near your tutor room. Parents/Carers can pay for a locker using Scopay.​

​What do I do if I am ill in the morning before school?​

Just ask your parent or carer to call the absence line office and explain why you won’t be in school. ​

​Who can I talk to if I have a problem?​

You can speak to any adult in school. You will see your tutor every morning so this will give you an opportunity to talk to them. You can also talk to your Head of Learning (Ms van Zwieten), the Year 7 Pastoral Assistant (Ms Sutton) in the Head of Learning Office, Peer Mentors or Inclusion Staff in the Learning Support Centre. It's important that you talk to staff when you are worried.​

​Where can I go if I have a problem?​

You can go to the Head of Learning Office next to main reception before school, during breaks or after school where Peer Mentors or pastoral staff can help you. Alternatively, you can go to Learning Support Centre in S Block.

 

 

What is Learning Support Centre?

The Learning Support Centre is located in the S Block and can be accessed by all students.  We aim to provide all students with structured and coordinated support to overcome barriers to learning caused by personal, social, emotional or behavioural difficulties. 

All students at The Willink School are provided with a rich set of learning experiences and opportunities which begin in the classroom, extend to the wider school, and the local community beyond that. However, we recognise that some students will find accessing these opportunities challenging. ​

Support is provided to students and families via different approaches and covers a range of issues: ​

  • Special Educational Needs ​
  • Literacy ​
  • Emotional Literacy (recognising emotions, social skills, self-esteem, loss and bereavement)​
  • Relationships ​
  • Complex medical conditions ​
  • Attendance ​
  • Financial hardship ​

How can I learn more about the Learning Support Centre and the staff who work there?​

Watch our video to see what the Learning Support Department looks like – and the staff who you will meet there.  You can find it on our website: ​willinkschool.org.uk/Pastoral/LSU 

I am a child of service family. Is there anybody who I can talk to about that when I need to? ​

The Willink School has a significant number of students who are children of service families. All can access support via individual mentoring in Learning Support Centre.