The Willink School

The Willink School

January 2018 - 
Sixth Form Updates & Announcements

In this issue

UCAS update

Public Speaking Competition Dragon’s Den Award for Young Enterprise Team
Half-term Careers and Skills Workshop Day Unifrog Time to Talk – Promoting Mental Health Awareness
Exams Update Cross Country Success Chemistry Olympiad
Looking forward


This year has been a Willink record for applications sent by students to universities. We have sent a total of 64 applications for Year 13 (and an additional 4 previous students reapplying) and offers have been flooding in.
Every applicant has received at least one offer so far and many have received offers to all of their choice universities. We have noticed that many universities are offering unconditional places, which can seem enticing to students but please do read the below advice before making any final decisions.

What should I do if I have unconditional offers?
Some offers are unconditional; either completely unconditional or a conditional offer that will be made unconditional if you make that course your FIRM choice.
Universities make unconditional offers for different reasons:

  • To take the pressure of A Level exams off a candidate they want
  • To ensure that they fill the course for financial security 

Your deadline for making choices is May. Before you make your final decisions about Firm and Insurance choices you should go to the applicant days for all the universities that you are interested in. Use this visit to talk to staff and students in the department about the course:

  • how much choice of topics are there?
  • how much contact time will you have?
  • how is the course taught?
  • How many students are in seminar groups?
  • how is each module assessed?
  • can you see yourself living there for 3-4 years?

Expectations; do not accept an offer just because it's unconditional.
Your Firm choice should be higher than your Insurance.
Please speak to Mrs Gordon or your tutor before you make your final decision. 

Mrs Gordon

Public speakingPublic Speaking Competition

On Monday 15th January two Year 12 teams competed in a Rotary International Youth Speaks public speaking competition at Blessed Hugh Farringdon School. In Team A Millie Randall, Charlotte Edwards and Joe Porter spoke on the topic of "Is Childhood Disappearing due to the rise in use of Technology?" while on Team B Sophie Maybury, James McClellan and Oli Matthews spoke on the Time's Up feminist movement.

The teams were timed according to strict rules performing in front of a panel of judges and an audience. The students came runners up but said they gained confidence and experience giving them skills they can transfer to future careers.

Mr Ballantyne

Dragons denDragon’s Den Award for our Young Enterprise Team

Seven of our Sixth Form students were announced as overall winners this week of the prestigious Dragons Den competition for their innovative new clothing company, ALTO.

They beat a number of other schools in the West Berkshire wide competition as part of the Young Enterprise process. They pitched their idea to three “dragons” in December last year and received the funding they needed to move forward with their business idea from the local investors.

The Young Enterprise company, formed in November, have already received numerous orders for their empowering range of t-shirts and hoodies which feature motivational words such as “strength”, “power” and “believe”.

The seven students – Daniel Grantham, James McClellan, Joe Porter, Josh Pennington, Sharaf Mohamed Ali, Stephanie Osun and Jordan Curtis – have been supported in their Young Enterprise journey by their mentor, Jim Wheeler.

More details about the Alto Clothing brand and products can be found on Twitter @alto_clothing, Facebook and Instagram. Stock will be arriving in about two weeks and items can be ordered through their Facebook page.

Careers Opportunity Workshops in Half Term

Through our partnership with employability training organisation Pathway CTM we are pleased to offer the following event during half term:

Year 12 Skills Day, Reading - Monday 12th February 9:30am- 3:00pm. Meet some of the biggest companies in the world and take part in a range of interactive activities, challenges and networking sessions.

This is a fantastic introduction to the world of work and is perfect timing for Year 12s thinking about future career plans and work experience.

To register FREE, students should log into their Pathway accounts (choose EVENTS) or check their emails.

Mr Leach

UnifrogYear 12 Universities and Apprenticeship Tool - Unifrog- an introduction

This term, Year 12 students were introduced to Unifrog.
Unifrog is an online programme that The Willink have enrolled in to help guide students to their next steps beyond Sixth Form.
The website has many outstanding features such as a university search engine, allowing students to compare every university course in the UK as well filter universities based on their offers, locations or job prospects after graduating.
Unifrog also acts as a forum for pupils to record and track their enrichment, which will aid students in writing their personal statements in the coming months. Not only does Unifrog search university courses, it allows pupils to search for apprenticeships as well, making it a one-stop shop for destinations post- sixth form.
Please ask your son or daughter to show you how it works

Mr Leach

Time to Talk Day- Mental Health Awareness

We recognise that the challenges faced by students in Sixth Form studying A Level can be tough and take a toll on personal wellbeing. We are committed to promoting good wellbeing practices and have been communicating to students the importance of:

  • Recognising we are all human and that mental health problems can affect anyone
  • Encouraging students to connect and talk about how they are feeling
  • Looking after yourself with exercise and a healthy diet
  • Knowing who to talk to about problems. Students are signposted to a number of support services within school.

On February 1st we will be taking part in Time to Talk, a day promoting mental health awareness across the country. A group of volunteer students will lead assembly, decorate the common room plus there will be wellbeing sessions during tutor time that week.

Mr Ballantyne

Exams Update

All Year 12 and 13 Students will be issued via their tutors from 26th January Statements of Entry, which shows their exam entries for Summer 2018.  Students should check that all their entries are shown including any resits that Year 13 Students have requested.
Students in Year 13 who are sitting resits in AS subjects or sitting A Level General Studies in the summer will be sitting a mock in their relevant units during week commencing 12th March.  Students in Year 12 who have opted to sit an AS in their subject will also sit a Mock.  Exact timings of exams will follow.

Mrs Quennell

Cross Country Success For Sixth Formers

On Saturday 20th January two of our Sixth Form Students, Emily Faulkner and Rosa Lawrence, took part in the Berkshire Schools Athletics Association cross country event at Newbury Show Ground. Both girls did fantastically well with Emily finishing 7th and Rosa finishing 16th meaning both qualify for the next round of the BSAA XC event.

We wish them both the best of luck! Mr Leach

Chemistry Olympiad 2018

Congratulations to all of our Year 13 Chemistry students who took part in this year’s Chemistry Olympiad on Tuesday 23rd January! Fingers crossed for some fantastic results!

Mrs Weeks

 Looking forward…

  • Careers Talk from Thames Water – Friday 2nd March
  • Year 12 UCAS visit to Brunel University, Wednesday 14th March
  • Speakers4Schools  - Former Director of Porsche UK, TBA

Mr Leach


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